On Wednesday, February 6, 2019, the feast of Venerable Ksenia of Rome (Oksana), the hierarchs of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA held a meeting with His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphany of Kyiv and All Ukraine, the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Welcoming His Eminence Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epiphany expressed his gratitude to the hierarchs of the UOC of the USA for their participation in the enthronement services and the support offered in the process of formation of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine.
Responding to the welcoming remarks, Metropolitan Antony once again congratulated the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine on his election to the office of the Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
“We prayerfully look forward to your service to the Gospel and Body of Christ in God-loving Ukraine, which will be guided by the Holy Spirit and lead to the final ecclesiastic unity in the Holy Orthodox Church of Ukraine,” – stated Metropolitan Antony.
“This is a day the Lord has made!” It is the day that we, the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of our Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the USA have prayed and worked for throughout our 100 year history. Metropolitan John (Theodorovych), our first primate and the only hierarch who survived martyrdom of all the other hierarchs of the first formation of Ukrainian autocephaly (1921) served our Holy Church and the cause of Autocephaly for 50 years. Our second Primate-Metropolitan Mstyslav, from the second formation of autocephaly (1942) served our Holy Church for 43 years. He later became the first Patriarch of Ukraine in the third formation of autocephaly (1990) and never wavered in the struggle for an independent Pomisna Church of Ukraine. Our third Primate-Metropolitan Constantine strove continually throughout his 40 years of service – 20 as Metropolitan – to our Holy Church for the recognition of Autocephaly for Ukraine. We, as the present hierarchs of the UOC of the USA have worked diligently over the past 24 years ensuring that the question of Autocephaly for the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Ukraine would never fade away. Our clergy and faithful have never weakened in their faith that this day would come. “We rejoice and are glad” (Ps. 117:24) in this day and thank God for your election your Beatitude, to the Primacy of the fully autocephalous Ukrainian Orthodox Church.”
Expressing his gratitude, Metropolitan Epiphany discussed with the hierarchs of the UOC of the USA the outcome of the most recent Holy Synod meting of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the appointment and formation of the Synodal departments.
As a token of prayerful respect, Metropolitan Antony and Archbishop Daniel presented Metropolitan Epiphany with a triple set of liturgical panagias and a cross; while the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine presented the hierarchs of the UOC of the USA with hierarchical panagias that were issued in honor of the formal election and Enthronement of the Metropolitan of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
Being in a building of the Kyiv Theological Academy, the hierarchs of the UOC of the USA toured the academic facility of the Church and met with the professors and students of the Academy.
Earlier in the week, the hierarchs of the UOC of the USA held a joint meeting with Metropolitan Epiphany and Metropolitan Yuriy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada and the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine, Archimandrite Michael (Anischenko). During the meeting, the participants discussed the steps for joint cooperation in order to further the ministry of the Gospel of Christ to the flock of Orthodox Christians in Ukraine and throughout the world.
Photos by Andriy Sydor