September 29, 2012
Wayne, WV: Holy Cross Monasterys Annual Pilgrimage Begins

On Saturday, September 29, the annual pilgrimage at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV began with a procession and moleben to the Holy Great Martyr & Healer Panteleimon. The monastery’s abbot, His Grace George, Bishop of Mayfield, led the moleben and the panihida that followed. The panihida was served for the ever-memorable Patriarch Alexey II and Metropolitan Laurus, on the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the Reunification of the Russian Church. His Grace was co-served by diocesan, monastery, and local clergy, in the outside chapel.

Before the beginning of the Panihida, Bp. George addressed the faithful with the following words:

I’m glad that so many of you have come to join us for this feast day. Normally, on this day we have a moleben to St. Panteleimon, but today we will also have a panihida for the ever-memorable servants of God Patriarch Alexey and Metropolitan Laurus. This year marks the fifth anniversary of the reunification of the Russian Church Outside of Russia with the Moscow Patriarchate. And we have to be truly thankful for our fathers and the work that they did. When it was time, they saw that it was God’s will to have the Reunification of the Church. It was not a very popular idea, even among the people in Russia, as well as people outside of Russia. But we trusted in the leadership and guidance and the spiritual wisdom of our pastor, Metropolitan Laurus, and we trusted in his judgment. Even in Russia, many people were against it, and people were willing to have a struggle, fighting against each other; but, thanks to the efforts of these two great hierarchs, and through the efforts of the commission which ironed out all of the details, our Churches came to reconciliation, and now we are able to pray together.

As Archbishop Justinian (of Naro-Fominsk) said on Bright Saturday this year, when we concelebrated in St. Nicholas Cathedral in Manhattan, "Some people are wondering, What now? What things can we expect now that there is the Reunification?" And he said, "The main thing is that now we can pray together. What more can we ask for than that, that we can pray together?" And I think this is very wise, because many people forget what the atmosphere was like over five years ago, when everyone was thinking about the difficulties, all the bad things that "the other side" was doing. And we see now those who refused to accept the Reunification and have gone into schism, how often that is all they focus on. We do not see anything on their websites about spiritual life, about edification for the faithful; everything is about warring against "the other side," justifying their existence, justifying their schism.

Let us be thankful that we had our pastors to lead us, and we did not listen to a foreign voice, but we listened to the voice of our pastors and we followed them. Today, let us give thanks and let us pray for the repose of their souls.

After the panihida, His Eminence Gabriel, Archbishop of Montreal & Canada, arrived at the monastery.

At 4:00 PM, a bountiful dinner was offered by the brethren for all the pilgrims, and at 6:00 PM Archbishop Gabriel led the All-Night Vigil. Almost all of the worshipers confessed their sins, eagerly awaiting Sunday morning.

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