Ekaterinburg, July 19, 2021
The annual nighttime Liturgy and procession in honor of the Royal Martyrs were held again this year on the night of July 16 to 17. The procession traditionally begins at the Church on the Blood, built on the site of the Ipatiev House, where Tsar Nicholas II and his family were brutally murdered in 1918, and ends at the Monastery of the Holy Royal Passion-Bearers, built on the site where their holy bodies were discarded, at Ganina Yama.
The holy march was much smaller than usual this year after it was officially canceled by the local governor on July 8 due to the pandemic. However, as promised, His Eminence Metropolitan Evgeny of Ekaterinburg still walked the traditional route with about 2,000 other hierarchs, clerics, monastics, and faithful, he reported afterwards on Telegram.
During the Liturgy at the Church on the Blood that preceded the procession, Met. Evgeny reminded that the procession was officially canceled, and called on everyone to “go where their heart leads them.” “Let it be unorganized,” he said.
The press service of the Ekaterinburg Diocese told RIA-Novosti that, despite the cancelation, the police still assisted those who were processing through the middle of the night.
The feast of the Royal Martyrs began in the afternoon of July 16 with the hierarchical celebration of Small Vespers and an Akathist to the Royal Passion-Bearers in the Tsar’s Room chapel, built in the basement of the Church on the Blood in the exact spot where the Royal Family was martyred.
The All-Night Vigil was celebrated later that evening on the square in front of the cathedral. The service was led by Met. Evgeny of Ekaterinburg, together with seven other hierarchs of the Russian Church and a number of clerics from the Ekaterinburg Metropolis.
Watch the Vigil service:
The eight hierarchs then celebrated the Divine Liturgy in honor of the Royal Martyrs in front of the cathedral. Just before the start of the service, the Metropolitan of Ekaterinburg addressed the faithful with an archpastoral word:
A sacred, solemn, tragic, joyful night has come, which we call the Royal Night, within the framework of our Royal Days celebrations. It is a night that combines within itself the tragedy of Holy Friday, this struggle of Gethsemane that the holy Royal Family experienced in this place. And on the same night, the great joy of the Resurrection of Christ and the glory into which the holy Royal Passion-Bearers entered from this place is revealed. All of this is felt very closely by every person, and we have the opportunity here to draw both the hope of resurrection and the strength to endure these Gethsemane temptations.
Watch the Divine Liturgy:
Following the Liturgy, the faithful headed for the Royal Passion-Bearers Monastery foot, moving in families and groups of 50 or 100.
Upon arrival at the monastery several hours later, a moleben to the Royal Martyrs was celebrated at the mine where the bodies of Tsar Nicholas, Tsaritsa Alexandria, Grand Duchesses Olga, Maria, Tatiana, and Anastaia, and Tsarevich Alexei were dumped.
More than 80 clerics prayed together with the hierarchs and the roughly 2,000 faithful who made the procession.
On the evening of July 17, Met. Evgeny and four other hierarchs celebrated the All-Night Vigil for the feast of the Grand Duchess and Martyr Elizabeth and St. Barbara and those martyred with them at the Royal Passion-Bearers Monastery.
The next morning, the Divine Liturgy for the feast of St. Elizabeth and the Alapaevsk Martyrs (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) was celebrated in the Monastery of the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia in Alapaevsk. The service was again led by Met. Evgeny and six other hierarchs.
Following the service, a procession was held to the mine where the martyrs were thrown alive on the night of July 17-18. A moleben was served at the mine, followed by the singing of the Cherubic Hymn, which the martyrs sang for several days after they were thrown in the mine until they reposed.