Smolensk–Kiev Cross Procession Opened

Smolensk, June 30, 2010.

On June 29, in the village of Dudkino, Sychevo region, the Slavic youth religious procession was ceremoniously opened. The young people will process from Smolensk to Kiev, reports the official Smolensk and Vyazma diocesan website.

The procession will pass through Russia, Belarussia, and the Ukraine—three Slavic countries that have been historically linked by the Dniepr River.

The procession, blessed by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, is timed to the one thousand twenty-second anniversary of the Baptism of Russia, and the sixty-fifth anniversary of victory in the Second World War.

Included on the council for support of the procession are Bishop Theophylact of Smolensk and Vyazma, and D. V. Gaev, head of the Moscow metro. Also supporting the project are representatives from the Minsk and Kiev metros, and the St. Vladimir fund.

The procession participants will be divided into two groups—the "water group" (on the Dniepr) and the "automobile group." The water group will consist of eight kayaks carrying six people each, two from Smolensk diocese, and others from Moscow, Tver, Minsk, and Kiev. The automobile group will follow a route that will intersect at stopping places with the water group's.

The ceremony in Dudkino began with a procession from the church under construction in honor of Prince Vladimir to the chapel over the source of the Dniepr River, where the clergy served a moleben with the blessing of the waters.

Approximately two hundred people were gathered at the opening, amongst whom were representatives of local municipal government.

7/1/2010

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