On Friday, January 27, Monk Joseph (in the world Reader Isaac Lambertson), longtime laborer and gifted translator of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, reposed at age 67 after battling cancer.
Edward Lambertsen was born on October 22, 1949. He grew up in the town of Scotch Plains, NJ, where he graduated high school in 1967. He was received into the Orthodox Faith with the name Isaac, and attended Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary in Jordanville, NY. After graduating in 1977, he began working for the ROCOR Synod of Bishops.
Fluent not only in English and Russian, but also Church Slavonic, Latin, and French, Brother Isaac would spend the following decades tackling translations of the divine service texts into English: the entire Octoechos, the Menaion for the whole year, the Pentecostarion, services to newly glorified saints and other saints not found in the Greek or Slavonic Menaion, akathists, and a bilingual prayer book. His labors also included translations of addresses by the First Hierarch, Synodal directives and resolutions, and the annual Russian Orthodox Youth Committee (ROYC) calendar.
In October 16, after being diagnosed with cancer, Reader Isaac received monastic tonsure with the name Joseph, in honor of Venerable Joseph the Hymnographer. In exchange for his work, he asked and took almost nothing. English-speaking Orthodox Christians not only of the Russian Church Abroad, but of every jurisdiction owe him a tremendous debt, and now we ask them all for their prayers for the repose of his bright soul.
Memory eternal to the newly reposed Monk Joseph!
The first panihida for Fr. Joseph was served in the Synodal Cathedral of the Sign in New York City on Friday at 7:30. A further schedule of services for the departed will be published in the near future.