Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Stunning Pictures from the Russian Imperial Betrothal Ceremony at Kostroma

Ipatievskii Monastery at Kostroma.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

Ipatievskii Monastery at Kostroma.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

Ipatievskii Monastery at Kostroma.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

Ipatievskii Monastery at Kostroma.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

In the Russian Orthodox Church, the wedding ceremony is divided into two sections: the Betrothal (obrucheniye or Обручение) and the Crowning (venchaniye or Венчание). In the modern day, the ceremonies are most frequently combined, but in the past, they were two separate ceremonies. Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and his fiancée Victoria Romanovna Bettarini chose to celebrate the ceremony of Betrothal at the Ipatievskii Monastery at Kostroma on Sunday, 24 January 2021.

During the Time of Troubles in Russia, the Ipatievskii Monastery was occupied by the supporters of False Dmitri II in Spring 1609. In September 1609, the monastery was captured by the Muscovite army. On 14 March 1613, the Zemsky Sobor announced that Mikhail Romanov, who was in the Ipatievskii Monastery at the time, would be Russian tsar.

Most of the monastery buildings date from the 16th and 17th centuries. The Trinity Cathedral is famous for its elaborately painted interior. The Church of the Nativity of the Mother of God was rebuilt by the celebrated Konstantin Thon at the request of Tsar Nicholas I to celebrate the 250th anniversary of the House of Romanov. The Soviet authorities demolished it in 1932; however, it was rebuilt in 2013. The main entrance from the riverside was also designed by Konstantin Thon. A private house of Mikhail Romanov was restored on the orders of Tsar Alexander II.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

At the Betrothal service, the chief ceremony is the blessing and exchange of rings. The rings are blessed by the priest in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. The priest then exchanges the rings, taking the bride's ring and placing it on the groom's finger and vice-versa. Then he exchanges them again, symbolizing that each spouse will constantly be complementing and enriching the other by the future union.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

This is also an outward symbol that the two are joined in marriage of their own free will and consent. It is celebrated in the vestibule or the pritvor (Притвор) of the church building before their procession into the nave of the church.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

Grand Duke George Mikhailovich of Russia and his fiancée Victoria Romanovna Bettarini chose to practice the ancient version of the custom in an ancient place very special to the House of Romanov.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

The Russian imperial betrothal ceremony, 24 January 2021.
Photograph courtesy of the Russian Imperial Chancellery.

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