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Multimedia CD-ROM

The Church of St. Elijah the Prophet

Multimedia CD-ROM: St. Elijah the Prophet Church
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by Yaroslavl State University

English Version

The multimedia CD-ROM The Church of Elijah the Prophet contains comprehensive information about an outstanding monument of Russian culture of the 17th century, which played a significant role in the development of the Yaroslavl architectural and painting school.

The compact disc includes a set of multimedia excursions accessible through an easy-to-use interface, devoted to the church's architecture, subject matter and features of its wall paintings, icons and iconostasis, and also its history of restoration.

The church and its history is presented through more than 260 contemporary and rare old photographs. The compact disc presents unique video clips of areas not accessible to the public today. The content was prepared and edited by researchers of the Yaroslavl Museum -- Preserve of History and Architecture, and compiled by the Faculty of History of Yaroslavl State University.

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Church Of St. Elijah The Prophet, Multimedia CD

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Content Description

Details of Icon Painting and Wall Paintings

The Church of St. Elijah the Prophet includes descriptions of more than 100 icons. Each icon is accompanied by a concise description about the icon, large color image and comprehensive historical and technical information. Pictured at left is an example of the detailed information you will find for all icons in the CD-ROM.

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The Church of St. Elijah the Prophet is organized into general information about the church, video excursions, and references. The reference section includes a photo album of old and rare photographs. Besides the photo album, the compact disc contains an extensive glossary and an appendix of Church Feast Days (see a sample of the appendix below).

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The Church of Elijah the Prophet is a veritable treasure of ancient Russian art that preserves the memory of the talent of many of Russia's finest masters: architects, painters, smiths, and carvers. As to the architectural forms, wall paintings and composition of icons, the temple of Elijah belongs to the most expressive and perfect architectural ensembles of the 17th century.

Excerpts from the CD-ROM

The following are excerpts from the text on this CD-ROM. It has an comprehensive information on the history of the church monument, and an extensive appendix on such related matters as Church Feast Days.


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History of the Church

The church was built between 1647 and 1650 on the site of two stone churches at the expense of the richest local merchants, the Skripins brothers. Initially, it was situated on the brothers' estate. Yet, after Yaroslavl reconstruction under the Regular Plan of 1778 the Church of Elijah the Prophet became the center of the administrative square, one of the main architectural installations of the town.

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One of the best preserved monuments in Yaroslavl, the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet underwent large-scale restoration works at the expense of I. A. Vakhromeyev between 1898 to 1904. Since 1920 the church was opened as a museum. Today, the Church of St. Elijah the Prophet is the most popular attractions among tourists.

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The Feasts of the Russian Orthodox Church

Easter (Pascha, Greek) -- The English word Easter is thought to be derived from the name of the Anglo-Saxon goddess of Spring, Eostre, and for the celebration in her honor for whom sacrifices were offered on about the same date of the Jewish Passover. In early English versions of the Bible the word Easter was frequently used to translate the Greek word pascha (pesah, Hebrew). When the Authorized Version of King James was made in 1611, the word Passover was used in all passages in which the word pascha occurred, except in Act 12:4. In the Revised Version, the more appropriate word Passover is used.

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Easter is the main Christian feast established in memory of Jesus Christ's resurrection on the third day after his crucifixion. The Christian Church transformed the Jewish Passover, which commemorated the freeing of the Hebrew people from Egyptian bondage into a feast which commemorated the death and resurrection of Christ which freed humanity from bondage to the deadly effects of sin. There is no actual correspondence between Easter, the celebration of Christ's resurrection, and the Jewish Passover, which was the celebration of the liberation of the Hebrews from bondage to ancient Egypt. Christ's resurrection took place three days after He celebrated the Passover with his Apostles. He died on the same day as the Jewish Passover, which pre-figured his death through the sacrifice of the lamb by the Hebrews in 1213 B.C.

The Passover was kept in remembrance of the angel's passing over (and hence the name) the houses of the Israelites (Ex. 12:13, 23-27), exempting them from the slaughter of the firstborn in Egypt. It is a Jewish holiday beginning on the 14th day of Nisan and commemorating the Hebrews' liberation from slavery in Egypt.

The final stage of Christ's Earthly ministry -- his death and resurrection -- took place at about the same time as the Jewish Passover celebration. The commemoration of the Christian Passover began in the Apostolic epoch. It is observed with variations of date due to different calendars on the first Sunday after the paschal full moon. The character of the feast, its date of commemoration and its method of calculating the date were finally established by the first Ecumenical Council of Nicaea in 325.

Protection of the Holy Virgin -- This Orthodox feast was established in Russia during the twelfth century in memory of the appearance of the Holy Virgin in Blachernae Cathedral during the siege of Constantinople by Arabs in 910. Andrew the Fool and his follower Epiphanius saw the Holy Virgin with many Saints. The Holy Virgin spread her head covering (maphorion) over the people in the Cathedral and prayed for their protection from disasters. It is celebrated on October 1 (October 14, according to the Julian calendar). In the Blachernae Cathedral itself people remembered this miracle for a long time, but it was only celebrated in this church on the first day of October and was not a feast of the entire Orthodox Church. The Grand Duke of Vladimir and Suzdal, St. Andrew Bogolubsky, made this celebration the feast of all Russia in 1165.

Pentecost (The Day of Descending of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles and the feast of the Most Holy Trinity) -- This feast was established in memory of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles who gathered in an upper room in Jerusalem 50 days after Christ's resurrection. The Holy Spirit in the form of tongues of flames was sent from God after the promise and prayer of His Son. The Christian Church believes that the Holy Spirit appeared in all its persons or hypostases. Having received the grace of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles went into different directions to preach their Christian faith.

The name Pentecost, which literally means fiftieth in Greek, is found in the New Testament books of Acts of the Apostles (2:1 and 20:16), and I Corinthians (16:8). Pentecost, as a Christian feast, dates back to the first century, although there is no evidence that it was observed, as there is in the case of Easter; the passage in the I Corinthians (16:8) probably refers to the Jewish feast. This is not surprising, for the feast, originally of only one day's duration, fell on a Sunday; besides it was so closely bound up with Easter that it appears to be not much more than the termination of Paschal tide.

The Pentecost festival is first mentioned in the Bible at Exodus 23:16 as "the feast of harvest," and again at Exodus 34:22 as "the day of the first fruits" (See also Numbers 28:26). From the sixteenth day of the month of Nisan (the second day of the Passover according to the Jewish calendar), seven complete weeks, i.e. forty-nine days, were to be reckoned, and so this feast was held on the fiftieth day. The manner in which it was to be kept as described in Leviticus 23:15-19 and Numbers 28:27-29. Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, every one was to bring to God his "tribute of a free-will offering" (Deut. 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature was the offering of "two unleavened loaves" made from the new grains of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved before the Lord as a thanks offering.

The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the day on which the Spirit descended upon the apostles, and on which, under Peter's preaching many thousands were converted to Christianity in Jerusalem (Acts 2). The Orthodox canons of the feast were made by Cosmas Maumsky and John Damascene.

System Requirements

  • Operating System: Microsoft Windows 95, 98, NT4 (SP3), 2000

  • CPU: Intel Pentium 166 MHz or higher processor

  • Memory: 24 MB RAM (minimum) 32 MB (preferable)

  • CD-ROM: 4X CD-ROM drive or faster

  • Sound: Microsoft compatible 16-bit sound card

  • Graphics: PCI/AGP display adapter with 1MB video memory or better

  • Display: Resolution 800X600 pixels with High Color (65,536 colors) or higher

  • Microsoft Mouse or compatible device

  • Microsoft Windows Media Player v.6.4 or later (If this component is not installed, the setup program will install this software.)

  • Codec Intel Indeo v.5.11 or later (If this component is not installed, the setup program will install this software.)

  • Microsoft DirectX (We recommend version 6.1 or later. If this component is not installed, the setup program will install this software.)

Produced by

2000 Yaroslavl State University
Yaroslavl Regional Center of New Information Technologies

Materials from Collections of

2000 Yaroslavl Art Museum
2000 Yaroslavl History and Architecture Museum-Preserve

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