“The idea of building the church appeared more than ten years ago, – tells Father Dmitry Kozyrev, the chief architect and the leader of the project group of the Convent. – At that time the cathedral in the name of the Mother of God the Reigning was being built and we needed a separate baptismal church. It is interesting that the church in the name of the Royal Passion Bearers is the lower one, and the cathedral in the name of the Mother of God the Reigning stands above it. When the royal family was shot, the Mother of God picked up the sovereign scepter of the Russian Empire. There also another one parallel: the royal family members were shot in the basement, and the location of the church reminds us about the events of those days…”
Gradually we developed the following composition: we depicted the pharaoh sinking in the water and falling from the horse in the grey background, and Moses was painted in the saving red one. All of these symbolize the kingdoms of death and life. Water means death for the pharaoh and sin, and it is life for the people and all of us. It is said in the order of baptism, that a person is baptized in Christ’s death in order to accept the resurrection of Christ. The old person dies in baptism, but the new one arises in new life with Christ. In front of this fresco you may see another one – Baptism of Christ. We wanted to depict this famous plot and to show Him anew too. We took a brave decision to paint the water in red. It is unusual and in this case it is symbolically connected with the church itself. Or maybe it is not water at all, but it is the blood of sinners, the blood of Christ from the Bowl… While being baptized there, people stay in front of the image of Christ depicted on this fresco, as if they are going to unite with him. There is an axe to the left from Christ, which is a symbol of judgment on sin. Between Moses and the way through the Black sea there is a star, which reminds us about the Coming of our Savior.
To the left from this mural there is an icon, which shows a fragment of the life of John the Baptist. He was alone when he was just three years old. It depicts the moment, when the angel leads John to the desert. He is depicted as a child, and the angel shows him the right way. The image of the angel symbolizes a soul, because when you are baptized you are given your own guardian angel, who will accompany a person for life. Even if you are 80 years old, you are still just a child for your angel, and you need his help in your journey. It is vital that those people who are baptized understand that since in this very moment their new life begins…
with stone mosaic, but some of its elements are made from glass. As a result we have something like a stained glass combined with a mosaic. In the center of the celling Christ is depicted. He is shown as a young man here, just like He was depicted in ancient times. So did we to continue the theme of early Christian paintings. On the frescos you can trace the line between Heaven and Baptism. In the Old Testament it is described how God creates a human being and sets him in Heaven, hedged with four rivers. The four edges of the celling symbolize these four rivers. Their names are written there too. There are also four prophets pointing to Christ and near them there are quotations from the Holy Scripture. Each part of text tells about the second coming of our Savior and at the same time these texts are connected with water, which make us clean and brings us in the Kingdom of Heaven. All of these show our attempt to show the essence of baptism.
Sacraments a person can reach the Kingdom and know Christ. Near this image – to the left and to the right – Basil the Great and John Chrysostom are depicted. They are holding the scrolls on which the texts of the liturgy are written. In the altar there are two frescos which embody two sacrament topics: Descent from the Cross and the Resurrection of Christ. These two episodes show the essence of life, and what we join being baptized or during other sacraments. On the other side of the altar The Last Supper is depicted. It means that the icon of the altar are Eucharistic by their nature.
All the icons and frescos in this church seem to come to life during the liturgy, and this helps people to join the spiritual world. Spiritual art has a large impact on a person.