Our fathers established the feast of the Venerable Father Herman of Alaska on December 12 (25th N.S.) in part to provide a pious means of emphasizing that while following the Church Calendar it would be inappropriate to break the Fast by engaging in Christmas celebrations on the Gregorian Calendar. Thus the creation of the annual St Herman’s conferences at this time.
St. Nicholas of Myra is perhaps, after the Mother of God, the most beloved by Russians of all the saints. Every home traditionally has at least an icon of St. Nicholas besides of the Saviour and the Virgin Mary.
On November 21 (Old Style)/ December 4 (New Style), the Church celebrates one of its twelve main feasts, that of The Entrance of the Theotokos Into the Temple. During Matins, the katavasia of the canon consist of the Irmosoi of the feast of the Holy Nativity. Thus in this way, the faithful hear for the first time hymns of the upcoming feast. As we approach the feast of the Nativity of Christ, the Church more and more uses hymns concerning the incarnation of Christ, thus preparing us gradually for the celebration. On this day, His Grace, Bishop Luke, celebrated the Divine Liturgy, along with the monastery clergy.
With the blessing of Bishop Luke of Syracuse, abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY, staff of Holy Trinity Publications (the monastery’s publishing arm) made a visit to the United Kingdom from October 9 - 21. Since mid-2019, Holy Trinity Publications titles have been widely available in the UK & Europe through Oxbow Books, an Oxford-based book distributor. Among the aims of the trip was to publicize this arrangement and increase the visibility of these books in the UK, in particular the works of some of their recently published British authors.
Even though Fr. Job was basically a shut-in for several years, a multitude of people made their way to Holy Trinity Monastery for his funeral from all over the country. People truly loved this meek and very devout monk who spent 72 years of his life living in our holy abode, laboring for the monastery and his salvation. I think he would have been truly amazed at the number of people who came to bid him farewell, to this true and faithful servant of our Lord.
When I started visiting the Holy Trinity Monastery and eventually came here to live and study in seminary in the fall of 1980, I quickly came to know the fathers and brethren of the monastery. All of them, of course, had their individual characteristics. Fr. Job was one that truly stood out for his humility and tranquility of soul.
The early morning hours of November 6, 2021, the feast day of the Icon of the Mother of God «Joy of All Who Sorrow», saw the passing of Archimandrite Iov (Kotenko), the oldest monastic of Holy Trinity Monastery, who had spent 72 years within its walls. While liturgy was being celebrated in the monastery cathedral, Father Iov reposed peacefully at the age of 95 after a prolonged illness.
Archimandrite Iov was born on April 26, 1926 in the pious family of Sergei Ivanovich and Olga Dmitrievna Kotenko. In baptism he was named Ivan (John). He was the youngest of three children – the older siblings were named Nicholas and Claudia. Ivan’s childhood and youth were spent in Kharkov. The children wore crosses, and their mother had to send the children away to their grandmother’s house in an outlying village whenever a certain commissar or committee would appear in the city that were likely to demand that the children take off their crosses. Through some miraculous happenstances, all three were able to avoid joining the Communist Pioneer Youth.
The guardian of the Myrrh-Streaming Montreal Icon of the Mother of God of Iveron suffered a martyric death on October 31, 1997. He is buried in the cemetery of the Holy Trinity Monastery. Since his burial many have been the pilgrims who have made their way to his grave to honor his memory and to ask his prayers before the throne of God.
On the first of October, the Orthodox Church celebrates the feast of the Protection of the Most Holy Mother of God. It is especially and solemnly celebrated in the Russian Orthodox Church. This is due to the fact that the pious Russian people regard the events associated with the feast as the beginning of their salvation, in that the pagans who inhabited what is now Russia and Ukraine were humbled by God in the miracle of the appearance of the Theotokos in the church in Constantinople, showing Her intercession before Her Son and Lord, so that the Christians would be saved and the heathen defeated, when the pagans were set to conquer the capital city of the Byzantine Empire.
One of the most precious relics housed in the monastery cathedral is a piece of the cincture, or the girdle of the Mother of God, which is contained in the icon of the Protection, which is brought out and placed in the middle of the church for the veneration by the faithful.
On this day, it is traditional to commemorate all of the past and present choir directors of the monastery as well as the present day singers in the choir. May the Lord through the prayers of His Most Blessed Mother inspire them to lead us in prayer.
The monastery is very blessed to have among its many precious relics a piece of the Cross upon which our Saviour Jesus Christ was crucified. It is contained in a pectoral cross once worn by the ever-memorable Archbishop Averky, a previous abbot of our monastery, when he was an archimandrite in Eastern Europe. As a bishop, he had the relic of the Cross placed in his pectoral cross, also made of wood, and that cross is used for a couple of the feasts of the Cross, including the Exaltation.
The first feast of the Church Year is the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos. This is very apt since her birth is, as the troparion of the feast states, the beginning of the construction of our salvation.
On the day before this feast, Saturday, a pilgrimage arrived from Hartford, Connecticut, from the ROCOR parish of St. Panteleimon, along with their parish priest, the Very Rev. Dionisii Nalitov. From its foundation, the monastery has been conceived as a place of pilgrimage to provide spiritual solace for the faithful, so in need of comfort in a difficult world. We are glad to be able to once again receive pilgrims, and we pray that all those who came here went home renewed and filled with the grace of God.
Between the 11th and 12th of September, His Grace Bishop Luke participated in the festivities for the 800th Anniversary of the birth of Saint Alexander Nevsky at the St. Alexander Nevsky Catrhedral in Howell , NY. For a complete report click here
The first abbot of the Pochaev Lavra in Volynia, Little Russia, was St. Job, who besides being a holy guide of monasticism, was a fervent defender of Orthodoxy in an area besieged by the Roman Catholics. His zeal was in publishing the printed word. His struggles in this way were later continued by an offshoot of this monastery, founded in the 1920’s in Slovakia. Towards the end of World War II, the printing brotherhood of this monastery was forced to flee the onslaught of the Red Army, and most of them eventually found their way to the New World, to our Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, New York. Glory be to God, we continue to this day their enlightening work in the printed word.
Our Russian Orthodox Church Abroad has been blessed with the appearance of several myrrh-streaming icons in recent years. Perhaps due to the grave and frightful circumstances that we find ourselves in for a number of years, the Mother of God desired to show us Her love and care for us sinners, to strengthen us to forebear all that is happening and that which might come to pass.
It was with great joy that the faithful of the Russian Orthodox parish of the Protection of the Mother of God of the city of Rochester, New York, were finally able to have their beautiful church fully consecrated. This long-awaited day was postponed from last year due to the Covid crisis.
His Grace, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, along with His Grace Bishop Luke of Syracuse, Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, presided at the consecration and the Divine Liturgy that followed on September 6, 2021.
The Pochaev Lavra in present day Ukraine, is one of the most venerated holy places of Holy Rus.’ It has had a very difficult and complicated history due to the struggle to maintain Orthodoxy in that part of ancient Rus,’ and is very much connected with the history of our monastery as well as the whole Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
The traditions and history of the Holy Trinity Monastery are very much connected with the famous Lavra of the Pochaev Icon of the Most Holy Theotokos in Volynia, present-day Ukraine. Although the monastery was started back in 1930 by Archimandrite Panteleimon, they were joined in 1946 by a group of fourteen monks from the St. Job of Pochaev Monastery in Ladomirovo, Slovakia, who had fled the onslaught of the area by the Red Army and eventually found their new home in Holy Trinity Monastery. Thus began the intimate connection with the traditions of the Pochaev Lavra, one of the most famous of Russian monasteries.
On August 18/31 the Holy Church celebrates the memory of the holy Martyrs Florus and Laurus. This was the name’s day of the ever-memorable Metropolitan Laurus and Archimandrite Flor. Metropolitan Laurus was abbot of the Holy Trinity Monasery for 32 years and was one of the group of monastics from the St. Job of Pochaev Monastery in Slovakia, who immigrated to the United States after World War II to join the brotherhood already established here by Archimandrite Panteleimon. Fr. Flor was also part of this group.
The feast of the Dormition of the Mother of God has always been celebrated in the monastery with great solemnity. The Most Holy Theotokos is greatly beloved by all Orthodox Christians and especially by monastics, who look to Her for guidance and aid in their struggles. In Mount Athos, the “garden” of the Most Holy Virgin, She is considered the abbess of all the monasteries. In our monastery, we have a thread from Her most sacred belt as well as a miraculous copy of the Pochaev Icon, the mother house, so to speak, of our monastery.
During the Dormition Fast, a strict, two-week fast before the feast of the Falling Asleep of the Most Holy Theotokos, the Holy Church provides its faithful with the joyous feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, when Jesus Christ ascended Mount Tabor in Galilee with his holy Apostles Peter, James and John and was transfigured before them, being accompanied by the Old Testament holy men, Moses and Elias.
In the popular tradition of Russian Orthodox people, the feast of the Procession of the Cross, which falls on the first day of the Dormition Fast, this day is called the “First Saviour” feast of August. Holy Transfiguration is the “Second Saviour,” and the Feast of the Image-Not-Made-By-Hands is the “Third Saviour.”
It is impossible to imagine Orthodoxy in America without the Holy Trinity Monastery. Not only the monastery, but the whole Orthodox world in the West owes so much to this humble, ascetic who almost single-handedly built what was called the Lavra of the Russian Diaspora by the ever-memorable Metropolitan Anastassy, the second First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.
Bishop Luke designated a summer feast for the Convent of the Mother of God, Quick to Hear. And so on July 24th the sisters celebrated their first annual feast for St Olga, Princess of Russia.
ST PETERSBURG, RUSSIA – The Russian History Museum is honored to loan fifty rare objects to Russia’s Tsarskoe Selo Museum-Preserve in St. Petersburg, for a new exhibition on view July 23 – October 18, 2021. At the Sovereign’s Stirrup («При государеве стремени. Конные эскорты России с XVI века и до наших дней») presents the history of mounted military units that escorted Russia’s tsars and emperors. A significant part of the exhibition is dedicated to the history of His Imperial Majesty’s Own Escort, the elite Cossack Guards unit that served as the emperor’s personal detail from the early 19th century until the Russian Revolution.
For more information click here.
July 29 @ 6:00pm - 7:00pm EDT
An exclusive online conversation with Peter Sarandinaki, President of SEARCH Foundation
In July of 1918, fourteen members of the Romanov family were murdered at Ekaterinburg and at Alapayevsk. On February 7th, 1919, Nikolai Sokolov began his investigation into the murder of the Imperial Family, and from May to July of 1919 he collected forensic evidence that to this day forms our understanding of what happened in those final days and hours.
For more information click here
Today, on July 12 (NS), the feast of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, the monastery and seminary celebrated the 40th anniversary of its superior and rector to the priesthood. This feast is always celebrated with great solemnity in the monastery for what these apostles signify for the Church, but this year was very special.
On the eve of Holy Spirit Day, Sunday afternoon, Small Compline was served before supper with the reading of the Canon to the Holy Spirit. After supper, Matins was served, in preparation for the altar feast of the monastery cathedral.
On June 20, the great feast of Pentecost was celebrated at Holy Trinity Monastery with the usual solemnity. Last year, due to the Covid pandemic, the monastery celebrated this feast with much less pomp, although with great joy.
When Pascha comes at a later date, the graduation celebration is made even more festive with the singing of “Christ is Risen…” So it was this year; the 73rd commencement was solemnly celebrated together with Paschal hymns of joy.
His Eminence, Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada was invited and willingly came to participate in his alma mater’s celebration. Vladyka has always been a great support of the monastery and seminary.
The Vigil was celebrated accompanied by the chanting of the seminary-monastery choir, under the direction of its regent, Deacon Nicholas Kotar. The divine liturgy on Sunday concelebrated by Archbishop Gabriel and the rector of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary, His Grace, Bishop Luke. During the Sixth Hour, seminarian Peter James was tonsured a reader. He is in the Graduate of Divinity Program of the seminary. We wish him, his wife, Lucina and their baby daughter, Sophia, good health and salvation.
After the consecration of the Holy Gifts, Bishop Luke ordained Monk Subdeacon Theodore (Stanway) the be a hierodeacon. Fr. Theodore graduated today with a Sumna com Laude from the Master of Divinity, recently established in the seminary. Fr. Theodore, besides working in the bookstore, also bakes bread and prosphora among other various obediences.
At 2PM there was a procession of seminary faculty to the cathedral of the monastery to commence a Thanksgiving Moleben for the end of the school year.
For further details about the graduation service, please visit our seminary website: www.hts.edu
On May 23, the Sunday of the Paralytic Bishop Luke traveled to St. Petersburg, Florida to represent the Metropolitan at our parish of St Andrew the General.
On Saturday morning Bishop Luke attended the Divine Liturgy in honor of the translation of the relics of St Nicholas. Every Saturday a newly formed missionary community meets at the parish for Liturgy in English. Father Stephen Zaremba, the head of the mission, served the Liturgy and asked Bishop Luke to speak to the community afterwards about the Monastery, the Seminary and answer questions.
The Russian Orthodox Church celebrates on the Tuesday after Bright Week a special commemoration of all of those reposed in the Lord, and pannikhidas are served for the first time after Pascha. In actuality, due to the present culture in which we live and due to work requirements, pannikhidas are served on St. Thomas Sunday, but here in the monastery, a universal pannikhida is served on Radonitsa itself.
Pascha is always served with great joy in the monastery. One time, someone described Pascha in one of our great cathedrals as being very glorious and solemn, whereas Pascha in the monastery is warm and very moving. It seems to me that this is due to the long and very serious atmosphere in the monastery during Great Lent, with the daily and long, grace-filled Lenten services impart a treasure-house of divine grace to all those who are struggling in the monastery.
Matins for Holy and Great Saturday, commonly known as “The Burial Service,” is served at 2 AM in the monastery, unlike as in parishes, for which this time according to the Church’s typicon, is very impractical. The service starts with the Praises, which are interspersed with verses from the 17th Kathisma of the Psalter. The serving clergy take turns reading the praises while the choir chants the kathisma verses. Later on, the Canon of Holy and Great Saturday is sung and read before the Tomb of the Lord, which is the center of all liturgical activity for the services of Holy Saturday.
One of the most moving services of Passion Week is the matins service of Holy Friday, during which there are twelve readings from the four Gospels concerning our Lord’s salvific Passion. As is traditional, there was a ringing of a large bell at the end of each Gospel reading, according to the number of the reading. At the end of the twelfth reading there was a light trezvon, symbolizing that the Lord’s salvific feat on the Cross was finished.
“Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord,” exclaimed the children of Israel, as our Lord proceeded into the Holy City, surrounded by many people who thought that he had come to overthrow the Romans. This after it was widely reported about how He had raised Lazarus from the dead.
The feast of the Annunciation is celebrated differently every year, depending on what day it falls during Great Lent of Bright Week. Neither Great Lent nor Bright Week disappears on this great feast of the Mother of God, and a unique way enhances the feast.
After the first week of Great Lent, one of strict fasting and long and compunctionate services, the monastery celebrated the Sunday of Orthodoxy, the triumph over the heresy of iconoclasm. The Divine Liturgy on Sunday was presided over by His Grace, Bishop Luke of Syracuse and abbot of the Holy Trinity Monastery as well as rector of the Holy Trinity Seminary. Vladyka was co-served by the monastery clergy. During the Small Entrance, Igumen Theophylact was raised to the rank of archimandrite by Vladyka.
At 3PM on Sunday, March 14, after the usual hierarchal Divine Liturgy, the brethren of the monastery along with the seminarians and gathered for Great Vespers, which started as a hierarchal service with the formal meeting of our abbot, His Grace, Bishop Luke, and his vesting.
On February 2/15 the Holy Church celebrates the feast of the Meeting of the Lord. In the Russian Church this feast is considered a feast of the Mother of God, even though it has several aspects of a feast of the Lord. Another interesting detail of this feast is that the afterfeast can be either a full week, such as happens this year, due to the late date of Pascha, or it can be non-existent if Pascha falls on the earliest day possible. The rubrics are very extensive to cover all the possibilities of celebrating this feast due to its proximity to the Lenten Triodion.
The feast of the Three Hierarchs, Our Holy Fathers, Basil the Great, Gregory the Great, and John Chrysostom, is the feast day of the Holy Trinity Orthodox Seminary. This year, the seminary was blessed to have the presence and service of three hierarchs! Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal and Canada, Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, and our own Bishop Luke of Syracuse, presided at the festive services.
The feast of Theophany is the culmination of the church festal period known as “The Holy Days,” in the Russian Orthodox Church, which commences with the feast of the Lord’s Nativity. During this period, there are no full prostrations in church and no fasting from animal products.
The monastery has always celebrated the three major feasts of the Church calendar in complete fulfillment of the Church typicon, that is, with festal services for three days. This includes the feasts of Nativity, Pascha and Pentecost. In this way, there is an atmosphere of spiritual joy which pervades the monastery. Despite the current difficulties, the monastery once again was able to fulfill this if even with somewhat more simplicity this year.