On Thursday November 19 and Friday November 20 memorial services were held in honor of Fr. Daniel Sysoev who was martyred in his parish in 2009 at the age of thirty-four.
The services were held in the southern Moscow church of the Apostle Thomas which Fr. Daniel himself had built and where he served as rector and was eventually shot. Fr. Daniel is remembered for his fervent missionary work through which he brought many former Muslims, pagans, atheists, Protestants, and others to the faith. He received many death threats for his work but he fearlessly continued in his service to the Lord until a Muslim from a radical Caucasus-based group shot him in his church late in the evening of November 19, 2009. Fr. Daniel died early in the morning of November 20 in the hospital.
The services began with Vespers and Matins, including a memorial Parastas service during Matins, and a memorial Panikhida served following the reading of the First Hour.
The Panihkida was joyfully concluded with the singing of the Paschal Stichera and Fr. Ioann’s greetings of “Christ is Risen!” Fr. Ioann then offered some inspiring words, noting that the great St. Seraphim of Sarov greeted everyone at all times throughout the year with the Paschal “Christ is Risen!” which is especially appropriate in honoring one who died for Christ, who therefore by his death has overcome death. He spoke of Fr. Daniel as a fearless martyr and a great missionary and preacher, ever ready to give an answer and account for his faith according to the commandment of St. Peter.
The next morning services began with the celebration of the Divine Liturgy in which many communed, followed again by a Panikhida and veneration of the relics. Fr. Ioann again offered some words on the inspiring example that Fr. Daniel has left for us all. Following the services a festive trapeza was held, after which a bus departed from the parish for Kuntsevo cemetery where Fr. Daniel is buried.
Fr. Ioann stated that at that point, having prayed for the repose of Fr. Daniel’s soul, and having glorified the Lord’s Resurrection in hymn, further words were unnecessary. He exhorted the faithful only to pray and persevere that in their lives and deaths they might know even a fraction of the joy of the heavenly kingdom that Fr. Daniel now enjoys.
In this spirit, as the faithful again venerated Fr. Daniel’s grave, they began to sing a magnification to him as a martyr, thus bearing witness to the continuing mission of the Hieromartyr Daniel Sysoev, which can be seen in the video below.
(FLV файл. Продолжительность