Metropolitan Hilarion of Donetsk and Mariupol, together with Archbishop Mitrophan of Horlivka and Sloviansk, celebrated the consecration and the first Divine Liturgy at the new altar. Many clergymen from the Diocese of Horlivka and Sloviansk concelebrated at the service.
Archbishop Mitrophan thanked the Most Reverend Metropolitan Hilarion for his visit and joint prayer in such a difficult time. He noted:
“These days are not for joy. Everyday we mourn. But among the things that surround us, today is a special day. It reminds us of old times, when we consecrated many churches and when people could lead a normal and full life.
“God tests people in different times by various tests and events. In the Book of Job we read about a certain righteous man who had always been pious and holy, serving God, and the devil felt jealous of him… There was a time when one church after another was consecrated here, in Donbass. We expressed our gratitude to God for this and were joyful that the Lord had sent such mercy on us: we built churches where people gathered, and opened Sunday schools. We considered it to be the security for our favorable future.
“Today when all of this has happened we face a puzzling question: why this and why here? Are the people working and praying here worse than any other people in any other region of any other country? But perhaps the devil, being jealous of those people who live here and those churches that are constructed here, is testing and tempting our faith.”