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Bulgaria pays final respects: Farewell to Patriarch Neophyte (Live Video)

In the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. Alexander Nevsky, the attention of the Orthodox world is focused today as Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria is laid to rest.

Metropolitan John of Varna and Great Preslav, recently appointed as vice-president of the Holy Synod of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, leadσ the Divine Liturgy.

His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who arrived in Sofia early in the morning, will lead the funeral service.

The clergy and laity will then accompany the Patriarch to his final resting place, in the courtyard of the Church of Saint Kyriaki, in accordance with his wishes as expressed in his will.

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has informed all the Primates of the Orthodox Churches about the passing of Patriarch Neophyte, and it is anticipated that representatives from each Church will be in attendance.

“The presence of the Ecumenical Patriarch holds significant importance, conveying implicit messages. Equally noteworthy is the outreach to other Orthodox Churches following the extraordinary meeting of the Holy Synod,” remarked Konstantin Noushev, a lecturer at the Faculty of Theology, University of Sofia.

Bishop Nestor of Korsun will represent the Russian Orthodox Church. Patriarch Kirill expressed his condolences through the website of the Moscow Patriarchate and performed a Trisagion service in Moscow.

In his statements, Metropolitan Antonii of Western and Central Europe emphasized that the tradition of the Ecumenical Patriarch attending the funeral service has deep roots in the Orthodox Church.

“In such events of mourning, as well as in the enthronement of the primates of the local Orthodox churches, the first among equals prevails. I don’t see anything wrong with that. We have encountered diverse opinions on this matter, yet it is imperative that we set aside emotions and adhere steadfastly to the traditions and statutes of the Orthodox Church, as handed down to us by our forebears.”

The Ecumenical Patriarch arrived shortly after 10 a.m. at the Cathedral of Saint Alexander Nevsky in Sofia, where he paid respects to the body of the late Patriarch of Bulgaria, Neophyte, and is now presiding over the funeral service with the participation of Hierarchs of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church.