However, the celebration started earlier, from the beginning of the week. On Tuesday, July 24, the Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox Church has conducted its Cross Procession. According to the capital’s law enforcers, 100 000 people are participating in tomorrow’s and today’s Cross Processions. Restricted traffic is expected in downtown.
Today’s date is under discussion not only because a large-scale celebration, but also due to the church topic – it is about a possible creation of a Unified Ukrainian Autocephalous Church in Ukraine.
A little bit later on what is known about this. For now, we will look upon this holiday and define what it is.
What day is it?
Its official name in Ukraine is Christianization of Kievan Rus (in Russia, it is called Christianization of Rus).
The decree of the President Viktor Yushchenko established the celebration on July 25, 2008. The holiday is being celebrated on July 28 annually.
This date has a reason behind it. According to the legend, on this day in 988, Vladimir the Great (the ruler of Kievan Rus' from 980 to 1015, - ed.) got a new religion and came back to Kyiv to christen Rus’s people.
What is known about the Christianization?
It should be emphasized that the exact date of the Christianization has not been determined. It was indicated allegedly – August 14 (under the old calendar) in 988.
It is known that Vladimir the Great decided to christen Rus due to the political reasons, primarily hoping to unite warring territories and strengthen his power.
He was receiving offers to get Muslimism, a Hebrew religion, Catholicism, but he chose Orthodox Christianity.
Vladimir was christened in Chersonesus and got a new name – Vasyly. He also christened his children and the lieges and got married to Anna from Byzantium.
Mass Christianization of the people was held in Dnipro. However, not all the people wanted to refuse from paganism, but they were “convinced”. Sometimes, with the use of a weapon.
How Ukraine celebrates the 1030th anniversary of Christianization of Rus?
Divine worship, prayers, Cross Processions.
On Friday, July 27, a prayer with the participation of Metropolitan Onufriy will take place on Saint Vladimir Hill. The Celebrant the Ukrainian Orthodox Church will hold a prayer to Saint Vladimir with a request to bless Ukraine and send peace for the Ukrainians.
The Cross Procession from the Saint Vladimir Hill to Kyiv Pechersk Lavra will start at 1:30 pm.
On Saturday, July 28, a Cross Procession – Prayer for Ukraine and Ukrainian Unified Orthodox Church on the following route: St Volodymyr's Cathedral – Shevchenko Boulevard – Vladimirska Street – Sofyiska Square – Mykhailivska Square – Vladimir Hill park. Kyiv Patriarchate of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church.
What about the tomos?
As the Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus Filaret thinks, the Archbishop of Constantinople Bartholomew will grant tomos an autocephaly for to Ukraine this year.
For now, the decision is being postponed.