Ukrainian Church announces celebrations for 1,030th anniversary of Baptism of Rus’

Kiev, July 4, 2018

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This year marks the 1,030th anniversary of the Baptism of Kievan Rus’ by the holy Equal-to-the-Apostles St. Vladimir the Great, and the great event is being marked with festive celebrations and Divine services throughout Russia and Ukraine.

Yesterday, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church announced the schedule for its main celebrations in Kiev, including details of a cross procession, the Divine services, and which holy icons and relics will be available for veneration during the solemnities.

The great anniversary will be celebrated on July 27 and 28—the day of the Baptism of Rus’ and of St. Vladimir the Great—with services on Vladimir Hill and at the Kiev Caves Lavra. This year also marks the 30th anniversary of the revival of monastic life in the Lavra, therefore a moleben of thanksgiving will be celebrated on Vladimir Hill on the 27th by His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine and a host of hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church and a number of guests from other Local Orthodox Churches.


All who attend the celebrations will have the blessing of being able to venerate the relics of the St. Vladimir the Great, as well as those of St. Clement the Pope of Rome, which St. Vladimir received as a gift when he received Holy Baptism in 988 in the city of Chersonesus. He transferred the relics to Kiev, where for a long time they remained the only relics that united all the newly baptized Orthodox in the land of Kievan Rus’.

Additionally, the foot of St. Andrew the Apostle will be brought to Kiev from Odessa, recalling when the holy apostle crossed the Dnieper and arrived at the site where Kiev stands today and prophetically proclaimed that the grace of God would one day visit this place.

The miraculous Zimnensky Icon of the Mother of God, which St. Vladimir gifted to his son Vsevolod for his wedding, will also be brought to Vladimir Hill for the celebrations.

The same day, the Church will also commemorate St. Vladimir the Metropolitan of Kiev who died at the hands of the godless authorities 100 years ago. Therefore, an icon with a particle of his relics will also be among the sacred objects available for the faithful to venerate. A moleben will also be served before his icon.

There will also be an icon with relics of St. Seraphim of Sarov, who began his monastic life with a blessing from the elders of the Kiev Caves Lavra.

Relics of the great St. George, given to the Kiev Caves Lavra from Mt. Athos as a sign of unity between the Holy Mountain and the Caves Monastery, will also be present at the celebrations. St. Anthony, the founder of the Lavra, received a blessing on Mt. Athos to carry out his ascetic labors on the Kiev slopes.


The moleben on Vladimir Hill will begin at 1:00 PM on July 27, followed by a Great Cross Procession, in which tens of thousands of Orthodox faithful will move through the streets of Kiev from Vladimir Hill to the Kiev Caves Lavra. The All-Night Vigil will begin once the procession reaches the Lavra, where the relics and holy icons will be waiting for the faithful, with molebens and akathists being celebrated before them around the clock.

The Divine Liturgy will begin the next day on the square in front of the Lavra’s Dormition Cathedral, to be celebrated by Met. Onuphry with a number of hierarchs both from the Ukrainian Church and from abroad.

A live broadcast of the services will be available on Inter, with moleben and procession beginning at 1:00 PM (Kiev time) on July 27, and the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 AM the next morning.

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