Final Preparations underway for 100th Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon Monastery

Final preparations are currently underway for the 100th Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon Monastery here May 28-31, 2004, at which His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman will preside.

Located in the rolling hills of northeastern Pennsylvania, Saint Tikhon’s Monastery is North America’s oldest Orthodox monastic community.

It was on July 29, 1905 that hundreds of Orthodox Christians anxiously gathered in Mayfield, PA to await the arrival of Bishop—now Saint—Raphael of Brooklyn for the first pilgrimage. Within hours, the faithful set out on foot for the 10-mile trek to South Canaan, where they witnessed Bishop Raphael dedicate the newly established monastery in honor of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk.

“It was this historic event that was to become the annual pilgrimage to the monastery,” according to the Very Rev. John Matusiak, OCA Communications Director. “One can only imagine the hundreds of thousands of Orthodox faithful from across North America who have made the pilgrimage to St. Tikhon’s an annual occasion for prayer, worship, fellowship, and spiritual refreshment.”

Pilgrims also will have an opportunity to visit the recently constructed Metropolitan Theodosius Museum and Bookstore nearing completion on the monastery grounds.

Metropolitan Herman and the members of the Holy Synod of Bishops will formally open the pilgrimage with the celebration of Vespers and Matins in the Monastery Church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk on Friday, May 28. Pilgrims will have the opportunity to venerate the relics of SS. Tikhon and Alexis Toth, attend the 62nd annual Academic Commencement of St. Tikhon Seminary, and join the hierarchs at the Divine Liturgy and other liturgical services on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

“While few, if any, of today’s pilgrims journey to the monastery on foot, the spirit which brought together the first pilgrims 100 years ago will surely permeate the weekend,” Father Matusiak added. “It will also underscore the central role St. Tikhon’s Monastery has played—and continues to play—in the life of the Orthodox Church in America.”

A complete schedule of the pilgrimage’s services and other events may be found below.

Friday, May 28
4pm - Formal Opening of the Pilgrimage: Vespers and Matins, Monastery Church
6pm - Procession around the Monastery Church and Akathist to St. Tikhon of Zadonsk, followed byt the veneration of his relics.

Saturday, May 29
9am - Hierarchical Divine Liturgy
2pm - The 62nd Annual Academic Commencement of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary - Seminary Auditorium
4pm - All-Night Vigil, Monastery Church

Sunday, May 30 - Great Feast of Pentecost
9am - Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Pentecost Vespers and Kneeling Prayers, Monastery Church
4pm - Matins, Monastery Church

Monday, May 31
7:30am - Divine Liturgy, Monastery Church
9:15am - Pilgrims’ Procession to the Monastery, Greeting of the Primate and Bishops, and vesting of the Main Celebrant
10am - Hierarchical Divine Liturgy, Pavilion
2pm - Service of Thanksgiving to the Most-Holy Theotokos and Anointing of the Sick, Infirm and all Pilgrims, Monastery Bell Tower
4pm - Vespers and Matins, Monastery Church