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Archbishop Hilarion's Funeral Homily for Met. Petros of Astoria at St. Markella's Cathedral, 1997.


 

Father Pavlos (Stratigeas): We would like with our hearts to thank His Eminence, Archbishop Anthony of San Francisco, Bishop Hilarion of Australia, both members of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia who came today, praying for the repose of His Eminence Metropolitan Petros who was ordained by the Russian Orthodox Church. It is a great grace for us that the elder archbishop came to pray for His Eminence, […] with Archbishop Maximovitch who came to St. Markella’s Church [GOC] after his ordination and was very close friends with him and many times celebrated Liturgy with him. We pray for your prayers for his soul and we pray that God gives you many years Vladyka, and we thank you and also Archbishop Hilarion for coming with us today.

Metropolitan Petros of Astoria of the Genuine Greek Orthodox Church

Archbishop Hilarion (Karpal) of Australia: I want to express the condolences of all the bishops of the Russian Church Abroad, to the clergy, the monastics, monks and sisters, and all the faithful in the Greek Orthodox Church here. With the repose of Metropolitan Petros, it’s appropriate to remember the words from the funeral service, “Blessed is the way in which thou shalt walk today, O soul; for a place of rest is prepared for you.” His Eminence Metropolitan Petros after many years of spiritual struggles and in the last years of illness, prepared himself, cleansed himself. God sends all these difficulties in our life and illnesses in order to prepare us to be the most perfect state when we come before the judgment seat to receive the recompense. So, today, we’re bidding farewell to Metropolitan Petros, his body which is taken from the earth will remain, but his soul which is immortal will be taken, will stand before the Savior, the Creator, and it is of this time that is so important for all of us, his spiritual children, his brethren, to pray for him because there is no man who lives and does not sin. God alone is without sin. We hear so often in the funeral service and it’s important that we pray for one another and for those who have departed from us into life eternal.

Metropolitan Petros in 1983 at St Markella's in Astoria, New York.

And as Fr. Pavlos said, Bishop Petros was very close to the Russian Church. He received his episcopal ordination from Archbishop Leonty [Filippovich] of blessed memory and Archbishop Seraphim [Svezhevsky] who just reposed a few months ago at a very old age, almost 100 years old. And so, he is there with his friends, Archbishop Averky whom I knew, whom I served for a number of years before he reposed. Archbishop Averky loved Metropolitan Petros very much and so they’re there together and they’ll be praying for him and awaiting his arrival into the kingdom of heaven. And so it’s our duty to pray and so that God will forgive all, any sins which he may have committed and forgotten, not repented of, and so that he will inherit the kingdom of heaven and that he also will intercede for us, who are left here on earth to struggle for our salvation during this time which God has given, [which] is short a short time which we must use to the utmost.

Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia

I also want to convey, especially today, I spoke to Archbishop Laurus of the Holy Trinity Monastery who was a very close friend of Metropolitan Petros and just last year, I believe it was, we served together at Jordanville in the [Holy Trinity] monastery with Metropolitan Petros. He also wishes to convey his sincerest condolences to everyone here and he said all the monks will be praying for Metropolitan Petros for his repose.


Father Pavlos (Stratigeas): Thank you, your eminence, and also St. Markella’s Church and the sisterhood of the Church [of St Markella’s], and the Russian Orthodox Church and together with God, with your prayers, with the prayers of Archbishop Anthony, we will continue in unity in the struggle for Orthodoxy […] with the prayers of all […] Metropolitan Anthony will be praying for all of us.

 


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