CIBORIUM FOR SACRED RELICS

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The ciborium for sacred relicsIn 1624 a new construction appeared in the southwestern corner of the cathedral. By decree of Tsar Mikhail Fedorovich the foreman of a steam shop Dmitry Sverchkov cast bronze tracery ciborium with a hipped roof laid out in a checkerboard pattern of gilt and silvered copper sheets. This ciborium (or canopy, reproducing the image of the main Christian shrine - Koubouklion of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem) was originally intended for the storage of a cypress model of the Holy Sepulchre. In 1625 a jeweled golden ark with one of the most revered relics – a shred of Christ’s robe (garment) was solemnly inserted into the ciborium. Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich received this priceless gift from Shah Abbas of Persia, who conquered Georgia, where the relic embedded in the cross was kept in Mtskheta Cathedral of the Holy Cross (Svetitskhoveli). In honor of the Placing of the Robe of Christ in the Assumption Cathedral in March 24, 1625 Patriarch Filaret and Tsar Mikhail Feodorovich established a feast celebrated on March 24 and later - on July 10 on the eve of the enthronement of the first Tsar of the Romanov dynasty in 1613. This event was represented as a sign of God blessing the royal house and the entire Russian state.

The ciborium for sacred relicsThe ciborium for sacred relicsThe ciborium for sacred relics

Dmitry Sverchkov’s сiborium was originally decorated with colored mica, putted under a tracery lattice with сhased ornaments. When candles were lit there, it looked like a huge lantern carried out during religious processions. In 1913 the ciborium was embedded with the reliquary of Patriarch Hermogenes.