In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the reception of the Tomos of Autocephaly from the Russian Orthodox Church, and with the blessing of His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon, the Office of the Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America is announcing the publication of A Commemorative List of the Departed Servants of Orthodoxy in North America: Diptychs of those who have fallen asleep in the Lord. This is an updated list of departed clergy, monastics, and prominent laity who have labored in America from the days of the Alaskan mission to the present day.
The Diptychs booklet is now available to everyone for download as a PDF. Additionally, every parish, monastery, diocesan office, and institution of the Orthodox Church in America will receive a hard copy by the end of December 2020.
The document contains an introduction by His Grace Bishop Alexis of Bethesda, Locum Tenens of Sitka and Alaska, where His Grace emphasizes the profound importance of this book and our prayer for the departed. As His Grace notes, “The episcopate, the presbyterate, the diaconate, the monastics, the minor orders, and the laity whose names are written in this book of diptychs have not only labored for Christ in this land, but have also paved the way for our sacred work in the American vineyard. Praying for those souls, who like us, also await the final judgment, is not only a sacred obligation, but also a treasured privilege.”
This document is an updated and expanded version of a previous publication of Diptychs published by the Orthodox Church in America in 2002. In February of this year, an initial draft of this Diptychs book was made available through the website.
Following the structure of previous versions, the Diptychs are divided in two main sections. The first part is organized by ranks in seven broad categories with subcategories specifying name, date and place of falling asleep: Saints; the Episcopate (Metropolitan, Archbishop, Bishop); the Presbyterate (Protopresbyter, Archimandrite, Mitred Archpriest, Archpriest, Igumen, Hieromonk, Priest); the Diaconate (Archdeacon, Protodeacon, Hierodeacon, Deacon); the Monastics (Monk, Abbess, Nun); Vocations & Minor Orders (Seminary Professor, Choir Director, Subdeacon, Reader); the Laity (Layman, Laywoman, Clergy Wife). The second part is organized by date following the calendar year order.
It was decided to utilize the generic title “Clergy Wife” in lieu of ethnically related titles. While many of the clergy wives used the title “matushka,” this was not the case for all of them. More research is necessitated to this extent, but at the present time it was deemed impossible to determine with certainty the preferred title (matushka, preoteasa, popadija, etc.) for each of the departed clergy wives.
We encourage the clergy and the faithful of the Orthodox Church in America to use this important document, both at liturgical services and as part of their private commemorations.
May the memory of all the faithful Orthodox Christians who labored in America be eternal!