May 25, 2013
The 109th annual Memorial Day Pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon’s Monastery here opened on Friday afternoon, May 24, 2013, with the greeting of His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon and hierarchs at the monastery entrance arch. A Service of Thanksgiving, Vespers and Matins followed in the Monastery Church of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk, after which all pilgrims were invited to partake of a dinner in the monastery dining hall.
On Saturday, May 25, the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. The 71st Annual Academic Commencement of Saint Tikhon’s Seminary is slated to begin at 1:00 p.m., while the Resurrection Vigil followed by dinner will begin at 4:30 p.m.
The Hierarchical Divine Liturgy followed by a dinner for all pilgrims will begin at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, May 26. Vespers and Matins will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m.
On Monday, May 27—Memorial Day—the Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the monastery church at 7:30 a.m., while the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, at which Metropolitan Tikhon will preside, will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. in the pavilion. At noon, the Veterans’ Panikhida and Memorial Service will be celebrated at All Saints Bell Tower. At 1:30 p.m., the Akathist to Saint Alexis Toth will be celebrated in the monastery church, wherein his relics are enshrined. A Service of Supplication to the Mother of God and Anointing of the Sick, Infirm and All Pilgrims will be celebrated at the Monastery Bell Tower at 2:30 p.m. Vespers and Matins will follow at 4:00 p.m.
In addition to the liturgical services and commencement activities, pilgrims will have an opportunity to visit the monastery bookstore and museum, as well as pray before the various shrines that punctuate the monastery’s landscape.
Saint Tikhon’s Monastery is North America’s oldest Orthodox Christian monastic community. Founded by Father Arseny [Chagovetz] in 1905 with the blessing of then-Archbishop Tikhon [Bellavin] of North America, the monastery’s church was consecrated on May 30, 1906. Built with donations from hard-working central and eastern European immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania’s coal and steel regions and the northeast, the monastery has served as a center of spirituality and education for over a century. The original monastery brotherhood consisted of several monks who, in addition to living a monastic life, cared for the orphanage they had established. In 1938, the adjacent Saint Tikhon’s Seminary was established by decision of the Church’s hierarchs.
Over the years, Orthodox Christian faithful have flocked to the monastery during its annual Memorial Day weekend pilgrimage for worship and fellowship and to pray at the graves of their loved ones interred in the monastery’s cemetery. Dozens of additional buildings and shrines have been erected on the monastery grounds since it’s establishment.
Photos of the weekend of faith and fellowship will be posted on the OCA web site as they become available. Additional information and galleries may be found on the monastery web site.