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Forty-Day Memorial Service in memory of Patriarch Neophyte of Bulgaria

Forty days have passed since the passing of the head of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Neophyte. Despite heavy rain, Orthodox Christians gathered on Sunday, 21 April 2024, to honour his memory and pray for the repose of his soul. The faithful participated devoutly in the funeral services held at the Metropolitan Cathedral “St. Nedelya” in Sofia.

The solemn Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was led by His Eminence Metropolitan Grigory of Vratsa, Vice-President of the Holy Synod.

Following the Divine Liturgy, a memorial service was performed to commemorate the fortieth day since the passing of Patriarch Neophyte. Alongside the serving clergy, Metropolitans Nikolay of Plovdiv, Antony of Western and Central Europe, and Yakov of Dorostol were in attendance to pay their respects.

Metropolitan Gregory addressed the gathered crowd with a speech in which he said:

“For all of us, Patriarch Neophyte was a beacon of virtue, embodying the essence of a devout Christian, a dedicated monk, and a compassionate leader of our Orthodox Church. His memory will endure as that of a loving father, ever ready to extend forgiveness and offer wise guidance to all who sought his counsel. His purity, modesty, kindness, and generosity will resonate through the annals of our Church for generations to come.

Though we may be physically separated from him now, we will always feel the warmth of his paternal love and support. With his passing, we gain another loving advocate before the throne of God. Let us strive to emulate his unwavering faith and trust in God. May his example of humility, meekness, compassion, and selfless love for both God and humanity continue to inspire and guide us.

Let us honour his memory by upholding the values and teachings he imparted to us. Let us remain united in faith, eschewing discord and contention, and rejecting all forms of prejudice and ill will. Let us walk the path of righteousness that he trod so faithfully during his earthly sojourn, knowing that it is the path that leads to salvation and everlasting life.”

At the gravesite of Patriarch Neophyte, situated beneath the colonnade of the metropolitan cathedral “St. Nedelya” in the capital, a Trisagion service was performed by the metropolitans and bishops of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church. With tears in their eyes, the faithful gathered today to lay flowers at Patriarch Neophyte’s final resting place and offer prayers for his soul, entreating God to welcome him into the Kingdom of Heaven among the company of the saints.

Source: Patriarchate of Bulgaria