On December 5th, Bishop Mykola Bychok, Eparch of Melbourne, led the Hierarchical Holy Liturgy in the cathedral with the assistance of Archdeacon Edward Kostraby and Deacon Mykhailo Zylan. It was on this day that 18 children received the First Solemn Holy Communion.

The First Holy Communion is a truly incredible event in the life of every child, family, godparents and the whole parish. In order to properly prepare for this Solemn Day, the children attended catechetical classes conducted by the Basilian Sisters every Sunday. And on the eve of this event on Saturday, the children received the Holy Sacrament of Confession for the first time. It is worth noting that there were many different obstacles in the way of preparation for this holiday due to the coronavirus pandemic. Therefore, the joy of the cathedral parish is twofold.

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In his sermon, the bishop addressed the children in the form of questions: “Christ uses for the Holy Eucharist simple things at that time: bread and wine, which after consecration at the Holy Liturgy become the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. Today you accept the Holy God, who wants to dwell in your heart forever. May He – the Way, the Truth and the Life guide you on the path of God’s Commandments to holiness in the Christian life.”

Afterwards, the bishop addressed the older generation: “Dear parents together with godparents! Today, my heart is overflowing with joy because, for the first time since quarantine, our church is overflowing – and that is a good sign. However, I would like to point out that your mission is not over today. This is just a good beginning, which should continue every Sunday during the Divine Liturgy and continue in your life every day. Let your children feel what a Good and Generous Lord He is.”

During the Divine Liturgy, the children took an active part in it, read readings, sang, answered questions in the sermon, and thanked their families and godparents. At the end of the Liturgy, Bishop Mykola expressed his gratitude to the nuns and presented each of the children with a certificate for the First Confession and the First Holy Communion. After the joint photo, all the faithful gathered in the parish hall of Patriarch Joseph Slipyj for a festive dinner.

This post is also available in: Ukrainian