On Tuesday, July 30, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, paid an archpastoral visit to Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Harrisonburg, VA, and led the funeral of senior Eastern American Diocesan cleric Archpriest John Moses, who reposed in the Lord on Thursday, July 25.
Early on Tuesday morning, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Archpriests Serge Lukianov (rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Diocesan Cathedral in Howell, NJ), Seraphim Stephens (cleric of St. Joseph of Optina Church in Virginia Beach, VA), Matthew Williams (rector of St. Tikhon Church in Bristol, VA), and Mark Tyson (cleric of the same), Priests Gabriel Weller (parish rector), Jonah Campbell (rector of Christ the Savior Church in Wayne, WV), Priest Eugene Antonov (rector of Joy of All Who Sorrow Church in Cumming (Atlanta), GA), Richard Reed (parish cleric), Michael Furry (rector of St. Innocent of Alaska Bulgarian Mission in Roanoke, VA), and Christophe Lepoutre (rector of "Inexhaustible Cup" Chapel in Natural Bridge Station, VA), Hieromonk Felipe Balingit (ROCOR cleric), Archdeacon Sergius (Wilson; cleric of Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne), Protodeacon Jeremiah Davis (cleric of Christ the Savior Church), and parish Deacon Nektarios Kanney.
After Liturgy, the funeral service began, led by Metropolitan Hilarion. Serving alongside him were all of the above-mentioned clerics (excepting Fr. Nektary, who prayed in church, along with Archpriest John Johnson (rector of St. Thecla Mission in Silver Spring, MD) and parish Deacon Thomas Opyoke. They were joined by Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) and Archpriests Victor Potapov (rector of St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Washington, DC), George Johnson (rector of Holy Apostles Church in Beltsville, MD), and Onuphry Keith (rector of St. Nicholas Church in Winston-Salem, NC).
Fr. Serge Lukianov delivered the eulogy, in which he said, in part:
"Every time he spoke with us, all of his wisdom was always full of love, always full of compassion, always worrying about ‘the little guy,’ the one who is forgotten… that was the way he was. He would reach out to people that [often others] did not even want to talk to. That was Fr. John. He would go places and pull people out of the gutter, because he wanted them to feel that love of Christ. That was Fr. John… We would spend hours talking, and our conversations were always about Christ, always about that love that we have with Christ. And I think that is that love that we have to take from this funeral."
Metropolitan Hilarion greeted the mourners, and presented them all icons and his blessing. As a comfort to the family, special icons were presented to Matushka Alexandra Moses, Fr. Gabriel and Matushka Tatiana Weller, Sophia Blair (Matushka Tatiana and Sophia are Fr. John's sisters), and his children – Matushka Elizabeth (Bonnie) Opyoke and John.
The burial took place at Thornrose cemetery in Staunton, VA and a memorial repast was served at a local restaurant for all in attendance.
Harrisonburg, VA: Metropolitan Hilarion leads Funeral of Archpriest John Moses - 07/30/19
Photos: Subdeacon Peter Lukianov