The Very Rev. Dmitry Grigorieff

On Saturday, December 8, 2007, Archpriest Dmitry Grigorieff, Dean Emeritus of St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC, and professor at Georgetown University, reposed in the Lord after a prolonged illness. He was 89 years old.

Fr. Dmitry Grigorieff’s father, Dmitry Dimitrievich Grigorieff, was the Russian Governor of Sakhalin and served on the Central Board of the Russian Red Cross. In 1918, during the Russian Revolution, he fled Russia and took his family first to Latvia and later to England. Fr. Dmitry was born in England in 1919. Soon the Grigorieff family moved to Japan and it was here that the young Dmitry was baptized at St. Nicholas Church in Tokyo. After the Russian Civil War, the Grigorieff family returned to Latvia, where Dmitry studied in Russian schools and enrolled in the Orthodox Theological Institute.

As a British citizen, Dmitry was evacuated to Australia during the Second World War. From 1943 until 1944, he served in the Pacific fleet of the British Merchant Marines. During the final year of the war, he moved to the USA and served in the Office of War Information.

After the war, Dmitry Grigorieff received a Master’s degree in Linguistics and Comparative Literature from Yale University. Later, he received a Ph.D in Slavic Studies from University of Pennsylvania. He also received a Diploma in Theology from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary. From 1959 he taught Russian language and literature at Georgetown University. In 1964, he became a professor at the university and worked in this capacity until 1989. Before his time at Georgetown University, Dmitry Grigorieff taught Russian at the Army Language School in Monterey, CA, and at Columbia University.

In 1969 Fr. Dmitry was ordained a priest at St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC, where he was assigned as second priest. During the 1970s, Fr. Dmitry Grigorieff introduced regular English-language divine services to the Cathedral. In 1986, he was made Dean of the Cathedral. In 1998 he was given the title Dean Emeritus.

As an academic, Fr. Dmitry wrote works on religion and literature in both Russian and English. His most recent work, “Dostoevsky and the Church”, was published in Moscow in 2002.

For his dedicated service to the Holy Orthodox Church, Archpriest Dmitry Grigorieff was awarded the Order of St. Innocent from His Holiness Patriarch Aleksy II of Moscow. This was the first time that this Order was bestowed upon an American priest. Fr. Dmitry was also awarded the Order of St. Innocent by the Orthodox Church in America, and the Order of the Holy Equals-of-the-Apostles Cyrill and Methodius by the Orthodox Church of Czechoslovakia.

On Thursday, December 13, Archpriest Dmitry’s body will be brought to St. Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC, at 9:00 AM. A Divine Liturgy for the feast of St. Herman of Alaska will be celebrated at 10:00 AM. That evening, the Cathedral will be open at 6:00 PM and a Panikhida will be served at 7:00 PM.

On Friday, December 14, the viewing will begin at the Cathedral at 5 PM, and the Funeral Service for a Priest will be celebrated at 7:00 PM by His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman.

On Saturday, December 15, the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at the Cathedral at 9:00 AM, followed by the interment at Rock Creek Cemetery, Washington, DC.

May Archpriest Dmitry’s memory be eternal!