EASTERN AMERICAN DIOCESE: 4 January 2023
The funeral of Hieromonk Alexander (Lisinchuk)
On Saturday, December 30, 2023, the funeral services for Hieromonk Alexander (Lisnichuk) were held at St Mary of Egypt Church in Roswell (Atlanta), GA. Fr Alexander reposed on Thursday, December 28, after a battle with brain cancer and postoperative infection. A panihida was served on Friday evening.
On Saturday morning, parish rector Archimandrite John (Townsend) celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by:
- Archpriest Mark Tyson (Rector of St Thomas the Apostle Mission in Tobaccoville, NC)
- Archpriest Matthew Williams (Rector of St Tikhon Church in Blountville, TN)
- Priest Daniel Iliev (parish cleric)
- Priest Mikhail Beliakov (parish cleric)
- Priest Elias Crowder (Rector of St Martin of Tours Mission in Montgomery, AL)
- Hieromonk Gabriel (Davis; parish cleric)
- Hieromonk Daniel (Justiniano; cleric of San Juan Clímaco Church in San Germán, PR)
- Priest Theodore Foley (Diocesan cleric; studying at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, NY)
- Deacon Jude Rountree (parish cleric), and
- Deacon Peter Epstein (parish cleric).
Praying and communing in the altar was Archpriest Dimitri Oselinsky (parish cleric).
Upon conclusion of Liturgy, the funeral service was served by the above-mentioned clergy, joined by Archpriest Steven Ritter (diocesan cleric).
Praying in church were Fr Dimitri, Archpriest Mark Mancuso (dean of the Carolinas and Tennessee, representing the Eastern American Diocesan Council), Priest Isaac Atalla (rector of Christ the Savior Mission in Chattanooga, TN), Protodeacon John Hanson (cleric of St Nektarios Church in Lenoir City, TN), Fr Michael Wells (cleric of Glorious Ascension Monastery in Resaca, GA), and priests from several local OCA parishes.
After the reading of the Gospel, Fr John delivered the eulogy, in which he said, in part:
"I remember very well when Fr Alexander came to the Church, as well as his monastic tonsure. Both of these events had the feeling of the prodigal son: ‘I come unworthily to Thy fatherly embrace, have mercy on me.’ If possible, if I can, I want to talk a little bit about that embrace, because it is the thing that we all long for more than anything else, more than anything in this world: that we can come to our Creator and God in our sinfulness, in all of our weakness, our pain, our suffering, our littleness, and with the hope that He will accept us as one of His hired servants.
"But what does He do? He lifts us up and embraces us. Fr Alexander, when he received that, he kept something that really was part of him from the very beginning - and that is a loving care for other people. A willingness to imitate the God Who embraced him as he came into the Church and prostrated before His representatives. One of the most beautiful things about him, from the first day that I met him, was that he was willing to accept other people and deal with them from his heart, without all kinds of affectation. He loved people. He was sincere, he was honest.
"One of the last memories I have of him: he was able to come to church. I really did not want him to hear confessions because I did not think he really was, maybe, capable. But God saw otherwise. And a few people took advantage of that opportunity, and I am glad they did. I remember someone confessing, and I looked over, and as always, almost every single time, after he read those wonderful words of forgiveness - that he had heard himself, when he came to give himself before God, to take on the angelic life - he embraced them. It was always something he did at the end of every confession: embraced the one who confessed.
"What a beautiful sign it was to them of their forgiveness by God the Father, to hear this spiritual father also show his love for them and his acceptance of them, whatever it was they had confessed, acceptance of them, embracing them.
"There are so many things that we could say about him. As we come into the church, we cannot walk one inch without something that Father Alexander did. He brought it to beauty, something that was beyond anything I could imagine. Such beauty, such commitment, such honesty. But done for the glory of God, not for his glory. He did not want any glory or thanks for it. And now I think he has an even better chance of being rewarded for that in the Kingdom of God.
"There is not a person here, I think, who was not touched by him in some way. Many of you were brought to Jesus Christ by him. He simply told you, ‘It is time. You have got to do it now.’ And let all the rest of us remember the certain urgency he had for bringing everyone to God and to His Holy Church, and let us answer that call that came from God through him to us. For God desires that we all be saved and come to a knowledge of truth.
“Let us come now, through his prayers, to our God and Heavenly Father, let us bow down before Him and say, ‘I am not worthy to be Your child; make me as one of Your hired servants.’ And we can hope from the bottom of our hearts that He will lift us up and embrace us in His Fatherly embrace. Amen."
After the final kiss, many of the clergy and faithful proceeded to Glorious Ascension Monastery in Resaca, where the burial took place.
That evening, after Vigil, a memorial repast was held in the parish hall.
Memory eternal to the newly reposed Hieromonk Alexander!