Svyatogorsk, Ukraine, March 21, 2019
The present persecution against the canonical Ukrainian Church is an affront to God and not a path to Heaven, His Eminence Metropolitan Arseny of Svyatogorsk and abbot of the Holy Dormition-Svyatogorsk Lavra said exhorted in his homily at the monastery on the Sunday of Orthodoxy.
In addition to the brothers of the monastery, the joyous feast of the Triumph of Orthodoxy was celebrated by about 3,000 parishioners and pilgrims who gathered to unanimously confess their faithfulness to their Mother Church, reports the monastery website.
For the fifth year in a row, the faithful have gathered at the Lavra for the feast and to venerate the precious relics of the precious hair of Christ the Savior and of the Mother of God, part of the True Cross of Christ, part of the tunics of the Lord and of the Mother of God, and dozens of reliquaries and icons with particles of the holy relics of a number of saints, which are preserved in the altar in the Holy Dormition Cathedral.
In his sermon, Met. Arseny recalled the persecution of Christians that has repeatedly shaken the Church throughout its 2,000-year history, drawing special attention to the present trials, pointing to the truth of the Church of Christ in the words of Christ in Holy Scripture and in Holy Tradition, noting the failure of the words of those who agitate in favor of the newly-created schismatic church in Ukraine.
His Eminence also recalled how the Ukrainian Church raised its church and monasteries from ruin after the godless soviet period and built many new ones. Commenting on the recent increase in the seizure of churches throughout Ukraine, Met. Arseny reminded all those who participate in the modern persecution of the Church that, “You won’t get to Heaven from stolen churches.”
The hierarch also invited the gathered faithful to answer various questions about the current canonical situation of the Ukrainian Church: “Do you believe that our holy Church is salvific?” “Do you believe that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, uniting us in our homeland under the headship of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, is the true Church?” The congregation unanimously answered “Yes” to all such questions.
The entire congregation also bore witness to its faithfulness to the canonical Mother Church by a show of hands.
Special prayers for peace in Ukraine were offered in the Divine Liturgy, and the solemn moleben for the Sunday of Orthodoxy was celebrated following the Liturgy.
Follow us on Facebook !