ON THE MOURNFUL DAY OF JULY,17 A REQUIEM service will be conducted in all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church


The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church met for its regular session on 9 June 1998 in Moscow. It was chaired by His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia. After a discussion concerning the 80th anniversary of the passion- bearing death of Emperor Nicholas II and members of his family and their faithful servants, the Holy Synod resolved:
"1. That the 80th anniversary of the passion-bearing death of the Emperor Nicholas II and members of his family and their faithful servants be commemorated in churches of the Russian Orthodox Church with a requiem service lifting up a prayer 'for the repose of the souls of the departed servants of God, the murdered Sovereign Emperor Nikolay Aleksandrovich, his wife Alexandra Fyodorovna, their children Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, Alexis, their faithful servants and all those martyred and slain in the time of fierce persecution of the faith of Christ, whose names are known to Thee, O Lord'; and that a message of the Holy Synod be sent to the plenitude of the Russian Orthodox Church in connection with this sad date."

Addressing to the Orthodox believers and all people of Russia hierarchs of the Church are making this appeal:"our people have not repented for the sin of regicide committed with the Russian citizens remaining indifferent. We call to repentance all our people - all their children regardless of their political convictions or views of history, regardless of their ethnic background or religious affiliation, regardless of their attitude to the idea of monarchy or to the personality of the last Russian emperor".
Let the memory of the crime committed move us to make on this day a general repentance for the sin of apostasy and regicide- repentance accompanied by fasting and abstention, so that the Lord may hear our prayers and bless our Motherland with peace and prosperity. On this day we call upon and bless the archpastors and pastors of our Holy Church to conduct requiem services commemorating the murdered Emperor Nicholas II, his wife Empress Alexandra and their children, Olga, Tatiana, Maria, Anastasia, Alexis, and their faithful servants and all those martyred and slain in the time of fierce persecution for the faith of Christ, whose names are known to the Lord.
Making this appeal, we profoundly regret that the sad anniversary of the murder of the Emperor and his family has been darkened by hard arguments around the remains found near Yekaterinburg.
On this day, the 17th of July, these remains will be buried at the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul in St. Petersburg. The State Commission identified them as those of the Imperial family. As is known, the decision of the commission has provoked a twofold response in our society and the Church. Along with those who trust the Commission's conclusions, there are those who do not accept them. The Church and the secular public have been divided in their judgment, and this division is apparently confrontational and painful. In this situation, the Supreme Church Authority, whose duty it is to take care of the unity of the Church and to promote civic peace and accord, is called by the very logic of the conflict to restrain fromsupporting a particular point of view. Requiem services for the murdered Emperor, his family and all those martyred in the years of persecution will be conducted on this day in our churches; the same requiem service will be conducted at the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul in the city on the Neva. This divine service will not be an act of recognition or non-recognition of the scientific conclusions with regard to the "Yekaterinburg remain", but rather a fulfillment of Christian duty, the Church's response to the requests for conducting a service for the repose of the souls during the burial of the remains.
The Holy Synod considered the upcoming burial of the "Yekaterinburg remains" on 17 July 1998 in St. Petersburg and resolved:
"1. To re-affirm the position of the Church expressed in the Decision of the Holy Synod of February 26, 1998, stating in particular, 'Any evaluation of the reliability of scientific and investigatory conclusions, as well as any evidence as to their unshakable or irrefutable nature are beyond the competence of the Church... The decision of the state commission to identify the remains discovered near Yekaterinburg as those of the family of Emperor Nicholas II has evoked serious doubts and even conflicts in the Church and society... In this regard the Holy Synod has spoken in favor of an immediate burial of these remains in a symbolic memorial grave. When all doubts with regard to the "Yekaterinburg remains" have been removed and reasons for confusion and opposition in society have disappeared, then it will be necessary to revisit the final decision on the matter of the place of their burial'.
2. Considering the above, to conclude that it is impossible for the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church or any other of her hierarchs to participate in the burial of the "Yekaterinburg remains".
3. Having in view the requests coming to the Supreme Church Authority to accompany the burial with appropriate church actions and recalling that the Church never refuses anyone such actions, to authorize the Most Reverend Metropolitan Vladimir of St.Petersburg and Ladoga to delegate clerics from among the clergy under his jurisdiction to conduct a requiem on July, 17 at the Cathedral of Sts Peter and Paul at Sts Peter and Paul Fortress in St.Petersburg". In connection with the resolution of the Holy Synod there will be changes in the ceremony of the burial. In particular, night requiem service will not be conducted in the Sts Peter b Paul Cathedral.
By materials of the server of the Russian Orthodox Church