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The funeral procession with the body Alexy II will be held today through the streets of Moscow

December 9 2008

Alexy II, has died - 15 the patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church. The funeral procession will be held tomorrow on the main streets of the capital.

They say that death is always unexpected. The death of the Primate of the Russian Orthodox Church was indeed such. Even before he served. Initially, a long liturgy - in the Assumption Cathedral of the Kremlin, then prayer - the relics of Patriarch Tikhon in the Donskoy Monastery. (In the monastery, which are buried in the cemetery and the remains of the first confessor of His Holiness - the man whom he loved very much and to whom treated with reverence and with a warm feeling - Archpriest Alexander Kiselev, a few years ago passed away). But the service only gives strength prayer book, and besides, it seemed that His Holiness is feeling better after just completed treatment in Germany.

Only the next morning, after news of the death of the patriarch, it became clear how providential are the last events of earthly life of His Holiness. And the office in the heart of Russia - in the main church of the first-throned the capital. And the prayer before the relics of his predecessor, who, like 70 years Alexy II, had the fate to join a new, in fact completely and n on e time.

Belonging to the genus of the Estonian German barons Alexey Mikhailovich Ridiger (such was the secular name of the future Patriarch) was born in Tallinn in the family is deeply religious Orthodox parents. The ancestors of the patriarch of nearly 300 years ago settled in Russia.

Alex became a priest later his father. Michael Riediger already in middle age have decided to dedicate himself to serving the church. But a young monk, Father Alex - graduate of the Leningrad Theological Academy - was not immediately apparent. Only in 1961 was committed by monastic vows. And again with the name Alex. In the name of St. Alexis of Moscow. Now His Holiness and will rest beside the relics of its patron saint.

Takeoff young priesthood Alex has been very rapid. Perhaps the youngest member of the episcopate ROC soon became Chancellor of the Moscow Patriarchate. However, even spending much time in Moscow, Alexis Bishop never forgot his beloved Estonia. Only thanks to his efforts, his diplomatic skills to find "common ground" with the powers that be (and this was especially true at the same time so unspeakably difficult to do in the era of Khrushchev's persecutions of the Church), his determination to go on a painful compromise with infidels, could save and monasteries (including the Estonian Pyuhtitskuyu nunnery) and temples, could save the church.

When the day of the Transfiguration, 19 August 1991, the authorities in the Soviet Union was usurped by the State Emergency Committee, was already Patriarch Alexy II, raised his voice in defense of freedom and did not remember the prayer time-servers, hitting his determination gathered in the Kremlin at a festive liturgy . "The authorities have no" - then said His Holiness.

Absolutely fundamental was his position on the question of the Royal remains. Despite the very strong pressure from Yeltsin's entourage has, the patriarch had not agreed to recognize the "Yekaterinburg remains" authentic. At the same time His Holiness has always believed that the royal family (canonized as in Alexis II) should be rehabilitated, and it happened shortly before his death.

In the summer of 1990 has the Metropolitan of Leningrad and Ladoga, Alex was elected Patriarch. Began the last period of his life - serving God in primatial Sana'a, long time in 18 years.

Then, in the Trinity-Sergius Monastery, the seat after the death of Patriarch Pimen first in Soviet history, free local council, few people thought that it was elected Metropolitan Alexy. There were other nominations.And Metropolitan Anthony Surozhsky - a great pastor and preacher, and Metropolitan Volokolamsk and Yurievsky Pitirim, and Metropolitan Filaret (Denisenko) ... But if the first two candidates could hardly collect votes - Bishop Anthony did not have Russian citizenship (by then, the Soviet another, the law is was necessary), and Metropolitan Pitirim was already advanced in years, many expecting that the department was headed by the patriarchal subsequently gone into schism Filaret. God has judged otherwise. First Hierarch has held the second highest ROC Department of Metropolitan Alexy.

History - and especially church - do not know the subjunctive mood. As would have been, it appear at the head of the ROC another hierarchy, to speak simply pointless. During the same guide ship of the Church Patriarch Alexy ROC has become a powerful force. The role of the church was significant, her voice is heard everywhere. The church grew temples and monasteries, has increased his flock. Among her - the flock - perhaps "Zakhozhaev" is still more than the congregation, but, in fact, God itself is "welcomes the intention ... and the location of praise ...

And once again say - "all this would have been stranded on a primatial department and any other bishop." But ... let them say. He turned out to be. Patriarch Alexy II.

When it happened, and the historic union of the ROCOR with the Mother Church.

More than significant was the role of His Holiness that the Church remains not involved in inter-party squabbling and opposition, and especially in the bloody autumn turmoil 93rd year. On the contrary, the patriarch has made every effort to ensure that this turmoil has been discontinued.

Personal decision of His Holiness was intent to go round all the dioceses of the ROC. It is noteworthy that the same thing at the same time, the only part of the limits of the Catholic Church did, and that the late Pope John Paul II.

Alexy II managed to balance the right (the ROC is very active influence, for example, the policy of Catholic proselytism in its canonical territory) and "liberals" (a year ago, His Holiness visited Notre Dame, where he prayed before the Savior's crown of thorns).

And although the "modernist" trend in the ROC have experienced hard times, but their followers (including the so-called "kochetkovtsev") all the time to read between the lines of complete tolerance attitude of the patriarch - "you are not touched."

And in more recent times the Holy waited until the last rebel remorse Diomede, before making a decision about the defrocked fighter with TIN and mobile phones.

The main thing was different. He was a great man of prayer. And this is a forgotten, or - worse - prefer not to remember. And not just secular, but even non-religious media. And yet, after all, this is what is most important for primate. For someone who prays for the whole fullness of the Church. Truly praying "for all and for all." That is what is for him the one thing needful.

He prayed until his last day. Until the last hours of his last and sighs. Remaining true prayer. Primate true to God.

Alexander Gray

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