SYNOD OF BISHOPS: June 12, 2007
Metropolitan Laurus Sends Condolences on the Death of Protopresbyter Elias Wen
To His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill
of San Francisco and Western America
Dear in the Lord Clergymen, Brothers and Sisters, Parishioners and Worshipers of the Cathedral of the Mother of God "Joy of All Who Sorrow"
It was with deep sadness that I learned of the death of Father Protopresbyter Elias Wen. I express my condolences to His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill, the clergymen and flock of the Cathedral. The reposed father deserves the highest praise for his many years of tireless and fruitful service to the Church of Christ.
The quiet and loving pastor has departed from us. He had come to this house of God many times with all of you and sang the same prayers to the Lord together with you. His entire long life, Fr Elias fed his flock with the heavenly Bread—the Body of the Lord, and strengthened you with the heavenly Drink—the Blood of the Lord; and, bringing you the Bloodless Sacrifice, he served as intercessor before God not only on behalf of you, his flock, but on behalf of the whole world, for the living and for the dead. He prayed for all of mankind, inside church and outside of church, as he visited the members of his flock; he prayed when we heard him, and when we did not; he prayed with the Royal Doors open, and with them closed; before the table of oblation and before the altar table; Fr Elias prayed at home, performing the daily Rule; his prayers were raised for those whom he knew, for those who loved him and for those who hated him, for those who had mercy upon him and those who insulted him; pleading for God's mercy for all. In a word, his prayers were for everyone and for all!
Today he calls out to us: "Fathers, brothers, sisters and children! For many years I have lived with you in the God-preserved city of San Francisco, I performed my priestly duties in this Cathedral, I tried to the best of my abilities to serve God to His glory and for the benefit of His flock; I saw joys and I saw sorrows on earth. Now the Master of life and death has called me to another life, and I have entered this eternity, and go to God to give account for my sins, and the sins of those who entrusted their consciences to me. I now need your prayers. Forgive me! I have brought the Bloodless Sacrifice for the living and the dead in this church, I raised my arms to the heavens, I pleaded for God's mercy. I now need your prayers more than ever before. Pray for me now!"
Fathers, brothers, sisters and children! From the bottom of our hearts let us cry to the Lord: "O All-merciful Jesus, sweetness of presbyters! Have mercy upon Your servant, Protopresbyter Elias, and repose his soul with the Saints!" Amen.
With love in Christ, and asking your prayers,
+ Metropolitan Laurus
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia