His Eminence Archbishop Elpidophoros
Eulogistic Remarks at the Trisagion for Father Angelo Artemas
April 24, 2023
Saint John the Theologian Greek Orthodox Cathedral
Tenafly, New Jersey
Beloved Presvytera Patricia,
Dear Children: Katie, Maria, and Eleni,
Your Grace and Reverend Fathers,
Brothers and Sisters in the Risen Christ,
Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! [Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!]
Even in the midst of this pain and grief that we observe at this moment, we make our solemn affirmation: Christ is Risen! Even now, our beloved Father Angelo is joining in our declaration of Faith. His untimely and truly unjust passing from this world to the next cannot, and will not, silence his voice. In the heavens, his faith echoes throughout eternity.
For Father Angelo was never afraid to speak his truth. His dynamism, his enthusiasm, and his fervor for our Church and all that She represents does not end with his κοίμησης, his falling asleep in the Lord.
All of us are very saddened by the illness that took him from us in the prime of his powers. On behalf of the Archdiocese he served with distinction for so many years, I convey to his Presvytera Patricia, his daughters, and his father, the Presbyter John, his sisters and the rest of his family our deepest sympathies.
Indeed, Father Angelo was raised within the Altar – within the very bosom of the Church by his father and mother, the ever-memorable Presvytera Nikie. His was the life of a Levitical family, where the generations of priests come in succession.
Father Angelo gave his entire life to the Church, and made his family part of every community that he served. And he served with honor, with distinction, with dignity, and with love.
The outpouring of affection mixed with sorrow and pain at his passing bears witness to his decades of pastoral ministry. There will not be enough words in the coming days to extol his every virtue. We speak eulogies because we are inspired by a good life to say a good word, but they are never enough to capture the full measure of any man, much less a figure such as Father Angelo.
He left us during Bright Week, giving us his final word on the Faith he practiced for his entire life. He believed in the truth of the Church, and his life was a witness to the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ – in good times and in bad times – he was a pillar in the House of the Living God, standing tall and strong in the face of any challenge.
Our proclamation of “Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη!” tonight is a sign of the meaning of his life and ministry, because he was faithful to the end. He merits the full prize of the hoped-for goal of life, the resurrection unto life everlasting.
Therefore, beloved Presvytera, children, family and friends – in this moment when we suffer together the grief of his passing: be certain of this. Father Angelo has taken his rightful place with all the priests, who from ages past now serve the Holy Liturgy in the celestial realm, the Kingdom of Heaven. Where death shall be no more; nor mourning, nor crying, nor pain, and God shall wipe away every tear from their eyes.[*]
Even as we commit his body to the earth, we commit his soul to the God he loved and served with all his heart. And we all thank you, Presvytera, for sharing him with the Church all these many years.
He was a gift not only to you, but to all of us, and he will be dearly missed.
My prayer for you, in this moment of parting and blessing his earthly remains, is that the faith that made him the priest that he was, fills your hearts and souls and minds with the hope of the Resurrection, the confidence of the Faith, and the memories that are good, and lasting, and beautiful.
May his memory be eternal. Χριστὸς Ἀνέστη! [Ἀληθῶς Ἀνέστη!]
[*] Cf. Revelation 21:4.