A traditional cross procession on the Sunday of the Holy Myrrh-bearers took place in Mikhailovskaya Sloboda

Sat, 06/08/2024 - 06:33

This year marks the 160th anniversary of the memorable day when the parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel Church in the village of Mikhailovskaya Sloboda first petitioned to bring the wonderworking icon of the Mother of God of Jerusalem from the city of Bronnitsy to Mikhailovskaya Sloboda. In the first issue of the magazine “Pravda Pravoslavia” for 2024 we published an article by Evfimiy Sergeevich Kallimontov, a priest of St. Michael the Archangel Church, first published in 1872 in the “Moscow Diocesan Vedomosti”, about how in 1864, after the beginning of the typhus epidemic, the residents of Mikhailovskaya Sloboda and surrounding villages petitioned to bring the wonderworking icon from Bronnitsy and how this bringing became a tradition.

Before the October coup of 1917, the Bronnitsa Jerusalem Icon of the Mother of God was highly venerated in many places of the Moscow province and, in fact, was a traveling relic, staying on the move for most of the year. Nowadays processions with locally venerated images of the icon of the Mother of God of Jerusalem are preserved in several localities of the Moscow metropolis.
In the recent history of the Church of the Archangel Michael, processions dedicated to the image of the Mother of God of Jerusalem are carried out with a local icon painted for this purpose.

In 2022, with the blessing of His Eminence Pavel, Metropolitan of Krutitsy and Kolomna, work was begun to revive the tradition of processions with the icon of the Mother of God of Jerusalem within the diocese of Kolomna. As part of this initiative, in March of this year, archpriest Michael Sokrutov, responsible for youth affairs of the Kolomna diocese, appealed to the rector of the St. Michael's the Archangel Edinoverie Church, archimandrite Irinarkh (Denisov) with a request to transfer the icon of the Mother of God of Jerusalem from St. Michael's Sloboda to bring it to the churches of the Kolomna diocese. On March 14 of this year the image of the Most Pure Mother of God was delivered from Mikhailovskaya Sloboda to the Church of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God in the village of Rozhnovo in the Zaraisky sub-district. On March 23, the icon was transported to the St. John the Baptist Church of the Zaraisky Kremlin, where it remained until April 6. From April 6 to April 13 the Jerusalem Icon was in the Znamensky Church in Serebryanye Prudy. From April 13 to April 26 the image of the Mother of God from Mikhailovskaya Sloboda stayed in the city of Kolomna in the following churches: April 15-17 - in the Assumption Cathedral, April 16-17 - in St. John the Theologian Church, April 17-18 - in the Church of the Holy Supreme Apostles Peter and Paul, April 19-21 - in the Trinity Church in Shchurovo, April 22-23 - in the Trinity Church on Repne, April 24-26 - in the Church of the Ascension.
On April 26, on the eve of Lazarus Saturday, the icon of the Mother of God of Jerusalem was returned to Mikhailovskaya Sloboda. It is likely that this is not the last “wandering” of the Mikhailovskaya Sloboda icon in the Kolomna diocese, and we can say that at present the Jerusalem icon from the Church of the Archangel Michael fulfills the mission that in the 19th and early 20th centuries belonged to the ancient wonderworking icon of the same name from Bronnitsy.

The cross procession through St. Michael the Archangel Edinoverie parish took place as usual on Sunday, May 6/19, the Week of the Holy Myrrh-bearers.
The beginning of the procession was preceded by Divine Liturgy. A quarter of an hour before noon, a chime began, summoning the worshipers to the prayer service. At noon, after the usual beginning of the prayer service and the recitation of the fiftieth psalm, the clergy, singers and other participants of the procession set out on their way.
On this spring day, the Lord granted a beautiful sunny warm, but not hot weather, thanks to which the long procession was much easier to overcome.
During the first part of the procession, the clergy of St. Michael the Archangel Church, Archpriest Eugene Sarancha and PriestValery Bulychev performed a prayer service with the singing of the Canon to the icon of the Mother of God of Jerusalem. This part of the service was sung by the choir under the direction of Galina Leonidovna Veryalina.
After the descent from the church to Mikhailovskaya Sloboda there was the first stop at Petrov spring. Here the reading of the six odes of the Canon ended and the reading and singing of the Akathist - Praise of the Most Holy Mother of God began. Here the clergy also sprinkled the worshipers with vitalizing spring water.
From Petrov spring the procession of the Holy Cross continued to the eastern part of the village, where on the way the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary was met at their homes by the residents of Mikhailovskaya Sloboda, who wanted to pass under the holy image according to a long-standing tradition.

Having reached the end of the village, the worshipers turned around and walked in the opposite western direction. Shortly thereafter, the rector of the Moscow Church of St. Nicholas on Bersenevka, hegumen Kirill (Sakharov), and several representatives of the community he leads joined the procession.
After some time there was another stop at Volchenkov spring. Here the reading of the Akathist was finished, the Holy Gospel was read and priest Valery Bulychev abundantly poured buckets of spring water over everyone.

After that, the pilgrims continued on their way with the singing of the water blessing sticheron to the Most Holy Mother of God. The rite of water blessing was performed on the third - Suzdal spring - in the chapel in honor of the icon of the Most Holy Mother of God “The Reckoning of the Lost”. Then the cross procession continued with the singing of the remaining odes of the Canon of the Mother of God of Jerusalem.

Some time later, Mikhailovskaya Sloboda was left behind - the faithful entered the village of Kulakovo. Here at the house of Lydia Alekseevna Bulycheva a prayer service was completed, after which hegumen Kirill said a welcoming word dedicated to the event being celebrated, as well as to the memory of the Emperor Paul the First, who stood at the origins of Edinoverie in 1800. Afterwards, the participants of the procession were invited to refresh their energies at a meal at the home of the hospitable hosts.

The next part of the procession with the singing of a prayer service to the Holy Resurrection of Christ was led by the rector of St. Archangel Michael Edinoverie Church, archimandrite Irinarkh (Denisov), and the singing was performed by a choir led by Andrei Alexandrovich Antarinov.
With the singing of the Canon of Easter the worshipers passed the village of Kulakovo and went to the village of Chulkovo. Inside the memorial chapel, established in memory of all Orthodox soldiers who laid down their lives on the land near Moscow, archimandrite Irinarkh read the Paschal Gospel, after which the long ascent to the Borovskoi mound began.

At the top of the mound the Easter prayer service was completed and with the singing of the Paschal troparion the participants of the procession went to the holy spring located at the base of the mound. Here the clergy freshened up the worshipers by sprinkling them with key water, and after a brief rest in the forest with the singing of various Easter hymns, the worshipers set off in the direction of the village of Chulkovo along the bank of the Moskva River.

In Chulkovo, as well as in Mikhailovskaya Sloboda and Kulakovo, the Icon of the Mother of God was met by local residents, who wanted to walk under the holy image.
The last kilometers of the journey, as always, were the most difficult. We had to overcome several long climbs, as well as our own accumulated fatigue. But on this day the prayerful and physical labor was joyful, and the worshipers courageously marched forward, overcoming themselves.

When the procession approached the Church of the Archangel Michael, the festive ringing of bells was heard. On the square at the Holy Gates in front of the icon of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the magnification of the Mother of God was repeatedly chanted, and all the worshipers passed under it. At the church doors, the exit bows were made, and the rector said a heartfelt word of greeting, after which the tired but inspired participants of the procession reinforced their batteries at a brotherly meal, sharing their impressions of a wonderful day spent in prayer to the Lord and His Most Pure Mother.

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