Metropolitan PHILIP Presides at Memorial for Patriarch IGNATIUS IV - 12/16/12

His Eminence, Metropolitan PHILIP celebrated the Divine Liturgy and a memorial service in memory of His Beatitude, Patriarch IGNATIUS IV at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Brooklyn. The cathedral was filled to capacity with many dignitaries and faithful from the greater New York area. Sayidna PHILIP was assisted by His Grace, Bishop NICHOLAS, Archpriest Thomas Zain, Archpriest Dimitri Darwich, Priest Charles Baz, Priest Adrian Budica, Archdeacon Emile Sayegh and Deacon Andre Elhajj. In addition to those serving the liturgy, brother bishops and clergy from the sister Orthodox Churches joined the Metropolitan for the Trisagion service including His Beatitude, Metropolitan TIKHON of the Orthodox Church in America, His Grace, Bishop SEVASTIANOS of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (representing Archbishop DEMETRIOS), Archpriest Alexander Golubov (representing Archbishop JUSTINIAN of the Moscow Patriarchate) and Archpriests John Behr and Chad Hatfield, the dean and chancellor of St. Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary along with Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak. Representing other churches were Archbishop Oshagan Choloyan and Bishop Anoushavan Tanielian of the Eastern Prelacy of the Armenian Apostolic Church in America, Bishop Gregory Mansour of the Eparchy of St. Maron of Brooklyn, Bishop Octavio Ciceneros, Auxiliary of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Brooklyn, Father Mina Yanni, representing Bishop David of the Coptic Orthodox Church and Sheikh Sami Merhi of the American Druze Society. The Diplomatic community was represented by Ambassador Antoine Chedid, the Lebanese Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador Bashar Ja'afari, the Syrian Ambassador to the United Nations, and Majdi Ramadan, the Counsel General of Lebanon in New York.

Prior to the memorial, Metropolitan PHILIP asked the entire congregation to stand in a moment of silence to remember the children and other victims of the mass killings in Connecticut earlier in the week, praying that their memories would be eternal. He then gave a brief biography of the late patriarch, recalling his humbleness and simplicity on the one hand and his perseverance and vision on the other. He reminded the people that this simple monk of great faith was able to assume the role as the Patriarch of  Antioch and all the East, unite the Church, build an Orthodox University in the midst of the Lebanese (un)civil war and, most importantly, see the face of God in his neighbor. Finally, His Eminence asked the faithful to pray for the fathers of the Holy Synod of Antioch as the prepare to deliberate and elect a new Patriarch on Monday.

Following the divine liturgy and memorial, a reception was held in the Cathedral hall.