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.
This year’s feast was especially memorable in that two of our novices were tonsured as rassophore-monks. At the end of the First Hour after Matins, His Grace Bishop Luke performed the tonsure of Novices Peter and Spyridon with the blessing to now wear the riassa and klobuk.
The following morning, His Grace presided at the Divine Liturgy, co-served by monastery clergy. Many of the faithful availed themselves of the Holy Mysteries and in this way celebrated the memory of the great Russian missionary, sent by an important center of Russian Orthodox monasticism, the Valaam monastery to missionize the natives of Alaska.
We congratulate our new fathers, Peter and Spyridon and pray for their progress in monasticism.