Patriarch Alexy of Moscow and all Rus has died today. He was the leader of the third largest Christian Community in the world. He was a firebrand and Iconoclast, a man of tremendous influence and faith.
He reigned for 18 years oversaw a vibrant regrowth of the Orthodox faith in the wake of communist atheism that attempted to exclude and wipe the faith clean from Russian Soil. At the same time his reign saw a closening of bonds between Church & State, a period of religious fervency mixed with ultra-nationalism (the nationalism part he opposed) which strained relations with other Church leaders including the Patriarchs of Rome and Constantinople, but he also worked to build bridges.
In this time of sadness we extend a warm embrace of condolence to our brothers and sisters of the Eastern Tradition, the Orthodox faith especially those with fealty to the Moscovite Patriarchate in our local community - the Parish family of St. Elizabeth New Martyr, Cayce of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia and the Parish family of Holy Apostles Orthodox Church, West Columbia of the Orthodox Church in America.
Rachmaninov's Vespers, Op. 37: no 3, Blessed is the man:
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