His Beatitude Sviatoslav: “The newly blessed Patriarchal Cathedral is a visual sign of the unity of the Church.”Sunday, 18 August 2013, 15:23 The Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv “is a visual sign of the unity and independence of our Church both in Ukraine and far beyond its borders,” said the Head and Father of the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church, His Beatitude Sviatoslav on August 18th in the sermon during the International All-Church Pilgrimage on the occasion of the blessing of the Patriarchal Cathedral and the celebration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Ukraine-Rus.
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“We built it all together,” he emphasized, “by the bricks and donations which came here from around the world…” This Cathedral gathers all the sons and daughters of Volodymyr’s Baptism and urges them to unity, to a renewal of faith, to the source of heavenly nourishment in the spiritual desert of the contemporary world.”
His Beatitude Sviatoslav believes that the Ukrainian people received the new cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ as a sign of the immovable presence among us of the Resurrected Christ, who promised us “Thus I am with you on all days until the end of time.” “It is here,” continued the preacher, “that His Holy Name will always be – the name of the One Whom neither the heavens nor the earth can encompass.”
“Into this altar table,” stated the Church Primate, “we placed the relics of a whole community of saints: Apostles Peter and Paul; St. Andriy Pervozvanyi, one of the first to be called to preach the Word of God on the Kyiv Hills; Popes Clementine and Martin who perished on Ukrainian, Crimean lands; Saint Bishop Martyr Josephat who with his blood sealed the unity of the Kyiv Church with the Roman Apostolic Sea; Blessed priest martyrs of the 20th century, Mykola Charnetskyi and Josaphat Kotsylovskyi.”
Then UGCC Head reminded all: “Today’s Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church is the direct descendant of the Church of Volodymyr’s Baptism, whose heritage we share with others who are closely connected to us in friendship, a common faith and traditions, although not in complete unity. Then in the Sacrament of Baptism we died and resurrected in the Dnipro waters. Today, once again, our Church celebrates its renewal after centuries of cruel destruction on this land. This new Cathedral in Kyiv stands as a reminder of the greatness of God’s Resurrection and shines to the whole world as a New Jerusalem! It should also stand as an on-going reminder of the unity to which God Himself calls us, since it is only in unity and love that we can bear living testimony to the Gospel.”
In connection with the celebratory commemoration of the 1025th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine by the Saint Equal to the Apostles Prince Volodymyr, His Beatitude Sviatoslav said: “On the day of the Baptism of Kyivans, Prince Volodymyr prayed not only for those present but also for the future generations, for the children of the new Christian people… In examining the spiritual content of this event, we can confidently say that from the moment of Baptism, our people joined the ranks of Christian people, became part of God’s people, the inheritors of the New and Eternal Testament in Jesus Christ. In this baptismal Union-Testament, God – the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, became our God and we – His people. Through the workings of the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles’ faith, he adopted him as “His beloved Son.”
At the conclusion of the sermon the Head of the Church addressed the pilgrims who arrived from throughout the world – North and South America, Australia, various countries of Western, Northern and Southern Europe, Kazakhstan, Russia, Belarus and all corners of Ukraine – with the following words: “As children of God I greet you in your new home! This Cathedral will not only be the primary home of prayer for the Father and Head of our Church. Above all, it is God’s home, the paternal home of all of His children.”
UGCC Department of Information
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