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“… Great Anthony with the whole array of God-bearing fathers we bring over to You, Christ, in prayer”

001On the day of the great Lavra’s feast, the Convocation of the Venerable Kyiv-Caves Fathers, who rest in peace in the Near Caves of Venerable Anthony, the solemn services in the Monastery were led by the Head of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius of Kyiv and All Ukraine.

The all-night vigil on the eve of the remembrance day of the Caves’ Fathers was celebrated in the great Church of the Lavra. His Beatitude the Holy Archimandrite of the Monastery was co-served by the Vicegerent of the Kyiv-Caves Lavra, metropolitan Pavel of Vyshgorod and Chernobyl, the array of archpastors as well as the brethren and guests of the Monastery in the holy rite.

During the prayer appeal at the lity, headed by His Eminence Pavel, more than 70 Venerable of the Caves, who repose in the Anthony Caves, were named.

On the day of the feast, which fell on Sunday this year, the Head of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius performed the Divine Liturgy on the square in front of the Dormition Cathedral. His Beatitude was concelebrated by the Vicegerent of the Lavra, Metropolitan Pavel, the preconsecrated archpastors and numerous clergy.

After reading the Gospel, His Beatitude addressed the parish with a Primate’s speech, in which he explained the New Testament story about the miraculous catch of cloud of fish by the Apostles. Metropolitan Onuphrius also spoke of the great deed and virtues of the Venerable Fathers of the Caves: “Venerable Anthony and all who rest in peace with him in relics in the Near Caves teach us humbling. This is expressed in the fact that a person does not claim any honor, but is happy simply being under God’s care, although such a person does not consider being deserving to be close to God.

Not all people should be monks, but everyone should be humble, love God and neighbor, forgive the neighbor and be patient. People should also pray and keep fast. All this makes a person holy. However monks succeed in these virtues most of all.

His Beatitude also explained in detail the essence of monasticism as an example for all Christians. “May the Lord help us, dear brothers and sisters, to be at least to some extent resembling to Venerable Anthony and all the saints, whose memory we honor now, so that we pray and keep fast at least a little, push ourselves to do acts of kindness to the best of our ability, forgive and humble ourselves before God and people. Humbling takes away the strength of the devil, and he cannot come close to a person who humbles himself. If we work, then in due time we will become communicants of eternal salvation in Christ our Lord!” – the Head of the UOC wished all the praying.

After the Eucharistic Canon, the deacon consecration was performed. At the end of the Liturgy, the clergy and numerous pilgrims made a cross procession to the Near Caves, where during the prayer service His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphrius read a prayer to the Venerable Fathers of the Caves and sprinkled all the faithful with holy water.

The fraternal Divine Service in the Lavra’s Church of the Exaltation of the Cross was led by the bursar of the Monastery, Archimandrite Nestor, jointly with the brethren in the holy rite. After the Liturgy, the memorial prayer order was performed for the deceased coworker of the Pilgrimage Department of the Monastery, nun Alypia. The nun reposed at the age of 75 after a long disease, having worked for many years in the Lavra.

According to the Lavra tradition, memorial prayers for the deceased brethren were also offered on this day.

After the cross procession in honor of the Lavra Feast of the Convocation of the Venerable Kiev-Caves Fathers to the Caves of Venerable Anthony, all the pilgrims were traditionally invited to a meal on the square in front of the Far Caves.

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