On the evening of Bright Tuesday, 17/30 April, 2019, clergymen from throughout the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, as well as many other Local Orthodox Churches in Midwestern America gathered in Chicago to perform the Paschal Hierarchal Funeral for the long-time ruling hierarch of the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America, Archbishop Alypy (Gamanovich). His Eminence had reposed peacefully on the very feast of the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. The paschal funeral rite is composed mostly of hymns of the Feast of Feasts and the Day of Days, the Pascha of our Lord. Interspersed with the joyous paschal hymns are pieces of the funeral the faithful are familiar with from the rest of the liturgical year, but the paschal funeral service is first and foremost an expression of the joy of the feast, and the hope in the Resurrection, which is the core of our Orthodox Christian Faith.
The funeral was led by his Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago & Mid-America. The following hierarchs also served at the funeral:
His Eminence Metropolitan Nicolae of the Romanian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas
His Grace Bishop Longin of the Serbian Orthodox Church
His Grace Bishop Paul of the Orthodox Church in America
His Grace Bishop Nicholas of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia
In addition to the hierarchs, priests from throughout the Diocese of Chicago & Mid-America and from the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, the Serbian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Orthodox Church, and the Orthodox Church in America participated in the funeral.
Following the Paschal Canon, Archbishop Alypy’s mortal remains were processed around the Diocesan Cathedral of the Protection of the Mother of God, at which the funeral took place and which Archbishop Alypy built and frescoed. Usually this takes place to the singing of the irmosi of the Canon of Holy and Great Saturday, but in the paschal rite to the singing of “Christ is Risen...”.
After the final kiss the clergy and the faithful gathered in the cathedral hall for a memorial meal. In the cathedral the Gospel was read over the remains of the Archbishop throughout the night.
On Bright Wednesday Paschal Matins and the Hierarchal Divine Liturgy were led by Archbishop Peter with Bishop Nicholas and a multitude of priests and deacons participating. Following the Divine Liturgy the remains of Archbishop Alypy were processed from the cathedral to begin the Archbishop’s journey to his final resting place: Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. His Eminence was a member of the St. Job of Pochaev Brotherhood there and his final wishes were to be buried in the brotherhood cemetery.
The remains arrived at the Monastery on Thursday evening, right before Vespers and Matins. The coffin was in the Cathedral all night, with the Gospel being read. Friday morning a hierarchal Paschal Divine Liturgy was served with Archbishop Peter and Bishop Luke, abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery. Burial took place at one o'clock, behind the Cathedral. It should be noted that rain drizzled both Thursday and Friday, but when the funeral procession came out of the church, the sun appeared and shown while the burial took place.
Christ is Risen!