Cleric of Cyprus Church takes part in consecration of UOC temple in Volyn

Consecration of the church of the UOC in Rakov Les village. Photo: screenshot of the video of the Youtube channel “Diary of the Deacon"

Two years ago, Archimandrite Nektarios (Bakopoulos) visited the Volyn communities affected by church raiding, and now he has attended the holiday of Rakov Les community.

On September 14, 2021, in the village of Rakov Les, Kamen-Kashirsky district of the Volyn region, a new church of the UOC community was consecrated, built to replace the one seized by the OCU in the winter of 2019. In addition to the episcopate and clergy of the UOC, a cleric of the Cypriot Orthodox Church, Archimandrite Nektarios (Bakopoulos), who two years earlier visited the Volyn communities, which had been affected by the raiders, arrived for the festive service of one of the communities.

The video of the address of the Cypriot priest to the believers in the village of Rakov Les was published on the Deacon's Diary Youtube channel.

On this important day for the Orthodox community, alongside Archimandrite Nektarios the parish was visited by Archbishop Nathanael (Krikota), head of the Volyn diocese of the UOC, Bishop Athanasius (German), vicar of the Volyn diocese, Archpriest Nikolai Danilevich, deputy head of the Department for External Church Relations of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, who translated the words of support and congratulations from the Cypriot guest to the present.

“Exactly two years ago when the church was taken away from you, I came to your village to see you, to feel your pain. You have not had the opportunity to live a full liturgical life. Today I am with you here; I came from Cyprus to share the joy of creating this beautiful temple.

I can see how you restored your liturgical life in the temple of the saints Vera, Nadezhda, Liubov (the names literally mean faith, hope and love – Trans.) and their mother Sophia (the name means wisdom – Trans.). These virtues were materialized today – we can see the result of faith, hope, love. Accordingly, in the future you will be here to live the mystical life of the sacraments of the Church, which unites us with each other and with God and leads us into eternity. Christ is with us, may He support you along your Christian path and may He always bless your life with joy and peace,” Archimandrite Nektarios wished those present.

Also, the Cypriot cleric brought the community as a gift an icon of St. Demetrian, who in ancient times headed the Tamassos diocese, in which the Archimandrite now serves, and a set for the Holy Eucharist.

Archbishop Nathanael sincerely thanked the Cypriot priest for his congratulations and gifts.

“It struck a chord that Father Nektarios came from distant Cyprus to share our joy with us,” the UOC hierarch noted.

Recall that the first visit of Archimandrite Nektarios (Bakopulos) to Volyn and Ternopil region took place in June 2019.

The UOC community in the village of Rakov Les was one of the first in the region to be illegally re-registered in favor of the OCU. The believers built their new church within 7 months.

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