Protopresbyter Alexander Schmemann

In Memoriam - Archimandrite Cyprian Kern (1900-1960)

On February 10 the Lord called to Him Father Cyprian Kern, Professor of Patristics at St. Sergius Theological Institute in Paris. Son of a Russian scientist, he was born in 1900 and received his education at the famous Alexander Lyceum in St. Petersburg. Leaving Russia after Revolution he graduated from the Faculty of Theology in Belgrade, took his monastic vows and in 1927 began teaching at the Seminary of Bitolje. In 1928 Metropolitan Antony Khrapovitsky made him Archimandrite and appointed head of the Russian Mission in Jerusalem. In 1937 he joined the faculty of St. Sergius, first as Professor of Liturgics, and then since 1940 as Professor of Patristics. His major works are: Flowers of Prayer (Essays in Liturgical Theology) (1928), Archmandrite Antonine Kapoustine, Head of the Russian Mission in Jerusalem (1936), The Eucharist (1947), Anthropology of St Gregory Palamas (1950), Orthodox Pastoral Ministry (1957). In the last years he organized and inspired the "St. Sergius Liturgical Conferences", which became very popular among the leading Christian liturgiologists.

Father Cyprian was an excellent lecturer, a genuine Christian scholar. To this writer, as well as to a whole generation of St. Sergius students, he was also a dear personal friend. He gave much to us, but of a special, of an eternal significance will remain his deeply inspiring lectures in Liturgics, the way he led us to the understanding of the Eucharist. His death is a great loss for Orthodox theology.

Alexander Schmemann

St. Vladimir’s Seminary Quarterly, Vol. 4, No. 1, 1960, p. 50