An Extraordinary Peace
St. Seraphim, Flame of Sarov
By Archimandrite Lazarus Moore
“When I am dead, come to me at my grave, and the more often the better. Whatever is in your soul, whatever may have happened to you, come to me as when I was alive, and kneeling on the ground, cast all your bitterness upon my grave. Tell me everything and I shall listen to you, and all the bitterness will fly away from you. And as you spoke to me when I was alive, do so now. For I am living and I shall be forever.”
Available from Anaphora Press.
Translated by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore
This translation of the Psalms of David was completed in 1992, the last year of Fr. Lazarus’s life. The publication is sized for personal use, approximately 4″ x 7″, and contains an icon of Christ on the inside cover.
Available from Anaphora Press.
As I knelt by the Crib of our Lord at Bethlehem I saw a most beautiful Maiden, covered with a white mantle and a robe of fine texture. The time of her delivery seemed to be at hand. A venerable old man accompanied her. An ox and an ass were with them. When they had come into the cave, and the old man had tethered the ox and the ass to the manger, he went out and returned with a lighted torch which he fastened to the wall, and then he went out again so as not to be present at the birth of the Child.
Then Our Lady laid aside her white mantle, took off her shoes from her feet and the veil from her head, so that she was clad only in her light robe. Her beautiful gold hair hung down over her shoulders. Then she took out two linen cloths and two woolen ones, very clean and white, to wrap the Child in as soon as He was born, and two smaller pieces of linen to swathe His head. When all things were prepared Our Lady knelt down with her back against the manger, her face uplifted and turned eastward. Her hands were raised, her eyes fixed above, her whole being absorbed in ecstatic contemplation, bathed in heavenly rapture. And in a moment as she prayed she had given birth to her Son, from whom shone a light so great and so wonderful that the rays of the sun cannot be compared to it. The torch brought by St. Joseph seemed to be extinguished, so far did that Divine Light outshine all light which is of earth. The Infant was born so suddenly, so instantaneously, that I did not see how it happened. I only saw the Divine Child lying naked, white and shining on the ground. Then I heard the most wonderful singing of Angels.
When Our Lady, whose form was extremely delicate, slender and graceful, saw that her Child was born, she bent her head, folded her hands, and adored the Infant with the deepest reverence and devotion. Then the Child began to weep and tremble with cold on the hard ground where He lay. He moved a little and stretched His tender limbs as though He desired the comfort of His Mother’s caresses. The Mother took the Child in her arms, pressed Him to her heart, and warmed Him against her face and bosom with great gladness and tender motherly pity. Then she sat down on the ground, laid the Child on her lap, and began to swathe Him very carefully. First she wrapt Him in linen and then in the woolen cloths, binding His tender body and little arms with the swaddling bands which were sewn to the four corners of the outer woolen cloth. The she wrapt and bound His head in the two smaller linen cloths which she had laid beside her. When all this was done the venerable old man came in again, and falling on his knees adored the Child with tears of joy. Then the Virgin rose with the Infant in her arms, and she and St. Joseph together laid Him in the manger and worshipped Him with great joy and gladness of heart.
Fr. Lazarus is widely regarded as one of the great missionaries and scholars of the 20th century.
An Orthodox missionary priest serving Palestine, Transjordan, India, Greece, Australia, California and Alaska, he translated the Psalter, the Four Gospels, the Ladder of Divine Ascent, the Arena, the Old Jordanville Prayer Book, the Life of St Seraphim of Sarov, and countless other manuscripts and services before his repose in +1992+.
Fr. Lazarus was born Edgar Moore in Swindon, England, on October 18, 1902. At eighteen he moved to Alberta, Canada and worked as a shepherd, longshoreman, farm laborer and on the railroad. It was here, in Canada, Fr. Lazarus experienced a profound spiritual awakening and heard “a call from God” to become a missionary.
With God’s calling in his heart, Fr. Lazarus returned to England to study at St Augustine’s, an Anglican missionary college in Canterbury, England, for five years. He was ordained deacon in the Church of England in 1930 and in 1931 ordained Anglican priest.
Fr. Lazarus became interested in travel, and his ongoing conversion took him to India in 1933 where he joined the Christa Seva Sangha, an Anglo-Indian brotherhood with an ashram at Poona. Studies in church history and tradition brought him to the Holy Land and Mount Athos where his desire to embrace Orthodox Christianity flowered.
Fr. Lazarus communicated with Russian hierarchs and visited Serbia, received by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR), which at that time was centered in Sremsky Karlovsky, near Belgrade.
At Milkovo Monastery, before being ordained by Archbishop Feofan in January of 1936(?) to the priesthood, Fr. Lazarus became a monk. His heart and mind deepened in the Orthodox Church and he was assigned to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission which is in Jerusalem, at the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene on Gethsemane.
Two martyred saints, Grand Duchess Elizabeth Feodorovna of Russia and her fellow nun Varvara Yakovleva are buried in the church. Fr. Lazarus worked closely with the Abbess, Mother Mary (Robinson) and Mother Mary (Sprott), also converts from Anglicanism. He taught at the school at Bethany (in Palestine) which was maintained by the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission. Here he completed a first draft for The Life of St. Seraphim.
But then war broke out.
Battle and the ensuing social chaos forced Fr. Lazarus and his small community of St Mary’s to flee, on foot, through the desert to Transjordan.
Following the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, the newly-founded state of Israel handed the property of the convent to the militant-atheist government of the Soviet Union, essentially dissolving the mission and convent.
Fr. Lazarus then lived in the Transjordan area for one year and in 1952 returned to India, helping a group of non-Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox in Malabar, South India, who had approached the Russian Synod seeking admission into Chalcedonian Orthodoxy.
Fr. Lazarus stayed in India for the next 20 years.
He helped in missionary work, translating lives of the saints, Church services, writing and serving God with all his heart, mind and soul amid poverty, disease and political and social tumult.
He broadcast radio sermons, laboring under extreme conditions of heat, bouts of malaria, and incredible isolation. Much of his translation work from Slavonic and Greek into English was completed and published during this time, often in the magazine Orthodox Life put out by the Jordanville monastery in New York.
Here Fr. Lazarus translated the Old Jordanville Prayer Book, the Arena, the Ladder of Divine Ascent and numerous other manuscripts. He labored with an old, manual ribbon-style typewriter transferring precious spiritual words page by page. He often had to curtail his labors because the electricity would go out.
Because black cassocks were culturally offensive to local residents, Fr. Lazarus wore a white cassock during this time. And it was during this period, in India, he met Ghandi and Mother Gavrilia, the ascetic of love.
In 1972, Fr. Lazarus was summoned to Greece, where he labored and contemplated settling for good but in 1974, he was called to serve Australia. Here, his efforts over an 8 year period blossomed into what is today the thriving, beautiful Orthodox Mission of Holy Cross.
During his time in Australia, Fr. Lazarus sought canonical release from the Russian diocese and was accepted into the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch.
In 1983, Fr. Lazarus received an invitation from Fr. Peter Gillquist to come and live among the Evangelical Orthodox Church in America to help them transition from Protestantism into canonical Orthodoxy.
Fr. Lazarus accepted, and by 1987, several thousand individuals were received into the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese. Fr Lazarus lived in Santa Barbara for five years, a beloved elder and teacher for the thriving St. Athansius church where he touched many lives.
But by 1989, his health began declining and he moved to the community of St John’s Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska. Here, Fr. Lazarus shared the last years his life helping the community of St John’s transition to Orthodoxy.
On November 27, 1992, Fr. Lazarus fell asleep in the Lord. On the fourth day after his repose, he was buried in St John’s Cathedral cemetery. A clear sign of the Resurrection, the snowy, Alaskan landscape was miraculously thawed to reveal brightly-springing green turf.
Three bald eagles flew overhead.
Fr. Lazarus left us “traveling with angels.” Through his labors as monk, priest, translator, teacher, friend and author, countless souls were and still are today nurtured in love for and by God.
Glory to God!
This list is a digital copy of a typed list created by Fr. Lazarus himself and excludes nearly forty years (1947 to 1992) of translation work, original manuscripts, speeches and more. Excerpts from Fr Lazarus’ translations and manuscripts, many previously unpublished, may appear on this website as we compile forthcoming anthologies.
Published works and translations of Fr. Lazarus include:
1) The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus (1959)
2) The Jordanville Prayer Book (1960)
3) On the Prayer of Jesus by Bp. Iganatius Brianchaninov (1965)
4) The Psalter ( 1966)
5) The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete
6) The Arena by Bp. Ignatius Brianchaninov (1970)
7) An Indication of the Way into the Kingdom by St. Innocent of
8 ) Tradition in the Church (booklet from Light and Life)
9) Law and Grace (booklet from Light and Life)
10) Baptism As Thirty Celebrations (booklet from Light and Life)
11) St. Seraphim of Savov by Archimandrite Lazarus Moore
(New Savov Press 1994)
12) An Extraordinary Peace, St. Seraphim, Flame of Sarov by
Archimandrite Lazarus Moore (2009)
Fr Lazarus’ translations into English, as of January 1947 include:
1) The Ladder of Paradise, by St John Climacas
2) Ancient Patrology (selections: actually about half the original)
3) Philokalia (selections, including over 100 pages of St Cassian; and from the Russian 5th tome: St Nicephorus the Solitary, St Gregory Palamas, St Simeon the New Theologian, Maxim Kapsokalivit and St Gregory the Sinaite)
4) Some Aspects of Orthodox Prayer (collection of passages on Prayer from the writings of the Holy Fathers, Saints and Teachers of the Church)
5) Indication of the Way into the Kingdom of Heaven, by St Innocent of Alaska
7) Dogma of Redemption
8 ) Confession
9) Conversation between Orthodox Priest and a Uniat Greek Catholic
10) Conversations of a Christian with a Moslem about the Holy Trinity
11) To Our Sweetest Lord Jesus
12) For Holy Communion
13) To the Most Holy Mother of God
14) To the Holy Myrrh-bearer Mary Magdalene
15) To the Holy and Life-creating Spirit
16) To St Nicolas
17) To St George
18) To St Panteleimon
18 a)To the Trinity
18 b) To Martha and Mary
19) Great Canon of St Andrew of Crete
20) Short Canon of Repentance
21) Canon to the Most Holy Mother of God (Annunciation)
22) To the Venerable and Life-giving Cross of Christ
23) To Our Lord Jesus Christ
24) For Holy Communion
25) To the Guardian Angel
25 a) To the Mother of God (Ordinary)
25 b) Easter Canon
26) Mental Activity, by Abbot Hariton of Valaam
Lives of Saints
(mostly translated from the Menology of St Dimitri of Rostov):
1) St Ephrem the Syrian
2) Passion of Holy Martyr Perpetua
3) Holy Martyr Dorothea
4) St Cassian
5) 40 Martyrs of Sebaste
6) St Gregory the Dialogist
7) St John of the Ladder
8 ) St Mary of Egypt
9) St George
10) Sts Constantine & Helena
11) St Cyril of Alexandria
12) St Andrew of Crete
13) Sts Simeon, Fool for Christ’s Sake & John His Co-Ascetic
14) St Mary Magdalene
15) St Panteleimon
16) St Gregory the Sinaite
17) The Assumption of the Mother of God
18) The Nativity of the Mother of God
19) The Passion of the Holy Martyrs of Faith, Hope & Love & their Mother Sophia
20) St Thekla
21) St Sergius of Radonesh
22) St Hariton the Confessor
23) St John the Theologian
24) St Andrew, Fool for Christ’s Sake
25) St Dionysius the Areopagite
26) St Thomas
27) St Martin
28) St Lazarus Four Day
29) St Luke
30) St James, Brother of Our Lord
31) St Dimitri of Rostov
32) Sts Cosmas & Damian
33) St Abraham the Hermit & his Niece St Mary
34) St Gregory Palamas
35) St Andrew, Fool for Christ’s Sake
36) St Katharine
37) St Seraphim of Sarov (full life)
38) St Joasaph of Belgorod
39) St Onuphrius the Great
40) St Marina
41) St Elias
42) “The Ikon of the Virgin Mary”
43) Rabaiyat Baptised – an Indian poem
44) Preparation for Holy Communion by St John of Kronstadt
45) 12 Articles on the Most Holy Sacrament by St Dimitri of Rostov
46) The Eminence of the Achievements of Monkhood
47) A Spiritual Guide
48) Divine Love
49) From “The Story of Christ” by Giovanni Papini
50) Extracts from St Theodore the Studite, St Augustine, St John Moschus
51) Appendix to “The Degrees of the Spiritual Life by Abbe A. Saudreau
52) The Spirit of Prayer by St John of Kronstadt
53) Extract from the Holy Fathers of the Church on Prayer
54) On the Prayer “Let us the Cherubim” by Met. Antony
55) The Sign of the Cross
56) “My Life in Christ” by St John of Kronstadt
57) Surrender Not Resignation
58) Sermon in French on the occasion of his nomination to the Episcopal Dignity by Met. Antony
59) Article on Jesus Christ “From the Governor of Judea to the Roman Emperor
60) A Vision of the Most Holy Mother of God
61) 3 short articles on the Holy Virgin, Mother of God
62) Two Prophecies revealed by Jesus Christ to His disciples on the Mount of Olives
63) Errors of the Roman Catholic Church
64) Christmas Play by St Dimitri of Rostov
65) Indian Poems.
Work is also underway writing the biography of Archimandrite Lazarus Moore. We appreciate any stories, letters, and/or photos you might have. Please send them via email to Archlazarusmoore@gmail.com or through snail mail:
The Fr. Lazarus Moore Foundation
P.O. Box 1664
Port Townsend, WA 98368
The following are a series of short stories or more simply, memories of the time I was blessed to spend with Fr. Lazarus Moore.
Fr. Lazarus came to our community and lived with Dn. Mark and Dianne. I was living in the community house called the Big House. It was across the street from the Cranors home. For a long time I would watch Fr. Lazarus walk his daily walks down Monastery Drive. I was afraid to approach him.
I had been watching Fr. Lazarus from a distance for some time, but did not approach him, as I was afraid of him. What was I going to say to a monk? I did not see him in the light of a spiritual father at the time. I simply saw and interesting character and wanted to hear stories about his adventures. I think I felt sorry for him too. I thought he was an old man without a family or home and that somehow to entertain him would be helping him in some way. I didn’t understand the life of a monk and was trying to “socialize” him all the time? Poor Fr. Lazarus patiently endured and taught me to love God and my neighbor in the process.
How did I have the courage to meet him? Dominica Dianne opened her door for me. She offered me the opportunity to trim his beard and his hair. Before I was the church janitor I had been a hairdresser. She had always cut his hair in the past and did a wonderful job, but nonetheless offered me the job? I am ever grateful for her unselfishness to allow me into her home and their lives.
With much shyness and trembling I came to trim his hair and to hear stories of his life. I was also curious about what a monk was.
This opened up one of the most wonderful relationships I’ve ever experienced! We disagreed… we forgave… we laughed… we mourned… and we prayed together. Most importantly he taught me to love God and to look for God in my neighbor.
What I have tried to do is to share a few of the memories that keep coming back to me over and over… they have become part of my life.
Pray for us Fr. Lazarus… and forgive me.
A copy of Fr. Lazarus’ lectionary, followed from childhood through his last days.
Tuesday, November 27th, 2012 marks the 20th anniversary of the repose of Archimandrite Lazarus Moore who, serving the Orthodox Church almost 60 years, contributed to the spread of Orthodoxy throughout the world.
With joy and sobriety, enduring hardship and performing the work of an evangelist, Fr. Lazarus translated and spread what St. Paul refers to as the “Scripture (which) is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2 Timothy 3:16).
Father Lazarus served in the Orthodox Church throughout the world, including Palestine, Kenya, Greece, Australia, India, Serbia, California and Alaska. Reflecting on his life and ministry, it is clear Fr. Lazarus transmitted the life of the Church tirelessly, uniquely, and in a wholly Orthodox manner as attested to by St. Nikoli Velimirović, who vouched for him when he came into the church, as one who is truly carrying the torch of the Orthodox faith.
Fr. Lazarus, knowing many languages, translated The Ladder of Divine Ascent, the Menaion, the Psalter, The Great Canon of St. Andrew of Crete, The Arena and hundreds of other titles still in use around the world in seminaries, parishes and monasteries today. Two books for which he is particularly well known, are the original 1960 Jordanville Prayer Book and the life of St. Seraphim, entitled An Extraordinary Peace: St. Seraphim, Flame of Sarov.
St. John Maximovitch writes of Fr. Lazarus in October 1957, “None of the clergy that is currently serving in England can successfully nurture the Orthodox…there is a need to have a cultured and theologically educated Orthodox priest who would have enough reputation among Englishmen…so there is definitely a gap in the Orthodox Church activities in England, and this gap could be filled if Fr. Lazarus returned.”
Fr. Lazarus witnessed to Christ, to the Gospel and to the Orthodox Faith with Mother Gavrilia throughout India, visiting Gandhi while serving sick and impoverished families and children. He followed in the footsteps of Thomas the Apostle to India, who is traditionally believed to have sailed to there in 52AD. St. Ephraim the Syrian, in his hymns about St. Thomas, writes:“It was to a land of dark people he was sent, to clothe them by Baptism in white robes. His grateful dawn dispelled India’s painful darkness. It was his mission to espouse India to the One-Begotten. The merchant is blessed for having so great a treasure.”
These words ring true of Fr. Lazarus’ ministry.
During the years of his labors throughout India as translator, priest, monk and lecturer, Father Lazarus achieved respect and recognition throughout the Orthodox and secular world. His translation of The Ladder of Divine Ascent by St. John Climacus got the attention of the English poet T.S. Eliot, who became interested in the manuscript, arranging
for it’s publication in England by Faber and Faber.
Fr. Lazarus articulated and bore witness to the Orthodox vision of unity among God’s diverse Creation, bringing dozens of cultures and tongues into the blessed liturgical cycle of the Orthodox Church. For decades, Fr. Lazarus studied, served Liturgy, taught, prayed, fasted and translated for thousands of people. In 1982, while living in Australia, Fr. Lazarus was invited to America on a speaking tour of Greek Orthodox churches. During this tour, he met some Evangelical Orthodox clergy and received an invitation from Fr. Peter Gillquist to come and live among the people in the Evangelical Orthodox Church in America to help them transition from Protestantism into canonical Orthodoxy.
By 1987, several thousand individuals were received into the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese.
Those who knew him continue experiencing the fruit of his prayers. In 1986, Fr. L was invited to come to Alaska to speak to the Orthodox faithful in Eagle River. He returned in 1988 and eventually moved there December of 1989 after being asked to make one last move before his journey across the line from this world to our eternal home.
From the cool rains of England to the oppressive Indian heat, and from Jerusalem to the far north of Alaska, he was a man after God’s own heart, looking for His lost sheep. Fr. Lazarus placed his hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ, through voluntary service and suffering. This life with God, the greatest adventure, is relevant in our turbulent world, where we need to fearlessly go forward , no matter what the conditions, be they secular or pagan for God is with us.
As he approached the hour of death on his final pilgrimage, he heard these words from the second epistle of Timothy:
“I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; in the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
“At my first defense no one supported me, but all deserted me; may it not be counted against them. But the Lord stood with me, and strengthened me, in order that through me the proclamation might be fully accomplished, and that all Gentiles might hear; and I was delivered out of the lion’s mouth. The Lord will deliver me from every evil deed, and will bring me safely to His heavenly kingdom; to Him be glory forever and ever. Amen.”
2 Timothy 4:5-8;16-1
Fr. Lazarus, pray to God for us.