Uponn receiving the news of the repose of Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia on May 16th, the bells of the Monasteries of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem rang out a somber funeral peal informing the Holy City of the passing of our much loved hierarch. Pannyhida services were served immediately after Divine Liturgy.
That evening the Head of the REM, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), flew to New York to represent the Mission at the funeral services. Other members of the Mission were unable to go due to COVID 19 restrictions.
The Head of the Mission had the honor to take part in the vesting of the reposed hierarch. The party of clergymen vesting the late metropolitan was led by the acting Head of ROCOR, Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany. When the body was brought into the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York, Fr. Roman placed an olive branch brought from the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem into the hands of Vladyka Hilarion.
The funeral service on May 21 was preceded by Divine Liturgy led by Metropolitan Mark. A multitude of bishops and clergy served and received Holy Communion one last time in the presence of their Abba. Bishops from the Antiochian, American and Ukrainian churches, priests from the Serbian, Bulgarian and other churches joined in prayer around the body of Metropolitan Hilarion for his funeral. After the service the coffin was carried out from the cathedral to be transported to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York for burial.
After Liturgy on Sunday, which coincided with the feast of St. Nicholas, many clergy and mourners gathered at the monastery for the burial. It was fitting that Metropolitan Hilarion would be buried along with the brothers with which he lived with and toiled together with at the monastery for many years. Vladyka Hilarion is the fourth First Hierarch to be buried at the monastery, the others being Metropolitans Anastassy, Philaret and Laurus.
All the memorial services for our reposed metropolitan took on a joyful, truly paschal character. A true reminder of what St. Seraphim of Sarov said that if one aquires the spirit of peace, thousands around you will be saved. That spirit emanated in abundance from our beloved Vladyka.