From St. Mary's Antiochian Orthodox Church, hunt Valley, Maryland:
Beloved in Christ,
With sadness, yet with hope in the resurrection on the last day, we have received the news of the repose of one of dearest priests to us all V. Rev. Archimandrite Elias Bitar. Fr. Elias Reposed in the Lord this afternoon after long suffering with health conditions.
Fr. Bitar leaves behind a life long legacy as "the voice of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of North America." During his nearly 40 years in the priesthood, he has been a Lecturer in Liturgical Music (with a specialty in Byzantine music) and Practical Theology at St. Vladimir's Orthodox Seminary, Vicar General of the Archdiocese, and the residing priest for churches in California and New Jersey. Father Elias studied for his Master of Divinity degree at St. Vladimir's from 1972–1975, and subsequently earned a Doctor of Ministry from the seminary in 2001.
Fr. Elias Bitar is survived by his children Katrina, Sr. Ignatia, Martha, Mikey, Antony, and Madeleine, as well as his grandchildren Zachary, Jacob, Samia, and another granddaughter on the way.
He is reunited in His heavenly kingdom with his wife Kr. Joanne, and his parents Sadallah and Zahwe Bitar.
In lieu of flowers, kindly send all donations to The Monastery of St. Nina in Union Bridge Maryland, where Fr. Bitar resided.
Fr. Elias was a father, priest, and friend of me and Khouria Ramia. I remember his trips to Syria where he used to come and visit with us and we enjoyed his visit always. A generous soul and a big heart. As we miss him today we are sure that he will be interceding for us in his prayers in front of the heavenly throne.
May his memory be eternal.
Yours in the Risen Lord,
Fr. Damaskinos Issa
Leeyakun thikruhu muabadan