On a gloomy day, just right for a funeral, in the enormous gothic building – “a liturgy in stone,” as the Dean of Winchester called it – 700 people have gathered to bid farewell to Sir John Tavener on his journey to the Kingdom.
Mother Maria was born Marigold Rule, and grew up in Guildford, Surrey, of mixed French and English parentage. Both of her parents were atheists. Her journey to faith in Christ began as a child, during the blitz of the Second World War. After one night of particularly heavy bombing, when a number of people living near Marigold’s home had been killed in the blast, she asked her mother what would happen now to the people who had died. Her mother replied that for them, that was the end; nothing awaited them in eternity, there was no life after death, they were simply dead and would soon be buried. The young girl was so horrified at the bleakness of her mother’s response to her question that she was convinced that there must be something more, some ultimate spiritual purpose in life. Thus began a journey of faith that led her first to belief in God, and then to the pursuit of a life lived for Him.
Archbishop Gabriel of Comana, formerly bishop in charge of the Archdiocese of parishes of the Russian tradition in Western Europe and exarch of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, died on 26 October in Maastricht (the Netherlands), at the age of 67, after a long illness. He was the leader of the Archdiocese of parishes of the Russian tradition in Western Europe, which comes under the episcopal see of Paris and has autonomous status within the Ecumenical Patriarchate, from May 2003 to January 2013. On 8 January 2013 his illness forces him to ask the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I to relieve him of his office, and this was approved by the Holy Synod with effect from 16 January.