Thursday, April 26, 2007

Boris Yeltsin’s Orthodox funeral
Foreign dignitaries included Lech Wałęsa, Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, the Duke of York and Sir John Major
Yeltsin was laid to rest on Wednesday alongside writers, composers and artists in a funeral that was laden with the religious trappings given to Russia’s czars ... befitting the first post-Soviet president.
Ironically IIRC he was the Communist Party boss in Yekaterinburg (in his native region, still renamed after the Communist murderer Sverdlov) who carried out an order to tear down the Ipatiev house, where in the cellar Nicholas II, his wife, children and doctor were gunned down and bayoneted, lest it become a shrine visited by reactionaries. I hope he later changed his mind about all that.

The Patriarch of Moscow with Sir John and the elder Mr Bush in the background lighting candles. The liturgical colour remains white for Easter.

Not since the death of Czar Aleksandr III in 1894 has the Christ the Savior Cathedral officially been used for the funeral of a Russian head of state.
This one is a replica of the original blown up by the Communists. (Based on photos I think it’s boxy like a knock-off of the Taj Mahal; the Kremlin churches and St Basil’s are prettier.)

Покой, Господи, душу усопшаго раба твоего.

Update: Here it is on YouTube. From Ad Orientem.

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