His Holiness Patriarch Kirill celebrates litiya at the grave of Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom)

Source: DECR Communication Service

London, October 20, 2016

Photo: https://mospat.ru/
Photo: https://mospat.ru/

On 17 October 2016, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill of
Moscow and All Russia, whose visit to Great Britain is
timed to the 300th anniversary of the Russian Orthodox
Church’s presence in the British Isles, performed
the rite of the blessing of a new headstone at the grave
of Metropolitan Anthony (Bloom) of Sourozh at the Brompton
Cemetery.

Later the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church
celebrated a litiya for the late Metropolitan Anthony.
Among those praying at the service were Metropolitan
Hilarion of Volokolamsk, chairman of the Moscow
Patriarchate’s Department for External Church
Relations; Archbishop Yelisei of Sourozh; Archbishop
Anatoly of Chersonese, vicar of the Sourozh diocese;
Archbishop Innokenty of Vilnius and Lithuania; Bishop
Sergy of Solnechnogorsk, head of the Moscow
Patriarchate’s Administrative Secretariat; Bishop
Antony of Bogorodsk, head of the Moscow
Patriarchate’s Administration for Institutions
Abroad; Bishop Flavian of Cherepovets and Belozersk;
Bishop Matfey of Skopin and Shatsk; numerous clergymen and
parishioners.

Photo: https://mospat.ru/
Photo: https://mospat.ru/

After the litiya, His Holiness Patriarch Kirill addressed
all those present, saying in particular:

“Eternal memory, eternal memory, eternal memory be
to His Eminence the late Vladyka Anthony.

“Perhaps, all those gathered here remember Vladyka
Anthony, met and talked with him.

“I recall my first meeting with Vladyka Anthony. It
was as far back as 1965, when he came to Leningrad and
celebrated the Divine Liturgy at the Cathedral of St
Nicholas together with Metropolitan Nikodim of the blessed
memory. I stood there with Vladyka Nikodim’s crozier
and was astonished at Vladyka Anthony’s homily. He
spoke quietly; perhaps, without a microphone his voice was
not strong enough to be heard throughout the large
cathedral. Yet, I stood near him and therefore was able to
hear his profound homily from the beginning to end. It not
only contained wise thoughts, but also, no doubt, conveyed
a spiritual energy. At that moment, in my heart and in my
mind, I realized that Vladyka Athnony was a unique person,
God-gifted, with an exceptional charisma.

“Later we often met with Vladyka Anthony at various
international conferences. I would visit Great Britain and
he would come to Russia. We always had very good and
sincere relationships and spoke openly even about the most
delicate matters pertaining to the situation of the Church
in the Soviet Union. Vladyka Anthony was always a very
sympathetic listener. He never asked questions that were
difficult to answer, because he knew, as well as we did,
what was going on in the country and in the Church. We
were of the same mind on many issues.

“When Vladyka Anthony fell ill and got weaker, we
all, those who knew and loved him, wished him many years
of life, at the same time being aware that human life
cannot be prolonged artificially. Therefore I, at the time
chairman of the Department for External Church Relations,
had to ponder on how to organize the church life in Great
Britain after Vladyka Anthony’s demise. As many of
you know, the years that followed his death were
difficult. However, by God’s mercy and, perhaps,
through the prayers of Metropolitan Anthony, it all worked
out well and the dark clouds that had formed over our
community in Great Britain dispersed, and now hardly
anybody remembers about them. The parish became stronger
and more consolidated. It brings together those who
remember Vladyka Anthony well, who loved him and were
close to him, and new people, many of whom did not know
him.

“I think that the duty of our Orthodox community,
the duty of the Sourozh diocese is to cherish the memory
of Metropolitan Anthony with great piety and love. He was
the founder of the diocese; he established this Russian
Orthodox community, open to the English people and to
people of different nationalities… I am deeply
convinced that the memory of Vladyka Anthony is cherished
not only in the hearts of those who knew and loved him,
but also in the hearts of those who were not acquainted
with him, but grew to love him thanks to his labours, his
homilies and stories about him.

“May the blessed memory of Metropolitan Anthony live
always in the grateful hearts of all Orthodox Christians
of the Sourozh diocese. God save you!”

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