Ukrainian priests to celebrate Mass in Kyiv bomb shelters
By Linda Bordoni
“Greetings from Ukrainian Kyiv! Today is Sunday, 27 February 2022. We survived yet another horrible night,” says the Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych in the first words of his video message, but after night, he continues, “there comes day, there is morning. After darkness, there comes light, just as after death there comes resurrection, which we all today radiantly celebrate.”
And while, he says, here in Ukraine believers will celebrate the Risen Christ, the residents of Kyiv will not be able to go to church because of the government-mandated curfew that orders everyone to stay at home because of the threat to their lives.
Our priests will descend to the underground
In this case, Archbishop Shevchuk continues, “the Church will come to the people.”
Our priests, he explains, “will descend to the underground, they will descend to the bomb shelters, and there they will celebrate the Divine Liturgy. The Church is with its people!”
The Church of Christ brings the Eucharistic Saviour to those who are experiencing critical moments in their life, who need the strength and hope of the resurrection.
Today, the Major Archbishop continues, “I would like to ask all those who have the opportunity to go to church: go to the Divine Liturgy! Today, go to Confession. Everyone receive Communion.”
And he invites all believers to receive the Eucharist for those who cannot go to church, and to “sacrifice Holy Communion for our soldiers.”
Major Archbishop Shevchuk also thanks all those who are defending Ukraine in various ways, and notes that the government services, especially in Kyiv, are working at the highest level.
“We once doubted, wondering if our government institutions were strong. We saw that our government has passed its test for strength, and is continuing to pass,” he says.
And along with the army, he also thanks the State Emergency Service of Ukraine, who are rescuing people from damaged buildings, Ukrainian medics who are saving lives, the firefighters who are putting out “hundreds of fires throughout Ukraine.”
The head of the Greek Catholic Church in Ukraine does not forget to express his gratitude to the Ukrainian diaspora for their compassion and Ukrainian bishops across the world for their initiatives of solidarity.
Finally, he thanks all those “who are striving to tell the world the truth about Ukraine, who are gathering humanitarian aid, medicine,” or are simply praying for the nation.