O Lord Thou shalt open my lips and my mouth shall declare Thy praise.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Major Liturgical Eye Candy!!! - Consecration of the Patriarchal Cathedral in Kyiv

This morning in Kyiv, His Beatitude Svyatoslav, Patriarch of Kyiv and All Rus, consecrated the Patriarchal Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ. There's a lot packed into that statement, as we'll see.

Here are some photos from the website of the UGCC as well as stills from the Zhyve.tv broadcast:

The first part of the dedication, the procession with the relics three times around the church to be dedicated, was done before the start of this broadcast. The broadcast started when they had just entered the Cathedral. The second part, the sealing of the relics in the Holy Table, is normally done at this time, but that was done later after the consecration of the Holy Table.

The third part, the consecration of the Holy Table, is also called the Baptism of the Holy Table, since it consists of washing the Holy Table with soap and water, then rose water and wine, and finally it is anointed with Holy Myron (Chrism). From here on out, most actions are accompanied by the chanting of various psalms with various prayers chanted in between.

The Holy Table is Blessed:

Then the (long) prayers of dedication were said, which are done kneeling:

For the washings, the bishop(s) put on white linen tunics, which after the ceremony are cut up and distributed to the faithful. With 20,000 people present at a Cathedral that holds several thousand, I wonder how many got a piece. There were many big screens outside so everyone could see.

The second washing:

Anointing with Holy Myron:

It was at this time that the relics were sealed in the Holy Table, one set in the middle and one set in each corner. Each is dipped in Holy Myron before being placed in the Holy Table:

Here is a close-up of two sets in paper envelopes at their preparation a few days ago:

The relics, all martyrs, include the Holy Apostles Peter, Paul and Andrew the First-Called, Popes Clement and Martin of Rome, who both died in Ukraine, the Holy Heiromartyr Josaphat, and two of the Blessed Ukrainian New-Martyrs, Mykola Charnetsky and Josaphat Kotsylovsky. Interesting how one Josaphat is named after the other.

Sealing the round relic-stones with wax mastic (His Beatitude sealed each of the relics and one bishop scraped the extra off each tomb):

Next the Holy Table is vested (with the vestments blessed and incensed). The bottom cloth protects the upper, precious cloth from the Myron on the surface of the Holy Table.

Then the Throne and Table of Preparation got blessed:

As His Beatitude was returning from the Table of Preparation, I spotted my local bishop, Bishop Paul Chomnycky, Eparch of Stamford (he's the one facing the camera):

The Fourth and Final part is the consecration of the Temple itself. A full incensation of the altar and iconostas is performed, except by the bishop instead of by the deacon, who normally does it. The bishop makes several laps of the church on the inside, first incensing it, then blessing it, then anointing the doorposts and columns with Myron. Here, one lap was performed with Patriarch Svyatoslav (preceded by the deacon) incensing, followed by two metropolitans, one blessing and the other anointing.

Lastly, the lights of the temple are lit, the process started by the bishop. Divine Liturgy follows, served in the normal way, except that the opening blessing ("Blessed is the Kingdom...") is not given by a priest, as is normal for a Hierarchal Divine Liturgy, but by the bishop himself.

The Gospel, with a nice shot of the Holy Table:

A nice wide shot of the Altar (with its incomplete iconostas) during the Gospel. You can see the finished marble floor, with much of it obstructed by an army of priests:

The Great Entrance:

Conclusion of the Great Entrance with a shot of the Patriarchal Throne at the back:

"The grace of Our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Love of God the Father, and the Communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all." Note how the Trikeri and Dikeri were decorated with flowers for the occasion:

"Let us lift up our hearts."

During the preface. You can see one of two tables with chalices for Communion that were set up outside the Altar (all the bread however, was on the Holy Table itself):

With this many priests, the words of Consecration sounded as if the whole church was chanting them:

"Thine own, of Thine own, we offer to Thee, on behalf of all and for all."

Note that Patriarch Svyatoslav, who is a great lover and promoter of tradition in his own Rite, has a properly cut Lamb with commemorations on the discos. Due to the *huge* number of faithful, he did use pre-cuts however, but they were on separate discoi, all of them on the Holy Table near the main discos.


Incensation of the Divine Mysteries at the Commemoration of the Theotokos:

You remember that army of priests? and that there were 20,000 people at a Cathedral that holds only several thousand? and all the many chalices? Well, time for many of those priests to grab a chalice and a spoon, and get to work doing what they were ordained to do. Inside:

and outside. Each priest here is accompanied by a blue and white umbrella. We now get some good shots of the completed outside:

All the white inside? It *all* needs to be covered with icons. The inside decor is the part of construction that's still left. Structurally, the cathedral was finished a year or two ago and the floor installed about two weeks ago. Here, Patriarch Svyatoslav blesses the faithful with the Divine Mysteries:

Here he chants the dismissal. In the top corner of the photo you can see the artophor (ark/tabernacle). This one looks like a huge chalice:

Hopefully, I got everything. The whole dedication took a good hour and a half and the Divine Liturgy after that two hours.

Update: Added a couple more photos.