It was on the Friday before Memorial Day in 1905 that a group of faithful set out from Mayfield, PA—some by train, buggy, or wagon, others by foot—and crossed Mount Salem to a designated meeting place in the town of Waymart, PA. Once everyone had gathered, the procession continued on foot to the village of South Canaan and the sacred grounds of the newly founded Saint Tikhon’s Monastery. Archbishop Tikhon, the monastery’s founder and future Patriarch of Moscow, and the monastery’s first Abbot, Father Arseny, led the procession marking the first Memorial Day Pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon’s Monastery, America’s oldest Orthodox monastic community.
Today, Saint Tikhon’s Monastery remains a “beating heart” for America’s Orthodox Christian faithful. Year after year, pilgrims have returned each Memorial Day weekend to its grounds “where saints have walked” as a means of reconnecting with God and the spiritual tradition of the Church. They attend the rich and festive services, meet old friends and make new ones, enjoy time with family, take in a spiritual word from one of the fathers of the monastery, remember loved ones who have departed to the next life, and receive comfort for souls burdened with the cares of this one.
This year’s 115th Memorial Day Pilgrimage, slated to be held May 24 through May 27, 2019, continues the tradition established by Saint Tikhon and Father Arseny. Pilgrims will once again be especially graced by the presence of the Myrrhstreaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God and by the participation and presence of numerous hierarchs, clergy, faithful, and friends from across America and beyond.
A wide variety of liturgical services, lectures, choral presentations and opportunities for prayer and fellowship will be available at this year’s Pilgrimage. In addition, Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary [STOTS] will hold its 77th Commencement Exercises on Saturday, May 25.
Detailed information is now available online.