Jewels of the Romanovs

Treasures of the Church

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Covering Veil
"The Burial of Christ"

17th Century
Satin, silk, velvet, pearls (290 grams), semi precious stones, gold thread, silk embroidery
26 1/2 x 33 3/8 in (67.2 x 84.7 cm)
Yaroslavl State Museum-Preserve
Inv. No. YMZ-5468

Veils - or palls - depicting the dead body of Christ are used during Easter in Orthodox churches. They are called "Winding Sheets" and are placed in the center of churches on a raised platform during the evening vespers service on Good Friday. On Holy Saturday the veil is carried around the church three times to commemerate the burial of Christ.

The veil shows Mary cradling the head of Christ in her lap, while the apostles, Mary Magdalene, and the two sisters Mary and Martha weep over Him. In the center a six-winged cheribum protects the dead Christ, while on either side angels hold liturgical fans called rhipidions.

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