One of the priests at my church, Father Seraphim, passed away on Monday. He was only 68 years old, and although he’d had some health issues in recent months, it was a shock to hear the news.
My last memory of Father Seraphim will always be sealed in my mind: last Sunday, as he was coming up the aisle after communion, two young children from our church approached him, and he stopped, grabbed their hands, and made the sign of the cross to bless them. I could tell from his face how touched he was and could see his gentle love for these little souls.
I didn’t know Fr. Seraphim very well, but he was definitely a kind and humble man. He always had a smile and a welcoming word. He served the church in many ways, some of which went unnoticed, but he never looked for glory or recognition. Before his health problems confined him to a wheelchair, I remember it was always a joy to see him serving at the altar.
Here are some words from the Orthodox funeral service:
“Give rest, O Lord, to the soul of thy servant, and establish him in Paradise, where the Choirs of the Saints, and of the Just, shine like the stars of heaven.”
And here is a quote from St. Seraphim of Sarov, Fr. Seraphim’s patron saint:
“Oh, if you only knew what joy, what sweetness awaits a righteous soul in Heaven!”
Memory Eternal, Father Seraphim! You are among the seraphim and all the angels of heaven, and with the Lord.