A procession

Procession

“Thousands of believers marched in Yekaterinburg on Sunday night to mark the anniversary of the assassination of Nicholas II and the Russian imperial family.

“According to the Yekaterinburg Diocese’s website, more than 60,000 people participated in the march.

“The church-led procession started at the former location of Ipatiev House, demolished in 1977 and now the site of a church, where the last Russian tsar and his family were shot by the Bolsheviks on the night of July 16, 1918.

“The procession started around 3 a.m. and finished around four hours later with a prayer at the location where the bodies of the seven Romanovs and their four servants were originally deposited, now the site of a monastery.”

See the rest here.

In Britain we have our own Royal Martyr but I’ve never seen such an impressive gathering at the Banqueting House. Having been officially suppressed by Queen Victoria (who also authorised the erection of a statue of Oliver Cromwell, one of the fiercest enemies of monarchy, outside the Palace of Westminster), the cult of King Charles ye Martyr is now the reserve of Jacobites and Uranian Anglo-Catholics, but I wonder how popular it was before then? The blood of the martyrs is the seed of the Church and, where the Church of England has gone the way of the Devil, the Orthodox Church has grown apace in Russia. I felt a tremendous swell of pride in Russia, and devotion to the Imperial Family, upon seeing this procession. Who knows, next year might see the restoration of the Tsardom!

5 thoughts on “A procession

  1. I lived in Bari until May of this year, and I often visited the Basilica of St Nicholas in the old town. I was always impressed by the constant stream of Russian pilgrims, both priests and layfolk, to pray before the relics of St Nicholas, confess their sins, and celebrate the Divine Liturgy (there’s an Orthodox chapel just to the left of St Nicholas’s shrine in the crypt).

    On occasion I went down there to pray Vespers, and there were often groups of pilgrims prostrate before the shrine. Once I walked in on an ongoing liturgy, and they gave me some blessed bread at the end: https://s9.postimg.org/o8cxk6y67/IMG_7725.jpg

    The minority of Russians who are practicing Orthodox impress me with their devotion, having of course known a time in the recent past when their church was under persecution. They aren’t complacent about it.

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  2. I venerated Czar St. Nicholas’s boot liners in Fr. Nicholas Gibbes’s Chapel in his old house in Marston Street, Oxford. His adopted son, the late George Gibbes (if I recall correctly) made provision for them and other relics and things from ‘the House of Special Purpose’ to be given into the care of the Orthodox Chapel at Luton Hoo – do you happen to know what has become of these things since the Luton Hoo Manor house has become a hotel?

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      • I thought I once read something more about the relics somewhere, but did not reread Fr. Nicholas’s interesting English Wikipedia article, “Charles Sydney Gibbes”, until now! I see it says, “A small chapel was built there [at Luton Hoo] to house these memorabilia, consecrated by Metropolitan Anthony of Sourozh. The museum has been moved from Luton Hoo and is now a part of the Wernher Collection in Greenwich”, with a link for the latter to the “Ranger’s House” article. It, in turn, has an external link to the relevant part of the English Heritage website. Sadly, neither give any specific details about “these memorabilia” or relics. The article about Fr. Nicholas lists some interesting-sounding works, but not the only one I have read, The House of Special Purpose: An Intimate Portrait of the Last Days of the Russian Imperial Family, Compiled from the Papers of Their English Tutor, Charles Sydney Gibbes by John C. Trewin (1975) – and very richly illustrated. (Curiously, I see his Italian Wikipedia article does list it, as well as yet another interesting-sounding English-language book.) The Orthodox Wiki article, “Nicholas (Gibbes)”, has a working link to the website of Father Serfes.

        In a published letter of 13 March 1956, C.S. Lewis has a striking description of “the behaviour of the congregation at a ‘Russian Orthodox’ service” which he characterizes as “good sense, good manners, and good Christianity”, and I’ve heard it suggested this probably refers to the experience of attending a service at Fr. Nicholas’s Chapel in Oxford.

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      • This gets me thinking I do not know enough about Melitza and Nicholas Zernov, or the chronology of their friendship with Lewis. If they were married in 1928, and he received his Oxford D.Phil. in 1932, where and how did they attend the Divine Liturgy before Fr. Nicholas Gibbes returned to Oxford in 1941?

        This is probably set out clearly in various places – which I have not yet encountered. But it makes me think I should have interviewed Melitza about such things, when I could have.

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