His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon expressed condolences to the family of Archpriest Paul Lazor, former Dean of Students at Saint Vladimir Seminary.
Christ is risen!
On behalf of the Holy Synod of Bishops and all the bishops of the Orthodox Church in America, together with our clergy and faithful, I offer my condolences to the family, friends, colleagues, and students of the newly-departed servant of God, the Archpriest Paul.
In particular, we offer our prayers and consolation to Matushka Natasha and to all their children and grandchildren on their loss of a loving husband, father, and grandfather. In so many ways, Fr Paul was a father and like a grandfather to a multitude of people, regardless of the position he held: as professor, as rector, as Dean of students, he humbly offered himself for the sake of those entrusted to his care.
He was raised in a faithful and devout family, he was a model student, and a proficient scholar, one whose path in the professional realm would have been a certain success. Yet, he turned all of his good training and education towards the worship of Jesus Christ and service to the Church. At St Vladimir’s Seminary, in particular, he found his place, a place where he could learn from the renowned faculty there, and also form bonds with many of them, such as Father Thomas Hopko and David Drillock.
In over 55 years of marriage with his wife and of ordained priesthood, he was an image of the shepherd who truly leads his flock through his teaching and through his kindness. He would speak in very comprehensive and thorough ways, but each one hearing him would feel that the words were meant for them alone. In this way, he was all things for all people and thereby, by God’s grace, has helped to save many.
His burial takes place on the midfeast of Pentecost, on which we give glory to our Lord Jesus Christ, the fountain of life, and Fr Paul was certainly one who helped our thirsty souls receive the waters of godliness. May his own soul now enter into the never-ending source of that living water, the heavenly Kingdom, where he can receive the refreshment and the reward of eternal life with all the saints.
May Fr Paul’s memory be eternal and may the risen Lord fill our hearts with the hope and consolation of the resurrection of all of mankind.
Archbishop of Washington
Metropolitan of All America and Canada