Архієпископ Даниїл Співслужив Предстоятелю Православної Церкви України
В другу неділю Великого посту та в день пам’яті святителя Григорія Палами і собору усіх преподобних отців Києво-Печерських, 28 березня 2021 року, Предстоятель Православної Церкви України очолив Божественну літургію у кафедральному Михайлівському соборі Свято-Михайлівського Золотоверхого монастиря.
Блаженнійшому Митрополиту Київському і всієї України Епіфанію співслужили архієпископ Даниїл - Правлячий Архієрей Західньої Єпархіії Української Православної Церкви США, намісник Золотоверхої обителі архієпископ Вишгородський Агапіт, всечесна братія монастиря та запрошене духовенство. Разом із архієпископом Даниїлом, з Предстоятелем Православної Церкви України молився настоятель Українського Православного Собору св. князя Володимира (УПЦ США) у місті Філадельфія (США) - протоієрей Тарас Науменко, котрий отримав з рук Предстоятеля нагрудного наперсного хреста з оздобами.
On the second Sunday of Great Lent, March 28th, honoring the memory of St. Gregory Palamas, as the bells chimed, the faithful gathered in the St. Michael Golden-domed Monastery to participate in the Divine Liturgy served by His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy of Kyiv and All Ukraine.
Concelebrating with the Primate of the Orthodox Church of Ukraine was His Eminence Archbishop Daniel, Ruling Hierarch of the Western Eparchy of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Ukraine, along with Archbishop Ahapit of Vyshhorod, Abbot of the Golden-Domed Monastery, the venerable brothers of the monastery and the invited clergy, among which was V. Rev. Taras Naumenko, pastor of St. Vladimir Ukrainian Orthodox Cathedral, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, who was traveling with Archbishop Daniel.
As the early morning sun broke through the clouds, the golden domes of the monastery gleamed brightly, like beacons of hope for the world. Inside, the centuries old cathedral, transported the faithful from the earthly to the divine. The ancient edifice, strong and resilient, having survived destruction by the Soviets in the 1930’s, stood once again in all its glory having been refurbished, and in recent history reopened for public worship. The multiple domes reflected the glory of Heaven to those gathered below. The columns, covered in images of saints and martyrs, strengthened the faith of the multitudes. As the magnificent choir sang the hymns, their voices echoing off the pillars, they gave the impression of the bodiless powers praising the Lord, as the sweet melodies invisibly surrounded and enveloped those below. Standing among so many humans, surrounded by saints, watched over by Christ and His angels, the people who gathered felt themselves standing outside of time as the Divine Liturgy began in all its glory.
Vested in Lenten purple vestments, the clergy fervently prayed before the Altar of God for the sick, the suffering, for plentiful harvest, good weather, and peace in the world.
Having read the Gospel from Mark 2:1-12, about the paralytic being lowered through an open ceiling by his four friends to be healed by Christ, His Beatitude Metropolitan Epifaniy gave a touching and thought-provoking sermon.
With their faces covered in masks, hundreds of faithful stood continued to pray humbly, as others approached for Holy Communion. As the sunlight streamed in through the windows, like threads connected Heaven and Earth, mothers brought their young children forward to light candles, and as the icon of St. Gregory Palamas was placed on the tetrapod, the faithful approached to venerate the saint. Bowing low, and either kissing the icon through their mask, or touching it respectfully with their forehead, young and old approached, beseeching the saint to intercede before God for them.
After Communion, the three hierarchs and multitude of clergy descended into the nave to hold a short service, praying for an appeasement of the pandemic, safety from infection, and a quick and complete recovery for those who had contracted the virus. As the service concluded and the final prayer for Ukraine (Boje Velykyj) was sung, the faithful once again got in line to venerate the icon of St. Gregory. Having removed his liturgical vestments, Metropolitan Epifaniy, blessed the crowd as he made his way from the church. The ornate golden Royal Gates swung closed, but, the people did not leave. Instead the faithful dispersed to various corners of the large monastery church, praying before the saints, laying flowers before the icons of the Mother-of-God, and lighting candles as they prayed with fervent supplication for the Lord’s mercy upon them, their families, Ukraine and all the world.
Outdoors, the clouds scuttled across the sky, as flocks of doves exploded from the bell tower as the bells chimed. With the cross topped golden domes still brightly reflecting the sunlight, the courtyard of the church filled with people, coming, and going. The St. Michael Golden-Domed Monastery having survived the centuries, having provided a safe haven in times of trouble and strife, having been a source of peace in wartime, stands as a point of prayer, Communion with God, and an indelible source of hope for the future of Ukraine, the Orthodox Church, and all the world.