Commemorating 40 Years from the Repose of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

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Wednesday, December 13, 2023, the Feast of St Herman of Alaska, marks the 40th anniversary of the repose of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann, dean of Saint Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary (SVOTS) from 1962 until his death in 1983. Following the Divine Liturgy for the feast of St Herman, the seminary community will observe the milestone with a panikhida, as they remember his remarkable life and contributions, both to the seminary and to the development of Orthodoxy in America.

Fr Alexander’s impact on St Vladimir’s Seminary and Orthodox faithful around the world is difficult to overstate—our former dean and professor of liturgical theology remains beloved, revered, and widely read both in and outside the Orthodox Church to this day. On campus, Fr Alexander is continually remembered through assigned readings in classes, faithful commemoration on every Memorial Saturday, the dormitory on the north side of campus which bears his and Matushka Juliana Schmemann’s name, and frequent lectures related to his life and works, as well as the Annual Father Alexander Schmemann Memorial Lecture series. As we commemorate Fr Alexander on the 40th anniversary of his repose, we joyfully share with you ways to read and hear his words, learn more about his long-lasting contributions to the Church, and participate in his legacy.

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Books and recordings by Fr Alexander Schmemann:

Schmemann Speaks–a podcast featuring the words and wisdom of Fr Alexander Schmemann, from the St Vladimir's Seminary archives. His words—captured decades ago—are anything but dated. They are further proof that Fr Alexander remains a voice for our time.

The Schmemann Collection–the complete works of Fr Alexander Schmemann published by SVS Press.

Discern the Spirits”–a video marking the 100th anniversary of Fr Alexander’s birth, featuring a recording of his stirring admonition to modern Christians on how to live in the world.

Fr Alexander Schmemann’s contributions to the growth and strengthening of the Orthodox Faith in America and beyond:

Fr Alexander Schmemann’s Leadership Role in the American Church–a comprehensive tribute to the important role Fr Alexander played at the early All-American Councils of the OCA and in Church administration and policy.

Serge Schmemann Reflects on Fr Alexander’s Life–Fr Alexander’s son, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Serge Schmemann, spoke in 2021 about his memories of his father and his mission.

Fr Alexander at St Vladimir’s Seminary–read the history of St Vladimir’s Seminary and its growth under the leadership of Fr Alexander during the 1960’s and ‘70’s.

In Remembrance of Fr Alexander–a profound reflection by Archpriest Alexander Garklavs (M.Div. '93) on Fr Alexander's life and the ways in which he influenced the Church in America and the lives of those who encountered him. 

Participate in Fr Alexander Schmemann’s Legacy:

Fr Alexander Schmemann Legacy Societysupport St Vladimir's Orthodox Theological Seminary with a bequest in your will.

Fr Alexander Schmemann Memorial Endowment–ensure future generations of Orthodox priests and lay ministers receive theological education at St Vladimir’s Seminary (select “Fr Alexander Schmemann Memorial Endowment" in the “I want to support” dropdown menu).

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May the memory of Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann (+December 13, 1983) be eternal!