On Saturday, August 12, the eve of the 50th anniversary of the hierarchical consecration of Metropolitan Laurus, a panihida was served for the ever-memorable First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad at St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ, at the memorial to His Holiness, Patriarch Alexey II, and Metropolitan Laurus.
The panihida was served by Eastern American Diocesan secretary and cathedral dean Archpriest Serge Lukianov and cathedral clergy: Archpriest Seraphim Chemodakov and Protodeacons Leonid Roschko and Paul Drozdowski. Also praying at the panihida was Protodeacon Dimitri Temidis, cleric of Holy Protection Church in Nyack, NY, and cathedral parishioners.
Upon conclusion of the panihida, Fr. Serge offered a brief sermon in memory of Metropolitan Laurus. "Every person leaves something in their wake, and Metropolitan Laurus left in his wake a very important word. That word is ‘humility.’ Vladyka Laurus was humble, he did everything simply, prayerfully. And when talks only began about how to unite the Russian Church with the Church Abroad, how many accusations came forth against Metropolitan Laurus! But this man quietly and calmly said: ‘It is easy to tear the raiment of Christ to pieces, but to mend it is a great labor.’ And so we now stand before the memorial and thank Vladyka Laurus for this humility, for this firm resolve, and for the fact that he united the Russian Orthodox Church. This year already marks the decennial of the unification, and we rejoice that we, as brothers in Christ, united around the Holy Chalice and the Holy Church. And we thank this humble man: Metropolitan Laurus. May he enter the Heavenly Kingdom! He has the gratitude of the entire Russian Church Abroad!"