150th anniversary of birth of Venerable Seraphim of Vyritsa marked in St. Petersburg by city-wide Cross procession

St. Petersburg, August 16, 2016

 

On August 14, in the eighth week after Pentecost,
the feast of the Procession of the Precious Wood of the
Life-giving Cross of the Lord, a city-wide Cross
procession was held in St. Petersburg in celebration of
the 150th anniversary of the birthday of Venerable
Seraphim of Vyritsa. Participants processed from the
church of Venerable Seraphim in Bolshoi Gostiny Dvor to
the ruined church of the Dormition (“Savior on
Sennaya Square”), reports the site of the
St. Petersburg Archdiocese.

The feast began with the Divine Liturgy in the church of
St. Seraphim, led by rector Fr. Artemy Naumov,
concelebrated by the rector of the “Savior on
Sennaya” church, Fr. Michael Malyushin, and other
clergy.

At the end of the service, Fr. Michael Malyushin,
addressing the faithful, noted that it’s necessary
to revive the pre-revolutionary tradition of the Cross
procession on the day of the Procession of the Precious
Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord. “As we
know, the second name of this feast is in the name of the
All-Merciful Savior,” said the priest. “The
second altar of the ‘Savior on Sennaya’ was
given the name of All-Merciful Savior. The first wooden
church, which stood on the place of the temple, was
consecrated in honor of the Procession of the Precious
Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord. For many years
before the revolution the Cross procession took place on
this day from the ‘Savior on Sennaya’ to Fontaka,
where the Moleben for the Blessing of Water was served and
the blessing of honey. When you revive a tradition you
want to complete it with something new, therefore the name
of the saint which the church bears is especially
important for us. The future Venerable Seraphim of
Vyritsa, then Vasily Muravyev, owned the house at 20
Apraksin Alley and was a parishioner of ‘Savior on
Sennaya.’ Thus paths interwine as the Lord
grants.”

Fr. Michael spoke about that St. Petersburg was recently
visited by a guest from Hawaii, the 80-year-old priest
Anatoly Levin. His great-grandfather and grandfather were
clergy in “Savior on Sennaya.” He gave the
parish a sluzhebnik printed in 1916 by the Dormition
church.

With icons and banners the faithful processed to prayerful
singing from Gostiny Dvor to Sennaya Square. They
processed along Garden Street with a stop at 20 Apraksin
Alley (organizational work is currently underway for
placing a commemorative plaque with the face of St.
Seraphim of Vyritsa on the façade of the building).
There the Gospel was read, complete with the sprinkling of
Holy Water on the faithful. Then the faithful processed to
Sennaya Square. At the foundation stone on the place of
the restored Dormition church the Moleben for the Blessing
of Water and the blessing of the honey of the new harvest
was served.

Historically the Cross procession occurred every year on
August 1/14, on the feast of the Procession of the
Precious Wood of the Life-giving Cross of the Lord around
“Savior on Sennaya” in memory of the
deliverance of St. Petersburg from cholera. Reviving the
lost tradition, this year the Cross procession was
organized by the Union of Orthodox Entrepreneurs, and the
parishes of Venerable Seraphim of Vyritsa in Bolshoi
Gostiny Dvor and of the Dormition on Sennaya.

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