DC’s St. Nicholas Cathedral site of Metropolitan Tikhon’s Enthronement

Enthronement Metropolitan Tikhon

On Sunday, January 27, 2013, His Beatitude, the Most Blessed Tikhon, Archbishop of Washington, Metropolitan of All America and Canada, was enthroned at Saint Nicholas Cathedral in Washington, DC.

In attendance at the Enthronement were members of the Orthodox Church in America’s Holy Synod of Bishops: His Eminence, Archbishop Nathaniel; His Eminence, Archbishop Nikon; His Eminence, Archbishop Benjamin; His Eminence, Archbishop Alejo; His Grace, Bishop Melchisedek; His Grace, Bishop Michael; His Grace, Bishop Alexander; His Grace, Bishop Irineu; His Grace, Bishop Mark; and His Grace, Bishop Irinee.

Among the guest hierarchs and clergy representing sister Orthodox Churches were His Eminence, Archbishop Justinian of Naro-Fominsk, who represented His Holiness, Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and All Russia; His Eminence, Archbishop Dimitri, Metropolitan of Batumi and Lazeti, North America and Canada, who represented His Holiness and Beatitude, Catholicos Patriarch Ilia of All Georgia; His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Brooklyn, who represented His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America; His Grace, Bishop George of Mayfield, who represented His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia; and Archpriest Aleksa Michich, who represented His Holiness, Patriarch Irinej of Serbia and His Eminence, Archbishop Mitrophan.

Among the other guests in attendance were the Rev. Hovsep Karapetyan, who represented His Eminence, Archbishop Khajag Barsamian, Primate of the Armenian Orthodox Church in America; the Very Rev. Daniel Buda, Church and Ecumenical Relations Officer, who represented the World Council of Churches; the Rev. Avelino Gonzalez, Ecumenical Officer of the Catholic Archdiocese of Washington, who represented His Eminence, Donald Cardinal Wuerl, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Washington; the Honorable Christopher Smith, US Representative from the State of New Jersey and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs; Dr. John Shultz, Immediate Past President of the Fellowship of Orthodox Christians in America; and others.  Officers of the Orthodox Church in America—Archpriests John Jillions and Eric G. Tosi, Chancellor and Secretary respectively, and Ms. Melanie Ringa, Treasurer—and Archpriest Leonid Kishkovsky, Director of External Affairs and Interchurch Relations, also were present, together with dozens of clergy and faithful from the region and beyond, representing the OCA’s dioceses, seminaries, monasteries, and parishes.  Members of Metropolitan Tikhon’s family also were in attendance.

“Special recognition is due the local committee and the members of Saint Nicholas Cathedral, especially Archpriest John Perich, Interim Dean, for their hard work and gracious hospitality,” said Father Tosi.  “Their ongoing dedication to the Orthodox Church in America was evident throughout the weekend.”

The committee, chaired by Marina Poutiatine, was responsible for arranging a myriad of details related to the celebration, including the special Enthronement Choir which sang under the direction of Prof. David Drillock, Chair of the OCA Department of Liturgical Music and Translations.

On behalf of the clergy and faithful of the cathedral community, Father Perich presented relics of three French saints—Vincent of Lerins, Dionysius of Paris, and Martin of Tours—to Metropolitan Tikhon.

Numerous gifts were presented to Metropolitan Tikhon at the conclusion of the Installation Divine Liturgy.  On behalf of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow, Archbishop Justinian presented Metropolitan Tikhon with an icon and relics of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk.  “Today, all the plentitude of the Russian Orthodox Church prays for, empathizes, and rejoices in the Lord with its beloved sister, the Orthodox Church in America.”  In response, Metropolitan Tikhon asked the Archbishop to “convey to His Holiness our mutual love and respect our commitment to preserve those special relationships that are shared between us for many years.”

Among the other gifts were a panagia and copy of the Hawaii Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, presented by Bishop George on behalf of ROCOR First Hierarch, Metropolitan Hilarion, and a hand-enameled Saint Nina Cross, presented by Archbishop Dimitri on behalf of Catholicos-Patriarch Ilia.  Additional gifts from the dioceses, institutions, and organizations were presented at the Installation Banquet held in the Diplomat Room of the Omni Shoreham Hotel.

During the Divine Liturgy, an antimension from Valaam Monastery dated 1793—one of two such extant antimensia brought to Alaska by the first missionaries who arrived in Kodiak the following year—was used.

“Our task is to preserve the Tradition and apply it in new ways,” said Metropolitan Tikhon during his banquet address, in which he spoke of the unique challenges facing the Church today.  [The complete text will be posted on the OCA web site as it is received.]

Metropolitan Tikhon was elected at the 17th All-American Council held in Parma, OH on Tuesday, November 13, 2012.

Born Marc R. Mollard in Boston, MA on July 15, 1966, Metropolitan Tikhon was the eldest of three children born to Francois and Elizabeth Mollard.

After brief periods living in Connecticut, France, and Missouri, he and his family settled in Reading, PA, where he graduated from Wyomissing High School in 1984. In 1988 he received a Bachelor of Arts degree in French and Sociology from Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA, after which he moved to Chicago.

In 1989 he was received into the Orthodox Church from Episcopalianism and, in the fall of the same year, he began studies at Saint Tikhon’s Seminary, South Canaan, PA. One year later he entered the monastic community at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery as a novice. He was awarded the Master of Divinity degree from Saint Tikhon’s Seminary in 1993, after which he was appointed Instructor in Old Testament and subsequently Senior Lecturer in Old Testament, teaching Master level courses in the Prophets and the Psalms and Wisdom Literature. He also served as an Instructor in the seminary’s Extension Studies program, offering courses in the lives of the Old Testament saints, the liturgical use of the Old Testament, and the Old Testament in patristic literature.

He collaborated with Igumen Alexander [Golitzin]—now Bishop of Toledo and the Bulgarian Diocese of the Orthodox Church in America—in the publication of “The Living Witness of the Holy Mountain” by Saint Tikhon’s Seminary Press.

In 1995, he was tonsured to the Lesser Schema with the name Tikhon, in honor of Saint Patriarch Tikhon, Enlightener of North America. Later that year, he was ordained to the Holy Diaconate and Holy Priesthood at Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. In 1998 he was elevated to the rank of Igumen, and in 2000, to the rank of Archimandrite.

In December 2002, he was named Deputy Abbot of Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. Two years later—on February 14, 2004—he was consecrated to the episcopacy at Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery Church. On May 9, 2012, he was elevated to the dignity of Archbishop.