Thousands of faithful again fill the Kiev Caves Lavra on Sunday of the Cross (+VIDEO)
Kiev, March 20, 2023
Undaunted by the state’s open animosity against the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church and its plans to drive the monks out of the Kiev Caves Lavra, the faithful of the UOC came out in force Thousands of Orthodox Ukrainians fill Kiev Caves Lavra as state continues to persecute the monastery (+VIDEOS)The Orthodox faithful of Kiev came out in force on Sunday to worship and show their love and support for holy Orthodoxy.
“>again to fill the holy monastery on Sunday, when the Church venerates the Holy Cross in the middle of Great Lent.
On Saturday night, the faithful filled three churches of the Lavra for the All-Night Vigil. In the Church of St. Agapit of the Caves, the service was celebrated by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and six other hierarchs, reports the Information-Education Department of the UOC.
Despite false reports that circulated online over the weekend, the abbot of the monastery, His Eminence Metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod, remains in the monastery and served on both Saturday evening and Sunday morning.
The next morning, His Beatitude led the service on the square outside the Lavra’s Holy Cross Church together with seven other hierarchs and the clergy of the Lavra.
Before the Liturgy, Met. Onuphry led the rite of tonsuring students of the Kiev Theological Seminary and Academy to the rank of Reader.
After the reading of the Holy Gospel, the Ukrainian primate addressed his flock with a homily about the power of the Cross:
The Holy Cross is a source of grace-filled power, because our Lord and Savior was crucified on it. On the Cross, the Lord destroyed the handwriting of our sins; on the Cross, the Lord freed us from the power of the devil, delivered us from his hand. And the Cross, after the Savior was voluntarily crucified on it, turned from an instrument of the curse into an instrument of glory, an instrument of grace-filled Divine Power…
The person who venerates the Cross, who prays before the Cross to the One Who was crucified on it, that is, to the Savior, receives from the holy Life-Giving Cross the necessary strength that each of us needs to successfully move along the path of Holy and Great Lent…
The Holy Cross is the sign of our victory. So every person, if he considers himself a Christian, should wear a cross on his chest, cross himself both in the morning and in the evening, and when he sits down to eat, when he gets up after eating, when he goes on the road—he should always make the Sign of the Cross, so that through this action he can receive from God the strength and grace that helps us to do what we intend to do.
His Beatitude also urged the faithful to fervently pray for the persecuted Kiev Caves Lavra. “By the power of the Precious and Life-Giving Cross, may the Lord destroy all the powers that rise up against the truth of God,” he preached.
As always, special prayers were offered for peace in Ukraine, for deliverance from war, and for comfort and aid to all those who are suffering. His Beatitude also ordained a graduate of the Kiev Theological Academy to the diaconate.
At the end of the Liturgy, the hierarchs, clergy, monastics, and laity all venerated the Precious Cross.
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