The Royal Martyrs Burial In Russia
Tsar Nicholas II And His Family
Written by Father Nektarios Serfes
Boise, Idaho U.S.A
on the 28th of February 1998
Tsar Nicholas II
And His Family
"...armed guards entered a basement in the Ipatiev House, Ekaterinburg, (Ed.Ykaterinburg) and their leader rapped out a sentence to a man who sat on a wooden chair and his family and a few servants: 'Nicholas Alexandrovich, by order of the Regional Soviet of the Urals, you are to be shot, along with all your family.' The moment is frozen in time, as in a frozen video recording: the deposed Tsar with Alexei, the Tsarevich, seated beside him - deathly pale, because he has recently suffered a severe hemorrhage; Alexandra seated to the side; standing behind, the four young Grand Duchesses, Anastasia with her pet dog in her arms; doctor, valet, cook and housemaid, also standing. In is night. They were wakened and told they must dress quickly, there were being moved elsewhere: the White Army in the East was moving close.
But the paused video moved on: Nicholas scarcely had time to leap to his feet and utter 'Chto'? - 'What?' - before Yakoff Yurovsky shot him in the head, then turned and fired two shots at Alexei. The other Chekists opened fire. The Empress and one of her daughters managed to cross themselves before the bullets shattered jewels hidden in heavily padded brassieres. Another volley finished the servants. Silence fell; the Tsarevich moaned, whereupon Yurovsky fired two more shots into him. Anastasia moaned too, though she had scarcely been wounded; one of the guards drove his bayonet into her several times, then smashed her pet dog's head with his rifle butt. The dark room was awash with blood." ("Alexander Solzhenitsyn A Century In His Life", by D.M.Thomas, St. Martin's Press, New York, 1998., p. 30).
he burial, with all due honor and ceremony, of the Royal Martyrs Tsar Nicholas II and his beloved family will take place on 17 July 1988, eighty years to the day after they were brutally executed by the Bolsheviks. The Russian Government has decided today, 27th February 1998, that the remains of the Royal Martyrs will be interred in the Royal vault at the Cathedral of Ss. Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg, Russia. A Russian Orthodox funeral will be performed, with a procession to the Cathedral.
These holy remains were discovered near Yekaterinbug, some 900 miles east of Moscow, in July 1991. This past January (following earlier scientific tests), a second DNA test was performed under the supervision of the First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov, who said President Boris Yelstin gave the cabinet full authority over the plans for the royal burial. Boris Nemtsov had several discussions, on both the final conclusions on the DNA testing, and plans for the funeral for all of the Royal Martyrs, with President Boris Yeltsin and the Russian Orthodox Church of the Patriarchate in Moscow, whose ruling Hierarch is His All Holiness Patriarch Alexis, The Patriarch reported on these conclusions and plans to a Synod of Bishops meeting held late this past February. There is no doubt many officials, as well as the Church hierarchy, have now fully approved the funeral arrangements for the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his family. It has been as reported that the leadership of the Russian Orthodox Church in Russia has said: "it would be sacrilegious to keep them (the remains) in the police morgue in Yekaterinburg any longer".
Since last January (1988), a number of rumors have spread as to whether the bones found in Ykaterinburg where really those of the Tsar and his family. Once the results of the second DNA test were shown to be conclusive, proposals for the funeral arrangements began to appear, and questions were asked as to how Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow would react to the proposed funeral; this was a matter of constant concern throughout Russia and across the world. The Orthodox Church in Russia held a Synod of Bishops meeting in Moscow at which the matter of the Royal funeral was high on the agenda. World media stated to report on the joyful outcome of this Synod on February 27th-28th, and a final statement appeared on the 28th, giving the Synod's approval to the funeral taking place. The protracted debate among the bishops within the Moscow Patriarchate was no longer a problem, guided as they were by the presence and wisdom of the Holy Spirit. They gave their blessing to this momentous and historic event, and offered to participate fully in the funeral services. All things must be discerned by the Spirit of God, and it was spiritually correct for His Holiness Patriarch Alexis and his Synod of Bishops to express their concerns. But it was also reported, however, that other influences might again delay these procedures. By the grace and the sanctification of our Lord God at last all Christians can rejoice and be thankful! The funeral of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II will now take place.
All Christians should certainly rejoice on hearing this joyful news - joyful not least because it has been quite long enough for the bones of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his most beloved family to have been without a resting place - for their own peace and for the peace of all those who love the Royal Martyrs of Russia. It is for so many of us a great relief, after much strain and debate, that finally the way has been cleared for the burial of the last soldier of our Lord Jesus Christ. Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his family, in a place that he had earlier desired: in the Fortress of St. Petersburg, at the Russian Orthodox Church of Ss. Peter and Paul. This funeral will indeed be the funeral of the century for both all Orthodox and non-Orthodox Christians, and for a multitude of non-Orthodox believers who have a sincere love for all the Royal Martyrs
Without doubt this is a time to give thanks to those who have given so much time and so many prayers, in their devotion to the Royal Martyrs, as well as those who have joined in the sincere concern for the holy burial of the this great and loving family - a family who simply loved one another, God, His Church, and the people of Russia. These Royal Martyrs have become a great example of a "family" not only in Russia, but throughout the world. Each individual member of the family had a unique spiritual quality, and were outstanding personalities, as we hear from the many people who have expressed an honorable respect for all of the Royal Family. These special qualities have ensured that as a family, and as individuals, they are still being discussed today, eighty years later! Several videos have been made, there are innumerable books, and an increasing number of internet web sites.
It is of course true that many have sought to dishonor the Tsar-Martyr and his Family, but after the archives in Moscow began to open up to the Western world, and the documents, diaries, films and photographs of the Imperial Family became available for study, those who had formerly been critical had to reassess their position, and many began to "turn around" with a different, respectful attitude.
What is also so remarkable and joyful about this forthcoming funeral of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his beloved family is that it gives a great deal of inner spiritual peace to all those who also walked behind his Imperial Majesty in the procession of martyrdom. We have, of course countless numbers of Holy New Martyrs -millions upon millions of them. We have those who have come to the West and expressed with great dismay, that they never saw their Father, Mother, Uncle, Aunt, Brother, Sister, or friend ever again, and often it has been remarked, " I simply have not ever seem them again, as perhaps they ended up in the Gulag!"
A "gulag" is a concentration camp, best described by the Russian historian Alexander Solzhenitsyn. Orthodox publications and excerpts of these accounts of the slaughter of the Russian Orthodox faithful, and other religions, in Russia and throughout other communists countries, have been available for many years, and sadly enough we have turned our backs and not accepted the realistic facts and information provided. Even as I present this web site to you, every two years the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church in Moscow, meets to discuss Church issues, and each time they convene this Synod several martyrs are added to the list of other martyrs in the Orthodox Church. It will perhaps take the remaining years for the 20th Century to perhaps - and I repeat perhaps - conclude this identification of the martyrs and martyrdoms that have occurred since the October 1917 Russian Bolshevik Revolution. Maybe this work will continue well into the next century.
Now that the Funeral of the Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his family will take place in St. Petersburg, we must now put our feelings and hurts behind us, and begin to open up our minds, hearts and soul with forgiveness, looking forward to the blessed day of17th of July in 1998, as a day of a spiritual renewal and repentance for all of Russia, and for all those who have perhaps turned it's back against this lovely family, headed by a devoted man of peace and goodwill for all men! Let us all wipe away all ill feelings, and start on a new spiritual path of love and kindness towards one another, as we deeply absorb the truth that our God loves us too. Our Lord God will be far more pleased with us when each of us begins to realize that He too has forgiven us all.
St. Petersburg, Russia, will indeed be a continual flow of many pilgrims. Some will simply want to observe; others will come to weep, and to pray at this tomb of the most holy Martyrs Tsar Nicholas and his family. We must not, exploit this tomb. Within these walls we can experience the peace and the love Almighty God has for us. It is so important that, by self-discipline and an open heart to God we will not be "ripped off by commercialism", as one kind person, John Wilson Smith from England, has recently written: "This must remain a fundamentally Holy place, a focus for the activity of the Holy Spirit not only in the lives of the Russian people, but to all who will come."
In conclusion let us all give thanks for those around the world, and in Russia, both the present Government, and to the Venerable Patriarch Alexis and his Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, all of whom come to agree that this holy funeral should take place. We are thankful, too, for all who have helped in this loving, just, honorable cause, in burying the "Last Soldier, our Dear Christian friends, Tsar Nicholas II, Tsarina Alexandra, Tsarevich Alexis, and Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Marie, and Anastasia, and their devoted friends and servants". To the present relatives, and to the current Royal Families who are related to this family. I certainly rejoice in the Lord our God with you.
Finally without any doubts, and with great joy, let us all give thanks unto our Lord God, and to His Holy New Martyrs and Saints.
Thanks be to God for all things! Peace be unto Your loving souls Tsar-Martyr Nicholas II and his Family, and to all those in Russia, and around the world who love You and continue onward with more love. God be merciful until us all, and forgive us!
Editors notes: I certainly would like to thank John Wilson Smith for his kind assistance in the presentation of this text, and I would also like to thank Bob Atchison for his kind permission for the photographs used for the presentation of this web site.
Most Holy Royal Martyrs Tsar-Nicholas II
Pray Unto God For Us!
Holy New Martyrs Of Russia,
Pray Unto God For Us!
Glory Be To God For All Things!
b a c k - t o p e-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org. 2-19-2000