Zaporozhye, Ukraine, March 22, 2021
Although the planned cross processions in Kiev and several other dioceses of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church had to be postponed due to new COVID lockdown measures, processions were still held in a number of dioceses.
In his Lenten epistle, His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine blessed for cross processions to be held in every diocese as a way for the faithful to raise their voice against the persecutorial laws adopted by the previous Poroshenko government that remain in place.
Thousands of Orthodox faithful took part in the procession in Zaporozhye led by His Eminence Metropolitan Luke, who thanked the participants for not being afraid to gather “to confess our Lord Jesus Christ with one mouth and one heart,” Archpriest Alexander Ovcharenko reports on Telegram.
His Eminence also stressed that the procession is not a rally or demonstration, but a prayer performed by the faithful to “soften evil hearts.”
In Berdyansk, hundreds of Orthodox faithful joined in the procession with a number of wonderworking icons and saints’ relics, reports the diocesan press service.
The Rite of Orthodoxy was celebrated at the end in the Cathedral of the Nativity of Christ, where everyone had the opportunity to venerate the icons and relics. His Eminence Archbishop Ephraim of Berdyansk encouraged everyone to cherish their faith in their hearts, emphasizing that many people today need the Orthodox faith, and the best sermon is a testimony of faith.
In Kharkov, His Eminence Metropolitan Onuphry of Kharkov celebrated the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great and the Rite of Orthodoxy at the Holy Annunciation Monastery, after which the faithful processed to Holy Protection Monastery, praying for peace in Ukraine, reports the diocesan press service.
A moleben to the Most Holy Theotokos was served at the memorial cross on the monastery square.