September 15, 2016
Jordanville, NY: Clergy & Faithful take part in Annual Labor Day Pilgrimage to Holy Trinity Monastery

Over the course of more than 60 years, thousands of Orthodox pilgrims have gathered on Labor Day at Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, in order to prayerfully celebrate the feast of the monastery’s Heavenly patron, the Venerable Job of Pochaev. This year, the tradition of the pilgrimage continued, and on September 3-5, clergy and faithful from the Eastern American Diocese and other parishes in the U.S. and Canada came to the principal monastery of the Russian Diaspora.

The warm, sunny weather was a boon to the pilgrims, and a large number of people gathered in the monastery. The pilgrimage started on Saturday with the traditional greeting of the procession with the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God by Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, vicar of the Eastern American Diocese. Bishop Nicholas celebrated Divine Liturgy on Sunday, September 4, in the monastery’s main cathedral; he was co-served by monastery clerics and clergy from the Eastern American Diocese and Canada. Upon completion of the Liturgy, the clergy and faithful went around the cathedral in procession with the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God and the icon of Venerable Job of Pochaev.

On Monday, September 5, Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal & Canada celebrated Divine Liturgy, co-served by Bishop Nicholas, monastery abbot Archimandrite Luke (Murianka), and monastery and visiting clergy.

Praying antiphonally at the two hierarchal Liturgies were the male and mixed choirs, including participants of the First Annual Young Singers’ Conference being held at Holy Trinity Monastery that Labor Day weekend. The conference and master-classes for young singers were organized by the Patriarch Tikhon Russian-American Musical (PaTRAM) Institute.

The Labor Day pilgrimage allowed Orthodox Christians to visit the monastery’s holy icons and relics, and become acquainted with the museum and the reorganized bookstore, which has recently been stocked with a varied collection of spiritual literature. And this is not the only novelty the pilgrims would find this autumn.

This year, for the first time since the 1960-70s, when the ever-memorable Monk Germogen worked in the gardens, a large new garden has been grown thanks to the labors of Monk Nikon (Provatakis) and his assistants. Growing in the garden are vegetables now used in the monastery refectory. Fr. Nikon has even revitalized an artificial lake, where fish are farmed for the brotherhood’s tables.

The pilgrims proceeded to the Chapel of Righteous John of Kronstadt & Venerable John of Ryla, located next two recently cleaned lakes originally dug out by the monastery’s founder, Archimandrite Panteleimon (Nizhnik). Those for whom this pilgrimage was not their first noted with joy that the monastery grounds are once more covered in flowers, which are cared for by Archimandrite Nektarios (Harding) and the brethren.

The pilgrims visited the women’s skete of the Holy Nun-Martyr Elizabeth near the monastery, where they prayed in the chapel dedicated to the martyred grand duchess.

On Sunday evening, in the guesthouse adjoining the monastery grounds, pilgrims held a bonfire, sang Russian songs, and the follow day enjoyed their free time at Lake Otsego near Cooperstown.

The annual pilgrimage offered the faithful an opportunity to support Holy Trinity Monastery, to be spiritually fortified themselves, to interact with clergy and their fellow Orthodox Christians, and to celebrate the American holiday in good company.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese