His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, and members of the OCA Holy Synod of Bishops laid a wreath and offered memorial prayers for those who perished in the 9/11 terrorist attacks at the Pentagon on Saturday, September 7.
The wreath laying ceremony was held in conjunction with Metropolitan Herman’s Enthronement, slated to take place during the Sunday Divine Liturgy at Saint Nicholas Cathedral on Sunday, September 8.
Metropolitan Herman and members of the Holy Synod of Bishops, accompanied by Protopresbyter Robert Kondratick, OCA Chancellor, the Very Rev. David Brum, Secretary to Metropolitan Herman, and the Very Rev. Constantine White, Dean of Saint Nicholas Cathedral, were met at the Pentagon by the Very Rev. Theodore Boback, Dean of Orthodox US military chaplains, and other officials.
The wreath laying ceremony took place at the commemorative wall bearing the names of those who lost their lives in the Pentagon attack. Metropolitan Herman and the hierarchs also visited the site’s new interfaith chapel, scheduled to be dedicated on September 11, the first anniversary of the attacks.
Earlier in the day, Metropolitan Herman and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops welcomed the numerous visiting hierarchs and clergy representing many of the world’s autocephalous, or self-governing, Orthodox Churches at a breakfast reception. Metropolitan Herman warmly greeted the hierarchs from abroad and expressed his desire to work closely with them in strengthening Orthodox Christianity in North America and around the world, especially during these critical times.
Among the delegations from sister Orthodox Churches around the world, Metropolitan Herman held individual meetings with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Sawa of Warsaw and His Eminence, Archbishop Abel of Lublin of the Orthodox Church of Poland; His Eminence, Metropolitan Filaret of Minsk and His Grace, Bishop Mercurius of the Patriarchate of Moscow; His Eminence, Archbishop Augustine of Lviv of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church-Moscow Patriarchate; and His Grace, Bishop Simeon of the Orthodox Church of the Czech Lands and Slovakia. On Sunday, Metropolitan Herman is scheduled to meet with representatives of other sister Orthodox Churches, including the Patriarchates of Jerusalem and Alexandria, and the Autonomous Orthodox Church of Finland.
“One of the unique ministries of the Primate of an autocephalous Church is to maintain and strengthen relations with the world’s sister Orthodox Churches,” noted the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director.
“Metropolitan Herman graciously thanked the delegations from the sister Churches for their warm invitations to visit their respective flocks and their kind expressions of support as he begins his primatial service.”
On Saturday evening, faithful from across North America joined the hierarchs and area clergy filled Saint Nicholas Cathedral for the celebration of the Vigil Service for the Eve of the Great Feast of the Nativity of the Mother of God, at which Metropolitans Herman, Sawa, and Filaret concelebrated during Matins. Members of Metropolitan Herman’s family were also present for the Vigil Service.