As is usual, the monastery celebrated Pentecost with great solemnity. In past years, since the repose of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus, we had to request the presence of a visiting bishop to head up our services, but this year, for the first time, our very own Bishop Luke presided at the services on Pentecost.
The church was decorated with not just branches, but whole trees were set in the front of the church, on the two kleroses. Our own florist, Katya, beautified the church with floral arrangements.
Even at the morning services in the cemetery chapel of the Dormition, there was felt the presence of the arriving pilgrims, when the Divine Liturgy was celebrated for the ancestral Saturday, followed by a general pannikhida, during which all those whose names are listed in the monastery commemoration books among the reposed as well as all those buried in the monastery cemeteries were commemorated.
For the Vigil of Pentecost, many pilgrims arrived from different areas of the country as well as from Canada. Despite the inclement weather, the services were very festive. Bishop Luke served the polyleos. As is our custom, an early liturgy was served in the basement church of St. Job of Pochaev, and then at 9 AM, Bishop Luke was greeted at the entrance to the cathedral by the monastery clergy as well as several guest clergy. During the Hours, Seminarian Ananaias Ananievsky was tonsured a reader. He is entering our Graduate Program in the seminary.
At the Small Entrance, Deacon Peter Markevich was raised to the rank of Protodeacon for his service to the Church. He often now serves as the main deacon for the holy day services.
Hundreds of the faithful filled the church for Liturgy and many joined in the singing of the Eucharistic Canon. Many more participated of the Holy Mysteries. At the end of the liturgy, the Ninth Hour was read and then Great Vespers for Holy Spirit Day was served. Bouquets were handed out by Vladyka to all the clergy at the start of Vespers. The three kneeling prayers to the Holy Spirit were read by Vladyka in Slavonic, then by Archimandrite Nektarios in English, followed by Hieromonk Ambrose in Slavonic. At the end of the service, all were welcomed to the monastery trapeza.