A Lifetime in Pilgrimage: Archimandrite Lazarus Moore
The College is delighted to present its re-publication of the long obituary by Fr Andrew Midgley of the extraordinary life of Fr Lazarus Moore, the “English Archimandrite”. The re-print has been carefully edited and corrected in light of original research and in coordination with historical authorities around the world. The 48 page booklet is priced at just £2.95 and is illustrated with 12 black and white photos and includes a chronology, detailed endnotes as well as an appendix with a never before published reproduction of Fr Lazarus’ confession of Faith which he sent to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Cosmo Lang.
We present below an extract from the first Chapter - 'Passage to India'.
The Very Reverend Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore), registered at birth as Edgar Harman Moore, spent a lifetime in pilgrimage, largely in exile from his native land, rather in the tradition of the great roaming Celtic heralds of the Gospel. In his lifetime, he ranged across widely spaced corners of the globe in the service of the Lord and of the Holy Orthodox Church. At his death, he was the doyen of all Orthodox clergy of Anglo-Saxon origins or English mother tongue. Ninety years old, he had been an Orthodox priest-monk for fifty-six years. In his final years, he had been living in Eagle River, Alaska, in the home of Deacon Harley and Dianne (Dominica) Cranor. To this house he had brought a substantial working library of books and manuscripts, but virtually no personal possessions. To the end he lived a life of apostolic poverty, a stranger and sojourner in the world, an ascetic in the midst of plenty, dead to the blandishments of the over-abundant consumer society. As ever, he ate frugally, slept no more than four hours a night, prayed much, corresponded across the world, and ever laboured at the works and thoughts of the Apostolic and Patristic writers who gave a form and record to Holy Tradition. His liturgical work will be widely known, his scriptural work perhaps less generally studied. It was as late as 1991 that he finalised his major work of translation: The Four Gospels.
When the Cranors came to his room one morning, he was found to have reposed in the Lord. That was early on Friday 27 November 1992. Firmly gripping in his hands his monastic cross, he was found gazing - by then sightless in death - at his ikons, as his soul passed through the window of the ikons to the Divine Light beyond. For some time previously, he had been suffering from terminal cancer, which first attacked his lungs but by the end was also present in his bones. Frail as he was, he had nevertheless managed a little walk each day, almost until the last. To the end, he loved and lived only in Christ, the Lord of Light, Risen from the Dead and Ascended into the great Glory, ever Reigning.
The catafalque was set out in the Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral Church of St John from the time of the Vigil Service of the Lord’s Day until Monday, when, at a quarter past nine in the morning, he was accorded the final rites of the Holy Orthodox Church and his body laid to rest in the burial ground of the Cathedral.
One tends to think of Father Lazarus as a ‘Russian’ Archimandrite, for it was within the jurisdiction of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia that he was first received, for long laboured, and finally reposed, but in fact he had spent his declining years within the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch, perhaps appropriate for an Apostle who had laboured long among Arab Orthodox, albeit living within the Greek Patriarchate of Jerusalem. He was, at one and the same time, a cosmopolitan ‘citizen of the world’, and a quintessential Englishman.
- Categories: SGOIS