Remembering Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann (1921–1983)

On this 31st Anniversary of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann’s death,  the entire community of St.Vladimir's remembers his life, his work, and his influence on the Church in America. Honoring his memory, the Summer/Fall 2014 issue of Jacob's Well was dedicated to his legacy and featured the theme "Thanksgiving, Salvation, and Eternal Joy." The publication included articles by The Right Rev. Michael, bishop of New York and New Jersey; Fr. Alexander's son, Serge; his former students, Frs. John Shimchick and Alexis Vinogradov and John Jillions; and former SVOTS faculty member Fr. Paul Lazor. Also featured were reflections by faculty members Dr. Albert Rossi and Dr. Paul Meyendorff, and quotes "remembered and rendered" by Fr. Thomas Hopko.

Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983)Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann (1921-1983)As Dean of St. Vladimir’s Seminary from 1962–1983, Fr. Alexander formed hundreds of students, providing them with an understanding of what he termed “liturgical theology”—the study of liturgy as a theological discipline, rather than as a historical or archeological discipline or a mere adherence to the letter of the ecclesiastical Typikon (ordo). Father Alexander approached liturgy as a life-giving source of grace and the knowledge of God, and the many seminarians studying under him subsequently imparted his teaching to thousands of Orthodox Christians in the United States and abroad.

On Sunday, December 14, immediately following the Divine Liturgy, the community gathered at Three Hierarchs Chapel will celebrate the annual panikhida for Fr. Alexander Schmemann, one day after the anniversary of his repose. May his memory be eternal!