His Beatitude Sviatoslav on Maundy Thursday: “The Rite of washing of feet opens up a mystery of ineffable and extraordinary humility of God before us”

Friday, 22 April 2011, 16:22
On Great and Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday) in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv, the Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav presided Vespers combined with the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and for the first time consecrated the Holy Myrrh and carried out the Rite of washing of feet to the twelve representatives of the UGCC – priests, deacons and monks.
On Great and Holy Thursday (also called Maundy Thursday) in the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Kyiv, the Head of the UGCC His Beatitude Sviatoslav presided Vespers combined with the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great. For the first time he consecrated the Holy Myrrh and carried out the Rite of washing of feet to the twelve representatives of the UGCC – priests, deacons and monks. “On the eve of his death at the Last Supper Jesus Christ revealed the nature of the priesthood of the Divine person. He, the Son of God, comes to us as a servant in order to serve us, and this Rite of washing of feet opens up a mystery of ineffable and extraordinary humility of God before us” – said the UGCC Primate in his sermon. “Today the Church celebrates the institution of the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist, and at the same time the Sacrament  of Priesthood.” These were the words of His Beatitude Sviatoslav as He greeted all the bishops, priests and deacons on this great day. “Once again today Christ has revealed to the whole Church the greatness of the Sacrament of Priesthood. For this holy ministry – it is fulfilling of the ministry which has been fulfilled, is fulfilled and will be fulfilled until the end of the world through us by our Divine Master and Saviour” – emphasized His Beatitude Sviatoslav. Reciting the words of the hymn before Holy Communion “Of Thy Mystical Supper, O Son of God, accept me today as a communicant..,” the Head of the UGCC has recalled that this Holy Supper was the first Divine Liturgy. “Divine Liturgy is the moment when Christ, our Divine Master and our Saviour, again and again comes in order to serve me and you. In every Divine Liturgy He comes to make us His children, to feed us with His Body and Blood, to wash away my sins, to pour on my wounds this Divine medicine which would cure me and bring me again to the home of the Heavenly Father. In Divine Liturgy Christ serves me and each of us as we have seen Him today – kneeled and washing feet” – emphasized His Beatitude Sviatoslav. Commenting to the journalists the meaning of today’s celebration, His Beatitude Sviatoslav has noted: “On the one hand, we witness here the meaning of the holy ministry, and on the other hand, Jesus Christ reveals the nature of every ministry. Whether it is ministry in the Church or in the state, he is showing that every ministry of leadership requires humility before the one whom you serve”. According the Head of the UGCC, this example of Christ will always remind each Christian that in Divine Liturgy Christ wants to serve us. And with this act, Christ sets up an example for each leadership and government, for everyone who has been called to serve the common good of people. He speaks of how he should fulfill his government and his ministry.

UGCC Information Department

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