His Eminence Archbishop Kyrill read the following words of condolence from Metropolitan Hilarion to the clergy, family and faithful of the New Cathedral during the funeral of Protodeacon Nicholai Triantafillidis on Tuesday October 6, 2015.
Your Eminence, Your Grace, Dear in the Lord Fathers, Brothers and Sisters:
Since I am now at Holy Trinity-St Sergius Lavra by obedience to His Holiness Patriarch Kirill, I pray at the holy relics there for the repose of the soul of newly-departed Protodeacon Nicholas, and I send my final kiss to him, and lovingly send to his relatives prayerful good wishes and profound empathy in our common sorrow.
When we pray for the reposed, we beseech God to grant them eternal peace. And we believe that the Lord will indeed grant newly-reposed Fr Nicholas such never-ending rest. Rest can only be sweet after difficult labors, and only those who labor are able to then eat of the fruit of their deeds. “Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth: Yea, saith the Spirit, that they may rest from their labours; and their works do follow them” (Revelation 14:13), as we read in the Book of Revelation. And Fr Nicholas labored a great deal in his life and his service; his entire life, one could say, was spent in labor. He worked greatly for the Church, for his family, and for you, the clergymen and parishioners of this cathedral. But his labors have now ceased, his ailments and sighing have ended, his life now extinguished.
Today the clerics and laity have gathered in this grand cathedral to see off this pious, humble and worthy servant to the place of eternal rest and repose. We offer to the reposed all that he had once given to us as a true Christian, a good man, an exemplary executor of his clerical duties, an exemplary family man, too, together with his wife rearing his children successfully in love for the Church and for divine service. He was respected not only by his relatives, friends and parishioners, but by us archpastors and pastors, who looked upon him not as an underling cleric, but as a brother and friend, which the reposed earned by his helpfulness, his kind and responsive heart, his pious and prayerful spirit. It is difficult and painful to be separated from such a person! But the Lord wishes heavenly bliss to come expediently for those who had already prepared themselves a place in His Kingdom.
We will pray for the repose of Protodeacon Nicholas in the abodes of the righteous. And you, relatives and friends, pray that the Lord likewise grants us such a peaceful Christian end as He granted to Fr Nicholas. Amen.
With love in the Lord,
+HILARION, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York,
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia.
October 6, 2015