The word “pilgrimage” means “a journey of spiritual significance.” And every year, the month of August proves to be significant for three monastic communities of the Orthodox Church in America observing their annual pilgrimages in conjunction with their patronal feast days.
The Monastery of the Transfiguration, Ellwood City, PA, will celebrate its annual pilgrimage on Saturday and Sunday, August 5 and 6, 2017. The pilgrimage will open with the celebration of Vigil and dinner at 5:00 p.m. on Saturday evening. The following morning, the Akathistos Hymn “Glory to God for All Things” will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m., followed by the procession to the outdoor chapel and Hierarchical Divine Liturgy at 9:30 a.m. His Grace, Bishop Thomas of the Antiochian Archdiocese will preside. A picnic luncheon will be served at noon. At 2:00 p.m., Archpriest Daniel Ressetar will offer a dramatic monologue and youth will offer oratorical presentations. The Sacrament of Holy Unction with the anointing of pilgrims will be celebrated at 3:00 p.m. After light refreshments at 5:00 p.m., the pilgrimage will close with the celebration of Vespers at 6:00 p.m. Additional information is available on-line.
The annual pilgrimage to New Skete, Cambridge NY, will open with the celebration of Matins at 8:00 a.m. on Saturday, August 12, followed by a tour of New Skete’s Holy Wisdom Temple. A talk on monastic life will be offered at 12:30 p.m. A presentation titled “We Shall All Be Changed: Armenian Artist-Theologians Ponder the Transfiguration” will be offered by this year’s guest speaker, Dr. Roberta Ervine, Professor of Armenian Studies at Saint Nerses Armenian Seminary, Armonk, NY. She will explain how the Armenian Fathers used the story of the Transfiguration to illuminate other Biblical themes, experiences and events in words, music and the visual arts. Other afternoon events include a guided hike, an iconography demonstration, a dog training demonstration, and a photo exhibit. Pilgrims are also invited to visit the meditation gardens and the Monks’ and Nuns’ gift shops and to enjoy Greek and Lebanese food, which will be available for purchase throughout the day. The pilgrimage will close with the celebration of the Vigil and a Healing Service at 5:00 p.m. Further information is available on-line.
The Dormition of the Mother of God Monastery, Rives Junction, MI, will hold its 30th annual Pilgrimage August 13-15, at which Archbishop Nathaniel will preside. On Sunday, August 13, the Akathistos Hymn and the Third and Sixth Hours will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m., followed by the Divine Liturgy at 10:00 a.m. Vespers will be celebrated at 5:00 p.m. On Monday, Auguust 14, Vigil with Lamentations for the Great Feast of the Dormition will be celebrated at 6:30 p.m. On the Great Feast of the Dormition—Tuesday, August 15—the Akathistos Hymn, followed by the Third and Sixth Hours, will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. The procession to the pavilion and the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy will begin at 9:45 a.m., with lunch to follow. The Sacrament of Holy Unction will be celebrated at 2:30 p.m. The pilgrimage will close with the celebration of Vespers at 5:00 p.m., followed by supper. The monastery bookstore will be open continuously except during the celebration of the liturgical services. Additional information is available on-line.