Podgorica, Montenegro, November 2, 2020
Thousands of Orthodox faithful greeted the earthly remains of their beloved Metropolitan Amfilohije of Montenegro on Saturday as they were carried in procession from Cetinje to the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in the capital city of Podgorica.
The Orthodox Church in Montenegro was spiritually reborn under the 30-year administration of Met. Amfilohije. Under his spiritual leadership, hundreds of thousands of Montenegrin citizens took to the streets earlier this year to protest the anti-Orthodox legislation of the previous government, and under his spiritual influence, the longstanding nationalist government was finally defeated in the polls.
Similarly, the streets were filled with Orthodox parishioners and all who loved Met. Amfilohije on Saturday, who awaited his funeral procession on prayerful bended knee.
A memorial Liturgy was celebrated for Met. Amfilohije earlier that day in Cetinje, where the metropolis is headquartered, led by Bishop Joanikije of Budimlja and Nikšić, who has been appointed administrator of the Metropolis, with the concelebration of several other hierarchs of the Serbian Church.
In his homily, Bishop Atanasija Jevtić, who had known Met. Amfilohije from childhood, said that the reposed hierarch seemed to have a premonition of his coming repose and asked Bp. Atanasija to confess him in the hospital. “He was ready to go, but brothers and sisters and dear children, his whole journey was the way of Christ,” he preached, emphasizing that the Metropolitan’s life is a witness to the Resurrection of Christ.
In turn Bp. Teodosije of Kosovo and Metohije called on all to rejoice and give glory to God for giving us such a hierarch, pastor, and teacher in our day. He embraced the whole nation and all people in his love for Christ, the bishop added.
Following the Divine Liturgy, Met. Amfilohije’s body was taken to the cathedral in Podgorica, where it was lovingly met by his orphaned flock who came to kiss his hand one last time.
Yesterday, the funeral Liturgy for Met. Amfilohije was celebrated by His Holiness Patriarch Irinej of Serbia together with a number of hierarchs of the Serbian Church and His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Boryspil and Brovary of the Ukrainian Church and His Eminence Metropolitan Anthony of Elbasan of the Albanian Church, in the Cathedral of the Resurrection of Christ in Podgorica.
The service was attended by the Presidents of Serbia and Respublika Srpska, high Montenegrin government officials, a delegation on behalf of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, and representatives of all religious communities operating in Montenegro.
Following the Liturgy, the funeral service for a departed hierarch was served. His Eminence was buried in the cathedral crypt, according to his wishes.