From His Beatitude Sviatoslav at the consecration service of the church in Obukhiv: This church is a ray of hope for the revival of Ukraine after the war

Friday, 24 June 2022, 22:54
Today, when the enemy on our land is destroying everything, damaging, waging a war of “scorched earth” – we are building! It takes a lot of faith to build temples during war. We need to have a look into the future that breaks through the clouds that have gathered over us. This was emphasized by His Beatitude Sviatoslav, the Father and Head of the UGCC during the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy in the newly consecrated Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary at the Monastery of Studite Order in Obukhiv, Kyiv region. Studite monks and priests of the Kyiv Archdiocese co-served with the Head of the Church.

 

In the homily regarding the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ under the appearances of bread and wine, the Primate explained the depth of the gift of the Holy Eucharist, which, according to him, is the center and peak of the Christian life. The preacher also drew attention to the symbolism and history of the consecration of the church in Obukhiv.

The Head of the Church emphasized that by celebrating the feast of the Holy Eucharist, we celebrate one of the greatest gifts that God has left to man, because “the Lord has given us not what he has, but who he is.” He, the preacher says, left himself so that a thirsty, needy and tired person could have access to the source of life. The Lord gives himself, his Body and Blood in order to abide in a man, live eternal life.

 “Holy Communion is the antidote to death. Communion is the goal of the whole Christian, spiritual life. Communion makes us partakers of God's life here on earth. This is the greatest gift that the Lord wants to share with us, the gift of his eternal happiness, which becomes available to us in the mystery of the Holy Eucharist,” the bishop is convinced.

His Beatitude Sviatoslav noted that the consecration of the church, which was experienced today by all those present at the Liturgy, is a historic moment. He noted that the rite of consecration is deeply connected with today's holiday, and explained its symbolism. “Firstly, the bishop, kneeling, read a great prayer for the consecration of the church facing the people. For when the altar is not yet consecrated, then the only temple where God dwells is man, that is, the community of the faithful dwelling in the temple. Secondly, in order for the altar to become a worthy table at which the Sacrament of the Eucharist will be celebrated, it is washed, anointed with myrrh, and then a procession with the relics of the saints is performed. And thirdly, the bishop surrounds the relics around the temple on the discus three times. Today these were the relics of the Blessed Martyr Mykola Charnetsky. Thus the visible, material temple seems to be gaining its ultimate meaning of existence. The altar becomes an ever-flowing source of grace, from which the grace of the Holy Spirit flows.”

The Primate also drew attention to seven candlesticks standing on the altar. It is a symbol of the seven Holy Sacraments of Christ's Church.

“Today we thank the Lord for giving us himself, his presence in our lives through the Holy Eucharist and this holy temple in a special Studite monastery in Kyiv region,” said the Father and Head of the UGCC.

Especially he noted that the temple is dedicated to the Feast of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

“The Mother of God was the first temple restored in the Holy Spirit. Today, consecrating this church, we see a great sign of hope for the Ukrainian people. For when the enemy kills, takes life away, here in this temple, God himself comes to give life, revive, sanctify, give eternal life, as it happened in Nazareth at the moment of the Annunciation, when new life began, Divine and human, by the power and action of the Holy Spirit in the womb of the Blessed Virgin Mary,” the preacher explained.

Hence, His Beatitude Sviatoslav thanked parish priest of this church Fr. Olexander Prylip for his efforts to build the temple at a time when the enemy is constantly destroying.

“Someone will say – naive, and I will say – a successful builder of not only visible temples, but also an invisible builder of human souls, who need space so much today, space where you can come and heal from the wounds that Ukrainians receive today in modern circumstances,” mentioned the Head of the UGCC.

“Today we thank You, Lord, for the gift of this holy monastery and this holy temple. Thank you for leaving yourself among us in the Mystery of the Eucharist, which saved the Church and was building it in the most difficult and darkest moments of its history and people. Today we thank You for a ray of hope, that in You, with You, and owing to Your presence, we are already defeating evil today. We will win, we will build and rebuild, because it all comes from You,” added at the end the Father and Head of the UGCC.

The UGCC Department for Information 
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