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IV.

CHAP. Twelve monks, designed to represent the twelve

Apostles, were placed in a semicircle before the archbishop. The ceremony was performed in the cathedral, which was crowded with spectators.

The archbishop, performing all and much more than is related of our Saviour in the thirteenth chapter of St. John, took off his robes, girded up his loins with a towel, and proceeded to wash the feet of all the monks, until he came to the representative of Peter, who rose and stood up; and the same interlocution passed, between him and the archbishop, which is recorded to have taken place between our Saviour and the apostle.

Ceremony of the Re

The third, and most magnificent ceremony surrection. of all, is celebrated two hours after midnight,

in the morning of Easter Sunday. It is called the Ceremony of the Resurrection, and certainly exceeds every thing of the kind at Rome; not even excepting the Papal benediction, during the holy week.

At midnight, the great bell of the cathedral tolled. Its vibrations seemed to be the rolling of distant thunder; and they were instantly accompanied by the noise of all the bells in Moscow. Every inhabitant was stirring, and the rattling of carriages in the streets was

CHAP.

IV.

greater than at noon-day. The whole city was in a blaze; lights were seen in all the windows, and innumerable torches in the streets. The tower of the cathedral was illuminated from its foundation to its cross.

The same ceremony takes place in all the churches; and, what is truly surprising, considering their number, they are all equally crowded.

We hastened to the cathedral: it was filled with a prodigious assembly, consisting of all ranks of both sexes, bearing lighted wax tapers, to be afterwards heaped as vows upon the different shrines. The walls, the ceilings, and every part of this building, are covered by the pictures of Saints and Martyrs. In the moment of our arrival, the doors were shut; and on the outside appeared Plato, the archbishop, preceded by banners and torches, and followed by all his train of priests, with crucifixes and censers, who were making three times, in procession, the tour of the cathedral; chaunting with loud voices; and glittering in sumptuous vestments, bespangled with gold, silver, and precious stones. The snow had not melted so rapidly within the Kremlin as in the streets of the city: this magnificent procession was therefore constrained to move upon planks, over

CHAP. the deep mud which surrounded the cathedral.

After completing the third circuit, they all halted opposite the great doors, which were still closed; the archbishop, with a censer, then scattered incense against the doors, and over the priests. Suddenly, these doors were opened, and the effect was magnificent beyond description.

The immense throng of spectators within, bearing innumerable tapers, formed two lines, through which the archbishop entered, advancing with his train to a throne near the centre. The profusion of lights in all parts of the cathedral, and, among others, of the enormous chandelier in the centre, the richness of the dresses, and the vastness of the assembly, filled us with astonishment. Having joined the suite of the archbishop, we accompanied the procession, and passed even to the throne: here the police-officers permitted us to stand, among the priests, near an embroidered stool of satin placed for the archbishop. The loud chorus, which burst forth at the entrance to the church, continued as the procession moved towards the throne, and after the archbishop had taken his seat; when my attention was for a moment called off, by seeing one of the Russians earnestly crossing himself with his right hand, while his left was employed

4

in picking my companion's pocket of his hand- CHAP. kerchief'.

IV.

Soon after, the archbishop descended, and went all round the cathedral; first offering incense to the priests, and then to the people as he passed along. When he had returned to his seat, thė priests, two by two, performed the same ceremony, beginning with the archbishop, who rose and made obeisance, with a lighted taper in his hand. From the moment the church doors were opened, the spectators had continued bowing their heads and crossing themselves; insomuch, that some of the people seemed really exhausted, by the constant motion of the head and hands.

We had now leisure to examine the dresses and figures of the priests, which were certainly the most striking we had ever seen. Their long dark hair, without powder, fell down, in ringlets, or straight and thick, far over their rich robes and shoulders. Their dark thick beards, also, entirely covered their breasts. Upon the heads of the archbishop and bishops were high caps, covered with gems, and adorned

(1 Like Putemhin, D'une main faisant des signes aux femmes qui lui plaisent, et de l'autre des signes de croir." Lett. et Pons. du Prince de Ligne, tome ii. p. 6.

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IV.

CHAP. by miniature paintings, set in jewels, of the

Crucifixion, the Virgin, and the Saints. Their robes of various-coloured satin were of the most costly embroidery; and even upon these were miniature pictures set with precious stones'. Such, according to the consecrated record of antient days, was the appearance of the high-priests of old; of Aaron and of his sons; holy men, standing by the tabernacle of the congregation, in fine raiments, the workmanship of “ Bezaleel, the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah.” It is said there is a convent in Moscow where women are entirely employed in working dresses for the priests.

After two hours had been spent in various ceremonies, the archbishop advanced, holding forth a cross, which all the people crowded to embrace, squeezing each other nearly to suffocation. As soon, however, as their eagerness had been somewhat satisfied, he retired to the sacristy, under a pretence of seeking for the body of Christ; where putting on a plain purple robe, he again advanced, exclaiming three times, in a very loud voice, “ CHRIST IS RISEN !" ?

(1) See the Vignette to this Chapter.

(2) The whole of tbis pretended search for the body of Christ, and the subsequent shout of Christos voscress !" is a repetition of the old

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