Athos, August 6, 2016
On August 5, 2016, at the Russian monastery of St. Panteleimon on Mt. Athos the monastery’s newly-departed igumen, Schema-Archimandrite Jeremiah (Alekhin), having departed to the Lord on August 4 in his 101st year, was buried, reports a correspondent of the site “Russian Athos.”
The Divine Liturgy and Rite of Burial was served by the vicar of the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, His Eminence Archbishop Theognost of Sergiev Posad, arriving to the Russian Athonite monastery by the blessing of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill.
The Superior of the Holy Mountain Schemamonk Barnabas, Igumen of Griogirou Monastery Schema-Archimandrite Christopher, and representatives of all the Athonite monasteries arrived to share with the brotherhood of St. Panteleimon Monastery their godly sorrow for the deceased father.
All the brothers of the Russian Athonite monastery gathered to bid farewell to the elder-igumen, including the superiors and inhabitants of the sketes and metochias of the monastery. Nearly all of the Russian Athonite hermits came to the monastery from various desert cells to say goodbye to the blessed elder.
All night, until the beginning of the morning service, Russian Athonites continually read the Gospel by the relics of the deceased gumen, with every monk of the monastery taking a turn. Having arrived at the monastery deep in the night, Archbishop Theognost also participated in the continual reading of the Gospel.
All of the brother and guests of the monastery took part in the Divine requiem Liturgy. After the dismissal of the Liturgy Vladyka Theognost read aloud the condolences of His Holiness Patriarch Kirill. About 300 monastic and lay pilgrims were gathered in the monastery by the beginning of the burial service.
Archbishop Theognost read the prayer of absolution over the deceased. Before the beginning of the rite of the “Last Kiss,” at the end of the funeral, Superior of the Holy Mountain, Schemamonk Barnabas addressed all those gathered, stating:
With assuredness in the resurrection and the repose from the temporal and corruptible to the eternal and incorruptible, we escort in this hour the honorable relics of the blessed slave of God, the lord Igumen Schema-Archimandrite Jeremiah, who for many years as a good shepherd of his flock guided many souls to salvation. A wise and sober elder, a man of active love and high humility, teaching firstly by his deeds, and then by his words, he was a kind and true instructor of his spiritual children on the ladder of virtue, patience and prayer.
The whole of the Holy Mountain is praying for the blessed repose and eternal bold intercessions at the throne of the King of Glory of this blessed elder.
To the beloved brethren of St. Panteleimon’s Monastery I relate the fatherly and affirming prayerful wishes of His Holiness our Patriarch and Lord Bartholomew, whom I have the honor to represent.
Now, when the soul of the blessed deceased elder is freed from fetters of the corruptible flesh and unceasingly turns to the Creator of the whole world, the Lord of Glory, he will be mystically nearer to his spiritual children. Fr. Igument Jeremiah was already in this life full of prayer and heavenly contemplation. And now we supplicate him to pray together with other holy Athonite cenobiarchs for his flock and the whole Mountain, for their prosperity in a godly life, for the unity of the Holy Orthodox Church, and for the people of God and for the whole world.
Let the sadness of your beloved children be transfigured into joy because they have truly found an intercessor in heaven. Eternal memory to you, blessed elder! May your holy prayers abide with us.
Before the burial, the relics of the deceased Father Jeremiah were carried once around the main cathedral of the monastery of the holy Great Martyr and Healer Panteleimon, and were buried near the south altar wall where all igumens of the monastery are buried according to tradition. According to the Athonite ustav, the relics of Schema-Archimandrite Jeremiah were interred without a coffin.