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 customary on this feast in the Russian Orthodox Church to bless Holy Water. There is the tradition to bless Holy Water once a month. Also, according to Holy Tradition, the Russian people were baptized into Holy Orthodoxy on this day in the year 988, under the leadership of the Holy Great Prince Vladimir.
On this day, His Grace Bishop Luke, joined by the monastery clergy, served Divine Liturgy early in the morning. Upon conclusion of the liturgy, Vladyka and the clergy processed along with the choir and the faithful to the well of the “Mother of God of the Never-Ending Spring” to bless water.
Another popular tradition of the Russian Church is to call this feast the “Feast of Honey,” as on this day honey is blessed and handed out to the brotherhood. Father Hierodeacon Paisii, our beekeeper, handed out honey to the brethren at lunch time.
And thus we began our preparation for the great feasts of the Lord’s Transfiguration and the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos.