Category Archives: Pastoral Matters

On Orthodox Missionary Work

Now that the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) has officially taken up the task of missionary work in the renewed Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland after several decades of disruption, it would be well to consider the nature of the missionary work that we need to do.

First of all, we must understand that there is only one sort of authentic missionary and pastoral work. This serves the people as a community, it is not an ideological plan on a map with pins in it, it is not top-down, but down-top, from the grassroots. Now, wherever there is a demand, ROCOR will do its best to meet that demand, setting up parishes where there is a need, now with official support. Where there are thirsty Orthodox people (at least one of whom can sing and read) and where there are premises, we will provide a priest. We can think of many cases in history of such missionary work, for example the mission of St Augustine in England in 597 or that of Sts Cyril and Methodius to St Rostislav, always in answer to a request. We can build nothing where there is not a spiritual need and a willingness to make sacrifices.

But what of areas where there is no actual demand, but just unconverted souls, potential Orthodox? Here we can take the examples of St Herman in Alaska and St Nicholas in Japan. They lived simply in a place for many, many years, praying, learning and understanding the people among whom they lived, before missionary work began. They waited for people to come to them, they did not serve themselves by imposing themselves on others. Self-serving (usually in the name of some personal problem and unfulfilled ambition) is pseudo-missionary work. It tries to impose itself, being characterized by gurus, vagantes and clericalists who like fancy titles, dressing up and having their photographs taken. They who do not look after the people, do not travel to meet people, even despising them for their simplicity.

We should be wary of the sort of ‘missionary’ work that despises the people, their languages and their customs and tries to force them into a strange mould that is not theirs. That is the false missionary work of those who use their personalities, not heartfelt faith in God, to convert others.

Hopes for the Church Outside Russia (ROCOR) Diocese in the British Isles and Ireland

55 years ago, in 1962, St John of Shanghai left London and our local ROCOR diocese with these prophetic words: ‘I entrust you to the care of St Alban, your Protomartyr’. This was indeed the case, for St John was succeeded by two elderly and ill bishops who spoke little English, and then for thirty years the Diocese had no resident bishop. With just occasional visits to the small London parish, the result was that the Diocese nearly died out. Everything changed in March 2016, when the parishes of the Diocese, in profound crisis, one by one asked for direct pastoral care from His Grace Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral) and a young and dynamic assistant bishop in the USA, who at once saw the enormous frustrated potential and were in favour of venerating St Alban and all the local saints. This was effectively a ROCOR Brexit. (Moreover, with pressure from ROCOR in England, in March 2017 St Alban was at long last officially included in the Russian Orthodox calendar by the Synod in Moscow).

With a stream of new clergy and two more priests to come shortly, with, for the first time in its history, representatives in Ireland, Wales, Scotland and Cornwall, the Anglo-Celtic Orthodox Diocese of the Isles is at last moving forward. This is to be affirmed on 13 May with the first Diocesan pilgrimage to St Alban in St Albans, just as St John wanted 55 years ago. With support from new bishops, the once exhausted clergy and people of the Diocese are now looking to the future. In the Eastern half of England, with four priests (none of them Russian), two of them looking after the new parishes in Norwich and Bury St Edmunds and two in Colchester, and perhaps another priest and deacon to come, we can now at last look to catering for the vast and still unmet pastoral challenges in the region. Massive immigration from Orthodox Eastern Europe over the last twelve years has created a huge pastoral crisis, which official Orthodox representatives have failed to deal with.

True, the untrained, former Anglican clerics of the Antiochian jurisdiction, which has no ethnic constituency or liturgical or other tradition, has picked up mainly modernistic and unChurched immigrants who do not confess, but has not for the most part been able to Church them. The Balkan jurisdictions have shown little interest in pastoral care for their own economic refugees. The Russian jurisdictions also. One, until recently obsessed with the centralizing, inward-looking cult of a dead man and false ethnic problems, which together created a very harmful schism, is almost infrastructure-less as a result of a total lack of vision. The other, also once London-centred, long paralysed by a dead and inward-looking nationalistic cult of the past and unwilling to implement the missionary activity that would have taken place if it had not become nationalistic, has also lacked any sense of reality and hope for the future. A lack of vision always means a lack of mission. ‘Let the dead bury the dead’.

Cut free of the deadwood of the past, all is now possible, at least for ROCOR. What are our next targets after the new parishes of St John of Shanghai in Colchester (Essex), St Alexander Nevsky in Norwich (Norfolk) and St Edmund in Bury St Edmunds (Suffolk)? It is to set up five more viable communities, faithful to the uncompromised Orthodox Tradition of the Russian Church, but fully open to the native languages and peoples in the eastern half of England in:

1. Cambridgeshire – Ely / March/ Wisbech, dedicated to St Audrey.
2. Kent – Canterbury, dedicated to Christ the Saviour.
3. Yorkshire – York, dedicated to Sts Constantine and Helen.
4. South London – Croydon, dedicated to St John of Kronstadt.
5. North London – St Albans, dedicated to St Alban.

Outside the East, we also see possibilities.

6. Scotland, where there is a great need to incorporate the rich and pure Gaelic Orthodox Tradition of Mary, Columba and Brigid into the Church.

7. Cornwall, the peninsula of ancient Celtic saints, born out of the Egyptian monastic tradition of Orthodoxy, dedicated to St Antony the Great.

These seven targets are very modest: ultimately, beyond them there are many, many other places that need looking after, from Sussex to the Midlands and the North-East. Our ultimate aim is to own one permanent church and one trained priest, that is, to have liturgical centres, in each county of each of the four countries in the Isles, with at least four in London. At least continuing with these seven targets after the first three would start to reverse the disastrous decades of backward-looking and inward-looking indifference, abandonment and neglect. At least this would be a beginning. The long backlog of candidates for the clergy, who have been patiently waiting for years, are now being ordained. But there is far, very far, to go, after the four wasted decades in the battle for survival against all the odds. It has been the wait and weight of a lifetime.

An Autobiographical Note

Archpriest Andrew Phillips was born in 1956 into a family that has lived for centuries on the Essex-Suffolk border in the East of England. He began teaching himself Russian when he was twelve. Following early experience confirmed by reading, he was finally allowed to join the Russian Orthodox Church in 1975. After obtaining an M.A. in Russian in Oxford and working in Greece, he went on to study Russian Orthodox theology in Paris. In 1988 he wrote a first book about the Church in early England and this was followed by five other books on Orthodox themes. After many years spent serving the Russian Orthodox Church in France, Portugal and then England, as senior priest of the Diocese of the British Isles and Ireland of the Church Outside Russia he has since 2008 been rector of the multinational St John of Shanghai Orthodox Church in Colchester, which he founded. Located in his native town, this is the centre of the East of England Orthodox Church trust, which is under the Church Outside Russia and includes a church in Norwich and a community in Bury St Edmunds.

Married with six adult children, serving in one of the largest Russian Orthodox churches in Western Europe and working to establish missions from it throughout the East of England, where he travels extensively to isolated families and visits Orthodox in prisons, he also teaches, translates, broadcasts and writes for the website www.orthodoxengland.org.uk, where he especially promotes the veneration of the saints of Western Europe. His work strives to reflect in English the integral Russian Orthodox view of the world. He follows the restoration of Church life in Russia very closely and is a frequent visitor to the Russian Lands. Some of what he writes has been translated and published on websites and in booklet form in Russia and several other countries. He is a member of the Patriarchal Commission for the Diaspora, the representative for Western Europe of the Missionary Department of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, a member of its Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court and of the Theological Committee of the Orthodox Bishops in the British Isles and Ireland.

St Alban Now Venerated in Russia

The Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church has today inserted another 15 Western saints into the universal Russian Orthodox calendar, who had not previously been included there. They include St Alban of Britain, St Patrick of Ireland and St Genevieve of Paris. In its decision the Holy Synod referred to the list of such saints drawn up by St John of Shanghai 65 years ago in 1952.

This is a victory for St John of Shanghai and all of us who, faithfully following in his footsteps, have for several decades venerated these saints and named our children after them. This is particularly so in the case of St Alban, whose inclusion we have worked so hard for in the last ten years.

Akrivia and Ikonomia

The above two words are Greek. The first means the strict or exact teaching of the Church, the second means its practice, what is done as pastoral dispensation. For example, akrivia states that no-one should be ordained deacon until the age of 25, priest until 30 and bishop until 35. However, in reality the canons giving these ages are broken by the vast majority of the world’s 750 or so Orthodox bishops, sometimes exceptionally, sometimes regularly. Why? Because the bishop in question considers that in certain cases, it is for the benefit of the majority not to practise or take literally that particular canon. Indeed, if we were to take every canon literally, the Church would long ago have ceased to exist on earth because all clergy, bishops included, would have been defrocked and all laypeople excommunicated because the canons are strict. Not taking or practising literally a canon is called ‘ikonomia’, the opposite is ‘akrivia’.

This may seem like a defence of ‘ikonomia’. It is not. Sadly, especially in Western countries, ‘ikonomia’ seems to be the norm. It should not be. When Orthodox of all nationalities in Western countries hear about akrivia, they can be shocked. In other words, they have never heard, for example, that we should always read morning and evening prayers; that we should always read the full rule before taking communion (three canons and prayers); they have never heard that we should not take communion without first attending the vigil service; they have never heard that confession before communion is the norm; that confession and communion should be taken several times a year; that he who does not take communion at least once every three weeks is excommunicated (according to the canons); that the place where we live should be blessed; that there is a pious custom for widows and widowers to take up monastic life (and not remarry); that the Orthodox ideal is not to use contraception; that the fasts are not just fasting from meat, but from meat, fish, eggs and all dairy produce; that we do not sit down at church but stand through all services, except during the kathismas etc etc.

Yes, all the above is true. However, none of it is absolute. One of the problems in contemporary Church life is that on the fringes of the Church there are those who wish to absolutize ‘akrivia’ and those who wish to absolutize ‘ikonomia’. Both are in error. Does this mean that there is no absolute truth in Church life, that ‘all is relative’?

Of course not. All the absolute truths of the Church are enshrined as dogmas, they are in the Creed: the Holy Trinity, the Creator God, the two natures of Christ, the Incarnation, the Virgin Birth, the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ become man, the Second Coming, the Last Judgement, the Procession of the Holy Spirit, the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church, One Baptism, the Life of the World to Come. If you do not believe in these things, you are not a member of the Church, you are not Orthodox, you are not a Christian, but something less. The Creed of the Church is not a consumerist supermarket, where you can pick and choose. However, whatever is not in the Creed, is subject to pastoral dispensation, to ‘ikonomia’.

‘Too much of anything is bad for you’. So goes the saying of popular wisdom. In other words, too much akrivia will lead people to the depression and despair of the sect and phariseeism. On the other hand, too much ikonomia will lead people to laxist leniency, to relativism and to anything goes. Too much akrivia and too much ikonomia both lead people out of the Church. It is for us to flee the extremes, not to seek the opinions of individuals, like Protestants (1), but to find the consensus of the Church. Only thus can we avoid the fringes and margins and keep in the mainstream. This means a balance between strictness, which is good where it is necessary for the salvation of the soul, and pastoral dispensation, which is good where it is necessary for the salvation of the soul. It is never a question of akrivia or ikonomia, but always akrivia and ikonomia.

Note:

1. Many Protestants and sectarians appear to seek not after Christ, but after ‘Apollos and Cephas’, after isms such as those named after Luther, Calvin, Wesley, Joseph Smith (Mormonism), Charles Russell (Jehovah’s Witnesses) or Rev. Moon. Similarly, there are some Orthodox who seek after the views of individual, non-canonized elders, whose sayings, made to one person in one particular context, they may then take out of that context and generalize. This is dangerous, as it can create movements that go against the catholicity of the Church. It is notable that many Protestants and sectarians (as well, ironically, as many Roman Catholics) have no concept of the catholicity of the Church; in the case of Orthodox, this tendency tends to concern those, and of all nationalities, who are new to the Church and have not yet had experience of wider Church life. We seek the consensus of the Fathers, the consensus of the Church, not individualistic concepts.

On Fasting

1. The Present Time

Nowadays food is very important. There is a crisis of obesity in this country, but in other countries that is not so. We could even say that half the world east too much and half the world does not eat enough. There are problems of anorexia (eating too little) and bulimia (eating too much). Many, many people try and slim, going on diets. People try and lose weight, joining gyms and fitness clubs, spending a lot of money. Many are worried about additives in food, too much sugar or salt or fat. Others are worried about genetically modified food. What was simple is now complicated. Look at the lists of ingredients on any packet of food. What is our solution? It is to avoid extremes, to eat natural and fresh food, lots of fruit and vegetables. That is why we have fasting in the Church.

2. Why do we fast?

Adam and Eve were expelled from Paradise because of food. We abstain from certain foods at certain times of the year, so that we can re-enter Paradise. In history, no-one ate meat until the time of Noah because by his time people had become weak and needed strength. Basically, we are what we eat. If we eat lots of animal foods, we may become like animals.

3. When do we fast?

We fast on most Wednesdays and Fridays (Wednesday was the day that Judas betrayed Christ and Friday the day that they crucified Him) and during four fasts per year. These are: the forty days and Holy Week before Easter; the weeks before the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul on 12 July; the two weeks at the end of August for the Feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God on 28 August; the forty days before Christmas. So we fast for 6 months of the year and for 6 months we do not. This is balance. We fast so that we can pray more easily, so that we can feel lighter. If you don’t pray when you fast, you will feel irritable. Fasting and prayer always go together. We can use the money that we save from buying less food, especially expensive meat, to help poor people or charities. This is called almsgiving.

How do we fast?

5. Fasting means not eating foods that come from animals and eating the rest in moderation. Fasting is purely voluntary and there are different levels of fasting, according to our age, ability and experience. In simple terms, the first level is not to eat meat, the second not to eat fish, the third not to eat eggs, the forth not to eat dairy produce (cheese, milk, yoghurt etc). Of course, no-one expects small children, pregnant and breastfeeding women and ill people to fast. But still everyone can make an effort!

First published on 1 March 2017 in ‘Searchlight’, the quarterly magazine of St Alban’s Orthodox Youth Club.

Contemporary Pastoral Challenges for the Russian Orthodox Church

Introduction

After a generation of very hard work and great sacrifices, today, with over 350 bishops and over 35,000 churches, 900 of them outside the territory of the former Soviet Union, all may seem to be going well in our great, collective task of restoring the Russian Orthodox Church. But the number of churches is still only half as many in the Russian Empire in 1917 and today there is a higher population than then. Although Russian alcoholism has fallen rapidly and rates are now not much higher than in much of Western Europe and abortion is falling rapidly, halving over the last four years, that figure is still much higher than in Western European countries.

So there remains much to do. Corruption, divorce and environmental degradation remain huge problems. Only when there are 100,000 churches and 1,000 bishops and the old atheist-caused ABCDE – alcoholism, abortion, corruption, divorce and environmental degradation – hardly exist, will we begin to think that the situation has really improved. At present, we would say that there are four great pastoral tasks in Church life, the results of three generations of State-imposed atheism, which we think need to be urgently tackled.

Red or White

In this centenary year of the so-called Russian Revolution (in fact a Western coup d’etat), there are those who have created the false problem of whether Church people should be ‘Red’ or ‘White’ and where our sympathies should lie. Obviously, in reality we are neither Red nor White, but Christ’s. True, in Russian history, the Reds were atheists and mercilessly persecuted the Church and the Whites appeared to support the Church. However, in reality, at least some of the Reds, perhaps the naïve ones, had a sense of social justice, and most of the so-called Whites betrayed the Tsar and the cause of the Church.

Thus, such so-called Whites lost the loyalty of the masses by fighting for material goods, behaving much as the Reds, even using bandits as troops against their own people. During the Second World War, when the former Russian Empire was being bled dry by the Nazis, a few so-called ‘Whites’ actually consciously and voluntarily sided with the Slavophobe racist Hitler. Those of the Whites who were truly White were a minority and were always loyal to Russia and her universal mission, but today we have triumphed, as the icons of the Royal Martyrs are venerated all over Russia, for the faithful everywhere were always truly White. Let us waste no more time on this question: All we Russian Orthodox are Christ’s.

Superstition

The Russian Orthodox Church is today the Church of 140 million converts. Most of our 164 million Orthodox, of all ages, have been baptized within the last 30 years. Many of these masses have often still to be Churched, that is, to be converted inside; they are ‘uncoverted converts’. Thus, some have brought into the Church with themselves certain worldly reflexes, external ritualism, even superstitious attitudes and sometimes a ‘magic’ attitude to Church life. There are some who, for example, will do their utmost to obtain holy water, but are still not married in Church. There are some women who will wear a very modest headscarf, and yet wear the shortest of miniskirts and think nothing of abortion. There are some who attend church, but do not understand the services and make no effort to do so. Sometimes, it is true, this is because the reading and singing are garbled or else done by ‘professionals’, whose Italianate opera repertoire gives no chance to the people to understand and sing.

There are some who appear to believe in the New Testament and yet continually speak of the anthropomorphic, Old Testament, Jewish god, Who continually punishes all and sundry, demanding ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’. There are some who seek miracles at shrines and know by heart the dubious prophecies of dubious ‘elders’, but refuse ever to take communion, the greatest miracle of all. There are some who make huge signs of the cross and boast of their fasting and yet reckon that they are not Pharisees. There are some who will not go to church unless a certain priest is present and yet they are supposed to believe in the efficacy of sacraments of all priests. (Sadly some priests fall victim to such personality cults and then introduce their own ‘special’ practices into the services). This reliance on ‘magic’, that is, the concept that we can receive something without making any effort, is ultimately a consumerist attitude towards the sacred. It must be said that although external rites may appeal to some women, they have little appeal to men. This must surely be in part why 80%-90% of those in church are women. This is spiritually unhealthy and abnormal. Where are the men?

Luxury

In certain capitals, nor least in Moscow and Saint Petersburg, some very rich people, oligarchs, have donated huge sums of money to certain churches. They generally stipulate – and so think that they can obtain power – that this money must be spent on a very baroque style of ornamentation. In a word, there is far too much gold, marble and precious stones in such churches. Why not use gold paint and coloured glass? What is wrong with that? Luxurious vestments and mitres, equally priests and monks driving luxurious, black 4 x 4s, like millionaires, do not impress me at all. Some may drive them out of obedience, but the poison of luxury and then greed for money can get into the soul all too easily.

Beauty, yes, but excess and luxury, no. I think real gold should be banned from church. Let it be sold and money be given to the poor, to orphanages and hospices, to help mothers to give birth to children who can then be adopted, rather than aborted. Perhaps the worse scandal is that 50 kilometres away from Moscow and Saint Petersburg (and in most other places away from the capitals), there are priests who are barely surviving, dependent on parishioners giving them vegetables and eggs so that they can eat and receiving clothes so that they and their families can dress. A Church for the rich and a Church for the poor? This cannot be right.

Lack of Missionary Work

Some among the Church authorities appear to place very little emphasis on missionary work, both internal and external. In a town of 30,000, there may be only one church, attended on average by 200. Why is nothing done to attract the other 28,800? Why is there so little pastoral activity? Surely in a town of 30,000, there should be 30 churches? Why this complacency? Why are these other churches not being built? Where are the youth clubs, the Sunday schools, the brotherhoods and sisterhoods, the temperance societies, the organized visiting of hospitals and clinics? Where is active Orthodox life? Sometimes it is admirable, but more often it is invisible.

The situation is even worse outside the Russian Lands. According to the greatest Russian thinkers and doers, from Patriarch Nikon to Patriarch Tikhon, from Dostoyevsky to Solzhenitsyn Russia has a universal mission and message. So where are the missionaries? One Russian priest visits Taiwan or the Philippines and baptizes a few hundred. Then they are abandoned. There is no continuing pastoral care for them. And why do 200 priests not visit Taiwan and the Philippines and build churches there? Although the Church Outside Russia, with the help of others, has translated all the service books into English (spoken by 1-1.5 billion people worldwide) and most of the service books have been translated into French and German, why are all the service books not translated into the most common languages: Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi-Urdu, Portuguese, Bengali, Punjabi, Javanese, Wu, Malay, Telugu, Vietnamese, Korean, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Turkish, Italian and Cantonese? These eighteen languages are spoken by half of the world’s population. Together with the first three languages, and with languages where translations have existed for a long time (Arabic, Slavonic, Japanese, Romanian etc), translations into these 25 languages would make Orthodox services comprehensible to over 6 billion people worldwide – over 80% of the world’s population. Is that not what we should be doing?

Conclusion

Others would no doubt add other considerations to the above list of four pastoral tasks. True, this is a subjective list, but its considerations would surely figure in any list of the greatest challenges in the ongoing restoration of Church life after the atheist holocaust of the tragic past century. There remains so much to do; we have only just begun.

On Contraception: A Pastor’s Viewpoint

The Orthodox Christian ideal as regards contraception is clear: We do not use contraception.

This ideal is opposed by liberals, modernists, who, like liberal Protestants and nowadays liberal Roman Catholics (who are virtually indistinguishable from liberal Protestants), appear to think that anything goes. The usual suspects on the fringes of the Orthodox Church include the Parisians and their allies, clerics like the heretic Fr Sergey Bulgakov, as well as Fr Alexander Schmemann and Fr John Meyendorff, and philosophers, also verging on heresy, like Evdokimov, Clement, Yannaras and Berdyayev, not to mention their allies in Constantinople and Finland. It is significant that their works are more often read by heterodox and unconverted converts than those inside the Church, who long ago entered the arena. The liberals’ temptation is that they attempt to dogmatize or absolutize ikonomia, pastoral dispensation. The path that they are on leads directly to sectarian liberalism outside the Church.

At the opposite extreme we have the literalists and idealists, almost always ill-integrated converts of conservative Protestant or conservative Evangelical background. They are horrified by any concept of pastoral dispensation and quote out of context the holy fathers and canons just as they used to quote chapter and verse from the Bible – threatening others with hell. Such individuals lack experience of real Orthodox parishes and real Orthodox life, preferring the convert hothouse to what they condescendingly call ‘ethnic parishes’. Their temptation is in fact the same as that of the liberals, that they attempt to dogmatize or absolutize, only in their case they dogmatize akrivia, the strict teaching, never allowing for pastoral dispensation, not understanding that the essential dogmas concern the Holy Trinity and the Person of Christ. The path that they are on leads directly to pharisaical old calendarism outside the Church.

Having considered the two extremes on the fringes of the Church and not of the Church, as they are founded on liberal Protestantism and conservative Protestantism, what then is the Tradition of the Church? It is that the Church has an ideal which we are to strive for, but that for the sake of the salvation of the flock pastors are allowed to make exceptions to specific individuals and in specific contexts, applying pastoral dispensation (ikonomia), wherever it is of spiritual benefit. We do not set the flock a cross that is too heavy and which will break their backs. Those who do so, imposing a spiritual level on those who are not ready for it, will empty the churches, creating pharisaical sects. We have over the last forty years seen too much hypocrisy and too many broken marriages caused by such unwise and ill-discerning converts who dogmatize the ideals of the Church and act without love to weaker brethren and sisters. There is a higher law than the law of the Pharisees; it is called the law of love. That is the law of the Church, of Truth and Mercy, for it alone leads to salvation.

Spirit River Flows

He who was a Ukrainian farm boy from Spirit River in Alberta, Canada, has visited the few remaining parishes of what was once the largest Orthodox diocese in the British Isles and Ireland. However, that was a long time ago – the last Orthodox Bishop of London reposed in 1932.

Within days of his visit, people had been listened to, hopes for restoration had been rekindled, several readers tonsured, several subdeacons ordained, a new priest at last made and other long-awaited ordinations agreed on for a few weeks’ time, doubling the number of active clergy. For the first time, after decades of difficulties, all noticed that the few remaining parishes had now at last begun to become a real diocese, which could at last rapidly develop into many dozens of parishes and monasteries, and so fulfil its enormous potential, meeting the pastoral needs of a huge but until now neglected and so paralyzed flock.

Thank you, dear Vladyka Metropolitan Hilarion of New York, Eastern America, Sydney, Australia, New Zealand, Chiswick, the British Isles and Ireland, deliverer of peace and hope of the English-Speaking Orthodox World! The River of the Spirit does indeed flow through you.

Repose of Monk Joseph (Lambertson)

It is with great sadness that we report the repose of Isaac Lambertson, tonsured only a few weeks ago by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion as Monk Joseph. Monk Joseph was the liturgical translator into English of a host of Orthodox service books, not least the twelve Menaia, as well as the composer of some 75 services to Western and Eastern saints, who had had no service previously. The whole Orthodox world in the Diaspora owes a huge debt of gratitude to him, and not just the English-speaking world, for his books are used to translate into other languages from French and Spanish to Swedish and Portuguese, as well as a host of Non-European languages.

To Monk Joseph – Eternal Memory!