1923 American Interview with Patriarch Tikhon
(From a rare book published by the YMCA in Prague in 1923. Tikhon was murdered by the Communists soon after the book was published. - Bob Atchison)
After the decision to restore the Patriarchate, the most important act of the Sobor was the election of the man to fill that office. In the midst of the three days battle which resulted in the taking of Moscow by the Bolsheviks, the Sobor in orderly sittings carried out the routine it had defined for the election of a Patriarch. This was a minutely detailed procedure based upon the method first employed in 1634 for the election of Joasaf and followed in the choice of all subsequent Patriarchs. A secret ballot of all members was taken and the names of those receiving votes tabulated according to the number received. The choice of the Patriarch must be made from the highest three in the list. In this case they were Tikhon, Metropolitan of Moscow, Antonius, Archbishop of Kharkov, and Arsenius, Archbishop of Novgorod. On November 5th, after a solemn service in the Church of the Savior, the three names, carefully sealed in wax rolls of equal size and weight, were placed in an urn and the eldest of the recluse-monks present drew out one name. It proved to be that of Tikhon, whose election was forthwith proclaimed. On November 21st (1917) occurred the solemn consecration in the Cathedral of the Assumption, and a new epoch in Russian church history had begun.
"What is the most urgent need of the Orthodox Church which the Christian world outside can supply?" I asked the Patriarch.