Pannihida for Tsarskaya Semya
18 July 1989
(Death is?? missing on the tape) the most tragic event of our human destiny; it is tragic because it is the result of our universal falling away from our communion with God; it is also tragic because s o often it is inflicted by one person to another, by man to man. On the one hand, it is the result of our loss of God, on the other hand it is because the shadow of Cain has not yet passed away. We remember today, as we did yesterday the last Russian Emperor together with his family, together with their servants, who died with them, their closest friends. But together with them, because of what he was, because of the reason why he gave his life we will remember- also all those who in the course not only of Russian history, but of the history of the world has died (at?) human hands: in battles, in civil strife, in hunger caused by human coldness of heart and greed, of the illness that could have been relieved, or illness that was beyond healing. Let us present to God today, in our prayer, the lives of all the martyrs of history, and the lives of all the victims, unwitting or unwilling, who died because evil is abroad. And let us learn something from this: that our vocation is to enter this world and to walk in it as Christ did – possessed of that eternal life which God gives us not only in the act of creation when it is offered us, but in the baptism, in the gift of the Spirit, in Holy Communion when we become s o united to Christ Who is life eternal Himself, incarnate, that already on earth we are partakers of it; we are called to be messengers of eternity, to be the presence of the sacrificial love of God. We all are send like sheep among the wolves; some die, some live, and the vocation is the same a martyr is a witness, a man, a woman, a child who proclaims that there are things greater than life, that there are values greater that (?) all things earthly; and that man is capable of such reverence, such dedication to what is great and noble, as to forsake his own life, that man is capable of choosing God, the God of the Crucifixion as his example, his Guide and Master... Let us therefore pray together with all the truth there is in us for all those who have proved through their lives and crowned by their death their faith in the greatness of God, the holiness of God, and also the greatness and holiness of man.