Moscow, February 27, 2016
The funeral for the ever-memorable elder Archimandrite Kirill (Pavlov) was celebrated on Thursday, February 23 in the Dormition Cathedral at the Trinity-St. Sergius Lavra, where Fr. Kirill had served for decades as the brotherhood’s confessor. The funeral for the ninety-eight-year old elder who reposed on February 20 was served by His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, in addition to His Beatitude Metropolitan Onuphry of Kiev and All Ukraine, and a number of other bishops and clergy, reports the site of the Moscow Patriarchate.
A flood of faithful had made their way to the Lavra on Feb. 21 and 22 to bid farewell to the elder at his coffin in the cathedral, while prayers for the newly-departed were offered in all churches of the Lavra.
Before beginning the rite of burial, His Holiness offered some words in honor of Fr. Kirill, noting his service as the spiritual father to Patriarch Alexey II, as well as a number of other bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church, and priests and a great number of the faithful. “He carried the great service of confessor for thousands and thousands of people, and this service demanded a special podvig, not just because listening to people’s problems is always difficult, but also because he did not simply listen to these problems. He penetrated deep into the spiritual state of the person,” the patriarch recalled.
Patriarch Kirill noted that he first met Fr. Kirill in 1966, before he was known as the glory of all the Russian Church, but even this the elder’s spiritual father Metropolitan Nikodim recommended the future patriarch to go to Fr. Kirill for confession. “Fr. Kirill was a spiritual father who gave advice not from reasoning, but from spiritual experience. There were instances where he gave no advice, but people were drawn to him because they felt his spiritual strength, for spiritual fatherhood is not just a podvig demanding spiritual understanding, but a prayerful podvig,” Patriarch Kirill continued, emphasizing that Fr. Kirill became such an example of spiritual fatherhood for countless other clergy.
Even in his last years, as Fr. Kirill’s service was limited by illness, many still came to him, just to be by his bed and touch his hand the patriarch stated before calling on all present to offers prayers for the peaceful repose of his soul.