Anthony Did Not Seek Formal Obedience
But Desired the Hearts of His Co-servants."
(Address given by Protopriest Peter Perekrestov at
Holy Trinity Monastery at the Funeral of Archbishop Anthony)
Your Eminences, Dear Co-servants of God, Brethren, Sisters and Children:
I speak with the tonguesÉ of angelsÉ And though I have the gift
of prophecy, and understand all mysteriesÉ and though I have all
faithÉ And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poorÉ and have
not charity, I am nothingÉ Charity suffereth long, and is kind;
charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed
upÉ seeketh not her ownÉ thinketh no evil" (from St Paul's
Epistle to the Corinthians, Chapter 13).
Today's funeral is a testament to the power of love. The burial
service of newly-departed Vladyka Anthony is being held far from
his diocese, yet such a large number of clergymen and faithful have
gathered in this church, that this monastery church can barely accommodate
everyone. Hearing of the death of Vladyka Anthony, those who could
left school, left work, some even traveled from other continents
to participate in seeing off this humble and loving archpastor.
We came not because we were issued a directive, not so that we could
show up for the sake of formality, but the heart of Vladyka drew
us here. Today's gathering of faithful for the burial of Archbishop
Anthony is a tiny echo of our love to his love. Love for God is
the main driving force of the late Vladyka, this true monk, this
man of poverty, this man of prayer.
Since the days of his youth he preferred the laws of God, as we
heard in today's kathisma, "more than gold and topaz."
Usually one recounts a person's life achievements during his funeral.
We can say a great deal about this, but it is more important, more
appropriate to speak of how much Vladyka loved. How he loved the
Lord. He did not know the words "I" or "mine."
For him, all belonged to God. He also loved the divine services.
For him, divine services were truly heaven on earth.
And how Vladyka strove for Heaven! During divine liturgy, especially
before the consecration of the Holy Gifts, he noticed nothing around
him, immersing himself completely in prayer. He genuinely saw the
living God before him. Sometimes those who attended his services
complained about their length at the Cathedral, but Vladyka Anthony
so loved the service, so loved the kliros, so loved church music
that he could not bring himself to shorten the services—he wanted
the divine service, heaven on earth, to never end, but go on and
How Vladyka Anthony loved this icon here today, the Kursk-Root Icon
of the Mother of God, the Protectress of the Russian diaspora. When
the Icon would come to San Francisco, he greeted not simply an icon,
but the Mother of God Herself. And how he would prepare for Her
arrival! In the Icon he palpably sensed the present of the Most-Holy
Mother of God Herself, and his face changed from joy and endearment.
How he loved his brother archpastors!
His last few months, he lived with one desire only—to last until
the October Council of Bishops, so that he could see his brothers
for the last time, to bid farewell to them. How he loved Archbishop
Laurus, how he loved this monastery and seminary! He wished that
all the priests in his diocese had been graduates of Holy Trinity
Seminary. Vladyka often remembered the words of Metropolitan Anastassy
of blessed memory that Jordanville was our "spiritual fortress."
Vladyka Anthony until the last considered himself a member of the
Brotherhood of St Job of Pochaev. His archpastoral service was obedience,
it was an mission he was sent on, and now here he returned to his
brotherhood. How Vladyka loved his clergymen, Fr Stefan, Fr George,
Fr Sergei, Fr Alexander, Fr Alexei, Fr AndronikÉ
Vladyka Anthony did not seek formal obedience, he desired the hearts
of his co-servants. On the day of his consecration, Vladyka Anthony
prayed for the granting to him of empathetic love for his future
clergymen and flock, so that "the hearts of the clergy and
flock would be given to me, but given to me so that they could be
brought to Christ, the Chief Pastor."
How Vladyka loved the parishioners of our Cathedral, how he loved
the altar boys and choir singers, the hierarchal choir, how he loved
the conductor, Vladimir Krassovsky, he loved the youth choir, loved
the children's choir! How Vladyka loved and remembered the children—Misha
and Tasya, Alyosha and Ksenia, Roman and AlexandraÉ A priest has
six children, and Vladyka remembers each and every one, he would
call each one on their namesday, he remembered every clergyman and
their matushkas and the parishioners on their namesdayÉ When we
saw off Archbishop Anthony in San Francisco, everyone approached
the coffin in absolute silence, there was not a single sound, and
children cried more than anyone. How Vladyka Anthony loved our Russian
Wherever Vladyka performed his service, whichever parish he nourished,
he left part of his heart there and placed in his all-enveloping
heart a bit of the hearts of the people in these parishes. He remembered
Cleveland and Cabramatta, Vladimir Hill, where his abba, Archbishop
Vitaly (Maximenko) built the Memorial Church, Lakewood, Edmonton
Many of you met Vladyka only a few times, but even one meeting was
enough to warm a person's heart. Upon meeting Archbishop Anthony,
people sensed in him the light of Christ, and this light brought
warmth, joy and hope to our lives. The repose of Archbishop Anthony
is not only a loss for each of us personally, but a loss for our
entire Church, for Russia, for Universal Orthodoxy. Archbishop Anthony
did not look narrowly upon the Church, his heart was open for all
Orthodoxy, especially where there was suffering, especially in Russian
and Serbia. In this regard his attitude was similar to that of Metropolitan
Anthony (Khrapovitsky) of blessed memory and St John of Shanghai
and San Francisco the Miracle-worker.
Vladyka Anthony was a hierarch of universal significance. When Vladyka
Anthony lay in the hospital during his last few days, besides his
service books—the Gospel, the prayer book, the Menaion—he asked
for the biography of Metropolitan Anthony of blessed memory, 6 or
7 volumes. It was those specific volumes that speak of the division
in the Russian Church. Vladyka Anthony sought a way to overcome
this division, which he profoundly grieved over.
Vladyka Anthony served his last liturgy on the feast of the Transfiguration
of the Lord. After service, he appealed to his flock in connection
with the glorification in Moscow of the Royal Martyrs. Vladyka approved
of this glorification and rejoiced. He said that despite our differences,
the glorification was a beginning, it was reason for hope.
I think that Archbishop Anthony was the last hierarch of our Church
who was born in Russia, and adopted the monastic form of life at
an early age, and knew the great father Metropolitan Anthony. Vladyka
Anthony especially loved Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko) of blessed
memory. Archbishop Anthony had a living sense of these two great
bishops, and in part, thanks to his closeness to them, manifested
in himself the genuine spirit of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside
Vladyka Anthony was respected by all other bishops who came to know
him, and this respect was projected onto our entire Russian Church
Abroad. I found a letter from a professor in Yugoslavia, a personal
friend of His Holiness Patriarch Pavle. He wrote: "Patriarch
Pavle told me that he visited your home [in San Francisco—ed.],
and that Archbishop Anthony was a great man of prayer!"
Sensing that his earthly life was approaching an end, Vladyka Anthony
appealed to the clergy of the Western American Diocese after divine
liturgy during the Pastoral Retreat during Great Lent in 2000 with
the following words: "I thank you for everything, for covering
my sins with your love, your prayers. And I ask that you graciously
forgive me. I thank God that He gave you to me. I desire that you
should preserve the Local Russian Church, of which we are a part,
that you preserve all the Orthodox Churches which suffer so, especially
the Serbian Church, to which we are so indebted and which we, too,
helped. Let us pray to God that He would proclaim His Truth in His
world. Let us pray for everyone. Confirm, God, the holy Orthodox
Church, which You built with your blood. This is my wish at this
pastoral meeting, blessed by prayer and confession."
When I read the Gospel over the coffin of the late Vladyka Anthony,
a few words found a special place in my heart. These are from the
parable of the ten maidens, when the foolish had no oil and asked
of the wise: "Give us of your oil." Dear Vladyka, thank
you for everything, forgive us, pray for us and give us of your
A Brief Biography of Archbishop Anthony (Medvedev, +2000)
On September 23, at 12:10 pm, the Ruling Archbishop of the Western
American Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
His Eminence Archbishop Anthony, died. Vladyka Anthony led the Western
American Diocese over the course of 32 years—not one Orthodox bishop
in the USA held a cathedra for such a long period of time. With
the death of Archbishop Anthony, one of the last threads connecting
us to pre-revolutionary Russia has been broken, a bond to the tradition
of old Russian monasticism, with a direct succession of the spirit
of the founders of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
Archbishop Anthony was the last bishop of the Russian Church born
and raised in pre-revolutionary Russia, having assumed the monkhood
at an early age, and who knew the great abba, Metropolitan Anthony
(Khrapovitsky) of blessed memory.
Thirty-two years ago, on the Veneration of the Cross during Great
Lent, Vladyka Anthony, newly appointed by the Council of Bishops,
arrived from Australia. There were 16 parishes in the Western American
Diocese at the time. The Parish of the Catheral had not yet recovered
from the difficult period of the construction of the new church.
In the 1960's, the Diocese was divided into two parts, the Western
American Diocese and the Southern Californian Diocese. There were
a few parishes directly subject to the First Hierarch of the Russian
Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. There were two cadet organizations
and two scout organizations. With the arrival of His Eminence Archbishop
Anthony in San Francisco, a period of healing, a period of the restoration
of peace and unity began. Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky) of
blessed memory would speak of the main, brightest and most endearing
trait of Archbishop Anthony, his love: "It makes peace among
those who quarrel and softens angry and spiteful hearts, it acts
upon them like a balm poured into roiling seas."
Metropolitan Anastassy was not mistaken. Over those 32 years, the
Western American Diocese became one of the most well-organized in
the Russian diaspora. A period of peaceful and amicable constructiveness
began at the Cathedral. Under Archbishop Anthony, the construction
and frescos were completed, and the Cathedral consecrated. The parish
built a new hall with premises for the SS Cyril and Methodius High
School. The number of parishes grew to 35. A series of English-language
missions was established in the Diocese, a hospital for the aging
and the first Orthodox "lycee," in honor of St John of
Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker. The Southern Californian
Diocese was attached to the Western American Diocese, the two cadet
organizations merged, the scout organizations did as well.
So many prayers, so much love, patience, wisdom and humility was
needed from Archbishop Anthony to heal the wounds, to unite everyone,
and then to maintain peace and unity! The Russian writer Vladimir
Soloukhin, describing his first meeting with Archbishop Anthony
(see the story "Plokhoi soborÉ" [Bad Council] in the anthology
Smekh za levym plechom [Laughter Over the Left Shoulder]), wrote:
"The doors opened [to the residence of Vladyka Anthony—P.P.]
and I saw a gray-haired, gray-bearded elder, opening his arms as
though to embrace me, as though a father to his prodigal son."
This is how Vladyka Anthony greeted everyone who came to seek his
Archbishop Anthony, born Artemii Sergeevich Medvedev, was born in
1908 in Vilnius and studied at the Petrovsky Poltavsky Cadet Corps.
During the Civil War, he was evacuated from Sevastopol to Yugoslavia,
where in the White Army he finished the Crimean Cadet Corps of the
White Army. At the age of 22, he entered the Entrance of the Mother
of God Monastery. He considered himself a student of the Superior
of Milkovo Monatery, Schema-Archimandrite Ambrosius (Kurganov),
of which he wrote the work "Nemnogoletnii starets" [Young
elder] (Pravoslavniy put', 1952).
In 1932, the future Archbishop Anthony was tonsured into the monkhood,
in 1934 ordained a hierodeacon, and in 1938, a hieromonk. In Milkovo,
Fr Anthony bore the duty of ecclesiarch. During World War II, Hieromonk
Anthony was a military chaplain in the Russian Corps and the Russian
Liberation Movement. In the interim, he found himself at the Monastery
of St Job of Pochaev in the Carpathian Mountains. Since then, Fr
Anthony developed a strong bond with that brotherhood. After the
war, Fr Anthony moved with the brotherhood to Holy Trinity Monastery
in Jordanville, NY, where he fell under the spiritual leadership
of Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), who led him to missionary work.
Heguman, and later Archimandrite, Anthony opened a series of new
parishes in places where Russian refugees gathered, and also temporarily
served as administrator of the parishes of Western Canada.
In 1956, Archimandrite Anthony was consecrated Bishop of Melbourne,
Vicar of the Australian Diocese. In Australia, he was especially
close to the famous Russian liturgist Protopriest Rostislav Gan,
and also to the future First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church
Outside of Russia, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky). After the
repose of Archbishop John of Shanghai and San Francisco the Miracle-worker,
the vacant Western American cathedra was filled by Bishop Anthony.
In 1968, he arrived in San Francisco and that same year was elevated
to the rank of archbishop. Wherever he served, Vladyka Anthony paid
special attention to work with young people and parish schools.
From 1978 on, Vladyka Anthony was a member of the Synod of Bishops
and helped organize Councils of Bishops. As hegumen and archimandrite,
he prepared and edited the Typikon with instructions for divine
services—the addendum to the Holy Trinity Monastery Calendar. He
was a magnificent scholar of the church Ustav (Rule of services)
and divine services and as instructed by the Synod of Bishops, he
prepared texts for the services for St Herman of Alaska, St John
of Kronstadt (together with St John of Shanghai and San Francisco
the Miracle-worker), and the prayer to All Russian Saints, and St
Blessed Xenia of St Petersburg. Archbishop Anthony wrote the entire
service to the New Martyrs and Confessors of Russia. Archbishop
Anthony will be noted by history as the main inspiration for the
glorification of the great saint of the 20th century, St John of
Shanghai. Vladyka Anthony headed the examination of the remains
of St John in 1993, and also performed all the preparations for
his glorification, including composing most of the service to St
At the end of 1999, Archbishop Anthony's health began to falter.
Vladyka did not spare himself for the sake of the Church, and ignored
his weakness until he could no longer walk and read without great
The Synod of Bishops granted him leave of absence starting on January
1, 2000, in order to regain his health, and the temporary administration
of the Western American Diocese was given to Bishop Kyrill of Seattle.
During his treatment, Vladyka Anthony still tried to attend all
the main church services. He conducted all the services of Passion
Week and Pascha that year. Despite his poor vision, he read the
divine services, often by heart.
After Pascha, Vladyka Anthony was hospitalized for extended treatment,
and since then often lay in the hospital or in bed at home. He performed
his final service on the Transfiguration of the Lord—his physicians
allowed him to travel to the church from the hospital that day.
He prepared himself all week for the service, thinking about how
he would perform liturgy in a wheelchair (he was no longer able
to walk then), and when he would rise to his feet.
The Cathedral decided to celebrate his recent namesday on the day
of the Transfiguration. There were no words to describe the joy
Vladyka Anthony felt in seeing his flock and serving divine liturgy.
After liturgy and a moleben to St Anthony the Roman, a trapeza was
held during which Vladyka heard congratulatory greetings. That evening
he returned to the hospital.
At the beginning of September, Archbishop Anthony was released to
return home. On September 10, on the day of St Job of Pochaev, Archbishop
Anthony attended service at the Cathedral. He prayed at early liturgy
and communed of the Holy Gifts, then venerated the icon of St Job
and the relics of St John, turned to his flock and left the Cathedral.
After liturgy, the doctor, examining the feet of Vladyka Anthony,
said that he must immediately go to the hospital, or he would die
of gangrene. Vladyka Anthony decided to wait, however, to hear on
the speakers wired his room the remainder of the all-night vigil
on the eve of the feast day of the Beheading of St John the Baptist,
and after liturgy on September 11, which he also listened to, he
was taken to the hospital.
Vladyka Anthony's health weakened every day. He tried to conceal
his great pain, but it was apparent to his visitors. Archbishop
Anthony's spiritual father, Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko, administered
Communion to him on Tuesday, September 19, and the last three days,
one or another of his clergy spent all night in Vladyka's hospital
room with him. On Thursday, Vladyka Anthony's condition worsened
drastically, he reacted little to his visitors, and concentrated
on his condition. On Friday, September 22, at around 11 pm, Vladyka
Anthony received Christ's Mysteries for the last time. His breathing
was very labored. Two priests read the Canon on the departure of
the soul from the body, as the parishioners of the Cathedral who
had gathered sang. After the canon, those present sang Vladyka's
beloved Sticherion of the Cross, and a tear welled up in his right
eye—he heard and understood everything!
Then they bid farewell to their archpastor, asking his forgiveness
and blessing, kissing his hand. Priest Alexander Krassovsky spent
that night in Vladyka's room, and the next morning, Protopriest
Mark Gomez relieved him, in whose arms, at noon, the Ruling Archbishop
of the Western American Diocese died peacefully. Word of Vladyka's
repose was immediately sent to the Cathedral's clergy.
It was a school day, and the students of SS Cyril and Methodius
High School, whom Vladyka loved so much, learned of his death first.
The High School hosted the very first service for the repose of
the newly-departed Archbishop Anthony. By 1 pm, five priests already
gathered at Vladyka Anthony's bedside and the Canon for the departure
of the soul from the body was conducted, and then Vladyka's body
was taken to the Cathedral. At 5 pm, Bishop Kyrill, Protopriest
Stefan Pavlenko and Priest Paul Volmensky arrived from Reno (where
that day the first hierarchal liturgy was performed in the new mission
of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia) and together with
the Cathedral's clergymen, they vested Vladyka Anthony into his
monastic garb and the minor Episcopal vestments.
After all-night vigil, attended by a great number of parishioners
who had already learned of Vladyka's death, the first pannikhida
service was conducted. All night, the Cathedral's parishioners read
the Psalter over the body of the newly-departed bishop. On Sunday,
after late liturgy, the second pannikhida was conducted. Before
the service, however, Bishop Kyrill spoke on what a great archpastor
Vladyka Anthony was, how he was able to forgive and how the late
Vladyka personally helped him understand the concept of Conciliarity
in the Church. The third pannikhida was served that evening.
It is worth noting that the eldest clergyman of the Russian Orthodox
Church Outside of Russia, Protopriest Elias Wen, participated in
this service. Fr Elias, 103 years of age, had almost not attended
services anymore, but made a special effort to come and pray for
Archbishop Anthony, whom he loved and respected. The clergymen read
the Gospel over the body of the late Vladyka all night.
On Monday, September 25, at 9 am, the funerary liturgy was served,
attended by an enormous number of clergymen of the Diocese, and
that evening, a parastas [great pannikhida] was performed, headed
by Bishop Kyrill along with Bishop Jovan of the Serbian Orthodox
Church, the clergymen of the Diocese and seven Serbian priests.
Protopriest Stefan Pavlenko gave a eulogy. He said that this was
a schema-monk who lay before the worshipers. Vladyka Anthony did
not tell anyone that before becoming a bishop, he assumed the Great
Schema, but he led his life as an austere monk.
During his address, Bishop Jovan emphasized that although we lost
an archpastor, we gained a new intercessor at the Throne of the
Lord, and that we must not mourn that we lost Vladyka Anthony, but
instead thank God that we had him at all. The multitude of worshipers
silently, slowly, with a feeling of gratitude yet sensing that they
were now orphaned, approached the coffin of their archpastor and
kissed his hands. At this time, the singers sang various Paschal
sticheria, and the parishioners joined in this singing and the final
words: "Christ is risen from the dead, by death He conquered
death, and to those in the graves He granted life!"
The Cathedral's Protodeacon, Fr Nikolai Porshnikoff, appointed to
his position by St John was in the hospital all week, and learning
of the death of Vladyka Anthony, with whom he had served for 32
years, grieved that he could not participate in his burial. He even
questioned why the Lord punished him so. On the day of the parastas
and the bidding farewell to Archbishop Anthony, Fr Nikolai was undergoing
a medical procedure, and was under general anesthesia. At about
8 pm, a doctor unexpectedly told Fr Nikolai that he was being sent
home. At this very moment, some visitors came to see him and he
asked that they take him home to get his cassock, and then to the
Cathedral. And so Fr Nikolai entered the Cathedral near the end
of the service, asked blessing to don his vestments, and then intoned
the final litany of the parastas for his archpastor: "Let us
again pray for the newly-departed servant of God Archbishop AnthonyÉ"
and then "Eternal Memory." Was this not a miracle, a mercy
At around 10 pm, the coffin with Vladyka's body was carried around
the Cathedral he loved so much and placed into the hearse. This
hearse circled the block once more and then departed for the airport.
The clergy and worshipers watched the departed hearse for a long
time. Vladyka left our Cathedral for the final time.
The funeral and burial service, as Archbishop Anthony requested,
were conducted at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville. Ten clergymen
and some 50 people from the Western American Diocese were able to
participate in the services. The body of the newly-departed arrived
in the monastery on the day of the Elevation of the Cross. That
evening, a funerary vigil was performed; the monastic brethren read
the Gospel at the coffin all night.
On Thursday, classes at the Seminary were canceled and a funerary
liturgy was conducted. At the end of the service, a great number
of clergymen and faithful from many cities and states all across
America arrived, even clergymen from Australia. After liturgy, the
monks gave a memorial trapeza for Vladyka. Because of the great
number of worshipers, tables were set not only in the refectory
but in the large Seminary Hall.
The monastic funeral began at 1 pm. Archbishop Laurus, the Superior
of the Monastery, officiated, along with Archbishop Alypy of Chicago
and Detroit, Bishop Kyrill of Seattle, Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan,
and around 25 priests. Bishop Evtikhii of Ishim and Siberia was
in attendance, as was Bishop Mitrofan of Boston and another 25 priests.
Several eulogies were given at the service. Archbishop Laurus described
the image of Vladyka Anthony, outlining his life and sharing some
personal memories of him.
Protopresbyter Valery Lukianov called Vladyka Anthony "a Bishop
of the people," just as St John of Kronstadt was a "father
of the people." Fr Valery also stressed that Vladyka Anthony
more than anyone was the most worthy successor to St John upon the
Western American cathedra. After the service, the clergymen, under
the ringing of bells and the singing of the irmos "Helper and
protector," thrice circled the monastery cathedral with Vladyka's
coffin. It was a brilliant day, the sun was setting, a breeze blew
gently and the trees bore their autumn colors. Vladyka Anthony was
buried in a grave behind the cathedral next to Metropolitan Philaret.
The clergy and faithful did not leave for a long time, and sang
prayers around Vladyka Anthony's grave, and, as they had in San
Francisco, ended with the sticheria of Pascha and "Christ is
Everyone departed with a quiet joy and peace in their souls.