The UOC is taking it by plane, the OCU is preparing roundabout routes. How will Ukraine receive the Holy Fire? A delegation of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church headed by Metropolitan Anthony, Administrator of the UOC, will fly to the Holy Land for the Holy Fire.
“The divine service, during which the miracle of the descent of the Holy Fire comes, takes place in Jerusalem at approximately 13:00 Kyiv time. If this year the Holy Fire descends, then perhaps by 19:00 it will be delivered to Kyiv,” the chairman of the Synodal Information and Educational Department of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church metropolitan Clement said.
“Representatives of other confessions, of course, are not expected for the reason that the delegation of the UOC represents the only canonical Ukrainian church structure recognized by the Jerusalem Patriarchate. And it is to our delegation that the Jerusalem Patriarch will give the lamp with the Holy Fire as an official fraternal blessing between the canonical Orthodox Churches,” noted metropolitan Clement.
Immediately upon the arrival of the Holy Fire in Kyiv, it will be delivered to the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra.
“There it will be possible to take this shrine by coming with candles or lamps. However, the main event associated with the Holy Fire will be the meeting of the Primate of the UOC, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry, on the eve of the beginning of the Easter service at 23:00 on May 1. It is then that the Easter celebrations will begin with the introduction of the Holy Fire to the Refectory Church of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra. This is a symbolic continuation of the holy celebration that will take place the day before in Jerusalem.”
Traditionally, delegations from all dioceses of the UOC arrive on Holy Saturday in Kyiv and deliver the Holy Fire to all regions of Ukraine.
As for the “OCU”, it will not be admitted to the Holy Fire for the third year in a row. The religious organization, which the Jerusalem Patriarchate never recognized, hopes to receive fire in a roundabout way. This is a compulsory measure, since the position of Jerusalem in relation to the “OCU” is unambiguous.
“The Jerusalem Patriarchate does not allow schismatics to access the shrines located on the canonical territory of the Jerusalem Patriarchate. It does not allow any complicity, even prayer, of representatives of these schismatic structures,” the press service of Patriarch Theophilos informed.