U.S.A., April 22, 2019
A number of monastic tonsures were celebrated during the holy Lenten Fast at monasteries throughout America, adding to the number of those who have dedicated their lives to Christ in the angelic schema.
At St. Tikhon’s Monastery in Waymart, PA, America’s oldest Orthodox monastery, founded by St. Patriarch Tikhon, Archimandrite Daniel (Griffith) was tonsured as a stavrophore (full) monk with the name of Daniel following Matins on Friday evening.
A short video with the abbot Archimandrite Sergius reading a prayer from the service was posted on the Facebook page Music at St. Tikhon’s on Saturday:
Fr. David has wide experience serving in parishes of the Antiochian Archdiocese and also spent 8 years serving and studying in Greece.
The night before, three monks were tonsured as stavrophore monks at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, by his Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse, the abbot of the monastery, taking the names Frs. Cassian, Paisios, and Theodore.
Bp. Luke’s exhortation to the newly-tonsured monks has been published on the site Orthodox Life:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!
Our dear newly-tonsured fathers, dear brothers and sisters:
Over one hundred fifty years ago, our father among the saints Ignatius (Brianchaninov) and other fathers said that monasticism is over. Such was the state of affairs in Russia, so weak were the monks in their strivings that they could not envision a continuation of the monastic life. However, this evening, by a miracle of God we here have celebrated the mystery of a monastic tonsure a hundred and fifty years removed from these sorrowful expectations of our fathers.
This is truly a miracle, for how many people among the human race today, men and women, desire to dedicate themselves with their whole heart to the service of our Lord and Savior and to His Holy Church? But this miracle places on us today a great responsibility to make use of the mercy of God and the grace of this event, of this Mystery. You have chosen the monastic life. How does this differ from a worldly lifestyle? In many ways, and in one way especially; that is, you have been freed from many worldly cares. Because you are free from these cares you must be more diligent and focused on your ascetic struggle and attentive to yourselves, to your thoughts, to your prayer life, to your salvation in general, to the call of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and the keeping of all His commandments. All Orthodox Christians are called to to fulfill the Gospel commandments, but especially we monastics, who find ourselves in the most conducive surroundings to this aim.
Always turn to our Lord and Savior, to his Most Holy Mother, and to your own heavenly patrons — St John Cassian, St Paisios the newly-Glorified of the Holy Mountain, and St Theodore the Studite, praying to them to strengthen you through the grace of the Holy Spirit, the prayers of the Most Holy Mother of God and of all the saints. Pray for yourselves and also pray for all of us here today celebrating this great miracle. The most important thing for you must be the attendance of services, the revelation of thoughts, Confession, and Communion of Christ’s Holy Mysteries! This is your safeguard; it will protect you from our common enemies: the Devil, the world, and our own sinfulness.
And earlier, on March 17, the Sunday of Orthodoxy, Novice Andrew of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina, CA was tonsured as a riassophore monk by Abbot Fr. Damascene with the name Ioann after the 7-year-old Chinese Martyr Ioann, the son of Hieromartyr Mitrophan.
Fr. Damascene noted that St. Ioann is a shining beacon for Orthodox strugglers of today, at a time when our faith is under attack by forces both seen and unseen.
Follow us on Facebook!