On Tuesday, August 30, 2022, the feast day of St Alypy, Icon-painter of the Kiev Monastery of the Caves, His Eminence Metropolitan Mark of Berlin and Germany presided over a virtual meeting of the Synod of Bishops of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Also participating were His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill of San Francisco and Western America, Secretary of the Synod of Bishops; His Eminence Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada; His Eminence Archbishop Peter of Chicago and Mid-America; His Grace Bishop Irenei of London and Western Europe and His Grace Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, Acting Ruling Bishop of the Eastern American Diocese.
Having heard a report by the Pre-Council Committee, the Synod of Bishops approved, with some amendments, the Decree on the Election of a New Primate of the Russian Church Abroad, based on the drafts of St John (Maximovich) which he prepared for the 1964 Council of Bishops of ROCOR. By this decree, Metropolitan Philaret (Voznesensky) of bless memory and future First Hierarchs of the Church Abroad were elected. The decree will be distributed to all the bishops, and the forthcoming Council will confirm it on the first day of its meeting on September 13. The Synod of Bishops also approved the agenda for the Council, which will likewise be distributed to the members of the Council in advance.
The Synod of Bishops also deliberated on several internal issues and considered intercessions by member Bishops for ecclesiastical awards to their clergy and flock.
In conclusion, the archpastors prayed for the repose of Metropolitan Laurus (Skurla) and Archbishop Alypy (Gamonovich) on their patron saints’ days (the feast day of St Alypy is observed on 30 August, and the next day is the feast day of Holy Martyrs Florus and Laurus).
The Council of Bishops will convene on Tuesday, 13 September, and on that day will elect its new Primate. The enthronement ceremonies will begin on Saturday, 17 September, at the Synodal Cathedral of Our Lady “of the Sign” in New York with all-night vigil, at the end of which the senior archbishops will present the electee. The next morning, Divine Liturgy will be celebrated, when the rite of enthronement will take place, during which the new First Hierarch will be entrusted with the ruling staff of the Russian Church Abroad.
A festive trapeza luncheon will follow for the bishops, clergy and laity, hosted by the cathedral sisterhood. The Council of Bishops will conclude on 21 September, the feast day of the Nativity of the Most-Holy Mother of God, which coincides with the anniversary of the appearance of the Kursk-Root Icon of the Mother of God in 1295.