The last e-mail I opened last night before toddling off to bed was from our Church – and my heart just sang! Archbishop Hilarion has been elected the First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
If you check back a few (well, more than a few) posts, you will find the one about our prior First Hierarch, Metropolitan Laurus, dying. Now, after weeks of mourning, and the brightness of Pascha, we have a new First Hierarch. And it is someone the Ol Curmudgeon and I have met and not only feel that we know but whom we love. I will NEVER forget when we made the decision to move into the ROCOR, and then-Bishop Hilarion came to Atlanta to receive our parish. He sat in the living room of our then-priest and stated, “You must not fear. You are now in the bosom of the Church Abroad, and you will be cared for as a child of God must be.” I burst into tears, for after months of strife and dissension, and after several years of feeling that things were “not right” and praying about it over and over, we felt we were at home. Bishop Hilarion was shortly elevated to Archbishop and was transferred to the Diocese of Australia and New Zealand. We have missed him terribly, although Bishop Gabriel has been wonderful to us – as a diocese and as a parish, and as individuals. But we have missed Archbishop Hilarion.
We still feel at home. And we feel even more at home, if that is possible, with now-Archbishop Hilarion to be our First Hierarch. So after next Sunday he will be Metropolitan Hilarion.
Axios! Axios! Axios!
He is worthy! He is worthy! He is worthy!