OCA consecrates Athonite schemamonk as Bishop of Bethesda

Washington, D.C., January 30, 2020

Photo: oca.org Photo: oca.org     

The Orthodox Church in America gained a new hierarch on Saturday, January 25, as Archimandrite Alexis (Trader) was consecrated as Bishop of Bethesda, auxiliary to the primate His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, D.C.

Clergy and faithful from the Archdiocese of Washington, the Monastery of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, St. Tikhon’s and St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminaries, and New Skete Monastery gathered for the hierarchical Divine Liturgy and the consecration of the new hierarch, reports the official OCA website.

Photo: oca.org Photo: oca.org     

The newly-consecrated Bishop Alexis was elected by the OCA Holy Synod on November 12 as auxiliary to the Metropolitan for stavropegial institutions, which include the Monks and Nuns of New Skete (Cambridge, NY), St. Vladimir’s Theological Seminary and Three Hierarchs Chapel (Crestwood, NY), Holy Myrrhbearer’s Monastery (Otego, NY), St. Sergius of Radonezh Chapel at the OCA chancery (Oyster Bay Cove, NY), and St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery and Seminary (South Canaan, PA).

His Grace’s Orthodox life has thus come full circle, as he was initially received into the Orthodox Church at St. Tikhon’s Monastery where he labored as a monk for 10 years and as a lecturer at the seminary. He then became a monk of Karakallou Monastery on Mt. Athos where he was ordained to the priesthood, and later served at a convent-metochion of Karakallou in Greece. His Grace has been living at St. Tikhon’s Monastery since his return to America last year.

Photo: oca.org Photo: oca.org     

On the eve of his ordination, the gathered hierarchs celebrated the Nomination and Proclamation of a Bishop, after which Bishop-elect Alexis celebrated Great Vespers for the feast of St. Gregory the Great. Before the beginning of the Divine Liturgy the next day, Bishop-elect Alexis offered his statement of faith, proclaimed the Nicene Creed, and offered a detailed explanation of the Church’s doctrines, pledging to uphold the sacred canons and teachings of the Fathers.

Photo: oca.org Photo: oca.org     

During the singing of the Trisagion, Bishop-elect Alexis was presented to the bishops in the altar and consecrated to the episcopacy. Following the Liturgy, Met. Tikhon handed Bp. Alexis his pastoral staff, “signifying his responsibility and authority as Bishop of Bethesda,” and offered him words of encouragement, saying, “My dear brother, I pray that our Lord will grant you good health and a plenitude of spiritual gifts so that you may in peace and love nourish the people of God and be a witness to all those who are searching and seeking for the truth as offered by Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

Photo: oca.org Photo: oca.org     

Read Met. Tikhon’s entire address on the site of the Orthodox Church in America.

Bp. Alexis served his first hierarchical Liturgy the next day at St. Mark’s Church in Bethesda, Maryland.

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