Religious procession with holy things from Mount Athos held in Penza
Penza, 10 August 2016. PenzaNews. The religious procession with the holy things brought from the Serbian monastery Hilandar started from Lunacharsky Penza Drama Theater and followed to the Church of the Annunciation at the Saviour Cathedral on Wednesday, August 10.
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People began to gather in the square near the theater in the Belinsky Park over an hour before the procession. Some priests also arrived much earlier than the scheduled time. They installed structures for icon transfer and started preparing for the meeting of shrines.
The icons and relics were brought into place at exactly 9.30.
The Orthodox were waiting for them, freeing up a rectangular area of the priests in the center of the crowd. When the icon was transferred to the structure and members of the clergy took the chests with relics, the procession began.
In front of the column, which counted a few hundred people, the young men went with banners followed by priests with relics and icons. On either side of them went the rest of the clergy. The bulk of the faithful lined up behind, but on the way many people went to the left and to the right, sometimes turning into a run. Before the procession, on the sides and in the back the procession was accompanied by police officers.
When the faithful moved through intersections on Moskovskaya street, traffic police inspectors stopped the traffic.
To watch at the shrines themselves, as well as the procession, which is not an ordinary event for the city, Penza residents paused on both sides of the street, and the staff of business organizations located here came out of the buildings. Random audience even joined the religious procession at times.
Passing Moskovskaya street, the participants of the procession followed down Belinskogo and Lermontova streets to the entrance of Spassky Cathedral under construction, where they waited for the other parishioners and priests.
After the procession was over, the clergy made a prayer, and then the relics were transferred to the Church of the Annunciation.
All those wishing to venerate the icons and relics were not allowed to enter the inner area at a time to avoid the rush. Cossacks standing at the fence let the Orthodox in small groups. This helped to keep order in the territory of the cathedral under construction, but not in front of the gate where people pressed forward to those ahead.
Cossacks remained calm and explained to the audience that everyone can take turns to go inside, but many ignored the words and tried to break into the yard of the church.
People waiting for their turn suffered from narrowness and stuffiness. A child got sick, but his mother did not allow bringing the boy to open space and remained sitting with him on the ground.
Those who had venerated the shrines and left the inside of the church could pass through another gate to avoid the crowd. Also a water tank was installed in the courtyard, so that believers could quench their thirst.