After three days of national mourning, Serbian Patriarch Irinej was laid to rest at the Church of Saint Sava on Sunday, being the first Serbian Primate to be buried in the iconic place of worship in Belgrade.
The Romanian Orthodox Church was represented by Fr Emanuel Tapalaga, vicar of Vojvodina (Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Dacia Felix), who read out the message of condolence signed by His Beatitude Patriarch Daniel.
“Together with the hierarchs, clergy and faithful of the Romanian Orthodox Church, we address to the Holy Synod of the Serbian Orthodox Church, the clergy and the entire faithful Serbian people, entrusting them of our brotherly love, esteem and compassion,” the Patriarch of Romania wrote.
The funeral began with the Divine Liturgy presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Hrizostom of Dabar-Bosna.
Due to the epidemiological situation, only priests who served the liturgy were in the Temple, as well as state officials and representatives of other religious communities, along with members of the choir.
President Aleksandar Vucic, Prime Minister Ana Brnabic and the Speaker of the Parliament, Ivica Dacic, were among the personalities who came to pay their last respects to the Serbian Patriarch.
Patriarch Irinej: A man of peace
The homily during the service was offered by Bishop Irinej of Backa, who called Patriarch Irinej “a man of peace”.
After the Divine Liturgy, the funeral service took place, at the end of which several hierarchs, clergy and state representatives spoke.
Metropolitan Hrizostom called Patriarch Irinej “an unshakable pillar of the Church and a worthy successor of his predecessor Patriarch Pavle.”
Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk read the message of Patriarch Kirill of Moscow. On behalf of the Serbian priests and believers spoke Father Petar Lukić, the Ecclesiarch of the Cathedral.
In his speech, President Vucic said that love was the basis of the faith of the late patriarch, and his Serbia was the one he created himself – a Serbia of peace, a Serbia that understands and brings people together.
After the speeches, Patriarch Irinej’s body was lowered in the crypt of the Church of St Sava.
Patriarch Irinej led the Serbian Orthodox Church since 2010. He reposed in the Lord on November 20, 2020.
Photography courtesy of Predsednik.rs