Belarus: Funeral for Metropolitan Philaret served in Minsk

. : Belarus

On the feast of the Circumcision of the Lord and St. Basil the Great on January 14, His Eminence Metropolitan Benjamin of Minsk, the Patriarchal Exarch of All Belarus, celebrated the Divine Liturgy and funeral for His Eminence Metropolitan Philaret, the Patriarchal Exarch Emeritus, in the Holy Spirit Cathedral in Minsk. His Eminence reposed in the Lord on Tuesday, January 12, at the age of 85. Met. Benjamin was concelebrated by 13 hierarchs, including His Eminence Metropolitan Augustine of Belotserkov of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and clergy of the Belarusian Exarchate, reports the press service of the Belarusian Orthodox Church. Immediately following the Liturgy, a memorial litiya was served by Met. Philaret’s casket (video on the channel of the Belarusian Church)

Before the funeral service, Met. Benjamin read out the condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. Condolences from President Alexander Lukashenko were also read out. During the funeral service, the eulogy of the Belarusian Synod was read out, which says in part: "Our dear Abba, we are all your children in Christ. Imitating the feat of the righteous Philaret the Merciful, whose name was given to you in monastic vows, you have given us a vivid example of complete dedication to God. Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto Thy name give glory (Ps. 113: 9)—you pronounced these words of the Psalmist as your motto. Indeed, you had no private life: All that you did was to serve the one King of kings and the Lord of lords (1 Tim 6: 15), inseparable from serving God’s beloved creation, man."

After the Great Doxology, Met. Benjamin read the prayer of absolution, and the funeral service ended with the singing of “Memory Eternal.” Met. Augustine of Belotserkov then read out the condolences of His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine. Then, according to the will of Met. Philaret, his coffin was carried around Holy Spirit Cathedral to the singing of the first Irmos of the Canon of Repentance of St. Andrew of Crete: “A helper and a protector, He has become my salvation. This is my God, I will glorify Him, my father’s God will I exalt, for gloriously has He been glorified.” His body was then placed in the cathedral for the faithful to bid farewell.

His Eminence was buried at the Zhirovichi-Holy Dormition Monastery on January 15, which was renewed thanks to Met. Philaret during the difficult times of soviet rule. A theological seminary and academy were also later opened in Zhirovichi, and the monastery is a spiritual center for all of Belarus today. Met. Philaret is buried behind the altar of the monastery’s Holy Cross Church. (Quelle: www.orthochristian.com, 15. Januar 2021)

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