Christian PilgrimagePilgrimages in LithuaniaJohn Paul II and Lithuania

May the light and truth of Christ guide our steps!
Algirdo Kazlos fotografija

Piety and Liturgical Feasts

Christ’s Resurrection Church is a place that encourages reflection about God’s plan of Salvation not only in its individual dimension, but also at the level of the nation and the state. The structure enshrines gratitude to God for the development of Lithuania as a full-fledged nation, for its regained statehood. It is an invitation to mark important national holidays in a spirit of prayer and thanksgiving. Holy Mass is celebrated solemnly here, and sacred music recitals are held, on January 13 – Defenders of Freedom Day, on February 16 – Independence Day, and on June 14 – the Day of Mourning and Hope. The church also hosts the Kaunas archdiocese’s main liturgy for the feast of St Casimir, Lithuania’s patron saint. And the tradition of marking important events in the life of society is not limited to Lithuania. On September 11, for instance, Mass is celebrated and a sacred music concert is held in memory of the victims of terrorism.

After Pope John Paul II died in 2005, a solemn prayer vigil took place at Christ’s Resurrection Church on the night of April 7–8, as a way of bidding farewell to the deceased pontiff. Thanks to a large television screen that was set up, the many people gathered at the sanctuary were then able to follow the Pope’s funeral ceremony live from the Vatican. It has now become customary to solemnly commemorate the anniversary of the death of John Paul II each year, putting special emphasis on the celebration of Divine Mercy Sunday and on the message of Divine Mercy that St Faustina spread from Vilnius. A copy of the painting of the Merciful Jesus adorns the altar in the Chapel of the Most Blessed Sacrament.

Because Christ’s Resurrection Church was solemnly consecrated to God on December 26, 2004, it has become traditional to celebrate the anniversary of the church’s dedication each year on the second day of Christmas. With bishops taking part, solemn Holy Mass is celebrated, tokens of gratitude are presented to some of the parish’s benefactors, and impressive Christmas sacred music concerts are held.