UOC’s Metropolitan Epiphany to conduct Easter service at Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

9 April, 10:49 PM
Metropolitan Epiphanius told where the service will be held on Easter (Photo:UOC)

Metropolitan Epiphanius told where the service will be held on Easter (Photo:UOC)

Metropolitan Epiphany of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) will hold Easter service in the Dormition Cathedral of the Kyiv Cave Monastery, he told Ukrainian Suspilne TV on April 9.

The time of the service will be announced later as Kyiv's wartime curfew will not be lifted for the Easter holidays.

"It causes a little bit of difficulty, because people are not allowed to be outside at this time. We will pray in the (Kyiv-Pechersk) Lavra in the Dormition Cathedral, but most likely in the morning after the curfew ends," the metropolitan said.

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Epiphany also commented on the situation with the Russian Orthodox Church (ROC) in Ukraine, which has refused to leave the Lavra despite the termination of its lease agreement on March 29.

"We are not for eviction of monks from the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra. We are for the spirit of the "Russian world" not to prevail here. We are for the Ukrainian Lavra where people will always pray in Ukrainian for our Ukraine," he said.

Ukrainization of the Lavra is inevitable, he believes. The UOC constantly conducts services in the Upper Lavra for now. People will pray "in peace and calm" in the Lower Lavra over time.

Metropolitan Epiphany conducted Divine Liturgy for Palm Sunday in the Refectory Church of Antoniy and Theodosiy at the Holy Dormition Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra on March 9.

The ROC was supposed to evict the Kyiv Cave Monastery at the end of March as its lease agreement was terminated. However, the church representatives refused to leave the monastery and continue to conduct services there.

The ROC has also repeatedly denied the Culture Ministry's property commission access to the churches of the Lavra. A criminal case was opened over the issue.

ROC leadership headed by former Lavra abbot, Petro Lebid (Metropolitan Pavlo), accused Ukrainian authorities and the Ministry of Culture of issuing an "ultimatum" and stated that the eviction is illegal.

The ROC challenged its eviction from the Kyiv Cave Monastery, but were not granted permission to stay in the monastery for the duration of lawsuit.

The full-fledged monastic life will go on and Ukraine has an "action plan," Minister of Culture and Information Policy Oleksandr Tkachenko said. He claimed that the state will consider different ways of the Lavra's usage in the future.

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