NEW YORK: December 10, 2021
Speech by His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia,
on the Entrusting of the Archpastoral Staff to Newly-Consecrated Bishop Job of Stuttgart
Your Grace, Vladyka and Beloved Brother of Ours Job:
By all-merciful Divine Providence, by the election of the members of the Council of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia and the approval of His Holiness the Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia and the Holy Synod of the Russian Orthodox Church, through the laying on of our hands you are now placed upon the highest level of the great and most-responsible duty, enjoined into the host of archpastors of our Church. On this significant day “may your soul rejoice in the Lord!” With fraternal love we congratulate you, blessing your emergence onto the path of hierarchical service in firm hope that you will justify our election!
When the Holy Apostles, receiving the Holy Spirit, began to establish the Church of Christ, they gave themselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). In this way they clearly determined the sphere in which they were to labor. Care for the souls of believers was their main goal: as lively stones, they are built up a spiritual house (1 Peter 2:5) and the house of God, where the Spirit of God dwelleth (1 Corinthians 3:16). Endearing was the relationship between Apostle Paul and his flock, to which Holy Scripture bears witness. This of course is the lofty ideal of service and care for the soul, to which we all, servants of the Church of Christ, are called upon to strive for. Edifying was the service of your predecessors of the Stuttgart Vicariate of blessed memory: Archbishop Paul (Pavlov) and Archbishop Agapit (Gorachek). Preserving the memory of their goodness and gaining consolation by their service, I hope that His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany, the clergy and flock of the German Diocese will find in you, too, much to be grateful for.
The archpastoral staff is a sign of the power and strength of Christ granted during episcopal consecration. “The Lord shall send the rod of thy strength out of Zion” (Psalms 110:2), declares David. In your hand it must be a defensive and guiding instrument for your flock. The staff is also a symbol not so much of authority in the Church as responsibility and a responsible attitude to the service laid upon you. As a sign of this lofty and difficult service entrusted to you, receive this staff. May this staff remind you of the glorious spiritual labors of the hierarchs of the Russian Land, of St John, Archbishop of Shanghai, Miracle-worker of San Francisco, and Jonah, Bishop of Hankow, these first-fruits of holiness in the diaspora who bore their service in difficult circumstances, so that they are for you a canon of faith, the likeness of humility, and the teacher of abstinence, so that you also by humility achieve exaltation, and by thy meekness wealth. May this staff grant consolation and aid for your flock.
And so, receive this staff, ascend your cathedra and bless the people who pray for you today.