Members of OCU hold their “Ukrainian cross procession”
On July 28, the OCU had a “liturgy” and a “cross procession” from St. Sophia Cathedral to Vladimir Hill. Preliminary figures indicate about 3,000 participants.
The celebration of the Baptism of Rus was marked by the members of the OCU structure of the Ukrainian with the “liturgy” and the procession, which was called the “Ukrainian cross procession”.
On July 28, 2019, at 8.30 a “divine liturgy” took place in the open-air area of St. Sophia Cathedral of Kiev, after which the “hierarchy” and the believers went in a “procession” to St. Vladimir Hill.
The festivities of the OCU were attended by the Constantinople Patriarchate in the person of Metropolitan Emmanuel of France. On the eve of the holiday, the hierarchs of Phanar brought along the shrines fromTurkey to Kiev: the relics of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called, part of the Tree of the Cross of the Lord and some holy water from the church in Blachernai.
After the end of the liturgy, there was read a message of Patriarch Bartholomew who, in particular, stated: “I call on the authorities and state bodies and especially you, the God-fearing people, to take into your arms the new Church, the goal of which is to unite all of you.”
A special guest of honor was the former president of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko who together with his aidee Rostislav Pavlenko came to the end of the "liturgy". Poroshenko spoke before the audience with a welcome speech. The former president recalled that he was with Epiphany on January 6 in Istanbul when Epiphany received from Patriarch Bartholomew the Tomos, and also said that the OCU "would be recognized by all world Orthodoxy" and he prays "for this to happen as soon as possible".
Poroshenko’s speech caused a standing ovation and chanting of the word “thank you!” among the believers of the OCU.
On the St. Sophia Square in front of the bell tower, a large screen was installed for those who could get onto the territory of St. Sophia Cathedral.
After the end of "worship", a "Ukrainian cross procession" was held. Like all parades of the UOC of the Kiev Patriarchate in previous years, the procession of the OCU consisted of a long, stretched column of “hierarchy”, followed by the believers. The Ukrainian “cross procession” began at 11.30, and at 11.45 it arrived at St. Vladimir Hill. Thus, it took the supporters of the newly formed organization only 15 minutes to get to the destination.
On St. Vladimir Hill, the OCU held a prayer service.
Afterwards, Epiphany invited everyone to St. Michael Cathedral to have cookies and ice cream.
The number of his procession was estimated by the head of the OCU as 20,000 people. According to visual estimates of the UOJ, supporters of the OCU amounted to about three or four thousand participants.