Trebinje, Bosnia and Herzegovina, March 9, 2021
Thousands of Orthodox faithful came out on Saturday to bid farewell to the renowned and beloved Bishop Atanasije (Jevtić) who reposed in the Lord on March 4 from complications due to the coronavirus.
His Grace, formerly of Zahumlje and Herzegovina of the Serbian Orthodox Church, was known throughout the world as a theologian and Patristic scholar, and in addition to those who attended his funeral in person, condolences also poured in from throughout the Orthodox world.
The Matins, funeral, and Divine Liturgy for Bp. Atanasije were served in the cathedral in Trebinje on Saturday, March 6 by His Eminence Metropolitan Chrysostom of Dabar and Bosnia and a number of other Serbian hierarchs, reports the press service of the Serbian Orthodox Church.
Notably, His Grace Bishop Maxim of Western America, who was recently in the hospital with the coronavirus, was among the concelebrants.
Following the Divine Liturgy, a message from His Holiness Patriarch Porfirije was read out by Met. Chrysostom. The Serbian primate remembered the newly-departed Bp. Atanasije as a man who “opened the doors of the Kingdom of Heaven to us on earth;” who always had the Resurrected Christ in his heart.
“Where Bp. Atanasije was, there were also holy fathers and teachers of the Church; there was Christ crucified and resurrected, by whose power Bp. Atanasije encouraged, guarded, raised and fed all who were in trouble,” the Patriarch writes, honoring the theologian and archpastor.
“There, at the gates of Heaven, I deeply believe, our Patriarchs Pavle and Irinej, and all the holy Serbian archbishops and patriarchs are waiting for him,” Pat. Porfirije writes movingly, also numbering Bp. Atanasije with the great theologian saints Justin (Popović) and Nikolai (Velimirović).
After His Holiness’ message was read, numerous clergy, monastics, and faithful also participated in the services and the 4.25-mile funeral procession that followed, carrying His Grace’s remains from Trebinje to Tvrdoš Monastery.
His Grace was buried under the monastery’s chapel of the Resurrection of Christ.