Metropolitan Teofan at funeral of 20-year-old priest’s son: Silence is more eloquent than the poor words spoken

“In such moments, it may be better to be silent than to speak, because, in a way, silence is more eloquent than the poor words spoken,” Metropolitan Teofan of Moldavia and Bukovina said August 12 at the funeral of the 20-year old Ilie Gabriel Melniciuc, son of a priest in Iasi.

The young man died following a cardio-respiratory arrest while at sea in the resort of Olimp. His parents are professors at the “Dumitru Stăniloae” Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Iași.

“But if it is proper to say something, this something should not be other than the cry: Christ is risen!”, the Metropolitan added.

“Those who were overwhelmed by the truth confessed by this cry, if not then, at the time of the death of a loved one, but later began to receive shreds of understanding of what happened. Christ is the beginning of the resurrection of those asleep, because He is the Way that leads to life, the Truth that confesses life, He is the Life itself, He is the Light, the Resurrection and the Eternity.”

“He is more alive than we think we are

“Under the aegis of the confession that Christ is risen, we know that Ilie Gabriel did not die, but sleeps,” said the Metropolitan, encouraging the grieving parents and all those present at the Church of Saint Nectarios in the Iasi neighborhood Alexandru cel Bun, where the funeral service took place.

“Under the shadow of this truth, we confess that Ilie Gabriel did not disappear, but went to a place where all the people of the Resurrection will arrive. He’s not dead! Ilie Gabriel is not dead, Nicoleta, and you father Teofil, he is not dead – but he is more alive than we think we are, here in front of each other.”

“May God comfort you as He knows best, and may the prayers of those present and those who knew Ilie carry you on their wings, and when you go to the grave to sing Christ is risen from the dead trampling down death by death and upon those in the tombs bestowing life I have no doubt that you will feel the presence of Ilie Gabriel alive, beyond a few shovels of dust. May God rest him in peace!”

Many young people attended the funeral. Photo: Doxologia

The young man was buried in the Galata Monastery Cemetery, Doxologia reports. Ilie Gabriel Melniciuc studied at the “Alexandru Ioan Cuza” University of Iasi and was involved in numerous activities within the student organization AIESEC.

Poster with a photo of Ilie Gabriel on the doors of St Nectarius Church during the funeral service: Doxologia

On August 12, His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel sent a message of condolences to the priest Ilie Melniciuc and the grieving family.

Photography courtesy of Doxologia


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