THE FUNERAL SERVICE OF THE ARCHBISHOP OF CYPRUS CHRYSOSTOMOS II
At noon on Saturday, October 30 / November 12, 2022, the funeral service of the Eminent Archbishop of the Autocephalous Church of Cyprus and ethnarch of the great island, Chrysostomos II, took place in the holy Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Cyprus dedicated to the founder of the Church of Cyprus Apostle Barnabas.
His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch, Bartholomew officiated the service, with the co-celebration of the members of the Cypriot Hierarchy and the participation in prayer of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Alexandria Theodore representatives from other Orthodox Churches.
Among the political authorities who attended the service were, the President of Cyprus, Mr Nikos Anastasiadis and the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mrs Aikaterini Sakellaropoulou.
The obituary was delivered by His Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on behalf of the Church of Cyprus and the Holy Synod of Cyprus, His Eminence the Metropolitan Georgios of Paphos, as well as Mr Anastasiadis and Mrs Sakellaropoulou.
The Patriarchate of Jerusalem was represented by the Exarch of the Holy Sepulchre in Cyprus, His Eminence Metropolitan Timotheos of Bostra, who read the official address of His Beatitude the Patriarch of Jerusalem Theophilos as follows:
“To His Eminence Metropolitan Georgios of Paphos, governor of the Holy Archdiocese of Cyprus, a beloved brother in the Lord and co-minister of Our Mediocrity, holy greeting in Christ Jesus.
The comforting saying of the Apostle Paul, “for this perishable thing shall be clothed with incorruption” (1 Cor. 15:53), captured our minds upon hearing, after many years of painful illness, the departure in the Lord of the blessed and dearest brother of Ours Archbishop of Cyprus Chrysostomos II.
“As a flower of the field, so he flourisheth” (Ps. 102,15), the departed wise Primate, at first decorated the Holy Monastery of Saint Neophytos, to which he dedicated himself since his childhood and served as a Hegoumen, promoting the Monastery greatly; later on he was unanimously appointed as the Shepherd and Metropolitan of the Holy Metropolis of Paphos, where he developed a rich pastoral activity, building many Holy Churches, supporting the penitent brothers and especially taking care of the formation of the holy clergy and the spiritual cultivation of His flock.
Since the year 2006, the “candle” had been placed “upon the candlestick” (Lk. 11:33) and steered the noetic ship of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Cyprus, “not giving sleep to his eyes, or slumber to his eyelids” (Ps. 131,4), in order to see the Church that was entrusted to him prosper both spiritually and materially, to be free and alive. He was involved in very important works, such as the revision of the Chart of the Church of Cyprus, the upgrading of the Synodical institution by the appointment of Metropolitans and Regional Bishops and the establishment of the Theological School of the Church of Cyprus, so that the work of the Church of Cyprus can be fully carried out as an Autocephalous Apostolic Church. It is worth remembering that he was a warm supporter of the unified State of Cyprus, free of occupation and other alien powers.
Nevertheless, we can attribute Paul’s words to Him: ” Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28). Indeed, the blessed Primate practically manifested His interest on behalf of the Venerable Patriarchates of the Middle East to support the needy Christians of that region and the majority of the meetings of the Council of Churches of the Middle East were hosted by Him, on the great island of Cyprus. His interest in Our Venerable Patriarchate was also manifested, on the one hand, through the approval of the re-establishment of the Exarchate of the Holy Sepulchre in Nicosia, thus continuing the work of the occupied, until now, Exarchate in the Holy Monastery of Saint Chrysostomos Koutsoventis, and on the other, through the granting of scholarships to young people of Our flock to study in the School for Priests of the Church of Cyprus. The fraternal ties and the loving cooperation of our Churches yielded spiritual fruits.
Being present and witnesses of Christ’s Resurrection in Jerusalem, let us make haste to address the blessed Primate through “Christ is Risen!”. “But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope” (1 Thess. 4,13). This perishable body, ” is sown in dishonour; it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: It is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body. There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body” (1 Cor. 15,43-44). Being certain of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, we also believe in the prophetic saying that ” Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise” (Isaiah 26,19).
We send prayers and beseech Christ our God Who rose from the Tomb, for the repose of the blessed soul of the departed Archbishop in the land of the living and the tents of the righteous, as in that day of Judgment, “may he shine like the sun with his angels in eternal life along with our Lord Jesus Christ, seeing him and being seen and reaping the joy from Him” (John Damascene).
Wherefore, deeply condoling with your Eminence, the honourable members of the Holy and Sacred Synod and all the pious congregation of the Holy Church of Cyprus, we greet you from the Holy and Life-giving Tomb with a holy kiss and remain.
In the Holy City of Jerusalem, October 25, 2022
Beloved brother in Christ,
Patriarch of Jerusalem”
In the middle of the solemn events by the Cypriot Church and State and the representatives of the State and the Church of Greece and the other Orthodox Churches, the body of the late respected Primate was taken up and buried in the underground tomb for which he had made provisions, under the Cathedral.