To pilgrims about March of Cross
Marches of cross “exist since time immemorial to consecrate people and all their needs in life: houses, roads, waters, air and earth itself which is trampled on and defiled by sinners. All this is to make inhabited towns and villages and the whole country communicants of God’s abundance while denying all hurtful and mould making things” [Commandment table]. They are traditional and new, one day and multi-days kind. We’ll speak about specially organized ones, blessed by archpriests, long Marches of cross.
A March of cross is a purely holy affair, that’s why it must be wholly subordinated to its tasks. However, sometimes it happens so that the strategic goals are not reached fully, but without definite strategy there can’t be a successful correct tactic.
How to gain spirit? The condition of adaption and acting of abundance, according to saint fathers, is to follow God’s commandments and church regulations.
It’s the necessary condition of Thow assistance in any undertaking: be it a March of cross, Family, Parish or Dominion building. And without God each affair becomes an illusion, a truth like fake, its opposition.
At our evil time the Marches of cross appear living true evidence of faith. While passing trough arch-diocese regions and republics they contribute to a deep churching-in participants, teach them to fulfill commandments, inspire to prey attract a lot of people to church. A good message comes to people as it was earlier. And there is no way of assessing those who were baptized, confessed in Russian provinces. People are always willing to participate in March of cross and they always do it, from little to grown up: they meet marchers, express good will and pilgrim hospitality; they march themselves and prey – men and women, children, young people and old men. Parishioners – our common compatriots – strive to provide the marchers with all required; accommodation, bath, food from their own gardens. This is their adequate contribution, the sacrifices for Christ. Here the God’s word becomes their way of life. Thanks to March of cross and everything that accompanies it, virtuous doings and co-participation the expected spirit of Christendom revive manifestly.
At all times it was a public holiday, triumph of Orthodoxy Saint John Chrysostom describes the majesty of this spiritual action as follows: «What shall I say? I’m filled – in full with delight, I’m ...flying, rejoicing, floating charmed; I’m fully filled with spiritual joy. So ...what to say about? About eagerness of the town? About flowing off losses? About shaming the devil and defeat of demons? About the power of the Cross? About triumph of the Church? About miracles of the Crucified? About the glory of the Father? About graciousness of the Spirit? Or about joy of the whole talk and merriment of urban and countryside inhabitants – slaves, freemen, subordinated, crippled, rich, foreigners, natives, monks... It’s time to ask now: «Who can pronounce the Might of the Lord, proclaim all His Praise?.»
But it happens not by itself, not always, but only if everything is done according to the Church rules, sound consideration and with proper preparation.
A March of cross begins with the blessing of a bishop. Through the blessing we obtain abundance from the Lord and the order to fulfill His holy Will. If God has blessed via bishop, it is already an obedience, which cannot be contemned: «Cursed be he that doeth the work of the Lord deceitfully» [Jer. 48, 10]. It must either be done well or should be not be begun at all.
Not each people’s movement is a March of cross. Essential demands: normally at least one priest under way should participate, whose duty is: to serve, teach, confess, take care; the universal-church fast must be observed or a strong fast$ there are special regulations and rules. The movement is accompanied with prey and is carried out on feet.
Our Christ ordered: “Go ...and preach” [Mk. 16, 15]. The main task of a March of cross is like a gospel one: it is a sermon. The sermon with God’s word, prey, proper selected spiritual literature, sermon by personal example, modus vivendi, truth. Comfortable flights, floating and trips are not March of cross in their essence, their spiritual advantage is much lower.
The elder Passy of Saint Mount said: ”The today’s situation can be resisted spiritually only, but not secularly. We must profess our faith with daring, because if we hold our tongue, so we carry responsibility. In these difficult years each of us must do what is possible. And what is not possible let God’s will. So our conscience stays in peace”.
It’s known that the prayer forced by a corporal labour, adoration, fast is more efficient. Repentance, patience and preying work connected with hard walk for God’s glory are a magnificent weapon in the struggle for the Faith and Russia. Every step of a marcher is a bow to Christ, God’s Mother and saints, with penitence and our daily lagging: to help in misfortune and troubles, to overcome those hard years, pains of natives and neighbours, invasion of external and internal foes, immoral way of life, drug dependence and the loss of faith in our country once mighty Orthodox power.
Organizing of a March of cross is the creation of a temporary special Kind of an Orthodox church-community, a “monastery on feet”. The difficulties reveal and sharpen spiritual weaknesses of walkers, they must be treated immediately, here the priest is an irreplaceable personality and there should be more than one priest: for tbeing also human beings they, our dear fathers, may get tired and sick on the way. That is why to find the proper spiritual leader is a special and a very important issue. And only under their guidance it is possible to create and follow the special march regulations: morning and evening prayers, short divine services, requiems. It’s of great importance to teach the correct singing aloud the Jesus prayer while moving. Where there are two or three person together in God’s name, Thow is midst of us. There are several variants of these prayers. Many books-regulations are written about it. Without the prayer the March of cross is unpowered. Striking up tunes and drawing songs are good in entering and leaving a temple, but on March there must be a combat hymn of Christ troopers, and there is nothing better here than the Jesus prayer.
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Fire days marching, preying.
· 1st night’s lodging – August, 20 – in village Chertovitsy (Ramon district of the Voronezh region)
· In the morning of August, 21 – Liturgy
· 2nd night’s lodging – August, 21 – in the district centre Ramon (Voronezh region)
· In the morning of August, 22 – Liturgy
· 3rd night’s lodging – August, 22 – in village Knyazevo (Ramon district of the Voronezh region)
· In the evening – Akathist to Snt. Antonius (Smirnitsky)
· In the morning of August, 23 – Prayer service and requiem
· 4th night’s lodging – the August, 23 – in village Gnilusha (Zadonsk district of the Lipetzk region)
· In the morning of August, 24 – Liturgy
· 5th night’s lodging – August, 24 – in the town Zadonsk at the Bogoroditsk male monastery.
· Service, Communion, rest, bath in the saint sources.
· The August, 25 – the All-night watch
· The August, 26 – Divine Service to Snt. Tikhon of Zadonsk the Wonder-maker; Liturgy.