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MOSCOW: April 15, 2008
The Holy Synod of the Moscow Patriarchate Makes a Resolution on the Report of Metropolitan Yuvenaly on the visit of the Delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate to the Funeral of Metropolitan Laurus

JOURNAL NO. 12
The Holy Synod presided over by the PATRIARCH, Heard:

The report of His Eminence Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsa and Kolomensk on the participation of the delegation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the funeral of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

Background:

On the morning of 3/16 March, 2008, the day of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York, departed to the Lord at the age of 80.

On March 17, the day of Righteous Prince Daniil of Moscow, His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II of Moscow and All Russia, along with a host of bishops, prayed for the repose of the newly-reposed Metropolitan Laurus at Holy Trinity Cathedral at Danilov Monastery and blessed His Eminence Metropolitan Yuvenaly of Krutitsa and Kolomensk to lead a delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church to attend the funeral. Included in this delegation would be the Administrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA, His Grace Bishop Merkury of Zaraisk and the Secretary of the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA, Protopriest Alexander Abramov.
On March 19, Metropolitan Yuvenaly arrived in New York, and on the following day he visited the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, where His Eminence was greeted by His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops and Vicar Bishop of the Diocese of Eastern America and New York and by His Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart. Here, Metropolitan Yuvenaly performed a litiya for the repose of Metropolitan Laurus, and at St Sergius Chapel, after which His Eminence prayed for His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II and for His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand.

Metropolitan Yuvenaly then venerated the holy icons at St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York.
That day, Metropolitan Yuvenaly arrived at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, where he was greeted by its Prior, Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), and a multitude of clergymen. At Holy Trinity Cathedral, His Eminence expressed the condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II to everyone in attendance and performed a litiya at the bier of the newly-reposed Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. After matins, a monastic trapeza and great compline, Metropolitan Yuvenaly performed a pannikhida along with Bishop Gabriel and Bishop Merkury. Praying at the service were Bishop Agapit, His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland and His Grace Bishop George of Canada (Serbian Orthodox Church).

That evening, there was a meeting of the brethren with Metropolitan Yuvenaly and the archpastors of ROCOR, and a separate meeting with the First Deputy of the President of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR, His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, and the Second Deputy, His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany.

On March 21, the Pre-Sanctified Liturgy was celebrated at Holy Trinity Cathedral, followed by the funeral of the late Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York. Divine Liturgy and the funeral rite was headed by Metropolitan Yuvenaly, along with His Eminence Metropolitan Onoufry of Chernovitsa and Bukovino; His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand, First Deputy of the President of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR; His Eminence Archbishop Mark of Berlin and Germany, Second Deputy of the President of the Synod of Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America; His Grace Bishop George of Canada (Serbian Orthodox Church); His Grace Bishop Gabriel of Manhattan, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR; His Grace Bishop Merkury of Zaraisk, Adminstrator of the Patriarchal Parishes in the USA; His Grace Bishop Agapit of Stuttgart; His Grace Bishop Peter of Cleveland, Administrator of the Diocese of Chicago and Mid-America; His Grace Bishop Mark of Toledo (the American Metropoliate of the Antiochian Patriarchate); Protopriest Alexander Abramov, Secretary of the Representation of the Moscow Patriarchate in the USA; Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov), Prior of Sretensky Stavropighial Monastery in Moscow; and a host of clergymen. His Grace Bishop Tikhon of Eastern Pennsylvania (Orthodox Church in America) prayed in the altar.

In addition to many clergymen, monastics and laypersons of the Russian Church Abroad, AS Sokolov, the Minister of Culture and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation; Yu.V. Ushakov, Ambassador of the Russian Federation to the United States; SV Garmonin, Consul General of the Russian Federation in New York; II Rogachev, Deputy of the Permanent Mission to the United Nations of the Russian Federation, and other officals; as well as Protopriest Mark Arey; and clergymen of the Antiochian, Jerusalem and Serbian Patriarchates and the Orthodox Church in America; Abbess Moisseia of the Convent of the Ascension of the Lord on the Mount of Olives and Elizabeth of Gethsemane Convent in Jerusalem.

Before the beginning of the funeral, Metropolitan Yuvenaly read the condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Alexy II; President Vladimir Putin of Russia; President-elect Dmitry Medvedev; SM Mironov, President of the Federation Council of the Russian Federation; and expressed the sympathies of His Eminence Metropolitan Kirill of Smolensk and Kaliningrad, President of the Department of External Church Relations of the Moscow Patriarchate.

During the funeral, sharing their memories of the late hierarch were Protopriest George Larin, Protopriest Andre Papkov and Metropolitan Onoufry, who also read the condolences of His Eminence Metropolitan Vladimir of Kiev and All Ukraine.

The funeral and paying of last respects lasted all day.

Metropolitan Yuvenaly then spoke at a press conference.

After everyone paid their last respects to the late Vladyka and a funerary litiya was performed, the coffin containing his body was carried around the Cathedral three times, stopping four times each for a litiya. Metropolitan Laurus was buried in a crypt under Holy Trinity Cathedral where other Primates of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia are interred.

After a memorial trapeza and meeting between Metropolitan Yuvenaly and the archpastors of the Russian Church Abroad in the Seminary Library, attended by AS Sokolov, Bishop Merkury and clergymen, the guests proceeded to the skete and visited the cell of the late Vladyka Laurus, where he spent his humble ascetic life and where he departed in peace to the Lord.

On March 23, Consul General Garmonin hosted a reception in honor of Metropolitan Yuvenaly, and the next day, His Eminence met with the Ambassador of the Permanent Mission to the United Nations, attended by Mr Rogachov, Bishop Merkury and Fr Alexander.

On Saturday, March 22, Vladyka Yuvenaly officiated at all-night vigil at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady of the Sign, at which he was joined by Archbishop Hilarion, Archbishop Mark, Archbishop Kyrill, Bishop Gabriel, Bishop Merkury, Bishop Agapit, Archimandrite Tikhon (Shevkunov) and a host of clergymen. Attending the service were Abbess Elizabeth and Abbess Moisseia. After the divine service, Archbishop Hilarion and Metropolitan Yuvenaly exchanged greetings.

On March 23, Metropolitan Yuvenaly officiated at Divine Liturgy at St Nicholas Patriarchal Cathedral in New York. Joining him were Archbishop Hilarion, Archbishop Mark, Bishop Gabriel, Bishop Merkury, Bishop Agapit, Archimandrite Tikhon and many clergymen. Mr Garmonin, Abbess Elizabeth, Abbess Moisseia also prayed at the service. Afterwards, Metropolitan Yuvenaly, Archbishop Mark and Bishop Merkury exchanged greetings.
A formal reception then followed at St Nicholas Cathedral hall to honor the important guests, after which Metropolitan Yuvenaly granted an interview to Vladimir Kikilo of ITAR-TASS.
Later that day, Metropolitan Yuvenaly flew to Switzerland to participate in discussions with a delegation of the Constantinople Patriarchate.

DECREED:

1. To elevate prayers to the Lord for the repose in the abode of the righteous of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

2. To express profound condolences on behalf of the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church to the archpastors, clergy, monastics and laity of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.

3. To note with approval the spirit of brotherly, prayerful communion which reigned during the funeral of His Eminence Metropolitan Laurus and the subsequent services in New York with the participation of the delegation of the Russian Orthodox Church headed by His Eminence Metropolitan Yuvenaly and the hierarchs of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, headed by the First Deputy of the President of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, His Eminence Archbishop Hilarion of Sydney, Australia and New Zealand.