Author Topic: Fr. Alexander Schmemann's Last Sermon  (Read 2238 times)

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Offline David

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Fr. Alexander Schmemann's Last Sermon
« on: November 28, 2002, 04:02:02 AM »
I received this today from my parish priest.  I found it very touching.  Fr. Alexander, pray for us!


Father Alexander Schmemann, former Dean of St Vladimir's Seminary and well-known Orthodox churchman, celebrated the divine liturgy for the last time on Thanksgiving Day, 1983.  At the time he was in the final stages of
terminal brain cancer.  

This Thanksgiving Day liturgy was particularly appropriate since Father Alexander had devoted his whole life to teaching, writing and preaching about the Eucharist - for the word 'eucharistia' in Greek means

At the conclusion of the liturgy, Father Alexander took from his pocket a short written sermon, in the form of a prayer, which he proceeded to read. This was a strange occurrence since Father Alexander  never wrote his liturgical homilies, but delivered them extemporaneously. These were his words, which proved to be the last ever spoken by him from the ambon in Church.

Fr. Alexander's preaching on Nov. 22, 1983:

Thank You, O Lord -

Everyone capable of thanksgiving is capable of salvation and eternal joy.

Thank You, O Lord, for having accepted this Eucharist, which we offered to the Holy Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and which filled our hearts with the joy, peace and righteousness of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for having revealed Yourself unto us and given us the foretaste of Your Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having united us to one another in serving You and Your Holy Church.

Thank You, O Lord, for having helped us to overcome all difficulties, tensions, passions, temptations and restored peace, mutual love and joy in sharing the communion of the Holy Spirit.

Thank You, O Lord, for the sufferings You bestowed upon us, for they are purifying us from selfishness and reminding us of the one thing needed - Your eternal Kingdom.

Thank You, O Lord, for having given us this country where we are free to Worship You.

Thank You, O Lord, for this school, where the name of God is proclaimed.

Thank You, O Lord, for our families: husbands, wives and, especially, children who teach us how to celebrate Your holy Name in joy, movement and holy noise.

Thank You, O Lord, for everyone and everything.

Great are You, O Lord, and marvelous are Your deeds, and no word is sufficient to celebrate Your miracles.

Lord, it is good to be here - Amen.

The Orthodox Church, Vol. 20, No. 2, February 1984, p. 1:1

"When looking at faults, use a mirror, not a telescope."
-Yazid Ibrahim