Monday, March 17, 2008

Funeral of Metropolitan Laurus

Here is the schedule for the funeral and burial of His Eminence, Metropolitan Laurus, at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY:

Thursday, March 20:
  • 4:30 pm Matins
  • 7:30 Great Compline and a Litia for the Departed

Friday, March 21:
  • 5:00 am Midnight Office and Hours
  • 8:00 Divine Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts
  • 11:00 Funeral and burial
Directions to the monastery are here.

A panikhida (memorial service) will be held at the Cathedral of the Sign in New York City (93rd & Park) on Wednesday, March 19, at 7:00 pm.

His Eminence, Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, will be commemorated in place of Metropolitan Laurus until the election of a new First Hierarch.

Photograph: The late Metropolitan Laurus in church, reading aloud a text by the Holy Fathers during services last week.

UPDATE: A very nice video news story from Russia Today, in English, can be viewed here.


Esteban Vázquez said...

Thanks for the details, Father.

A question, if I may, regarding the proper procedure for the commemoration of Archbishop Hilarion. I remember that when Metropolitan Vitaly retired, and Archbishop Laurus was named Deputy of the First Hierarch, he was commemorated as such along with Vl. Vitaly: "Our lord, the Very Most Reverend Vitaly, Metropolitan of New York and Eastern America and First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad; our lord, the Most Reverend Laurus, Archbishop of Syracuse and Holy Trinity and Deputy of the First Hierarch..." But the situation here is different: Vl. Hilarion is not the deputy of a living First Hierarch, but the Locum Tenens properly so called. I believe this is the second time that a First Hierarch has died in office, so it's not without precedent. How have you been instructed to commemorate him? (And do you happen to remember what was done after the death of Metropolitan Philaret?)

Felix Culpa said...

The Synod's directive (which can be found on their website) reads as follows:

"The name of His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand is to be commemorated in all churches of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia after that of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy as follows: "our lord, the Most Reverend Archbishop Hilarion." During the great entrance and during "Among the first, remember o Lord..." (after the name of the Patriarch): "our lord the Most Reverend Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand." "

We commemorate first the Patriarch (Our Great Lord and Master...), then Archbishop Hilarion (Our Lord, the Most Reverend Hilarion...) then the diocesan bishop. (We serve in Slavonic, so I'm not sure of the exact wording.)

If I recall correctly, both Met Anthony and Met Philaret died in office, but I'm not sure what the procedure was. Met Philaret reposed when I was still pretty young.

Esteban Vázquez said...

Ah, thanks, Father! The last time I looked at the Synod's website, no news of the Bishops' teleconference had yet been posted.

You are right to note, of course, that Metropolitan Anthony also died in office. I don't know why that slipped by me! I guess I've always thought that Metropolitan Anastassy was as good as elected by the time Met. Anthony died--named deputy at the latter's request, and indeed, already raised to the rank of Metropolitan!

orrologion said...

A picture from last week?... perhaps you, too, are in NYC. I am a Reader down at 2nd Street. (xcjorr at gmail dot com)

Felix Culpa said...

Orrologion: Sorry to disappoint you, but I pulled that picture off the ROCOR site. I spent a great deal of time in the NYC area between about 2003 and 2006, but haven't been there since.

Anonymous said...

Amidst all the praises for the late Metropolitan Laurus, at least in the press, during my 4 years as a seminarian at Jordanville, I never noticed that he worked in the kitchen or with the cows. I never noticed that he showed personal interest in the problems of seminarians. He seemed remote, aloof, sometimes sarcastic and simply unkind. He was extremely nationalistic, treating non-Russian and converted seminarians with what seemed to be scorn. He ordered at least one seminarian to leave the monastery after the young man had been slowly and deliberately wooed, and finally seduced, by the then-rector of the Holy Trinity Russian Orthodox Seminary, Hieromonk Ioanniki. May God give rest to Laurus' soul. I cannot judge the man, but am extremely skeptical when I read obituaries that seem to canonise the man. Well, anyhow, only God knows these Mysteries.

Felix Culpa said...

Bear in mind that, by the time of his repose, Vladyka Laurus had been a bishop for over forty years. What sense would there have been for him to have put aside his important and pressing duties in order to do work that any number of monks and seminarians could do just as well as he? To criticize an elderly bishop in bad health for not milking the cows strikes me as inhuman. (Although I did see him more than once, when the cows had gotten lose, brandishing a stick to try to get them back to the barn. Sometimes I wished he do the same with certain seminarians!)

That said, remember that Vladyka Laurus went through all the ranks: from child trudnik, to novice, to seminarian, to monk, etc. He put in his time doing all the sorts of menial work that all the rest of us did, and often in much more difficult circumstances. He and the Brotherhood underwent really serious deprivation while still in Europe.

It is true that Vladyka was shy to the point of reticence. He accepted all those who came to him, however. I can't think of a single time that I asked to speak to him that he refused, even at first when he hardly knew me from Adam. He was always well aware of what was going on in the monastery and seminary, even if he didn't always let it on.

Being Carpatho-Russian was a deep part of Vladyka's self-understanding. That was his homeland, his people. I never saw him treat a non-Russian with scorn, however. The only time he would object was when converts would start making demands: that services and seminary classes must be in English, that the monastery should play down its Russian-ness, etc. But I *never* saw him show anything less that full support of a non-Russian who made a real attempt to assimilate fully into Jordanville culture.

Fr Ioanniki was never Rector; the highest position he reached was Inspector (Dean of Students). He accepted his punishment, left the monastery at Vladyka's request and, while remaining a monk, has not served as a priest since. While in now way justifying the unpleasantness that went on towards the end of his time in Jordanville, his repentance has been exemplary.

Anonymous said...

I certainly did not intend to criticise an elderly prelate for not working in the kitchen or tending to the cows. If you had read my original posting in its original context, I made clear that I left Jordanville over 25 years ago. It was within that time frame that I responded to someone else's posting regarding Metropolitan Laurus' tending to the cows and working in the kitchen. It would indeed be inhumane to suggest that an elderly and sick ANYBODY do such heavy physical labour.

Actually, Vladika Lavr, at the time, arranged that some classes be taught in English and some in Russian. There were at least two English language Liturgies during the week, as well. Still, I maintain that,at the time, he was an ultranationalist and scornful of converts. I can give numerous examples. Again, this was 25 years ago and perhaps the man changed. We all can, thank God. He referred, at least at that time, to Adolph Hitler as being "the last Wall against the coming of the Antichrist."

As for Father Ioanniki, are you SURE that he never served as a priest since his "exile" to Mount Athos? Are you his spiritual father, that you know that, since then, his "repentance" has been exemplary." Where is Father Ioanniki now? Well, we all need to repent, and if Ioanniki's repentance is exemplary, then thank the All-Holy Mother of God. I hope to repent of many, many, many things too, but as this involves me most personally, I am still rather taken aback at all the suggestions for the canonisation of Metropolitan Lavr. Again, maybe he is a saint. I don't know. May he have rest with Christ in Paradise.

Felix Culpa said...

Twenty-five years ago Vladyka Laurus was a 65-year-old Archbishop.

Of course I don't know Father Ioanniki's heart. But I do know that he fulfilled the penance laid on him, and continues to fulfill it. After being expelled with the Brotherhood from the St Elias Skete on Mt Athos, he took up residence at the Monastery of Sts Cyprian and Justina in Fili, where he has since been tonsured to the Great Schema with the name "John," in honor of St John of SF. So far as I know -- and I have seen him a number of times since he left Jordanville -- he hasn't served as a priest since leaving Jordanville.

orrologion said...

It should probably be remembered that 25 years ago the Soviet Union seemed as strong as ever with no end in sight to its persecution of the faithful and its march around the world, not to mention its ability to destroy the planet many times over with nuclear arms. Since Vl. Lavr would have had the emigre Russian's experience of the Bolshevik Revolution and the overturning of the Third Rome and all Holy Russia (whatever one's own view of Tsarist Russia now, this was a common way of seeing Russia, especially for the Orthodox faithful), the spread of militant atheism to almost all other Orthodox countries, etc. Well, it would make sense that one might view the enemy of my enemy as my friend, especially if he were making nice with you. It seems to me that the fall of Communism and the rebirth of Orthodoxy in Russian and Eastern Europe was never expected - imminent apocalyptic expectation had become the accepted norm of the emigre Orthodox (and may still be true...) - so that the fall of the USSR was as dramatic to ROCOR as was the acceptance of Christianity by the Roman Empire. Such 'acts of God' can change one's view of things, as it did for the bishops emerging from the catacombs and sitting in Council with the Roman Emperor himself - likely also viewed as an or the antichrist not so many years prior, and by the same men.

I would hate to be judged on the basis of things I said 25 years ago - probably something about the Transformers and Star Wars, maybe a little bit of soccer and Eddie Van Halen as the best guitar player ever (the consensus among my friends was that Steve Vai and Stevie Ray Vaughn were 2 and 3; my mother voted for Chet Baker).

Anonymous said...

Certainly, one cannot "JUDGE" anyone on the basis of something that they said 25 years ago,or even today. However the remarks of a person in a high spiritual position (such as the Pope of Rome, the Dalai Lama and, yes, even Vladika Lavr) have profound effects on individuals who look to them for "spiritual guidance." Yes, a remark by those in lofty spiritual positions can effect persons who believe that their words are of spiritual import for a long, long time indeed.

I am happy to hear that Ioanniki, Schemamonk, is still at the Monastery of Sts. Cyprian and Justina in Filii, Greece. Should he return to the United States of America at any time, he will be slapped in the face with a lawsuit for the destruction he, who behaved monstrously toward a "spiritual son" 25 years and more ago, wreaked upon a trusting young person.

In addition, the family of this then very young person, who have watched their son and brother struggle with severe melancholia and anguish since his time at Jordanville, will be pleased to find where Ioanniki is. The Greek government and the Greek Orthodox Church will be notified of his "residence" in Filii, and we will just have to, I suppose, "wait and see" how warmly he will be received back at Jordanville or some other directly ROCA monastery.

Talk about Roman Catholic cover-ups of the sexual abuse of children and young men and women! The ROCA has somehow managed to avoid the issues at Jordanville, which are certainly not limited to Ioanniki, the Skete of St. Herman of Alaska in Platina, California, and even at the Skete of the Prophet Ilia on Mt. Athos when a certain Seraphim was Igumen there...and much more.

Anonymous said...

Don't forget all the abuse that occurred at the then ROCA Monastery in Blanco, Texas, where the poor, abandoned Vladyka Konstantin, formerly Archbishop of London, had been hidden away by the ROCA after the nasty split with the Holy Transfiguration Monastery in Boston. What went on in Boston, if all the internet accounts are horrible all this is, and how unforgettable, especially when the Hierarchs ignore, cover up and somehow manage to avoid any real publicity to damage the ROCA in the United States of America.

Sima said...

Has the Monastery of Sts. Cyprian and Justina in Filii, Greece, severed its ties with the ROCOR after the truly miraculous reunion of the Church Abroad with the Moscow Patriarchate, His Holiness Patriarch Aleksei having done all he could have possibly done to ask forgiveness for any cooperation (ALL FORCED, and with threats of additional murders of countless Orthodox Prelates, Clergy and Laity should the Bolshevik's demands not be met with)with the Godless "government" of the Soviet Union" on the part of any Orthodox Christians who chose, for the sake of our Holy Faith's not having to disappear completely into the Catacombs? I cannot confirm this, but have heard that this has happened. Who else, out of concern, has condemned this Reunion, unquestionably in the Spirit of Orthodox Tradition and compassion? I cannot judge anyone, but am saddened that this truly Holy Accomplishment on the parts of the Holy Russian Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, has not been greeted with the rejoicing that is surely due to this miraculous, new Triumph of Orthodoxy. It is sad, and most confusing. Can someone help me to understand?

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