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EKATERINBURG DIOCESE: July 11, 2018
Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye and Bishop George of Canberra celebrate Divine Liturgy in the lower Church-on-the-Blood

On July 11, 2018, the feast of the Three-Hand Mother of God Icon, His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhoturye and His Grace Bishop George of Canberra, Vicar of the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, celebrated Divine Liturgy on the Church-on-the-Blood in Ekaterinburg, Russia.

The hierarchs were joined in the service by: Senior Priest of the church Protopriest Maksim Minyaylo; Dean of New Zealand Protopriest Vladimir Boikov, and clergymen of the Ekaterinburg and Australian Dioceses.

Praying at the service were pilgrims of ROCOR who came to the Ural capital to celebrate the feast day of the Royal Martyrs, led by Vladyka George.

Metropolitan Kirill then delivered a sermon:

We congratulate you all on this feast day of the Three-Hand Mother of God Icon, which was discovered here, where Ipatiev House once stood, and then went with Kolchaks army to the diaspora, through China, America and Canada, after which Duchess Olga Nikolaevna Kulikovskaya-Romanova, with gratitude to God, returned it to us. Today it is one of the most holy items in our church.

Bishop George then thanked Metropolitan Kirill for his hospitality on behalf of the pilgrims:

We know how important pilgrimages are in the life of an Orthodox Christian. There are many pilgrims who visit, many of them from our land of Australia, who make pilgrimages every year, gathering the grace of God. Everyone who participates in these trips understand how they change their lives not only at the moment, but for the rest of their lives. I thank you for doing so much in ensuring that this pilgrimage gives so much to its participants. We will never forget this.

Metropolitan Kirill responded:

We are very grateful, Vladyko, that you took the opportunity to visit this holy site with your flock, these pilgrims. We are very happy that you celebrated Divine Liturgy here today, that we could jointly with you pray here, that your pilgrims participated in the service in pious prayer, expressing their prayers in song, in word, and especially in spirit.

I would like to express gratitude to God, because to Him alone is the glory and thanks for ever and ever for everything that we have in this life, because the Lord God loves us and gives everyone consolation: some receive strict guidance, others are given sweet mercy. In both cases, each is led towards the Kingdom of Heaven. Every person with free will can react to his circumstances or ignore them. But today we rejoice at our communion with each other.

The ruling bishop of the Ekaterinburg Metropoliate then gave Vladyka George a painted icon of the Royal Passion-Bearers:

When you have the desire and opportunity to serve, may this icon remind you of how we served together 100 years after the martyrdom of the Royal Family, where, from a human point of view a great evil was committed, but from a spiritual aspect, a great spiritual podvig was performed by the Passion-Bearers, the Royal Family and all those who followed in their footsteps.

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