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For the first time in a century, the Holy Archimandrite of the Lavra consecrated myrrh in Kyiv

002On Maundy Thursday, the entire Orthodox Church commemorates the establishment of the Holy Eucharist at the Last Supper of Lord Jesus Christ with the Apostles.

The “illuminant” chant ( “svetilen”, Old church Slavonic) “I see Your chamber, my Savior”  sung on the previous three days of Holy Week takes on a literal meaning on this day. The chamber symbolizes the Zion’s luminary – the Last Supper, and all of us need to realize once again our sinfulness, and to cleanse ourselves before accepting the Body and Blood of Christ the Savior.

The day before, on Wednesday evening, a matins service was held in the Holy Kyiv-Caves Lavra. During the fraternal service in the Church of the Exaltation of the Cross, the canon was traditionally performed intoned by the two choirs.

On the very Maundy Thursday, the Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great is performed preceding the vespers. Instead of the traditional Cherubic Hymn, “On the day of Your Last Supper” as well as the troparion “When the glorious disciples” are sung. Through these special chants, the Holy Church recalls the establishing of the Eucharist Sacrament by the Lord Himself, as well as the tragic event of the Judas’ betrayal.

The Holy Archimandrite of the Kyiv-Caves Lavra, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius of Kyiv and All Ukraine led the Divine Service in the Cathedral of the Panteleimon Monastery in Feofania. The synaxis of hierarchs joined the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church in service.

Before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy, accompanied by the singing of the Pentecost troparion and the ringing of the church bells, the Head Hierarch and the clergy brought alabasters with the prepared myrrh to be consecrated at the Liturgy to the altar of the church after the words: “And may mercies of the Great God be”.

Myrrh is a fragrant oily liquid used in the Orthodox Church during the Sacrament of Chrismation, the consecration of the antimension, the throne and the temple. As a rule, it is consecrated in each Local Church by its Head during Holy Week.

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