Independent Ukrainian church celebrates Christmas


Interfax-Religiia, 7 January 2019


The Christmas liturgy was held in the cathedral of Holy Wisdom on Monday in Kiev; the service was conducted by the head of the new church, Epifany Dumenko.


Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Verkhovna Rada chairman Andrei Paruby, members of the Ukrainian cabinet of ministers, and people's deputies are participating in the joint worship.


Before the start of the service, Epifany and P. Poroshenko ceremonially brought into the church the tomos concerning autocephaly received yesterday in Istanbul. After the liturgy, this document will be moved into the refectory church of Kievan Sofia ("Little Sofia") for public viewing.


A broadcast of the festive service was carried on a large screen on Sofia Square. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 January 2019)



Interfax-Religiia, 7 January 2019


On Christmas day, for the first time after the creation of the new church of Ukraine, its leader, Epifany Dumenko, commemorated in the liturgy the name of the patriarch of Moscow and all-Rus.


During the festive service in the cathedral of Holy Wisdom, which was broadcast on Ukrainian television, Epifany commemorated at the Great Entrance the primates of all Orthodox churches, in accordance with the diptych (liturgical procedure—IF), including Patriarch Kirill.


It is noteworthy that this was done in the presence of the entire leadership of Ukraine, including President Petro Poroshenko, who often has noted that churches where the head of the Russian church is prayed for may not be called Ukrainian. A full break in ties of the Ukrainian church from the Moscow patriarchate was the main goal that the authorities of the country set in carrying out the project of the creation of a united local church. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 January 2019)



RISU, 7 January 2019


The primate of the local Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Epifany, on the feast of the Nativity of Christ, 7 January, conducted the liturgy in the church of Holy Wisdom.


The current Christmas service was special. Yesterday in Constantinople, the tomos concerning autocephaly was delivered to the Ukrainian church. From Istanbul this sacred document—the visible sign of church independence—was brought to Kiev yesterday, and today, in the morning, the primate of the PTsU and the president of Ukraine ceremonially carried it into the church.


Hierarchs and priests of the local Orthodox Church of Ukraine (PTsU) participated in the festive liturgy along with Metropolitan Epifany.


The divine liturgy also was attended by the president of Ukraine, deputies, representatives of the government, military chaplains, and volunteers.


Outside near the church a screen was set up so that those who were unable to get inside had the possibility of seeing what was happening during the liturgy.


It should be noted that during the liturgy, Metropolitan Epifany commemorated all primates of local churches, including even Patriarch Kirill. Previously, the Ukrainian first hierarch avoided mentioning the name of the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, who, as is known, harshly spoke negatively against the autocephaly of the PTsU and severed eucharistic communion with Constantinople because of Ukraine.


"Today, in celebrating the God-child Christ, we rejoice in the birth of our united local Ukrainian Orthodox Church, recognized by the ecumenical Mother-Church. The fifth and sixth of January 2019 will enter into the history of our church and state for ever, when the tomos concerning autocephaly was proclaimed, signed, and delivered. In truth, this is a manifestation of God's special mercy toward our people," Metropolitan Epifany declared during his sermon.


The primate of the PTsU gave Christmas greetings to all Ukrainians, troops defending our independence, and those who celebrate the birth of Jesus in conditions of occupation.


The first hierarch also thanked the ecumenical patriarch and Petro Poroshenko for the fact that the Ukrainian church from now on will be a member of the circle of local churches, and he again emphasized that the doors of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine are open for all Orthodox believers.


After the liturgy, the tomos was transferred into Warm Sofia, where it will be able to be viewed by all comers every day from 8:00 to 18:00. Access to the document will be free. As RISU has already reported, it was specially created for the Ukrainian church by the iconographer, calligrapher and monastic priest Luke from the monastery of Xenofont, which is on Mt. Athos.


We recall that on 5 January, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew signed the tomos concerning the autocephaly of the united Orthodox Church of Ukraine. This document concerning autocephaly took effect immediately after the patriarch sealed it with his signature. The historic occasion occurred within the walls of the patriarchal church of St. George on the Phanar.


On 6 January, Patriarch Bartholomew ceremonially handed over the tomos of autocephaly and the bishop's staff to the primate of the local Orthodox Church of Ukraine, Metropolitan Epifany. (tr. by PDS, posted 7 January 2019)

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