State Celebration of Kyivan Rus Baptism to be Held 24 to 27 July


21.07.2008, [17:29] // Church-state relations //

Kyiv- Iryna Vannykova, press secretary of the president of Ukraine, at a press briefing on 21 July 2008 reported that events to celebrate the 1020th anniversary of the Baptism of Kyivan Rus will start on 24 July with the president meeting members of the All-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations and continue to 27 July.

On 25 July Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I will be ceremonially met at Boryspil Airport in Kyiv. At 18.00 the patriarch will celebrate vespers at St. Sophia's Cathedral and bless the bells and royal doors.

According to Vannykova, on 26 July it is planned that the president and the patriarch on Sophia's Square will speak and attend a performance of literary and musical compositions of spiritual and ecclesiastical works.

"It is also planned that after the completion of the ceremonies, the president of Ukraine and the ecumenical patriarch will go to Michael's Square, where they will place flowers at the Monument to the Victims of the Holodomor [forced famine] of 1932-3. After placing flowers, Bartholomew I will celebrate a panakhyda [memorial service] for the victims of the great famine," said Vannykova.

She also reported that on 27 July on Volodymyr's Hill a festive Liturgy will be celebrated by Patriarch Bartholomew I near the Monument to St. Volodymyr. "The higher leaders of the country, leaders of foreign delegations and the national Orthodox churches will take part in the Liturgy," said Vannykova.;23523/