Thousands attend funeral of Patriarch Maxim, who led Bulgarian Orthodox Church
(10 Nov 2012)
1. Wide of Orthodox heads, officials and believers paying their respects to Patriarch Maxim during funeral service at Alexander Nevsky cathedral
2. Close of portrait of the Bulgarian Patriarch Maxim and a cross with a Bulgarian inscription reading: "Maxim - Patriarch of Bulgaria"
3. Mid of Orthodox nuns paying their respects to Patriarch Maxim
4. Mid of worshippers paying their respects to the Patriarch Maxim
5. Wide of Orthodox Bishops and priests taking part in the memorial service
6. Mid of Bishops and other Orthodox heads performing rituals
7. Wide of Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria holding candles during the ceremony
8. Mid of Orthodox Patriarchs walking back to the alter of the church
9. Wide of Orthodox officials taking part in funeral ceremony around a coffin containing the body of Patriarch Maxim
10. SOUNDBITE: (Bulgarian) Father Raiko, Priest from the town of Veliko Tarnovo:
"He was saintly and dignified man, he repaid evil with good; he was always kind-hearted; he always blessed us, no matter what was done before, and he led the life of a monk - very modest and quiet."
11. Wide of Orthodox priests carrying the coffin of late Patriarch Maxim, the leader of the Bulgarian Christian Orthodox Church, during a funeral ceremony at the Troyan monastery
12. Close of Orthodox bishops and priests reading prayers and singing during the funeral of Patriarch Maxim
13. Mid of bishops and priests singing
14. Mid of Orthodox bishops kissing the hands of Patriarch Maxim
15. Wide of priests carrying the coffin to its burial site
16. SOUNDBITE: (Bulgarian) Father Raiko, Priest from the town of Veliko Tarnovo:
"I will pray for God's forgiveness for him if he voluntarily or otherwise trespassed and will pray for him to be brought into the Kingdom of Heaven."
17. Close of a flame being held by a worshipper at the service
Thousands of people participated in a grand funeral service on Friday for Patriarch Maxim, who led the Bulgarian Orthodox Church for a record 41 years that witnessed the collapse of communism and an institutional schism.
Maxim died at age 98 on Tuesday due to heart failure.
His funeral drew religious and political leaders, as well as ordinary Bulgarians who recalled him fondly.
The patriarch's body, covered by a gold-embroidered cloth, lay in the centre of Sofia's main Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, while white-robed church elders led funeral prayers under the solemn sound of bells.
Istanbul-based Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of world's Orthodox Christians, led a liturgy, while Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev praised Maxim for his efforts to unify his church in times of trouble.
The latter was referring to the schism in the Bulgarian Orthodox Church after the collapse of communism in the country in 1989 - a split that tested Maxim's leadership.
Back then, the new democratic government wanted to replace communist-appointed church figureheads, including the patriarch. But because of the official separation of church and state, the decision on who should serve as church leaders was left to the church itself.
That led to a quarrel between supporters of Patriarch Maxim and breakaway clergymen, who attempted to oust him and then formed their own synod.
For more than a decade, the two synods existed side by side. The schism ended in 2010, when the rival synod was dissolved.
The Orthodox Church leader largely stayed out of the political scene, though he was considered an influential figure throughout his career.
He was hailed for meeting with Pope John Paul II during the late pontiff's visit to Sofia in 2002, a trip seen as warming the frosty relationship between the Orthodox Church and the Vatican.
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