Ukraine celebrates the 1032th anniversary of the Christianization of Kyiv Rus'. The holiday will be held amid the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, which, unfortunately, will bring in some adjustments. In particular, churches have already refused to hold religious processions.
Let's explain in more detail what is being celebrated.
What is it about?
In Ukraine, the holiday is officially called the Day of Christianization of Kyiv Rus' – Ukraine. This is a state holiday, which was established by the decree of President Viktor Yushchenko for 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 Kyivan Rus' from 980 to 1015, - ed.) got a new religion and came back to Kyiv to christen people of Rus’. Actually, the exact day of the Christianization was not determined. It was indicated approximately as August 14 (under the old calendar) in 988.
How will it be celebrated?
It will be held without large-scale events, so as not to risk people's health.
In particular, the Orthodox Church of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church have already refused from carrying out religious processions. In both churches, the celebrations will be held with the observation of quarantine.
Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Moscow Patriarchate
“With the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onufriy, in, a solemn liturgy will be held every eparchy, in every church on this day, July 28, at the end of which there will be a bell-ringing, which will unite the whole of Ukraine with a call, evangelism, gratitude to God for the fact that we are Orthodox people, that the path to salvation is open to us through baptism by the right-believing Prince Vladimir,” the Metropolitan Anthony said.
Orthodox Church of Ukraine
“Unfortunately, due to the restrictions imposed on the holding of mass religious events, we will not be able to celebrate the 1032th anniversary of the Baptism of Rus-Ukraine this year with the traditional Cross Procession. There will also be no traditional pilgrimage of believers to Kyiv, and the celebration will be held at the diocesan and parish levels in accordance with the relevant regulations.”
“In the glorious city of Kyiv, on July 27, we will hold a festive All-night vigil in the St. Michael's Golden-Domed Monastery, and on July 28 in the morning there will be a Divine Liturgy, as well as a prayer service at the monument to Prince Vladimir,” Metropolitan Epiphany said.