The Ekaterinburg Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church hosted its annual procession in honor of the Royal Martyrs last night from the Church on the Blood in Ekaterinburg to the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers in Ganina Yama.
10,000 Orthodox faithful joined in the procession this year, moving from the site of the martyrdom of the last Royal Family of Russia to the place where their holy remains were callously discarded, reports the Diocese of Ekaterinburg.
The size of the procession was significantly reduced this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The local authorities had urged the faithful not to participate. In 2018, 100,000 participated in the Divine Liturgy procession on the 100th anniversary of the Royal Martyrs, and 60,000 in 2019.
The evening began with the Divine Liturgy celebrated on the square outside the Church on the Blood by His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg, His Grace Bishop Methody of Kamensk, His Grace Bishop Evgeny of Nizhny Tagil, His Grace Bishop Alexei of Serov, and His Grace Bishop Leonid of Argentina and South America.
After the Divine Liturgy, the faithful began the prayerful procession along the route used to transport the bodies of the murdered Tsar and his family in 1918.
The procession was accompanied throughout by mobile groups from the Orthodox Mercy service, Royal Days volunteers, representatives from the Nika charitable foundation, and Cossacks of the Orenburg Military Cossack Society, providing various means of assistance to the pilgrims.
Around 6:00 AM, the procession headed by the hierarchs and clergy reached the Monastery of the Royal Passion-Bearers, where the monks greeted the pilgrims with the ringing of the monastery bells.
Upon arrival, a moleben was served to the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, and Met. Kirill addressed the faithful:
We pray and believe that the Lord, through the prayers of the holy Martyrs and Confessors of our Church, still preserves our land and covers it with His Heavenly covering. We hope that with God’s help we will lead an Orthodox Christian way of life and will take an example from righteous people, such as the holy Royal Family and their companions, and all those who laid down their heads for our homeland and our Holy Church. Through their prayers, the Lord will forgive and have mercy on all of us by the prayers of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Royal Passion-Bearers, and all the saints who have pleased God from time immemorial.
The Royal Days celebrations continue tonight in Alapaevsk where St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess and sister of Tsarina Alexandra, the Nun Barbara, and Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov, the Princes Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich, and Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, and Grand Duke Sergei’s secretary Fyodor Remez were martyred on July 18, 1918.