ALL HAD CANDLES.
In Memory of the Late Czar.
SOLEMN SERVICES HELD.
President Cleveland Was of Those Present.
WITH NEARLY ALL THE CABINET.
It Was One of the Most Impressive Observances Ever Witnessed in Washington.
Washington, Nov. 9. -- Profoundly impressive ceremonies were held at the Russian legation here to-day in memory of Czar Alexander III. President Cleveland and the entire Cabinet, except Postmaster-General Bissell, attended, accompanied by Mrs. Cleveland and the Cabinet ladies. Foreign Embassadors and Ministers, with their extensive suites, wearing their rich official and court dress, gave brilliant color to the solemn occasion. Services began at 9 o'clock with mass, celebrated by Bishop Nicholas of the Russian Greek Church, assisted by a Greek monk and two attendants. The services, which lasted till 10 o'clock, were private, being attended only by Prince Cantacuzene, Russian Minister, his daughter and the official Russian legation. At 10 o'clock chants and prayers for the repose of the Czar's soul began in the presence of the President, members of the Cabinet and Diplomatic corps.
Prince Cantacuzene met President and Mrs. Cleveland at the doorway and escorted them to places immediately alongside the altar. The President and his wife each carried a candle, as did Secretary Gresham and all others. Next to the President and his wife stood Prince and Princess Cantacuzene. Then came Secretaries Gresham, Carlisle, Lamont, Herbert, Morton and Smith and Attorney-General Olney, each bearing a candle. Back of them stood Embassador Patenotre of France in full diplomatic uniform, with crimson sash from shoulder to hip and medals of honor on his breast. Embassador Saurma-Jeltsch of Germany was also in uniform, showing his medals, and decorations. The Chinese Minister and suite were in the rich silken robes. Near them stood Minister Kurin and suite of Japan in the black and gold uniforms of Japan. The Korean officials wore their quaint, broad-brimmed hats and silken gowns. These and the other Ministers and officers present gave a representation to every foreign country having a representative in Washington.
As the chanting began, the candles were lighted, lending a weird and picturesque aspect to the scene. The Bishop was robed in elaborate vestments of his office, his tiara being set with mosaics, rubies and emeralds woven into jeweled embroideries, and his red velvet surplice being wound with a white satin stole, embroidered with gold and small jewels. The Greek monk was robed in a lengthy flowing black gown falling from the top of a high headdress, from which appeared the long and shaggy bearded face of a typical Cossack of romance. The Bishop and his attendants chanted the service alternately; the acolytes swinging the censer until the air was misty with incense. The service lasted half an hour, the candles being extinguished as the chants closed, after which Princess Cantacuzene escorted President and Mr. Cleveland to the door and the other guests withdrew.
The Morning Call, Saturday, November 10, 1894
Reprinted in the Holy Trinity Cathedral LIFE, Vol. 2, No. 3, November 1994.