In Ptycha, first Liturgy held in house church in place of the seized by OCU
Ptycha believers of the UOC celebrated the first Divine service in the house church, adjusted for religious needs in place of the seized one by the OCU.
On December 3, on the eve of the feast of the Entry of the Most Holy Theotokos into the Temple, the believers of the UOC in the village of Ptycha of the Dubno district, Rivne region, celebrated the first Liturgy in the home church, reports the UOJ correspondent.
The festive Divine service was led by the secretary of the Rivne Eparchy, Archpriest Alexander Yegorov, accompanied by the numerous clergy.
A large number of believers from neighbouring villages gathered for the first service. Before the acquisition of a new house church, services were held in the garage of the former rector, Archpriest Nikolai Sysoniuk. From the garage, the procession went to the house church.
The premises for the house church were purchased with the money of a benefactor who wanted to remain anonymous.
The rector of the Holy Dormition parish of the village of Ptycha, Archpriest Gregory Stadnik, noted that the path that the UOC community has gone over the last six years after the seizure of the temple can be compared to the wandering of Jews in the desert in search of the Promised Land.
“For forty years the Lord led the Jews through the desert, which could be walked in a few days, and we were several hundred meters away from this temple, and for six long years we had to walk to get to our promised land,” the priest said.
Before the Liturgy, the priest read a prayer for the consecration of the building and sprinkled it with holy water. The nearest plans of the religious community of the UOC in Ptycha include the construction of a new church.
“When the walls of the temple grow here, then you will feel even greater joy than today, but while the Lord has tested you, how firm you are in your faith: six years of standing in the cold, numerous trials, repeated seizures and night shifts, I think you passed an exam successfully,” Archpriest Alexander Yegorov, secretary of the Rivne Eparchy, thanked the believers for their steadfastness and courage.
The atmosphere of this day during the first joint prayer in peace, warmth and tranquillity, was amazing, people cried and laughed at the same time, noted Archpriest Viktor Zemlianoy, head of the Department for Interfaith Settlement at the Rivne Eparchy of the UOC.
“All the priests agreed with me that today there were special sensations during the Liturgy – quiet joy. And you deserve it, because with your prayers and your labours confessional peace has reigned in the eparchy, you with your courage and unity, holding the defence of the church, showed everybody your readiness to defend your right to faith," the priest thanked the believers.
We recall that the seizure of the temple in the village of Ptycha took place on April 4, 2019. The OCU activists, in the presence of the police, cut off the locks on the doors of the sealed temple with a grinder and boasted of their seizure on social networks.