On Monday evening, the eve of the feast of the Tikhvin Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos, July 8 (N.S.), Bishop Luke, our abbot, performed two more tonsures. Traditionally, in our monastery, tonsures are done during Great Lent. However, any Lenten period is appropriate for tonsures.
And so, another small schema monk has been added to the number of our fathers. Rassophore Monk Victor (Nosov) was tonsured and given the name of Boniface, the early Church martyr and ascetic. Fr. Boniface has lived for many years in our monastery, first as a worker and then in the novitiate, as a rassophore and now as a small schema monk. His obediences have been as the caretaker of the church lamps, in the kitchen, and he also for years has taken care of the graves of the monastery brethren.
Novice James (Hazen), a more recent arrival, was tonsured a rassophore monk after the tonsure of Fr. Boniface. His obediences are in kleros, working in the monastery bookstore and attending to the snack bar.
At the end of the tonsures, Vladyka said a few words of encouragement to our new fathers. He reminded them to take advantage of the grace given them by means of the tonsure and asked them to pray for all of us.
What was especially poignant was that these tonsures were done during the three-week Summer Boys Program. In this way, the boys who have come here to strengthen themselves in their faith and knowledge of the Church, were able to witness such an important service which they would never have seen in their parishes and in this way, more fully deepen their appreciation of the riches of traditional Orthodox spirituality.