UOC hierarch speaks of celebration features of Day of Rus’ Baptism in 2021
Metropolitan Clement noted that believers are looking forward to this day to prove their faithfullness to the UOC.
In an interview with the Inter TV channel, the head of the Synodal Information and Educational Department of the UOC, Metropolitan Clement of Nizhyn and Pryluki, spoke about the festivities to take place this year to celebrate the 1033rd anniversary of the Baptism of Rus’ and shrines to be brought to Kyiv, reports news.church .ua.
The main events on the Day of the Baptism of Rus’ will be a prayer service on the Vladimir Hill, a cross procession and the Divine Liturgy in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
Traditionally, on July 27, at 13:00, a thanksgiving service will begin in front of the miraculous icons and relics of the Holy Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir on the Vladimir Hill, which will be headed by His Beatitude Onuphry, concelebrated by the bishops of the UOC, hundreds of priests and monks.
After the moleben, there will be a multi-thousand procession of the faithful from the Vladimir Hill to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. Then the All-night Vigil, during which believers will be able to approach the miraculous icons and pray in front of them, will begin in the Lavra.
On July 28, at 9:00 am, the Divine Liturgy will begin on the square in front of the Assumption Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
According to Metropolitan Clement, the cross procession is a triumph of the Orthodox faith, and despite the fact that the UOC is now undergoing serious trials, hundreds of thousands of believers gather together on the Day of the Baptism of Rus’ to demonstrate their faithfulness to the true Church headed by His Beatitude Onuphry.
“They (the UOC believers – Ed.) testify that no threats and deceit will be able to seduce them from the spiritual path that was inscribed by God for our people from the time of the Holy Prince Vladimir to the present era, in which we live under the prayer cover of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry," Metropolitan Clement emphasized.
On this day, believers will have a unique opportunity to venerate the Orthodox miraculous icons that will be brought to Kyiv from different parts of Ukraine. Pochayiv, Zimne, Svyatogorsk, Kasperovskaya and Liubech icons of the Theotokos will be exhibited for worship after the cross procession in the Refectory Church of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on July 27 and 28. Access to the icons will be available all night.
“The believing people honour very much these shrines and always strive for pilgrimage to them. Their history is full of testimonies of Divine supernatural help to people in a variety of life circumstances. Many pilgrims talk about miracles that happen to them through prayer precisely on the Days of the Baptism of Rus’ when entire Kyiv is consecrated by grace from miraculous shrines,” added Metropolitan Clement.
The hierarch of the UOC also noted that the Day of the Baptism of Rus’ is a day that unites peoples, whose history received a spiritual impetus from the Dnieper baptismal font, but if in previous years guests from all over the world came to Kyiv, this year the coronavirus-related restrictions affect the opportunity to come to Ukraine for foreign pilgrims. But despite this, every year believers from all over Ukraine strive to take part in the July celebrations.
“Today there are no such events that would consolidate the citizens of our Homeland so much, regardless of where they live and what language they speak. All these, sometimes very different people, are united by one Faith and one Church. All of them gather not against something, as can often be seen on the streets of our cities, but in the name of God's blessing, in the name of peace and the reign of love. Last time, about 300 thousand believers passed through the streets of Kyiv at the celebrations of 2019. They had a prayer on their lips, and in their eyes – spiritual joy from participation in such a feast. The Lord through the Gospel says: ‘Where two or three are gathered in my name, there I am in the midst of them.’ When tens and hundreds of thousands of people gather in the name of God, this creates an ineffable feeling of God's presence and pure spiritual joy. This can explain the fact that those who at least once took part in the Cross Procession, called the Great by the people, on the Day of the Baptism of Rus', necessarily strive to come to the celebrations next year and bring their loved ones with them,” the bishop added.
As previously reported, on the Day of the Baptism of Rus’, July 28, bells will ring in all churches of the UOC.