Lazarus (Moore)

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Archimandrite Lazarus (Moore) was a missionary priest who served in Palestine, Transjordan, India, Greece, Australia, California and Alaska.


The future Archimandrite Lazarus was born Edgar Moore, in Swindon, England, on the October 18, 1902. At the age of 18, he moved to Alberta, Canada, where he worked as a farm labourer (during his years in Greece Fr Lazarus told me that he worked as a lumberjack as well as a farm hand). for several years. It was here that he sensed a "call from God" (his own words) to become a missionary. For the next five years he studied at St Augustine's College in Canterbury, England - a training-college for Anglican missionaries. In 1930 he was ordained a deacon in the Church of England, and then, in 1931, an Anglican priest. Following this in 1933 he travelled to India, where he joined the Christa Seva Sangha, an Anglo-Indian brotherhood with an ashram at Poona.

Drawn towards Orthodoxy, Edgar travelled in either 1934 or 1935 (there is some uncertainty about the date) to Palestine, Mount Athos and then Serbia, where he was received by Metropolitan Anthony (Khrapovitsky) into the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, which at that time was centred in Sremsky Karlovsky, near Belgrade. He was then professed a monk at Mikovo Monastery, before being ordained by Archbishop Feofan (ROCOR) in January 1936 to the priesthood.

Fr Lazarus was then sent to the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission in Jerusalem, where he worked closely with Abbess Mary (Robinson) and Mother Mary (Sprott), both converts from Anglicanism at the Russian Convent of St Mary Magdalene on Gethsemane. Whilst in (what was then) Palestine, Fr Lazarus taught at the school in Bethany which was maintained by the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission.

Following the Arab-Israeli war of 1948, the newly-founded state of Israel handed over the property of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission to the Soviet Union, leaving the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, under ROCOR, dispossessed. Fr Lazarus then served as priest to the Russian Convent in Ain Karim (which at the time had around 100 nuns) and to the Transjordan.

This lasted a short period of time. In 1952, Fr. Lazarus was sent back to India, to help ROCOR with the approach made to them by a group of non-Chalcedonian Syrian Orthodox in Malabar, South India, who had approached the Russian Synod seeking admission into Chalcedonian Orthodoxy. Ultimately, the group were not received, but Fr. Lazarus stayed in India for the next twenty years, helping in missionary work. Much of his translation work was done and published during this time. Due to black cassock's being offensive to local residents, he wore a white cassock instead. While in India, he met Mother Gabrielia, whom he consulted in his translations of the Fathers and of the Psalter.

In 1972, Archimandrite Lazarus was called to Greece, where he contemplated settling; but in 1974, he was called to Australia. In Australia, Archimandrite Lazarus developed contacts with Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement, which he viewed in a positive light. In this Archimandrite Lazarus' views diverged widely from his ROCOR Bishop, leading the Archimandrite to write to his Bishop, seeking canonical release. His Bishop never replied to the letter, but nonetheless Archimandrite Lazarus transferred to the jurisdiction of the Patriarchate of Antioch.

In 1983, upon the invitation of Fr. Peter Gillquist, Archimandrite Lazarus travelled to California, to assist with the integration of the former Evangelical Orthodox Church into canonical Orthodoxy. This would be the most successful missionary endeavour in which Archimandrite Lazarus would be involved, with this group being received by the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese in 1987.

He moved to Alaska in 1989 to continue this work of helping Evangelical Orthodox integration, relocating to St John's Cathedral in Eagle River, Alaska, a large center founded by Evangelical Orthodox, and now Antiochian. Shortly before his death he was visited by a ROCOR priest who reconciled him to ROCOR. On November 27, 1992, Archimandrite Lazarus reposed in Eagle River, Alaska, from cancer. He was buried in the cemetery at St John's Cathedral.

Books Translated

Books Authored

  • St Seraphim of Sarov - a spiritual biography, New Sarov Press, 1994. Metropolitan Kallistos Ware has suggested that there are 'some doubts have been expressed whether this is actually the work of Fr. Lazarus, at any rate in its present form'. [Bishop Kallistos of Diokleia, 'Foreward', in Ignatius Brianchaninov, On the Prayer of Jesus (Boston, MA: New Seeds, 2006) p. xx.)]

External links