5. Of the manner of crowning or inauguration of the Rus emperors (1584)
(Giles Fletcher (1546-1611) was a noted classical scholar and linguist, which allowed him to acquire a competent knowledge of Russian. Elizabeth I sent him to Russia in 1588, where he engaged in complex negotiations with Tsar Feodor and Boris Godunov to reestablish trading privileges for the Muscovy (Russia) Company. His book was published in 1591.)
The solemnities used at the Rus emperor's coronation are on this manner. In the great church of Prechistaia,! or Our Lady, within the Emperor's castle, is erected a stage, whereupon standeth a screen that beareth upon it the imperial cap and robe of very rich stuff. When the day of the inauguration is come, there resort thither, first, the Patriarch with the metropolitans, archbishops, bishops, abbots, and priors, all richly clad in their pontjficalibus. Then enter the deacons with the choir of singers, who, so soon as the Emperor setteth foot into the church, begin to sing, 'Many years may live noble Fedor Ivanovich, etc.' Whereunto the Patriarch and metropolite with the rest of the clergy answer with a certain hymn in form of a prayer, singing it all together with a great noise. The hymn being ended, the Patriarch with the Emperor mount up the stage, where standeth a seat ready for the Emperor. Whereupon the Patriarch willeth him to sit down and then, placing himself by him upon another seat provided for that purpose, boweth down his head toward the ground and sayeth this prayer, '0 Lord God, King of kings, Lord of lords, which by Thy prophet Samuel didst choose Thy servant David and anoint him for king over Thy people Israel, hear now our prayers and look from Thy sanctuary upon this Thy servant Fedor, whom Thou hast chosen and exalted for king over these Thy holy nations; anoint him with the oil of gladness; protect him by Thy power, put upon his head a crown of gold and precious stones; give him length of days; place him in the seat of justice; strengthen his arm; make subject unto him all the barbarous nations. Let Thy fear be in his whole heart; turn him from an evil faith and from all error; and show him the salvation of Thy holy and universal Church, that he may judge the people with justice and protect the children of the poor and finally attain everlasting life: This prayer he speaketh with a low voice and then pronounceth aloud: 'All praise and power to God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.' The prayer being ended, he commandeth certain abbots to reach the imperial robe and cap, which is done very decently and with great solemnity, the Patriarch withal pronouncing aloud: Peace be unto all.' And so he beginneth another prayer to this effect: 'Bow yourselves together with us and pray to Him that reigneth over all. Preserve him, 0 Lord, under Thy holy protection; keep him that he may do good and holy things; let justice shine forth in his days, that we may live quietly without strife and malice.' This is pronounced somewhat softly by the Patriarch, whereto he addeth again aloud: 'Thou art the King of the whole world, and the savior of our souls,
to Thee, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be all praise forever and ever. Amen.' Then, putting on the robe and cap, he blesseth the Emperor with the sign of the cross, saying withal, 'In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.' The like is done by the metropolites, archbishops, and bishops, who all in their order come to the chair and one after another bless the Emperor with their two forefingers. Then is said by the Patriarch another prayer that beginneth, 'O most Holy Virgin, Mother of God, etc.' After which a deacon pronounceth with an high loud voice, 'Many years to noble Fedor, good, honorable, beloved of God, great duke of Vladimir, of Moscow, emperor and monarch of all Russia, etc.' Whereto the other priests and deacons, that stand somewhat far off by the altar or table, answer singing, 'Many years, many years to the noble Fedor.' The same note is taken up by the priests and deacons that are placed at the right and left side of the church, and then all together they chant and thunder out singing. 'Many years to the noble Fedor, good, honorable, beloved of God, great duke of Vladimir. Moscow, emperor of all Russia, etc.' These solemnities being ended, first cometh the Patriarch with the metropolites, archbishops, and bishops, then the nobility and the whole company in their order, to do homage to the Emperor, bending down their heads and knocking them at his feet to the very ground.