A fortieth-day memorial service for the repose of Fr. Alexander Schmemann was held in Moscow on Sunday January 22, 1984 at the Church of the Archangel Gabriel, on Telegrafnyi Pereulok, a parish church which also serves as the "Metochion" (Podvorye), or representation of the Patriarchate of Antioch.
The service was celebrated after the Divine Liturgy by Archimandrite Niphon, the representative of the Church of Antioch with the Patriarchate of Moscow. The church was filled with people, including relatives, friends, the U.S. Ambassador, foreign journalists, many Russians who knew Fr. Schmemann through his Radio Liberty broadcasts and books, and the regular parishioners of the Parish. The responses were sung by a full choir.
Archimandrite Niphon, whose native language is Arabic, preached a moving sermon in Russian, noting all of Fr. Schmemanns books, his place in world Christianity and his particular love for and efforts on behalf of Christians in the Soviet Union. Many acknowledged privately after the service that Fr. Schmemann was known by thousands in Russia. At the conclusion of the service, the church resounded with the hymn of "Eternal Memory" (Vechnaya Pamyat), sung by the entire congregation.
A 30-minute program entitled "The Spirit of St. Vladimir" was broadcast on the CBS national network Sunday, January 29 at 8:30 a.m. The program narrated by Fr. Thomas Hopko, focused on the person, the ideas and the recent death of Fr. Alexander Schmemann. It included interviews with Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Archdiocese, with Archbishop lakovos of the Greek Archdiocese and with His Beatitude, Metropolitan Theodosius, as well as recorded sections of Fr. Alexanders addresses.
Viewers approached by the editor, agreed that the program was not only technically successful, but also projected a fair and inspiring picture of Fr. Alexander Schmemanns role in the life of Orthodoxy in America, particularly in the fields of liturgical revival and Orthodox Unity.
The Orthodox Church, Vol. 20, No. 3, March 1984.