On the day of Baptism of Kyivan Rus, the three Primates of the Orthodox Churches celebrate Divine Liturgy in Soborna Square of Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra

On July 28, commemoration of the Holy Prince Vladimir, Equal to the Apostles, and the 1023-anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia, His Holiness and Beatitude Ilia II, Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, His Beatitude Metropolitan Volodymyr of Kyiv and All Ukraine celebrated the Divine Liturgy in the square in front of the Holy Dormition Cathedral of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.

Praying at the worship service were the bishops and clergy of the Ukrainian, Russian and Georgian Orthodox churches. Thousands of Kyivites and guests of the city were with their archpastors today.

At the end of worship Metropolitan Volodymyr addressed to Patriarch Kirill and Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia II with a greeting speech. As a keepsake of common prayer he offered the patriarch an Iconof the Mother of God of Pochayiv as a present, and gifted His Holiness Catholicos-Patriarchwith a set of Primate’s Panagias.

In his turn, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church greeted His Beatitude on his Name Day and offered him a set of primate’s Panagias and in the memory of the prayer at the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra he donated to the monastery a copy of the Valaam Icon of the Mother of God. Also the patriarch gifted the Georgian Patriarch Catholicos with the icon of the Holy Prince Vladimir, Baptizer of Rus, and a set of panagias. Then the Primate of the Russian Church gave the faithful little icons of Prince Vladimir as a blessing.

Finally the participants greeted His Holiness and Beatitude Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia Ilia II. He gifted Patriarch Kirill with a mosaic icon of St George the Great – the patron saint of Georgia, and gave Metropolitan Volodymyr the icon of the Mother of God of Georgia. In commemoration of his first visit to Kyiv and the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra, the Georgian Patriarch donated to the monastery the Pochayiv icon of the Mother of God, made by Georgian artists.

The Liturgy was accompanied by the singing of two choirs: the Metropolitan’s Choir (regent archdeacon Herontiy (Borisevich) and the choir of the Kiev Theological Academy and Seminary (regent hegumen Roman (Pidlubnyak).

This day the Ukrainian Orthodox Church also commemorates for the first time the Synaxis of the Saints of Kyiv, the celebration being established at the session of the Holy Synod of the UOC on February 10, 2011 (Journal № 1).

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