Ekaterinburg, July 17, 2012
According to different estimates, 40 to 50 thousand people gathered in Yekaterinburg to honor the memory of Royal Martyrs at the night service commemorating their murder, Pravoslavnaya Gazeta reports.
The night-time service of Divine Liturgy was opened by Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhotury, as he addressed the thousands in attendance. In his sermon, Vladyka explained the spiritual significance of the Royal Family’s heroic deed, especially emphasizing the historical meaning of that place. He also encouraged every Orthodox citizen to understand and fulfill his responsibilities to his country.
After the service, Metropolitan Kirill welcomed the member of the Holy Synod and head of the the Central Asian Metropolitan District, Metropolitan Vikenty of Tashkent and all Uzbekistan, who recently arrived in Ekaterinburg for the service to the Royal Martyrs. Metropolitan Vikenty previously served as bishop of the Ekaterinburg diocese for twelve years, during which he did much to honor the memory of Royal Martyrs.
Metropolitan Vikenty in turn expressed his gratitude to the head of the Ekaterinburg Diocese for continuing the tradition that has been forming in the Ural Region for the last 20 years of honoring the Royal Family.
Concelebrating with Metropolitan Kirill and Metropolitan Vikenty at the night-time service were Bishop Benjamim of Rybinsk and Uglich, Bishop Varnava of Pavlodar and Ekibastuz, Bishop Innokenty of Nizhnetagilsk and Serov, and Bishop Sergiy of Kamensk and Alapaevsk. Archimandrite Porfiry, the abbot of the Holy Transfiguration Monastery, as well as over 200 other clergymen of the Ekaterinburg, Nizhnetagilsk, Kamensk and other Diocese took part in celebrating the Divine Liturgy.
Before Communion, the secretary of the Nizhnetagilsk Diocese, Archpriest Gennady Vedernikov, gave a sermon. Fr. Gennady spoke of the Royal Family as a great example for modern families, and appealed to the citizens to “restore true family values, because when there is no progress, the opposite process takes over—degradation.”
Due to the great number of communicants, 100 Communion chalices were brought to the Church on the Blood by the clergy of Ekaterinburg.
After the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy and before the Cross Procession, Archimandrite Germogen Eremeev read a wonderful, soul-stirring poem devoted to the Royal Martyrs.
As the moleben was sung, archpastors, clergy and the thousands of worshipers followed the Cross Procession along the road to Ganina Yama—the same road upon which the bodies of the murdered family were taken on the night of the shooting.
The services in the Church on Blood and in the Monastery of the Royal Martyrs continued throughout the day. The services commemorating Grand Princess Elizabeth Fedorovna and nun Varvara will take place tomorrow morning and tomorrow night in Alapaevsk.