October 20, 2016
Wayne, WV: Metropolitan Hilarion leads Annual Pilgrimage at Holy Cross Monastery

Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV began the celebration of its patronal feast day on Monday the 26th and Tuesday the 27th of September – the great feast of the Exaltation of the Precious & Life-giving Cross of the Lord. The divine services for the feast were performed by the monastery clergy. At the All-Night Vigil on Monday night, monastery abbot Archimandrite Seraphim (Voepel) led the Rite of the Exaltation, in which the Precious Cross was elevated (exalted) before the people to the repeated chanting of the prayer, "Lord, have mercy," as the priests reverently poured rose water down its face into a bowl of fragrant flowers. The Rite is usually only performed in monasteries (with the blessing of the ruling hierarch) or when a hierarch is presiding.

On Saturday, October 1, the annual pilgrimage began. According to monastery custom, the pilgrimage weekend took place on the Saturday and Sunday following the Exaltation. Clergy and pilgrims came from near and far for the annual event, which this year was led by the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad, His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion. The Metropolitan was co-served at the divine services by monastery and visiting clergy:

- Archimandrite Seraphim (Voepel; monastery abbot)
- Archpriest Roman Star (dean of the Central States – Patriarchal Parishes in the USA)
- Abbot Theophylact (Clapper-DeWell; cleric, Holy Trinity Monastery – Jordanville, NY)
- Archpriest John Dixon (rector, Holy Spirit Antiochian Church – Huntington, WV)
- Archpriest Onouphry Keith (pastor emeritus, St. Nicholas Church – Fletcher, NC)
- Abbot Andrew (O’Leary; monastery cleric)
- Priest James Dougherty (cleric, Christ the Savior Church – Wayne, WV)
- Priest Daniel Marshall (rector, St. George Church – Cincinnati, OH)
- Priest Jonah Campbell (rector, Christ the Savior Church – Wayne, WV)
- Priest Michael Furry (rector, St. Innocent of Alaska Bulgarian Mission – Roanoke, VA)
- Hieromonk Nektarios (Merry; superior, St. John the Theologian Skete – Hiram, OH)
- Priest Paul Akmolin (cleric, St. George Church – Cincinnati, OH)
- Hieromonk Hilarion (Heagy; monastery cleric)
- Hieromonk Gabriel (Hooten; monastery cleric)
- Archdeacon Sergius (Wilson; monastery cleric)
- Deacon Jeremiah Davis (cleric, Christ the Savior Church – Wayne, WV)
- Hierodeacon Paisios (Laiblin; monastery cleric)
- Deacon Andrew Temple (cleric, Christ the Savior Church – Wayne, WV)

The pilgrimage began with the traditional moleben to the Holy Great Martyr & Healer Panteleimon and procession from the monastery church to the outdoor Chapel of our Lady of the Sign. That evening, Metropolitan Hilarion led the All-Night Vigil, and the following morning celebrated the Divine Liturgy.

Upon completion of the Liturgy, Metropolitan Hilarion performed the blessing of a new tombstone over the grave of founder of Holy Cross Monastery, Hieromonk Kallistos (Pazolos).

After the service, the clergy and pilgrims made their way to Holy Spirit Antiochian Church in nearby Huntington, where the parish hosted a bountiful luncheon for all, catered by the family of Archimandrite Seraphim from St. Louis, MO.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese