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.
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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.
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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.
On the Saturday before Pentecost the Church has establised a general commemoration of the departed.
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.