Bishop Victor: Great Сross Procession is the day of unity of UOC
Bp Victor wished the believers to always have such inner strength and unity that no external forces could shake them in their faith and faithfulness to Orthodoxy.
The day when believers go out on the Great Cross Procession is the day of the Church unity, said Bishop Victor (Kotsaba) of Baryshevka, the vicar of the Kyiv Metropolis and the head of the UOC Mission to European international organizations, in his commentary to the “1Kozak” channel.
“The cross procession has already firmly entered our church life, and we are looking forward to this day, because, indeed, this is the day of our unity,” said the hierarch. “We show by our presence that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church is one, with one mouth and one heart we walk with prayer. The cross procession is not a marathon, it is prayer first of all. Every person walking in the procession walks with prayer in his heart and on his lips."
The culmination of common prayer and unity is in the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, where the cross-walkers go from the Vladimir Hill and which these days is overflowed with pilgrims from all over Ukraine.
According to the bishop, believers are waiting for this moment "not to prove something to someone, but first of all for each one to feel that we are faithful children of the Church, we are defending it".
“We live in the Church, we live the life of the Church, and we will keep this faithfulness until our last breath. Therefore, this year, too, the cross procession is dedicated to the testimony to the faithfulness to canonical Orthodoxy. Each of us with our contribution, our participation testifies that we are the faithful children of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church,” he added.
The hierarch recalled the words of the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, that the Day of the Baptism of Rus’ is the birthday of our people, which begins and opens a new page in our life in Christ and with Christ, and “everything that came before this, pagan, is all in the past, and everything that has become our present and future, thanks to the choice of the Equal-to-the-Apostles Prince Vladimir, leads us into eternity and unites us with God."
“I wish everyone unity not only on this day but always. There will be many difficulties and temptations in our life, we have experienced some tense moments, maybe there will be even tenser, but the Lord created the Church and the gates of hell will not prevail against her – this must be remembered, we must live this. May God grant us to have such internal strength, internal unity so that no external forces could shake us in our faith and faithfulness to our canonical Orthodoxy,” resumed Bishop Victor of Baryshevka.