Waymart, Pennsylvania, June 1, 2023
His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon of Washington and All America and Canada, the primate of the Orthodox Church in America, presided at the 119th annual Memorial Day Pilgrimage at St. Tikhon’s Monastery held May 26-29.
Among the highlights of the pilgrimage was the presence of the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God and Met. Tikhon’s concelebration with His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, reports the OCA.
The wonderworking icon was festively greeted at the entrance to the monastery on Friday and a moleben of thanksgiving was served before it.
Following the evening services, the commencement ceremony for St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary was held, with an address from Archimandrite Peter, abbot of St. John the Baptist Monastery in Essex, England.
On Saturday, Met. Tikhon celebrated the Divine Liturgy with His Eminence Archbishop Michael of New York and New Jersey. Joining the local monastery and seminary clergy were Abbot Peter and Elder Zacharias from the Essex Monastery.
His Beatitude then presided over the Liturgy again on Sunday. After the service, a meal was served for pilgrims, with a public talk and book signing by Elder Zacharias, a spiritual child of St. Sophrony (Sakharov).
In the evening, a concert was held with performances from the St. Tikhon’s Singing School, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Choir, and St. Tikhon’s Festival Choir. A highlight of the concert was the world premiere of musical pieces from Benedict Sheehan’s Liturgy No. 2: The St. Michael’s Service.
On Memorial Day itself, Monday, May 29, Met. Tikhon concelebrated the Divine Liturgy with Met. Nicholas of ROCOR and Abp. Michael and His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek of Pittsburgh of the OCA.
The service was sung by the St. Tikhon’s Festival Choir under the direction of Benedict Sheehan, and was the liturgical premier of his Liturgy No. 2: The St. Michael’s Service.
Met. Tikhon offered warm greetings to Met. Nicholas and his delegation and presented him with an icon diptych. Met. Nicholas, in turn, presented Met. Tikhon with a Panagia set.
Following the service, Met. Nicholas visited the monastery museum and grounds. He had the opportunity to venerate the altar table and relics of St. Alexis Toth and other relics in the monastery church. Later, a panikhida was served at the grave of Metropolitan Leonty of blessed memory and memory eternal was sung for all those who have died defending the country.
On Monday afternoon, there was an Unction service with the Hawaiian Iveron Icon. The pilgrimage came to a close with Vespers and Matins in the monastery church.
That evening, a moleben and akathist were served before the Hawaiian Iveron Icon at the nearby St. John the Forerunner Cathedral (ROCOR) in Mayfield.