A host of bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church celebrated the 100th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Elizabeth the Grand Duchess, the Nun Barbara, and Grand Duke Sergei Mikhailovich Romanov, the Princes Ioann Konstantinovich, Konstantin Konstantinovich, Igor Konstantinovich, and Vladimir Pavlovich Paley, and Grand Duke Sergei's secretary Fyodor Remez martyred with them yesterday at the site of their martyrdom.
The celebration followed the festivities in honor of the 100th anniversary of Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, and their children and faithful servants the day before in Ekaterinburg. St. Elizabeth the New Martyr was the sister of Tsarina Alexandra.
The service in honor of Sts. Elizabeth, Barbara, and those with them was headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Ekaterinburg and Verkhotursky, with the concelebration of twelve other hierarchs and the clergy of the Metropolitanate of Ekaterinburg.
Following the service, the hierarchs, clergy, and faithful processed to the mine where the bodies of the holy martyrs were thrown on the night of July 17-18, 1918. A moleben was celebrated at the mine, followed by the singing of the Cherubic Hymn, which the martyrs sang throughout the course of several days within the mine until they finally departed to the Heavenly Kingdom. As the hymn was being sung, the mine, which has become a place of pilgrimage for hundreds of thousands from throughout the world, was censed. Particles of the relics of St. Elizabeth were brought out of the church for veneration.
Met. Kirill of Ekaterinburg then addressed the congregation with an archpastoral homily:
For us, believers, today is the day of our personal relationship to Elizabeth Feodorovna and to all the martyrs of the Russian Church and Russian land, who … now defend holy Orthodoxy so our people might live not under the seal of the Satanism, but under the blessing of God. And today, when we incline our heads and the knees of our hearts at this mine, we see the meek face of Elizabeth Feodorovna and her loving heart, which forgives all: the killers and their successors, and prays for all—for our people, and for us today, that this cruelty, this antipathy, this lack of understanding of one another has finally gone from our lives, and we have again become one, great, powerful Russian people, the name and banner of which is the banner of Christianity and the name of Christianity, and the protection of which is the saints of God, who stand before the throne of God today for our infirmity, tearfully praying for us, for our lives, bitter and often unjust.
Among other guests, the service was attended by the head of the Russian Imperial House of Romanov, Grand Duchess Maria Vladimirovna and her son and other members of the Romanov family.
Photos: The Diocese of Ekaterinburg