Orthodox Life – August 2016
More than two hundred clergy and a few thousand laity walked in a traditional Cross procession in the city of Khust in the Transcarpathian region. The prayer procession was held on August 21 in memory of the procession formerly held in ancient times in Constantinople with a particle of the Cross of the Lord, reports Orthodoxkhust.org.ua.
Leading the convoy of pilgrims were Metropolitan Mark of Khust and Vinogradov and Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary, Chancellor of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church. The procession included a newly-painted icon of the Nankova Mother of God, an icon of the Carpathian saints, and a reliquary with the relics of venerable ascetics.
Throughout the procession prayers were sent up for peace in Ukraine and tranquility in the Carpathian region, with stops to read the Gospel, and important city intersections were sprinkled with holy water with the invocation of God’s blessing on Khust and its inhabitants.
At the end of the Cross procession in the cathedral of Sts. Cyril and Methodios Metropolitans Mark and Anthony thanked all participants for their prayers, and wished them peace, happiness, and prosperity in the work of salvation.
The many-thousand gathering sang the traditional Carpathian “many years” to their spiritual instructors, secular leaders and all God-loving people, and the priests anointed the people with blessed oil.
The magnificent Cross procession in Constantinople from olden times was held to protect the city from epidemics which often broke out in August. A piece of the Cross of the Lord was carried at the head of the procession from the palace treasury of the Byzantine Emperor, the streets along the way were sprinkled, and Molebens “for the blessing of places and the dispersing of sicknesses” were served. The procession lasted for two weeks until the feast of the Dormition of the Theotokos. In memory of this tradition the feast of the Procession of the Life-giving Wood of the Cross of the Lord was established (August 1/14).