San Francisco - Metropolitan Anthony of San Francisco was laid to rest yesterday, after a moving Funeral Service at the Ascension Cathedral of Oakland, Calif., which was attended by faithful and clergy from across the country and around the world.
The faithful from the Metropolis were offered a number of opportunities to pay their respects to their spiritual father, beginning with a Divine Liturgy on Tuesday, Dec. 28, 2004 at the Bishop Anthony Chapel of the Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco. In the evening, His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America presided over a Trisagion (Prayer) Service in the Chapel. Offering remarks following the Trisagion were Archon Theofanis Economidis, vice-president of the Metropolis Council of San Francisco; Rev. Theodore Dorrance, president of the Metropolis Clergy Syndesmos; His Grace Bishop Anthimos of Olympos; Consul General of Greece in San Francisco, Dimitrios Touloupas; Honorary Consul General of Cyprus in San Francisco, Nicholas Theophanous; His Eminence Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto, representing Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Demetrios.
Wednesday morning began with the Divine Liturgy presided over by His Eminence Metropolitan Iakovos of Chicago, the senior Metropolitan of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America, assisted by five priests from the Metropolis of San Francisco.
More than 1,500 faithful attended the Funeral Service, which began at 11:00am, and was presided over by His Eminence Archbishop Demetrios of America. Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto represented the Ecumenical Patriarch. Also participating in the service were Metropolitans Iakovos of Chicago, Isaiah of Denver, Alexios of Atlanta, Nicholas of Detroit, Tarasios of Buenos Aires, Bishops Anthimos of Olympos, Savas of Troas, and Gerasimos of Krateia. In addition over one hundred priests from across the country took part in the service. Choir members from the Metropolis sang during the Divine Liturgy and the Funeral Service that followed. The youth of the Metropolis, whom Metropolitan Anthony particularly loved and guided over the years, were dressed in traditional Greek costumes and stood as honor guards in the central aisle and by the casket of their spiritual father. The laity of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America were represented by Mr. Michael Jaharis, vice-chairman of the Archdiocesan Council and Mrs. Georgia Skeadas, president of the National Philoptochos.
At the conclusion of the funeral service, condolences for and personal memories of the departed Metropolitan were offered by Rev. John Bakas, dean of St. Sophia Cathedral in Los Angeles; Rev. Stephen Kyriacou, dean of the Annunciation Cathedral in San Francisco; Bishop John C. Wester, representing the Roman Catholic Archbishop of San Francisco William Levada; William Swing, Episcopalian Bishop of San Francisco, and Metropolitan Anthimos of Olympos. Metropolitan Sotirios of Toronto conveyed words of comfort on behalf of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and shared with the congregation thoughts, impressions and memories related to the deceased hierarch.
The Eulogy was delivered by Archbishop Demetrios, who started by expressing the gratitude of the Church to the clergy and laity, the doctors, nurses and medical personnel, who assisted Metropolitan Anthony in various ways, during the difficult time of the final weeks of his life at the hospital in Sacramento, Calif.
Then, the Archbishop highlighted three specific aspects of the legacy that Metropolitan Anthony leaves behind, the legacy of faith as a power to build and to plant (Jeremiah 1:9-10), the legacy of faith as freedom, liberation and independence (Galatians 5:13) and the legacy of faith as joy (John 16:11).