His Eminence, Archbishop Tikhon, Archbishop of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania, was elected Primate of the Orthodox Church in America during the 17th All-American Council of the Orthodox Church in America at Holy Trinity Church here Tuesday, November 13, 2012.
Six hundred and sixty three hierarchs, clergy and lay delegates and observers representing OCA parishes across the US, Canada, and Mexico participated in the Council. Five hundred and ninety were eligible to vote.
The Council opened with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy and, at noon, the plenary session. After the celebration of a Service of Thanksgiving and the singing of the troparion invoking the Holy Spirit, Archpriest Eric G. Tosi, OCA Secretary, opened the plenary session.
“Christ grows brighter as we grow dimmer, as we approach the eternal light,” said His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel of Detroit and the Romanian Episcopate, Locum Tenens of the Metropolitan See, in his opening address. “And it is within this context that we gather today for one purpose: to glorify Father, Son and Holy Spirit… and to elect the Primate of the Orthodox Church in America.”
No single candidate received the required two-thirds margin on the first ballot. On the second ballot, His Eminence, Archbishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania and His Grace, Bishop Michael of New York and New Jersey, received 317 and 355 votes respectively.
The members of the Holy Synod retired into the altar where they elected Archbishop Tikhon.
A photo gallery of Monday evening’s registration, Vespers and reception may be viewed here. A photo gallery of Tuesday’s Divine Liturgy and election may be viewed here. Additional information and photos will be posted as they become available.
Podcasts of the Council proceedings may be accessed on Ancient Faith Radio.