On July 2, 2022, the funeral service for Archpriest Alexei Poliakov took place at the Holy Transfiguration Cathedral in Los Angeles, CA. The parishioners of two parishes of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia – where Fr. Alexei served on a permanent basis in the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of the Savior since 1999, and also in the Church of the Protection of the Mother of God on a temporary basis for a year –– merged into a single prayer and love for their good shepherd, whose sudden departure was echoed by deep sorrow in the hearts of the parishioners of both parishes.
Batiushka had been caring for the parish for many years with special dedication and love. He knew how to choose the right words, and the Lord gave him special wisdom so that he would give simple, but very necessary and deep advice in difficult life situations. For the last 10 years after the death of the ever-memorable Protopresbyter Father Konstantin Tivetsky, Father Alexei was a humble and modest shepherd of the former’s spiritual children. He had never put himself on the same level as Father Konstantin. But now, looking back, many parishioners see the result of his spiritual succession from Father Konstantin, and how he instructed Father Alexei on the path of humility and selfless service to God and people by his example.
Despite the fact that the “Rite of the Burial of a Priest” is much longer than a funeral for a layman, lasting more than two hours, the service passed in one breath. Batiushka left behind his widow, Matushka Marina, and their three children, Mikhail, Mark, and Emilia, for whom it is especially difficult to pass through this time of grief. Surrounded by love and support from parishioners, they were able to pass through this trial and say goodbye to their beloved husband and father. After the funeral, a cross procession around the church followed. A memorial dinner was held in the parish school hall, where many parishioners noted that they felt like they belonged to a big loving family. Many kind words and warm memories about Father Alexei were heard at the meal. Those present remembered how for so many years Father Alexei baptized, married, and buried parishioners of all ages, comforted those in grief, shared joys, and spiritually strengthened the flock in faith, showing by his own example how to live according to the Gospel.
May God grant the Kingdom of Heaven and Memory Eternal to Archpriest Alexei!