Ekaterinburg, July 17, 2017
In the night of July 16-17, on the anniversary of the killing of the holy Royal Martyrs, the penitential Royal Procession was held in Ekaterinburg from the place of their killing to the place where their remains were hidden, where today stands a monastery in honor of the holy Royal Martyrs, reports the site of the Ekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church.
The cross procession began immediately after the Divine Liturgy which was celebrated by Metropolitan Alexander of Astana and Kazakhstan, along with Metropolitans Vikenty of Tashkent and Uzbekistan and Kirill of Verkhoturye and Ekaterinburg, and Bishops Benjamin of Rybinsk and Danilov, Innokenty of Nizhny Tagil and Serov, Theodosius of Isilkul and Russko-Polyansky, Methodius of Kamensky and Alapaevsk, and Eugene of the Middle Urals.
Among the participants was State Duma Deputy Natalia Poklonskaya, who is quite vocal about her love and veneration of the Royal Martyrs, reports RIA-Novosti.
At about 3 AM, after the Divine Liturgy, the faithful began their prayerful march along the path along which the last imperial family was led in 1918. The procession was led by the hierarchs. According to preliminary estimates, more than 60,000 participated in the nighttime procession, which matches the number from last year. However, whereas there were about 3,500 communicants last year, this year there were around 7,000.
The procession was accompanied throughout by 25 mobile groups from the Orthodox Charity Service, providing various forms of assistance to pilgrims. The group included priests and sisters and volunteers from the service, as well as representatives of the Holy Dormition brotherhood of the Ekaterinburg Diocese. Volunteers of the Nika charitable foundation and sisters of mercy were also on hand to offer assistance to the thirsty and weary.
The procession reached the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-bearers at Ganina Yama at about 7:00 AM. The pilgrims with the processing clergy were met at the monastery by ringing bells. A moleben was served upon arrival at mine #7, where the murderers attempted to hide the evidence of the evil act.
Met. Kirill of Verkhoturye and Ekaterinburg addressed those gathered:
This cross procession went not only along city streets, but through fields and forests. And the main thing is that it tapped into our souls. You could hardly find even one person now who would remain indifferent to this day, to the service and procession, which is an image of our repentance and our love for the Tsar and his motherland—Holy Rus’. We thank you all, dear brother and sisters, and we hope that every year, when the Lord will give us the grace, we will continue to hold this sacred cross procession to this holy place.
Many of the participants in the procession also stayed for the Divine Liturgy at 9:00 AM in the monastery church.
In addition to the procession, the annual “Royal Days procession is ongoing in Ekaterinburg and Alapaevsk from July 12-20, dedicated to the memory of the holy Royal martyrs.
The first diocesan procession in honor of the Royal Martyrs, headed by the ruling bishop, took place in 2002, with 2-3,000 pilgrims and about 100 priests participating.