Archpriest Michael Taratuchin

On the weekend of 24th/25th January, 2015, Archpriest Michael Taratuchin served at the London Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God and Holy Royal Martyrs. On Saturday evening he presided at the All-Night Vigil and on Sunday, the Sunday of Zachæus and the Sunday after Theophany, Father Michael presided at the Divine Liturgy. After the Divine Liturgy, Fr Michael gave a short homily on the life and martyrdom of Saint Tatiana whose feast occurred on that day. Together with Archpriest Vladimir Vilgerts, Fr Michael congratulated those parishioners who were celebrating their Nameday on that day, and proclaimed ’Many Years’ for them.

After the Sunday Divine Liturgy, Fr Michael was the honoured guest at the trapeza in the Church Hall. After the meal, Fr Michael gave a moving account of his memories of being a server in the altar with Bishop Constantine (Jessensky), who was Bishop of Richmond & Great Britain 1981 to 1986. In 1986, Bishop Constantine relocated to the USA and died in a monastery in Texas in 1996. Recently the earthly remains of Bishop Constantine have been removed from Texas to Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY. Fr Michael participated in that re-interment and vividly described to the London parishioners the fact that the body of Bishop Constantine is incorrupt.

Father Michael’s father was the late Michael Alexievitch Taratuchin. M. A. Taratuchin was born in Kuban in Imperial Russia in 1912. He survived the Lienz tragedy (1945) and came to London, where he became one of the founders of the London All-Cossack Stanitsa, and the last  Ataman of the London Stanitsa to have been born in Russia. In London, Ataman Michael Taratuchin married Princess Irina Sviatopolk-Mirsky. They lived in London and had three sons and a daughter:  Nicholas;  Alexei (now Archdeacon Ambrose Taratuchin, serving at the San Francisco Cathedral of the Mother of God the Joy of All Who Sorrow); Michael (now Archpriest Michael Taratuchin, serving at the St. John of Kronstadt Orthodox Memorial Church, Utica, NY); and Elizabeth. For decades, the family were stalwart members of the London parish of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia when it was centred on the Cathedral of the Dormition of the Most Holy Mother of God in Emperor’s Gate, London SW7. Irina sang in the choir and the sons served in the altar. Ataman Michael Taratuchin died in 2006 (memory eternal!). Fr Michael’s mother, Irina, also has passed away (memory eternal!) on Saturday, 10th January, 2015, and Fr Michael came to London from his home in Utica, New York State, in order to serve his mother’s funeral, which took place on Thursday, 29th January at Brookwood Cemetery.