On 11 February 2024, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine visited the Eparchy of Zhytomyr and Ovruch.
In the Cathedral of St. Michael, the Metropolitan presided over the Divine Liturgy and performed the rite of consecration of the church paintings.
The Primate of the Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Ukraine was accompanied by Metropolitan Simeon of Vinnytsia and Bar, Metropolitan Mykhailo of Vinnytsia and Tulchyn, Metropolitan Oleksandr of Pereiaslav and Vyshneve, Metropolitan Hilarion of Rivne and Ostroh, Metropolitan Yevstratiy of Bila Tserkva, Archbishop Matthiy of Volodymyr and Novovolynsk, Archbishop Volodymyr of Zhytomyr and Polissia, Archbishop Tikhon of Ternopil and Buchach, Archbishop Agapit of Vyshhorod, Archbishop Athanasius of Odesa and Balta, Archbishop Mytrofan of Kharkiv and Slobozhan, Bishop Paisius of Zhytomyr and Ovruch, Bishop Anthony of Chernihiv and Nizhyn, and local and invited clergy. Representatives of local authorities and numerous believers prayed during the service.
After the Gospel reading, the Metropolitan delivered a sermon and offered a special prayer to the Lord during these troubled times for Ukraine.
In his sermon, the Metropolitan emphasised that “the church, whether during the service or throughout the day, is a sacred space—a house of God, a gateway that opens heaven on earth.”
Then he referred to the importance of the icons saying “So, when we pay our tribute to the icons, we affirm our commitment to Orthodox Christian doctrine and the dogmatic decrees of the Seventh Ecumenical Council. Through icons, we honour and glorify the incarnation of the Son of God as true and salvific, opening the path to deification for all who believe.”
Prayers were also offered during the service for the brave soldiers defending Ukraine, for the government and the Ukrainian people, and for the souls of all fallen defenders of the Motherland and civilians who have perished during the conflict.
Following the service, Metropolitan Epifaniy bestowed upon Bishop Paisius the Order of the Archangel Michael, 1st degree, in honour of his birthday.
Additionally, Archpriest Bohdan Boyko, the cathedral rector, received the Primate’s cross and the Order of the Archangel Michael, 2nd degree, from Metropolitan Epifaniy. Church awards were also presented to the generous benefactors of the diocese.