Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra to host services in Ukrainian as Epiphanius vows monastery will remain open

18 March, 04:40 PM
Epiphanius (Photo:Митрополит Епіфаній/Facebook)

Epiphanius (Photo:Митрополит Епіфаній/Facebook)

There is no talk of closing the monastery in the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, and the language of services will be Old Church Slavonic and Ukrainian, Metropolitan Epiphanius of Kyiv said in his address on March 18.

“In no case is there any question of closing this monastery, ceasing prayer, services, monastic life in it,” Metropolitan Epiphanius said.

“Comparing the current events with the past persecutions of the communist authorities against the church in general and the two-time closure of the monastery in particular, is a baseless manipulation.”

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Metropolitan Epiphanius stated that all those “who live according to the canons and Tomos and reject the illegal authority of Moscow,” will be able to continue their services in the Lavra. Meanwhile, he called on the monastery brethren to support the process of liberation from the “Moscow yoke.”

“Moscow’s spiritual influence in Ukraine is non-canonical, and everyone sees how the Kremlin uses it against the Ukrainian people,” said Epiphanius.

“The Lavra should not be an instrument of struggle against Ukraine, but on the contrary — a place of prayer, a pious monastic life in the spirit of the fathers and ascetics of the past, a place that will spiritually inspire our fellow citizens in these difficult times.”

The head of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine added that he holds in high regard the customs and practices that define the way of life at the Lavra, including its liturgical aspects, and he shows respect towards the fathers and brothers who do not share the ideology of the “Russian world.”

“Opening the monastery as part of the Local Church, our Holy Synod appealed to the government to provide premises for monastic life and religious services in the Lavra,” Epiphanius said.

“This request remains relevant, and we will insist that the monastic life, the opportunity for daily prayer and religious services are adequately provided for.”

The Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine declared on March 10th that the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate) is required to vacate all leased premises in the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra by March 29th. The UOC (MP) reacted by referring to the ministry’s directive as an “ultimatum” and dismissing their demands as lacking legal justification.

According to, during an inspection at the Lavra, the State Audit Service of Ukraine detected the unlawful transfer of cultural heritage sites and identified 36 unauthorized new constructions.

As of Jan. 1, the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra reserve terminated its leasing contract with the UOC (MP) for the Dormition Cathedral and Tabernacle Church located in the Upper Lavra territory.

The Assumption Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra witnessed a historic moment on Jan. 7th when Metropolitan Epiphanius, the head of the UOC, conducted a Christmas service there for the very first time.

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