New York, May 22, 2022
The Divine Liturgy and monastic funeral for the newly departed First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia were served at the ROCOR cathedral in New York City on Saturday.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) reposed in the Lord on May 16 at the age of 74.
The services at the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign brought together hierarchs from various jurisdictions. His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany, the ROCOR Locum Tenens, presided over the service, joined by Archbishops Kyrill of San Francisco, Gabriel of Montreal, and Peter of Chicago, and Bishops Nicholas of Manhattan and Irenei of London of ROCOR, as well as Metropolitan Joseph of New York of the Antiochian Archdiocese, Archbishop Michael of New York of the Orthodox Church in America, Bishop Gideon of Makarovka of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church, and a multitude of clerics from ROCOR and other jurisdictions, reports the ROCOR Eastern American Diocese.
The day began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy for the feast of the holy Apostle and Evangelist St. John the Theologian.
During the funeral, Archpriest Victor Potapov, dean of the Capital Region Deanery, who studied and lived with Met. Hilarion during their time as seminarians at Holy Trinity Seminary in Jordanville, offered a moving eulogy.
Whenever he is asked about what Met. Hilarion was like in his youth, Fr. Victor always replies: “He was born to become a monk, and his entire life was a convincing apologia to the institution of monasticism.” As he recalled, His Eminence had many friends but practically no foes, except the enemy of our salvation.
Fr. Victor recalled how during seminary they lived “in cramped conditions, but without offense.” Met. Hilarion, known as Igor then, loved to read lives of saints and to share them with others. Other seminarians would often come to him for help, and he always listened patiently, lovingly, untiringly. He had the rare gift and ability to listen, Fr. Victor said.
Met. Hilarion was always missionary-minded, and spent a considerable amount of time diligently translating classic Russian spiritual literature into English. Under his hierarchical care, many English-speaking communities were established in the Eastern American Diocese, Fr. Victor testified.
According to the archpriest, Met. Hilarion made no distinction among people based on ethnicity, skin color, or gender. Rather, he saw the image and likeness of God first and foremost in everyone.
And although His Eminence was diagnosed with cancer several years ago, he remained active visiting parishes, receiving visitors, and administering his diocese. He possessed blessed poverty and exemplified Beatitudes, Fr. Victor said.
The cathedral live-streamed the Liturgy and funeral. Fr. Victor’s English-language eulogy begins at 4:12:30:
Following the funeral, His Eminence’s body was taken to Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, where he was buried the next day, on the feast of the transfer of the relics of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker.