Eight years ago, on March 27, 2011, elected by the Electoral Synod of Bishops of the UGCC and confirmed by the Holy Father, the new Head of the UGCC, the Major Archbishop of Kyiv -Halych, His Beatitude Sviatoslav came to the throne.
The feast began with the Procession of the Cross. It passed from the Church of the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin to the main Church of the Greek Catholics: the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. More than 350 priests, 60 bishops of the UGCC and other Eastern Catholic Churches, representatives of the Apostolic See, the European Bishops’ Conference, the hierarchs of the Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine took part in the procession.
The rite of enthronement of the Head of the UGCC began with the proclamation by the secretary of the UGCC Synod of Bishops Bishop Bohdan Dziurakh of the decision of the Synod to elect Vladyka Sviatoslav as the Head of the UGCC. Consequently, the newly elected Head of the Church ascended the Amvon, where, during the acclamation “Axios!” he received the insignia of the Head of the Church. An omoforion to the Primate of the Church was presented by Metropolitan of Peremyshl-Warsaw Ivan (Martyniak), a panagia and an encolpion were presented by Metropolitan of Philadelphia Stefan (Soroka), and Metropolitan of Winnipeg, Lawrence (Huculiak), presented a miter. Patriarchal rod, a symbol of acceptance of the new authority and new powers, was presented to the new Head of the Church by Archbishop of Lviv Ihor (Voznyak), who until the enthronement, had acted as the UGCC Administrator.
The rite of sitting on the throne, a central liturgical moment of the enthronement according to the Byzantine tradition, was performed by Metropolitan of Peremyshl-Warsaw Ivan (Martyniak), Metropolitan of Philadelphia Stefan (Soroka), Metropolitan of Winnipeg Lawrence (Huculiak), Apostolic Exarch for the Ukrainians in France, Benelux and Switzerland, Bishop Mykhailo (Hrynchyshyn), Eparch of Sambir-Drohobych Bishop Julian (Voronovskyj), and Bishop-emeritus of Stamford Eparchy Most Rev. Vasyl’ (Losten).
After this, the newly-appointed Father and Head of the UGCC, the Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych, delivered his enthronement sermon. “Today we, the heirs of Volodymyr’s baptism, experience unity and continuity with our history and tradition. We take ownership of the precious heritage of our great predecessors: the Servant of God Metropolitan Andrey (Sheptytsky), Patriarchs Josyf, Myroslav Ivan and Lubomyr. Today these men, with the warm hand of Lubomyr, bless us and make this treasure alive, significant and enlightening for a modern Ukrainian. ‘Holiness of the united people of God’ – this is, and this will be, the development strategy of our Church,” said His Beatitude Sviatoslav in the final part of his first patriarch’s word.
The UGCC Department for Information