Located in the walls of the Kyiv-Pechersk Lavra Holy resurrection the academic Church of memory of victims in Afghanistan during lent clock sounds special prayer Ritual Psalms. Day and night there pray for peace in Ukraine, for the health of soldiers and all who have been killed or injured in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine.
According to the information Center of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, rector of the Afghan Church, Professor of the Kiev theological Academy and Seminary Archpriest Sergei Yuschik spoke in detail about the spiritual meaning of the Ritual reading of the Psalter.
– How did the idea of the Ritual reading of the Psalms for warriors and for peace in our country?
– Ritual the Psalm is, first of all, a lot of monasteries. Lenten worship differs from the others in that at its centre is the Psalter. Pray for the soldiers and for peace in Ukraine – need of every believing soul. How long are military operations in our country, as the whole episcopate of the Orthodox Church, the Primate and the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Christians call for prayer for peace. In the period of Great lent, his Beatitude Metropolitan Onufry blessed to enhance such a prayer. During this period, Orthodox Christians are taking on the feat of strengthening their rule of prayer that is the reading of the Psalter.
Kiev theological Academy and Seminary are located on the territory of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra and the students already have such experience: every day they participate in the monastery the Ritual reading of the Psalter. Ignited this idea, and the veteran activists of the movement of Afghan soldiers. This round-the-clock prayer vigil reminded them military service: traditionally, monks or students-seminarians Incessantly read the Psalter for two hours, and our veterans also, for two hours, carried on combat duty in the army. So they heard about this initiative, said that this prayer must not only be, but must be in this temple. Moreover, many veterans of the Afghan war and are now on duty in the ATO area.
– What is the spiritual essence of the Vigilant Psalter?
– The Psalter and its values speak many of the fathers of the Church. First, because the Psalter is a book that is, in the words of St. Basil the Great, the most of all the books of Scripture glorifies God. At the same time, the Psalter is instructive book, because it does not just praise the Lord, but also helps to fight with passion, and to banish demons, as evidenced by the Holy fathers. If we talk about Incessantly Harps – that is the full and literal embodiment of the words of the Apostle Paul about the need for constant prayer. It lasts for hours, since the life around us is not only in the working hours from eight in the morning until six in the evening. In the East of Ukraine attacks do not occur from start to finish, the war is ongoing, the trouble continues around the clock, the wounded guys hurt around the clock. So pray for them also continues round the clock.
– What kind of help from reading the Psalms Incessantly receive the souls of the dead?
– Who was holding a Psalm, knows that each section (kathisma) consists of three parts, and each kathisma is possible to insert three prayers. In our case, the first prayer of the Church, the second for peace in Ukraine, but the third alternates: one kathisma we read the prayer for the wounded, and the other for the repose of the dead. Fortunately, when a person can get ready to the last minute of his life. But many soldiers and even civilians death is caught off guard and they don’t even have time to say, “Lord, I’m sorry.” So our prayer for them is needed that the Lord gave them the Kingdom of Heaven and eternal peace. Prayer for the dead is a request that God will not just judge a person by his deeds, but always in his righteous court took into account our love for the deceased.
We pray and urge all to pray for those people who are now suffering from wounds. And we must understand that wounds are not only physical. Thousands of people got this war physically injured and hundreds of thousands (and the millions) are injured psychologically and spiritually. So we pray for the healing of all these people. This prayer has great power.
The power Ritual of the Psalter lies in its neprestannoe. All prayer is a beam from the earth to the sky in the hope that in response to this call, may the grace of the Lord. If it sounds continuously, and especially if it is a common prayer, we can speak of its special values. Holy elders indicate that where Incessantly read the Psalter, he stands invisible pillar of fire to heaven.
– You said that the Ritual reading of the Psalter – tradition, above all, monastic. But in Your Church it is read not monks. Who can participate?
– In the monasteries that prayer does not stop for decades. I know monasteries that began its existence with exactly what a few brothers or sisters proceeded to the Ritual reading of the Psalter. Open, for example, the monastery in 1990 and over the past 27 years there continuously read the Psalter.
As for our situation, the main burden assumed by students and teachers of the Kyiv theological schools since the initiative primarily came from environment students. In addition, virtually all Patologicheskaya and astrologicheskie literature says that theological school is not only to give people some knowledge of dogmatic theology, but she needs to learn how to pray. Although Seminary is not a monastery, but it is also spiritual and prayerful fellowship. In Ukraine there are seminaries where tradition Incessantly read the Psalter for a long time. If the Seminary is a monastery – that’s how Kiev, Pochaev, or Odessa, then the students join the monastic Ritual reading of the Psalter. In other cases, lent, the students themselves take on this feat of prayer – for example, in the Volyn theological Seminary.
And now we invite all to prayer. Every Orthodox Christian, having come to Holy resurrection Church, which is popularly called the Afghan, to come to the student or to the priest that shall be in this time to read the Psalms, and he will be given the opportunity to participate in the reading.
In addition to students and priests who work and study at the Kyiv theological schools, in the temple around the clock are veterans of the Afghan war – one-two-three. They, too, join this prayer.
– Are there any requirements, the criteria by which a person can be admitted to the Ritual reading of the Psalter? Do I need to have special skills?
– The book that you read this prayer, printed Church Slavonic. I mean, who wants at least need to be able to read Church Slavonic. It is with great reverence to the feelings of each person, but if you read the syllables, it will hinder those who want to listen to the words of Scripture. Who have not studied Church Slavonic literacy may first come to the temple, stand on the side and join in the common supplication, and at the same time to learn. The more we read the Psalms until April 6.
According to the word of Jesus Christ if we want to ask of the Father in Heaven, you need to do to gather together, for wherever two or three are gathered together in the name of the Lord, there the Lord is in their midst (Matt 18:19-20). Therefore, the more people will join this prayer the stronger it will sound.
– The reading of the Psalter will occur around the clock and continuously these days?
Since the Church is the parish, and it committed the statutory services, in order to Incessantly Psalm sounded in the temple and many people were able to join it, reading takes place from Sunday to Friday – up to 16 hours. On Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday until the evening committed statutory worship, confession and extreme unction, and at 18.00 again resumed the reading of the Psalter, which continues until next Friday.
– Your temple for many years brings together veterans of Afghanistan. Who are his parishioners tonight?
– Veterans of Afghanistan have always considered this Church their own. In the early 1990s, he after years of downtime was opened in memory of their brothers in arms. Today, Afghans are actively involved in volunteer activities.
The main memorial to those killed in Afghanistan is opposite the temple. On
holidays different types of troops is laying flowers to the memorial and funeral prayer in our Church. This commemoration involves not only Afghans, but also the guys who serve now.
We strive to ensure that in the temple, the veterans of any war could to hear the words of Jesus Christ: “Come unto Me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest… and ye shall find rest for your souls” (MT 11:28-29). This is the most important thing for every soldier.
We will remind that on Saturday the 18th and 25th of March in the Orthodox Church are made of special memorial services. The clergy and laity pray for a peaceful stay in the eternal life of the deceased relatives and for all Orthodox Christians.