News - 2009
Last Updated (Sunday, 24 January 2010 11:58)
Panikhida at the grave of Serge Semenenko
On August 11, Archimandrite Joasaph (McLellan), chief of the Russian Orthodox Mission in Jerusalem, served a panihida in the presence of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God at the grave of Serge Yakovlevich Semenenko, in Mount Auburn Cemetery in Cambridge, MA. Fr. Joasaph was co-served by Fr. Victor Boldewskul, rector of the Church of the Epiphany in Boston. In this manner was fulfilled the wish of Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla), who during his life wanted to find Mr. Semenenko's grave and pray for him there. In 1957, S. Semenenko donated a building to the Russian Church Abroad, which today houses the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign, the synodal offices and the residence of the First Hierarch. Mr. Sememenko passed away on April 24, 1980. In his sermon after the panihida, Fr. Joasaph pointed out that, thanks to Serge Semenenko, the "Sin of Bethlehem," wherein the residents of Bethlehem refused shelter to the Mother of God during the Roman census, and she was forced to spend the night in a cave, was not repeated. An exile from Russia, the home of the Most Holy Mother of God, he offered a home to the Theotokos in the manifestation of her miraculous icon. Within the walls of this building, prayers were offered for the homeland, meetings of the Synod of Bishops and the Council of Bishops took place, the whole truth of the horrors committed at that time in the imprisoned Russian land was bravely addressed, and there the whole of the New Martyrs and Confessor of russia were glorified. Aside from the servant of God Serge (Semenenko), also commemorated at the panihida were Blessed Metropolitan Anastassy (Gribanovsky), Metropolitan Laurus, and Mr. Semenenko's relatives.