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Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv celebrated his name day

On the auspicious occasion of the second Sunday after Easter (Sunday of Thomas) and in honour of his patron, Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus, Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine performed the Divine Liturgy on 12 May 2024, at the St. Michael Golden-Domed Cathedral in the capital city.

The liturgy was co-celebrated by clergy and hierarchs from across Ukraine, alongside the Exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Ukraine, His Grace Bishop Michael of Koman.

Following the Gospel reading, the Bishop offered a heartfelt prayer to the Lord, especially mindful of the current challenges facing Ukraine.

Throughout the service, fervent prayers were offered for the brave soldiers defending the nation, for the government and its people, and for the souls of all those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in defence of their homeland, as well as for the civilians who have tragically lost their lives during the conflict.

Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and all Ukraine delivered a homily on the occasion of his name day, expressing gratitude for the joint prayer and support.

He highlighted the significance of the Divine Liturgy as a communal endeavour that underscores the unity within the Church.

“The Church is a congregation of individuals called to commune with God, forming a mystical body wherein each member is akin to a cell. Thus, unity stands as the cornerstone of the Church, transcending external disparities while celebrating the uniqueness of every individual. With its doors open to all, irrespective of age, nationality, or social standing, the Church welcomes everyone, offering the chance for transformation, liberation from sin, and the pursuit of holiness and salvation,” he said.

Emphasising the Church’s openness to all, regardless of differences, he stressed the importance of guiding individuals towards holiness and salvation while rejecting sin.

Metropolitan Epifaniy underscored the dual nature of the Liturgy as both a collective human act and a divine service, where believers unite with God. He thanked the faithful for their unity and support, acknowledging it as a spiritual and social strength, particularly in facing challenges.

On Mother’s Day, he expressed gratitude to mothers for their sacrificial service and role in nurturing faith: “Today, alongside our church’s celebration, we also observe a significant holiday – Mother’s Day. Hence, it’s imperative to extend heartfelt gratitude to our mothers and grandmothers, who selflessly nurtured our growth and upbringing, guiding each child along life’s path with prayer and care. Just as the Church is often likened to a mother, it’s evident that mothers and grandmothers frequently impart the initial Christian teachings to children, instilling faith and virtuous deeds,” he said.

“On this special day, representing our entire Local Church, I wish to express profound appreciation to our mothers. May the blessings of the Lord accompany you always, and may your children and grandchildren bring you endless joy. May God graciously reward you for your countless acts of kindness, through which light and love flourish in humanity, ensuring the continuity of our lives,” he added.

“Today, we pay homage to Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus, renowned for his unwavering battle against falsehoods and heresies. Just as illness ravages the body and leads to demise, false doctrines and heresies corrode the Church, endangering spiritual well-being,” he stressed.

Reflecting on the feast day of Saint Epiphanius of Cyprus, he warned against modern-day false teachings, particularly the concept of the “Russian world,” condemned by the Synod of Bishops for distorting the nature of the Church and justifying violence.

“Yesterday, our Synod of Bishops unequivocally denounced a disturbing new falsehood – the so-called “Russian peace”. Laden with echoes of past heresies like ethnophiletism, Manichaeism, and Gnosticism, this doctrine distorts the essence of the Church. It transforms it from a community dedicated to serving God and humanity into a subservient entity, legitimising the Kremlin’s oppressive rule and justifying acts of violence, bloodshed, and murder,” the Metropolitan highlighetd.

“Like followers ensnared by ancient cults, proponents of the “Russian world” blindly offer sacrifices to the idol of the “Third Rome” daily. They brazenly label the godless and malevolent war against Ukraine as “sacred”, a notion starkly condemned by Christ in the Gospel. Their reverence for their leader borders on idolatry, treating him as if he were divine,” he concluded.

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