Monday, 27 March 2017

A Rus' Coronation Ceremony

Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton

When Siegfried and Xristina became Prince and Princess of Ealdormere, I was presented with an opportunity to put together a Rus' coronation ceremony.  I have been writing ceremonies for about twenty years now, starting with my own Laurel elevation ceremony.  The majority have been Peerage ceremonies, which present certain challenges, particularly a very limited (both in time period and in culture) pool of period exemplars to adapt. Peerage ceremonies often become a process of extrapolation based on other sources, such as guild statutes, written documents detailing rights or procedures for groups of people or individuals, literary descriptions, or descriptions of ceremonies meant for groups of people (such as church liturgy or civic processionals), in combination with SCA traditions. 

The situation is different for coronations.  We actually have information on quite a number of extant period coronation liturgies for a number of cultures thanks to R.W. Wooley's Coronation Rites, published in 1915 as part of the Cambridge Handbooks of Liturgical Study.  This series was concerned with the study of Christian liturgy, and this brings forward the first issue for anyone seeking to use and understand historical coronation ceremonies for SCA use: These were profoundly Christian rites.  Indeed, kingship was widely considered an eighth Holy Order in the western Church, and many of the rituals and meaning in these ceremonies are intimately connected to the Christian foundations of medieval society.   This presents two dilemmas for the SCA ceremonialist: First, how to alter the religious portions of the ceremony to keep some of the meaning but without explicit reference to Christianity; but almost as important, how to explain to those witnessing the underlying concepts which would have been implicitly understood in medieval society.

In the case at hand, Siegfried and Xristina were specifically looking for an appanage Rus' ceremony.  Wooley's work contains descriptions of Byzantine imperial ceremonies and later Russian ceremonies; there is a clear line of descent from the former to the latter.  However, this would be the coronation not of a Tsar or an Emperor, but of a Prince.  We settled on basing the approach on the institutions of Novgorod in the 13th century.  Novgorod was generally recognized as the second most important city in Kievan Rus' and was often ruled by the eldest son of the Prince of Kiev. At the same time, day-to-day government was provided by the veche (public assembly), who elected a posadnik (mayor), tysyatsky (head of the militia) and even archbishops from the ranks of the boyars.  By the twelfth century, the power of the princes was starting to decline and the veche began to take a more pronounced rule in inviting a Prince to rule the city and tightly dictating what he could and could not do through a document called a ra'd. The Prince's role remained important, however, as a military commander and the ultimate judicial and legal authority.[1] 


There were some parallels between Novogorod and Ealdormere that worked well from the standpoint of setting up the ceremony.  It was not a stretch to think of the posadnik as the seneschal and the tysyatsky as the Earl Marshal, who both traditionally attest to the eligibility of the heir to ascend the throne.  Ealdormere also has a long tradition of holding a moot or assembly of the populace during each reign to discuss important issues; it was not difficult to think of this moot as the veche. The veche was summoned by a bell, which could also be worked into the ceremony.[2] The boyars could be understood as the landed baronage and Great Officers of the kingdom, and the various peerage orders as representatives of the konets (ends)--groupings within the veche by nationality or craft, somewhat akin to guilds.[3]   This would set up the Coronation ceremony itself, as well as eventually provide a framework for the eventual swearing of fealty.  The ra'd would become a document read and signed by Siegfried and Xristina, akin to a coronation oath to the populace (a common feature of many past ceremonies.)  There are apparently extant examples of ra’ds, but I was unable to access one in time for the ceremony; instead, I based the oath on descriptions on what was generally contained in one.[4]

This left the Coronation ceremony itself. I chose to adapt the ceremony from both the Byzantine ceremony (from the De cerimoniis aulae Byzantinae) and the later Russian ceremony found, both found in Wooley.[5]  A look at both ceremonies shows their common origin, particularly in the choice of certain hymns and texts.  Omitting music was one of the first compromises that had to be made for SCA purposes--we lacked a choir with the appropriate repertory. I also made adaptations to remove the majority of the religious references.  The two prayers associated with the actual coronation were retained as closely as possible but became words said while the King/Queen's hands were placed on the Crown.  Unction historically was conferred in a separate location after coronation and investiture, after the rulers had taken communion, which really plays up its role of a variant of the sacrament of Holy Orders.[6]  Again, obviously, we could not do that, so we moved directly into unction after coronation.   I also compressed the ceremony down to its core content, and omitted most of the processional aspects, as we were limited to a single location.

Finally, there was the matter of the officiants. Clearly, we did not have an archbishop/metropolitan or deacons available, nor did we want to playact religious roles.  Here, there was precedence in Ealdormere for use of either heralds or our Lawspeaker to assist with coronations in roles normally performed by religious officials.  The Lawspeaker had, in fact, just performed anointing for the preceding royal couple. I wrote the ceremony with a Master of Ceremonies who took on the heraldic role, calling people up, narrating what was going on for the benefit of the audience, and leading the acclamation of the new rulers at the end.  Between the Lawspeaker and the Master of Ceremonies, the role of the archibishop or metropolitan as well as some roles of a deacon were covered off. 

To the modern eye, the focus of a coronation is usually the actual crowning. In the Middle Ages, in the East as well as in the West, the key moment was anointing, and a growing number of period-inspired SCA coronation liturgies are including it. Anointing has explicit religious overtones, being associated with the coronation rites of the kings of Israel in the Old Testament.  Anointing was essentially a sacramental act, marking the ruler as God’s chosen to rule as king.  For SCA purposes, compromises have been found in terms of the materials used. Water from the bay in the West Kingdom where the SCA was first born, or from the Thames or Seine (for English or French personae, respectively), or from other sources with personal meaning have been used.  Siegfried and Xristina opted for "waters of their ancestral homelands" (in this case, real world rather than persona-based).  We thus also avoided the issues involved with oils and clothing.

Another consideration was how to treat the coronation of the consort.  Since in SCA practice the Sovereign and the Consort are treated more or less as equals (although the Sovereign is normally crowned first and usually crowns the Consort) I chose to more or less repeat the various prayers and investiture of regalia rather than follow the practice of the consort receiving an abbreviated ceremony. I included an interesting aspect of the later Russian ceremonies—having the King briefly crown the Queen with his own crown before replacing it and crowning her with the Queen’s crown. In terms of regalia, we do not, of course, possess complete sets of the various garments mentioned in Byzantine and Russian ceremonies.  Instead, we chose to use coats in place of robes, and to use our existing regalia—the Sword of State and the wolf mace,  Both the King and Queen received coats; the Sword of State took the place of the sceptre for the King and the mace performed that role for the Queen.  Both have been used this way in past Coronations.

As I mentioned, perhaps the biggest challenge for presenting a historically-based coronation is that the audience lacks the cultural knowledge and understanding of the traditions that might have been common knowledge in the Middle Ages (another reason for using regalia the audience would recognize and understand)  It helps if explanations can be worked into the ceremony as part of the ritual wording.  At Master Brand's suggestion, I added in a great deal of "narration" to the ceremony so that those watching would understand. Wooley mentions that the meaning of symbols such as the crown and sceptre were part of the Russian ceremony[7]  The narration was particularly necessary in the unction section.  The Russian ceremony mentions anointing various body parts, but gives no detail as to the reasons why.  I provided logical explanations within the concept of Ealdormerian kingship.

Audience participation is also another key to success. The part of this ceremony which, in my mind, was the most successful was the acclamation part (the "Many Years" lines, which I changed to "Many Days.")  This was embraced enthusiastically.  I had a number of heralds who had been provided the ceremony ahead of time planted in the audience to get things going; I also let the audience know the night before to expect something of this type, and they were absolutely amazing.  As the person leading these acclamations, this portion made chills run up my spine, and I was told later by Her Majesty that she felt them, too.

There were a few parts that did not run perfectly, most of which had to do with blocking. We did a read-through before the ceremony and I was able to do a bit of blocking with some of the key players the morning of, but there were a few places where someone was in the wrong spot.  One of the best moves I made was to give both the main officiants “lackeys” to handle and fetch regalia and props where needed, and to hold copies of the ceremonies.  I would have liked to find a more booming bell to toll (such as a large handbell), but the string of smaller bells I was loaned did the job.    Previous experience has taught me to give all of the hardest lines to the herald(s) and to not expect extensive memorization of lines (this is liturgy, not theatre, and liturgy was written down, especially rarely-used ceremonies such as a Coronation).

I was told by one witness that he enjoyed checking off the references to period sources as the ceremony progressed. 


Ordo for the Coronation of Siegfried and Xristina

Pre-ceremony setup:
Table behind the thrones should have the following:
Bells
Cushions for the crowns
Coronation coats
Two vessels (bowls) for unction
Small bread loaf and cup with wine/grape juice
Pitcher and towels for cleansing
Champions' tabards and collars

Staff involved/needed:
Lawspeaker (Eluned)
Lawspeaker's assistant (Christiana, with the Scroll of Honour, which will be used for prompts for the Lawspeaker)
Master of the Ceremony (Nicolaa)
Trillium Herald (Pelayo) - will herald Nigel and Adrielle's last court and will open Siegfried and Xristina's; in between he will assist the Master of the Ceremony
Ninka Ninja - Baroness Isabelle - additional stage assistant
Posadnitsa (Jocea) and Tysytsky (Rattanicus)
Members of the College of Heralds to be in the audience and help lead the audience participation (THL Sciath, THL Liadin, Lady Daya, Master Percival, THL Zahra)
*****
Sources:  The Novgorod content (at the beginning and regarding the ra'd) is based on George Vernandsky's Kievan Russia.
The ceremonies are based on Russian and Byzantine ceremonies found in Reginald Maxwell Wooley's Coronation Rites (https://archive.org/details/coronationrites00wooluoft)

The ceremony

The final court of Nigel and Adrielle concludes.  Their last act should be to call forth the Kingdom Seneschal and the Lawspeaker to receive the Crowns. Nicolaa will provide them with the cushions.  These will be placed upon the thrones.  The Sword of State should be placed upon the King's throne and the Mace on the Queen's.

Once Nigel and Adrielle have left:

Master of Ceremony:  Rings the bell three times.  This is the veche bell, calling the veche to assemble) .  Nicolaa will be up on stage for the final court of Nigel and Adrielle and can get the bell from the table behind the thrones.

Lawspeaker:  It seems once again that Gospodin Velikii is in need of rulers to guide it.  (To seneschal): Posadnitsa, as is our custom, we would ask you inquire of the the council of all citizens, our Veche, here assembled, as to which Prince should be called to lead us.
Posadnitsa (Seneschal):  Call forward our Gospoda.  

MC: The Posadnitsa calls forward the Great Officers of Ealdormere and the Boyars who hold the land.
 (The Gospoda consists of the Landed Baronage and the Great Officers.  They gather at the dais)
Posadnitsa (to the Earl Marshal):  Tysyatsky Rattanicus, you are charged with the military administration of Ealdormere, and should know well who has earned the right to sit the thrones of Ealdormere as the Velikii Knyaz.  Which of all the Princes has attained this status?
Tsiatsky (Earl Marshal): There is but one.  Prince Siegfried Brandbeorn vanquished all who would claim that title in honourable combat, as witnessed by myself and many of those assembled. 
Posadnitsa:  May it also be known that Prince Siegfried has also met all requirements of law and is eligible to reign.
(To the Gospoda):  Shall we invite Prince Siegfried to take up the throne of Gospodin Velikii Ealdormere?

Great Officers and Barons:  Aye!

Posadnitsa (to the populace):  We call then upon you here assembled, the veche, the assembly of all people of Ealdormere, to confirm the advice of the Gospoda.  Shall Prince Siegfried be invested as Velikii Knyaz , ruler of Ealdormere the Great?

Populace: (Answer yes)

Posadnitsa (turns to MC):  Go forth and find this Prince, that he might be crowned, invested, and anointed.

MC:  Siegfried, Knyaz of Ealdormere, the great day of the People of Ealdormere has arrived. 
This is the signal for Siegfried's procession to begin. 
Pelayo will hand the Lawspeaker the coat from behind the thrones. Jocea will pick up the Crown on its cushion. Rattanicus will pick up the sword.
The Master of Ceremony, and the lawspeaker (bearing the cloak) and her attendant, come down from the stage to meet Siegfried and stand before him, the Master of Ceremony to stage left (facing out) and the lawspeaker to stage right).  Rattanicus and Jocea follow. Jocea will stand between the Lawspeaker and the Master of Ceremony, Rattanicus on the Master of Ceremony's left.
Siegfried will stand before the dais and be invested with the coat.

Lawspeaker:  Take up this coat of glory, symbol of law and dominion over our lands.
Jocea will offer the Crown on the cushion.

MC:  Take to your hand this crown of gold, symbol of your station and lineage.
Lawspeaker (takes S's right hand and places it on the crown, saying):
As David was chosen by the people of Israel to be their King and annointed by sacred oil, hear now the supplication of us though unworthy, and vouchsafe to anoint with the oil of gladness thy faithful servant Siegfried, who has been chosen to rule over the people of Ealdormere. Clothe Siegfreid with power from on high; set on his head a crown of precious stones ; bestow on him length of days ; set in his right hand a sceptre by which he shall protect his people ; stablish him upon the throne of righteousness ; strengthen his arm ; subject to him all the barbarous nations ; sow in his heart the love of justice and feeling for his subjects ; preserve in him respect of law ; that he may judge the people in righteousness, and the poor in judgement, (and) save the sons of those in want ; and thus be acclaimed by posterity.

MC (takes S's left hand and places it on the Crown, saying:)
May his kingdom be strengthened, may he do continually those things which are pleasing to all;
make to arise in his days righteousness and abundance of peace; that in his tranquillity he may lead a
tranquil and quiet life in all goodness and gravity. Be you crowned Velikii Knyaz in the name of the Society, of Ealdormere the Great, and the people.

At this point S. will have both hands on the crown.  He will pick it up, turn to face the populace, and crown himself.
Rattanicus will present the Sword of State to Siegfried.

MC:  Take up this sword as a sceptre, as a symbol of your authority within the bounds of Ealdormere. May you wield it with wisdom and justice.
(Siegfried takes up the sword)
Momentary pause.  Let this settle in.

Master of Ceremonies: Velikii Knyaz, you have been invested with the symbols of your great office.

Lawspeaker:   By law and custom, yours is the right to name your consort, she who inspired you to great deeds.
Siegfried:  Indicates that Xristina should be called.

MC:  Knyagina  Xristina, the great day of the people of Ealdormere has arrived. Approach, and be invested with the symbols of your great estate.
Xristina will process in, escorted by her family, who will part to the sides to let her approach the dais.
Master of Ceremonies, Lawspeaker , Jocea, and Rattanicus. remain in their places.  Pelayo and the other stage attendant will ensure that the Lawspeaker has the second coat, that Jocea has the Queen's Crown, The second attendant will finally wait beside Rattanicus with the mace.  This can take place during the procession.

Lawspeaker:  Take up this coat of glory, symbol of law and dominion over our lands.

MC:  Take to your hand the crown of gold, symbol of your station and lineage.
S. will take off his own crown and hold it.

Lawspeaker (takes X's right hand and places it on the crown, saying):
As David was chosen by the people of Israel to be their King and annointed by sacred oil, hear now the supplication of us though unworthy, and vouchsafe to anoint with the oil of gladness thy faithful servant Xristinia, who has been chosen to rule over the people of Ealdormere. Clothe her with power from on high; set on her head a crown of precious stones ; bestow on her length of days ; set in her right hand a sceptre by which he shall protect his people ; establish her upon the throne of righteousness ; strengthen her will ; that she may bring peace to the barbarous nations ; sow in his heart the love of justice and feeling for her subjects ; preserve in her respect of law ; that she may judge the people in righteousness, and the poor in judgement, (and) save the daughters of those in want ; and thus be acclaimed by posterity.

 
MC (takes S's left hand and places it on the Crown, saying:)
May her kingdom be strengthened, may she do continually those things which are pleasing to all; make to arise in her days righteousness and abundance of peace; that in her tranquillity he may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all goodness and gravity.  Be you crowned Velikii Knyagina in the name of the Society, of Ealdormere the Great, and the people.

Siegfried will first touch his crown to X's forehead and then place it briefly on her head.  Removing it, he will then place it back on his head, and crown Xristina. with the Queen's crown.  Rattanicus will hold the sword while this takes place and hand it back to him once this is complete.  The second attendant will then hand him the mace.

MC (as Rattanicus presents the mace) Take up this mace as a sceptre and symbol of your authority within the bounds of Ealdormere. May you wield it with wisdom and justice
S and X now kneel together facing the Lawspeaker and the Master of Ceremonies. Pelayo and the second attendant will bring forward the two vessels containing water from the table behind the thrones. They will hand these to S. and X, who will hold them in both hands.

MC:  As were your predecessors, may you now be anointed and consecrated as the rulers of Ealdormere the Great.

Lawspeaker:  As you have been crowned and invested, let now your majesty be sealed with the waters of your homeland.
The Lawspeaker will anoint each body part on both S. and X in turn.

MC:  (As each body part is anointed:)
Be you anointed on the head, as you are head of these lands
Be you anointed on the eyes, so that you may witness the deeds of your people
Be you anointed on the nose, that you may breath the sweet air of peace and tranquility in our lands
Be you anointed on the mouth, that your words may be just
Be you anointed on the ears, so that you may hear the counsel of your people
Be you anointed on the breast, and may your heart be true.
Be you anointed on the hands, that you may defend our lands and do great deeds
While this is happening, the second attendant will bring forward the bread and cup from behind the thrones and hand them to Jocea. Pelayo will bring forward the pitcher and towel and hand them to Rattanicus.
Jocea then presents S. and X with bread and a cup, and each take of the bread and drink of the cup. 

MC: Thus consecrated, may your bodies be nourished by bread and up as your spirits have been raised on high.
Rattanicus brings forward the water and a cloth to cleanse hands and mouth.  Lawspeaker assists in the cleansing process.

MC: Thus nourished, may you be cleansed again so that you may stand before your people to hear their words.
Once this is complete, the full party will process up to the dais. Master of Ceremonies and Lawspeaker will lead (attendant following just behind), followed by S. and X., followed by Jocea and Rattanicus.
Once in front of the thrones, they shall stand facing the populace. S. and X in the middle, Master of Ceremonies to their left, Lawspeaker to the right, Jocea beside the lawspeaker and Rattanicus beside the Master of Ceremonies.
As this takes place, Pelayo and the stage attendant will ring the bells until everyone is in place.

Master of Ceremonies: People of Ealdormere!  Siegfried, Veliki Knyaz of Ealdormere, Tsar of the Inland Seas, Tsar of the Five Baronies, Sudar of the Line of the North, High Well Born Pan of DeTaahe, Sword of the Scarlet Host, and Lord of all he surveys, and Xristinia, Velikii Knyagina of Ealdormere, Tsarina of the Beonweald, Tsarina of the Five Baronies, Sudarina of the Line of the Wolf, High Well Born Pani of Castel Rouge and Skraeling Althing, High Lady and Patron of the Arts and Sciences, and Beloved Jewel of the North.[8]  People of Ealdormere, May you bow three times to acknowledge your rulers!
 (At this, all in the audience should incline their heads three times. Great Officers, Barons, and audience plants to lead.)

MC: This is the great day of the Society. (People repeat. Audience plants should lead so people catch on.)

MC:  This is the day of the life of the Ealdormere.  (The people repeat)

MC. This is the joy and glory of the world.  (The people repeat)

MC . On which the crown of Ealdormere (The people repeat)

MC. ...has worthily been set upon thy heads.  (The people repeat)

MC: Glory be to the Society. (The people repeat)

MC:  Glory be to Ealdormere who hath crowned thy heads. (The people repeat)

MC. Glory be to Ealdormere who declared thee her rulers. (The people repeat)

MC. Glory be to Ealdormere who hath thus glorified thee. (The people repeat)

MC. Glory be to Ealdormere who hath thus approved thee and crowned thee. (The people repeat)

MC: May you be preserved for many days. (The people repeat)

MC:   Unto the glory and uplifting of Ealdormere. (The people repeat)

MC:   Hear your people (The people repeat)

MC:  Many years, for many years. (The people repeat)

MC:  Long life to you, Siegfried and Xristinia, Velikii Knyaz and Velikii Knyagina of Ealdormere.

People:  Long life to you.

MC: Long life to you, servants of Ealdormere

People:   Long life to you.

MC: Long life to you: prosperity to the sceptres.

People:  Long life to you.

MC:  Long life to you, crowned this day.

People:  Long life to you.

Pause here.  We are now moving into the next phase of the ceremony.

MC:  Bring forward the ra'd, your oath to the people of Ealdormere the Great.

Lawspeaker presents them with a document.  This and a pen should be stashed in the Scroll of Honour book)

Jocea:  These are your oaths as Velikii Knyaz and Velikii Knyagina.  Let all witness.

S and X.  We, Siegfried and Xristina, Velikii Knyaz and Velikii Knyagina of Ealdormere the Great, make this oath with the people of Ealdormere. We shall defend these lands from all hostile invaders from north or south, east or west. We shall keep the peace within these walls, so that the people may dwell in tranquility and merchants and artisans may ply their trades.  We shall hold the land knowing that we do so in the name of the veche, the people of Ealdormere, and no retainer of ours shall be appointed during our reign to hold landed estates to which they have no right.  We shall hear the advice of the Gospoda and the veche in the appointment of officers, and we shall not dismiss such officers without due process.  We shall likewise consult with the Gospoda and the veche in the administration of justice and the punishment of criminals.  Should we break with this oath, our rule in the lands of Ealdormere the Great shall be held to be dissolved.    This is our oath with the Veche of Ealdormere the Great.
They sign the document, and it is given to the lawspeaker.

Lawspeaker:  People of Ealdormere, hear this oath, and remember.
S. and X are seated.

Master of Ceremonies:  Velikii Knyaz and Velikii Knyagina, you have been invested, crowned and anointed, and made your oath before the people.  The ceremony being complete, I ask your leave to depart.

Siegfried: (to both Lawspeaker and MC): You have our thanks and our leave.
MC and Lawspeaker (and her attendant) depart from the dais
Pelayo formally opens Court.
(S and X should say some words allowing the populace to sit down and/or welcoming all)

Siegfried:  As you have heard our Oaths, we would hear the oaths of the Gospoda and the Konets.
Fealty:

The landed barons and the Great Officers (the Gospoda) are already up at the dais. Suggest they swear first and then depart, in the following order:
Great Officers
Barons
Call the Great Officers/Barons
They give their fealty oath, prompted by the herald.
S. and X respond as they will.

At the end of each oath, the herald will say:
"May you reign for many and good days" , and each group will repeat the phase.

For the five peerages, a starosta (elected elder) should be selected to be called to lead each Peerage into Court to swear fealty. 

Herald:  The Velikii Knyaz and Knyagina call the starosta, the secretary of the Chivalry konets, to lead forward the members of the Order of Chivalry to make their oaths.

The secretary/starosta leads the Chivalry to the dais.
Order gives their fealty oath.
S. and X respond as they will.

At the end of the oath, the herald will say:
"May you reign for many and good days" , and each Order will repeat this phrase.

For the following Orders, fealty is optional.  Use the following wording:
Herald: The Velikii Knyaz and Knyagina call the starosta of the Laurel/Pelican/Mo
D/Boyar konets, to seek out those member of the Order of the Laurel/Pelican/Defense / Royal Peers who wish to make their oath this day.

 Order is as follows: 
Laurels
Pelicans
Masters of Defense
Royal Peers.

For each fealty:  Process is as follows:
Call the  Starosta and the Konets.
Order gives their fealty oath, prompted by the herald.
S. and X respond as they will.
At the end of each oath, the herald will say:
"May you reign for many and good days”, and each Order will repeat this phrase.

Herald: The Velikii Knyaz and Knyagina call forward our Veche, those of the populace of Ealdormere who wish to make their oaths.
Populace come forward; same procedure as before.  At the end of the oath, the herald will say:
"May you reign for many and good days”, and the populace will repeat this phrase.
This concludes the formal part of the ceremony.  S. and X will be investing their Champions; tabards and collars should be on the table behind the thrones and stage attendant can help with these.




Appendix:  Wooley, Coronation Rites pp. 10-30

In the tenth century we have from the pen of Constantino Porphyrogenitus a full description of the ceremonial of the coronation of an Emperor, except for the actual prayers used. These however can be found elsewhere, for there are extant two patriarchal Euchologia belonging to this same period, one of the end of the eighth century, the famous Barberini uncial codex, and the other the Grotta Ferrata codex of the twelfth century . These both contain the rite, and it is noticeable that it is the same in both books, except for the fact that the second includes the coronation of an Empress. The rite therefore had remained unchanged from at least the end of the eighth century until the twelfth.
The description given by Constantino is as follows.

The Emperor proceeds to the church of St Sophia and enters the Horologion, and the veil being raised, passes into the Metatorion, where he vests himself with the Dibetesion and the Tzitzakion (a mantle, probably flowered), and over them the Sagion (a light cloak). Entering the church with the Patriarch he lights tapers at the silver gates between the narthex and the nave, and passes down the nave until he comes to the platform before the sanctuary, which is called the Soleas. Here before the Holy Doors leading through the Eikonostasis he prays and lights more candles. The Emperor and the Patriarch then go up into the Ambo, where the Chlamys or imperial robe, and the Stemina or crown, have already been set out on a table. The Patriarch then says the Prayer over the Chlamys, and the chamberlains put it on the Emperor. The Patriarch next says the Prayer over the Crown, and at the end of it takes the crown and sets it on the Emperor s head, and the people cry Holy, holy, holy, Glory be to God on high and on earth peace, three times ; and then acclaim him, Many be the years of N., the great Emperor and Augustus.

If it is the son of a reigning Emperor who is being crowned as an associate Emperor, the Patriarch gives the crown into the hands of the Emperor, who himself sets it on his son s head, the people crying, He is worthy, and the standards are dipped in obeisance.
After the Coronation the Laudes follow.

CANTORS. Glory be to God on high, and on earth peace. The people likewise thrice.
CANT. Goodwill among Christian men. The people likewise thrice.
CANT. God has had mercy on his people. The people likewise thrice.
CANT. This is the great day of the Lord. The people likewise thrice.
CANT. This is the day of the life of the Romans. The people likewise thrice.
CANT. This is the joy and glory of the world. The people likewise.
CANT. On which the crown of the kingdom The people likewise.
CANT. ...has worthily been set upon thy head. The people likewise thrice.
CANT. Glory be to God the Lord of all. The people likewise.
CANT. Glory be to God who hath crowned thy head. The people likewise.
CANT. Glory be to God who declared thee Emperor. The people likewise.
CANT. Glory be to God who hath thus glorified thee. The people likewise.
CANT. Glory be to God who hath thus approved thee. The people likewise.
CANT. And He who hath crowned thee, N., with his own hand The people likewise.
CANT. ...will preserve thee long time in the purple. The people likewise.
CANT. With the consort Augustae and the Princes  born in the purple. The people the same.
CANT. Unto the glory and uplifting of the Romans. The people the same.
CANT. May God hear your people. The people likewise.
CANT. Many, many, many.
R. Many years, for many years.
CANT. Long life to you, NN., Emperors of the Romans.
R. Long life to you.
CANT. Long life to you, servants of the Lord.
R. Long life to you.
CANT. Long life to you, NN., Augustae of the Romans.
R. Long life to you.
CANT. Long life to you : prosperity to the sceptres.
R. Long life to you.
CANT. Long life to you, N., crowned of God.
R. Long life to you.
CANT. Long life to you, Lords, and to the Augustae, and to the Princes born in the purple.
R. Long life to you.

The cantors proceed ; But the Creator and Lord of all things, (the people repeat) who hath crowned you with his own hand, (the people repeat) will multiply your years with the Augustae and the Princes born in the purple, (the people repeat) unto the perfect stabiliment of the Romans.
Both choirs then chant Many be the years of the Emperors, etc., and the Emperor descends, wearing the crown, into the Metatorion, and seated upon his throne, the nobles come and do homage, kissing his knees. After which the Praepositus says At your service, and they wish him Many and prosperous years.

The Liturgy now proceeds, and the Emperor makes his Communion.
The ceremonial at the coronation of an Empress was much the same as that observed in the case of the Emperor. The coronation act, however, was performed not by the Patriarch but by the Emperor himself. If the Emperor was married after his accession, the whole ceremony of the crowning of his consort took place immediately after the wedding, and not publicly in the church of St Sophia, but as a private court function in the Augusteum.

The Euchologia, as has been mentioned above, give the text of the prayers used, which Constantine only indicates. They are as follows:

As the Emperor stands with bowed head with the Patriarch in the Ambo a deacon says the Ectene or Litany.

The Patriarch then says the prayer over the Chlamys, secretly:

Lord our God, King of kings, and Lord of lords, who through Samuel the prophet didst choose thy servant David, and didst anoint him to be king over thy people Israel ; hear now the supplication of us though unworthy, and look forth from thy holy dwelling place, and vouchsafe to anoint with the oil of gladness thy faithful servant N., whom thou hast been pleased to establish as king over thy holy people which thou hast made thine own by the precious blood of thine Only-begotten Son. Clothe Mm with power from on high; set on his head a crown of precious stones ; bestow on him length of days ; set in his right hand a sceptre of salvation ; stablish him upon the throne of righteousness ; defend him with the panoply of thy Holy Spirit ; strengthen his arm ; subject to him all the barbarous nations ; sow in his heart the fear of Thee, and feeling for his subjects ; preserve him in the blameless faith ; make him manifest as the sure guardian of the doctrims of thy Holy Catholic Church ; that he may judge thy people in righteousness, and thy poor in judgement, (and) save the sons of those in want ; and may be an heir of thy heavenly kingdom. (He goes on aloud) For thine is the might, and thine is the kingdom and the power. A men.

The Patriarch then hands the Chlamys with its fibula to the Vesti tores, who array the Emperor in it. (If however it is the son, or daughter, or the wife of an emperor who is to be crowned, the Patriarch hands the vestment to the Emperor, who himself puts it on the person to be crowned.)

The Patriarch then says the Prayer over the Crown.

PATRIARCH. Peace be to all.

DEACON. Bow your heads.

PATRIARCH. To Thee alone, King of mankind, has he to whom thou hast entrusted the earthly kingdom bowed his neck with us. And we pray Thee, Lord of all, keep him under thine own shadow ; strengthen his kingdom ; grant that he may do continually those things which are pleasing to Thee; make to arise in his days righteousness and abundance of peace ; that in his tranquillity ice may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and gravity. For Thou art the King of peace, and the Saviour of our souls and bodies, and to Thee we ascribe glory. A men.

The Patriarch then takes the crown from the table, and sets it on the Emperor s head, saying : In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.

The Emperor is then communicated. Here however there is apparently a disagreement between the Euchologia and the account of Constantine Porphyrogenitus. The Barberini Euchologion of the eighth century states that the Patriarch celebrating the liturgy of the Presanctified administers to him the lifegiving communion, and the Grotta Ferrata Euchologion of the twelfth century speaks of the communicating the Emperor with the presanctified Sacrament, while Constantine says nothing of the Emperor being communicated in the reserved Sacrament, but implies that he was communicated in the ordinary course of the Liturgy. It has been suggested by Mr Brightman that the apparent discrepancy may be explained by supposing that the ecclesiastical rubrics are drawn up on the assumption that the Coronation will not necessarily be a festival with a Mass, while the Court ceremonial assumes that it will be. He goes on to point out that in ordinary cases of accession the coronation was generally performed at once, festival or no festival : in the case of a consort, when the day could be chosen, it was generally a festival.

The Greek rite in its final development is found in the writings attributed to Codinus Curopalates (c. 1400).

The Emperor proceeds to the church of St Sophia, and there makes his profession of faith both in writing and orally, reciting the Nicene Creed and declaring his adhesion to the seven Oecumenical Councils, professing himself a servant and protector of the Church, and promising to rule with clemency and justice. Then he proceeds to the triclinium called the Thomaite , and medals are scattered among the people, and he is raised aloft on a shield. He then proceeds once more to St Sophia, where screened by a wooden screen erected for the purpose he is clothed in the imperial vestments ; the Sakkos (the dibetesion or dalmatic), and the Diadema (girdle), which have already been blessed by bishops. The Liturgy is now begun, and before the Trisagion, at the Little Entrance, the Patriarch enters the Ambo and summons the Emperor. There in the Ambo the Patriarch recites the Prayers composed for the anointing of Emperors, part secretly and part aloud, and the Emperor having uncovered his head, the Patriarch anoints him in the form of a cross saving, He is holy, the people repeating the words thrice. The Patriarch then sets the crown on the Emperor’s head saying, He is worthy, the people repeating this also thrice. Thereupon the Patriarch again recites prayers, doubtless the second prayer To Thee alone. If however the Emperor to be crowned is a consort, associated during his father s lifetime, the Patriarch gives the crown to the Emperor, who himself crowns his colleague.

If the Empress is to be crowned, she takes up her position in front of the Soleas, and the Emperor receiving the already consecrated crown from the Patriarch, himself sets it on her head.
The Emperor and Empress being now crowned, they go to their thrones, the Emperor holding in his hand the Cross-sceptre ; the Empress her Baion or wand, both remaining seated except at the Trisagion, Epistle, and Gospel. When the Cherubic Hymn is begun at the Great Entrance the chief deacons summon the Emperor to the entrance of the Prothesis and he is invested with the golden Mandyas (a vestment something like a cope) over his Sakkos and Diadema, and so vested, holding in his right hand the Cross-sceptre and in his left a Narthex or wand , he leads the procession at the Great Entrance in virtue of his ecclesiastical rank as Deputatus or Verger. He goes up to the Patriarch and salutes him, and is then censed by the second deacon, who says, The Lord God remember the might of thy kingdom in his Kingdom, always, now and ever, and for ever and ever, all the clergy repeating the words. The Emperor greets the Patriarch, and putting off the mandyas returns to his throne, rising only at the Creed, the Lord’s Prayer, and the Elevation. If he is not prepared to communicate he remains seated until the end of the Liturgy. If however he is prepared to communicate, he is escorted to the sanctuary by the deacons, and censes the altar and the Patriarch, and is censed by the Patriarch. Then committing his crown to the deacons he is communicated after the manner of a priest. When he has made his communion, he replaces his crown and returns to his throne. After the Liturgy is over, he receives the Antidoron, and is blessed by the Patriarch and by the bishops present, and kisses their hands. The choirs sing an anthem and the Emperor is acclaimed by the people, and so returns in procession to the palace.

In this account the most important feature is the explicit mention of the unction. There is no definite allusion hitherto in any account to any anointing in the Eastern rite, until the time of the intruding emperor Baldwin I, who was crowned with a Latin rite in 1214.

In 1453 Constantinople was taken by the Turks, and the Greek Empire came to an end. But the Greek coronation rite still survives, and is used in the Russian tongue at the coronation of the Czars of Russia, who regard themselves as the successors of the Greek Caesars.

The Russian Czar is crowned at Moscow in the Cathedral of the Assumption (Uspenski Sobor). The imperial procession is met at the church door by the Metropolitan, who blesses the Emperor and Empress with holy water and censes them. Entering the church they make their devotions and ascend to their thrones. The 101st Psalm is sung, after which the Emperor is interrogated as to his belief, and recites in a loud voice the Nicene Creed. Then is sung the hymn Heavenly King, Paraclete/ and after the Litany (Synapte) the hymn, Lord, save thy people is sung thrice, and the lections follow at once ; the Prophecy (Is. xlix. 13-19), the Epistle (Ro. xii. 1-7), and the Gospel (Matt. xxii. 15-22). The Emperor now assumes the purple robe, assisted by the Metropolitan who says, In the name of the Father, etc. The Emperor bares his head and the Metropolitan making the sign of the cross over it and laying on his hand recites the prayer, Lord our God (cp. p. 22), and then the prayer of the Bowing of the head, To Thee alone (cp. p. 23). The Metropolitan now presents the Crown to the Emperor, who puts it on his head, the Metropolitan saying, In the name of the Father, etc., and then proceeding to explain the symbolical meaning of the crown. Next the Metropolitan gives the Sceptre into the Czar s right hand and the Orb into his left, saying, In the name of the Father, etc., and explaining the symbolical meaning of these ornaments.

The Czar then seats himself on his throne and the Czarina is summoned. The Czar takes off his Crown and with it touches the brow of the Czarina, and then replaces it on his head. He then sets a smaller Crown on the Czarina s head, and she immediately assumes the purple robe and the Order of St Andrew.

Thereupon the Archdeacon proclaims the titles of the Czar and Czarina, and the clergy and the assembled company do homage by making three obeisances to the Czar.
The Czar then gives the Sceptre and Orb to the appointed officers, and kneeling down says a prayer for himself that he may worthily fulfil his high office, after which the Metropolitan says a prayer on his behalf. Te Deum is sung and the Liturgy proceeds.

The Anointing takes place after the Communion hymn. Two bishops summon the Czar, who takes his stand near the Royal Gates, the Czarina a little behind him, both in their purple robes, and there the Czar is anointed on the forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, ears, breast, and on both sides of his hands by the senior Metropolitan, who says : The seal of the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Czarina is then anointed with the same words, but on her forehead only.

After he has been anointed, the Czar is conducted through the Royal Gates and receives the Holy Sacrament in both kinds separately, as if he were a priest, and then are given the Antidoron and wine with warm water, and water to wash his mouth and hands. The Czarina is communicated in the usual manner at the Royal Gates, and is given the Antidoron, wine, and water.

The Father Confessor reads before the imperial pair, who have returned to their seats, the Thanksgiving for Communion. After the dismissal the Archdeacon says the royal anthem, the choir repeating thrice the last part, Many years/ and the clergy and laity then present congratulate their Majesties, bowing thrice towards them. The Metropolitan presents the cross for the Czar and Czarina to kiss, and the imperial procession leaves the church.





[1] George Vernadsky, Kievan Russia, pp.196-201
[2] George Vernadsky, Kievan Russia, p. 198
[3] George Vernadsky, Kievan Russia, p. 199
[4] Per Vernadsky, these were: Prohibition of the Prince or his retinue from owning landed estates in the state, the freedom of Novgorodians to elect city officials without interference, the prohibition on the Prince from removing officials without a veche decision or a court trial, and the supreme judicial authority of the veche to prosecute criminals.
[5] The complete text of both ceremonies from Wooley are found in the Appendix.
[6] Both ceremonies specifically mention that the Emperor/Czar is communicated in the same manner as is a priest.
[7] Reginald Maxwell Wooley, Coronation Rites, p.28
[8] The titles in this section were provided by Master Brand Thorwaldsson.

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