On the nights of July 16 and 17, 2018, the one hundredth anniversary of the execution of the Royal family, his Holiness, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill, celebrated the divine Liturgy in front of the Church on Blood in Honour of All Saints Resplendent in the Russian Land in Yekaterinburg, Russia.
The platform was installed before the gate of the lower chapel, the “Royal room”, in honour of the Holy Royal martyrs, which is erected at the site of the murder of the Royal family.
Divine liturgy was celebrated at the site of the martyrdom of the Holy Royal martyrs and their faithful servants during the end of the king’s days in the Yekaterinburg Archdiocese, dedicated to the centennial of the tragic events.
Holy Royal martyrs Tsar Nicholas Alexandrovich, Empress Alexandra Feodorovna, Tsesarevich Alexis, Grand duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia were martyred 100 years ago, in the nights of 16 to 17 July, 1918, in the basement of the Ipatiev house. The ‘Church on Blood’ was constructed between 2000-2003 on the site of the Ipatiev house, which was demolished in 1977.
After a special litany, the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church offered a prayer for peace in Ukraine. A petition was included in the funeral litany: “We also pray for the repose of the souls of the deceased servants of God in the place of the seven murdered John, Alexis, Anna and all in the hour of persistent persecution from the atheists who were killed; in camps, in prisons and in bonds from wounds, diseases and the death of those who died; in the bitter works of the tortured, and all martyred for the confession of faith, and for every one’s forgiveness to every sin whether voluntary or not.
Before the communion of the laity, his Holiness Patriarch Kirill addressed the faithful with a primatial homily.
Here is footage of the event beginning with the homily.
His Holiness donated to the Temple on the Blood external cross to the other temples of the Ekaterinburg diocese — 15 altar of the Gospels.
After the divine Liturgy, his Holiness, the Patriarch of Moscow and all Russia, Kirill, led the traditional Royal procession from the place of the martyrdom of the Holy Royal martyrs and their faithful servants to the monastery of the Holy Royal martyrs
Patriarch Kirill delivered a sermon in Yekaterinburg before the Royal procession. Speaking about the events leading up to the murder of the Romanov family, he highlighted the corrupting influence of foreign philosophy. In his opinion, this was the reason for “departing from God, forgetting the commandments and the loss of the real, spiritual connection with the Church.”
“And when did this happen, and why did it happen? You can count the time in different ways, but why at some point in time, like a train whose driver did not calculate the speed and entered a steep turn, rushes to catastrophe.
“When did we enter this bend as a people? When foreign ideas, ideals, and attitudes, formed by philosophical and political views, which had nothing in common with Christianity or even with our national tradition or culture, began to be perceived by the intelligentsia, aristocracy, and even part of the clergy, as advanced ideas, following which, it is perceived, will lead to a better life for the people.
“This idea to change for the better the life of the people is present whenever there is a plan to drastically change the course of history. We know that the most terrible bloody coups always occurred because people were striving for a better life.
“People were taught that there is no other way – only with blood, only through death, only through the destruction of the existing way of life, there is no other way for people to live better. And so, at some point, abandoning our spiritual birthright, we lost touch with the church, with God.”
According to Kirill, the main inference to be drawn from the assassination of the Royal family, should be the rejection of the “temptations” from foreign peoples and cultures who promise a better future for Russia.
“And probably the first and most important lesson we should learn from the tragedy of a century ago: we should not succumb to the temptations occasioned by the promises of a happier, more advanced, more educated life from the help of foreign peoples.
“We must remember the tragedy of the past. We have to develop immunity to any calls to achieve human happiness through the destruction of what is. In fact, those who called for the destruction of the old order destroyed their own prosperity, promising a better life when their own lives were themselves no better. But it was ever so intensely promoted to all the people.
“And we learned that lesson. And the crown of this departure from all that was most sacred and dear was the terrible execution of the Royal family, innocent people broke no law. Indeed, could it be in any law that to build a happier life that it was necessary to kill the Tsar and his entire family?”
“To prevent such tragedies, the Patriarch called “to form a steady rejection of any ideas that are offered through the scrapping of our people’s lives, our traditions and our faith
“To prevent such tragedies, the Patriarch called on “to create a sustainable rejection of any ideas that offer by scrapping our national life, our traditions and our faith.
“Today, as we gather here, we recall the tragedy of the Ipatiev house a hundred years ago and offer up to the Lord our prayers to the Tsar Martyr Nicholas that they are there in heaven praying for our Fatherland, for our people to strengthen the Orthodox faith in every generation of Russians.”
After the sermon, the Patriarch headed a procession of many thousands from the Church-on-Blood, built on the site of the Ipatiev house, where the Royal family was murdered, to Ganina Yama, where, according to the Orthodox Church, the remains of the Romanovs were discarded.