Source: Orthodox Church in America
The 119th Annual Pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon’s Monastery was held from May 26 to May 29, 2023. His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the pilgrimage which commenced on Friday, with a welcome of the myrrh-streaming Hawaiian Iveron Icon of the Mother of God, which was greeted at the monastery archway. The icon was then carried in procession to the monastery church, where a Service of Thanksgiving was celebrated in its honor.
The day continued with Vespers and Matins, followed by a communal meal for the pilgrims. Later that evening, His Beatitude attended the commencement activities of St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (STOTS), where Archimandrite Peter (Vryzas), Abbot of St. John the Baptist Monastery in Essex, England, delivered the commencement address. His Beatitude offered his remarks and concluded the evening offering his blessing to the upcoming graduates.
On Saturday, May 27, His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Monastery Church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk. Concelebrating with His Beatitude were His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, OCA Chancellor, Archimandrite Sergius Bowyer, Archimandrite Peter Vryzas, Archimandrite Elder Zacharias Zacharou, Archpriest John Parker, Dean of St. Tikhon’s Seminary, Priest Nectarios Yangson, guardian of the Hawaiian Iveron Icon, and esteemed clergy members from the monastic, seminary, and visiting communities.
At the service, second-year STOTS seminarian Damian Kulp was ordained to the subdiaconate and Archpriest John Parker was awarded the jeweled cross. In addition, Igumen Gabriel Nicholas of St. Tikhon’s Monastery was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite. Archbishop Michael delivered the homily. During the Divine Liturgy, His Beatitude ordained Damian Kulp to the holy diaconate. The Liturgy concluded with heartfelt greetings from His Beatitude and words of encouragement for Dn. Damian and his family.
The afternoon of Saturday saw the continuation of the pilgrimage activities, including the STOTS 81st Commencement exercises and a Vigil service at the monastery church.
On Sunday, May 28, His Beatitude presided again at the celebration of the hierarchical Divine Liturgy at the Monastery Church of St. Tikhon of Zadonsk. Concelebrating with him were Archimandrite Sergius Bowyer, Archimandrite Peter Vryzas, Archpriest John Parker, Priest Nectarios Yangson and other clergy members. Before the Liturgy, Benjamin Garcia and second-year STOTS seminarian Seraphim Robertson were ordained as subdeacons.
His Beatitude awarded Priest Ignatius Gauvain (STOTS) with the gold cross, Igumen Cyprian Durant (STM) with the palitza, and Archpriest Steven Kopestonsky with the mitre. Archimandrite Peter delivered the homily.
During the Liturgy, His Beatitude ordained Benjamin Garcia to the holy diaconate. The Liturgy concluded with greetings from His Beatitude to all present and words of encouragement for the newly-ordained Deacon Benjamin and his family.
After the service, a meal was served for pilgrims, accompanied by a public talk and book signing by Archimandrite Elder Zacharias (St. John the Baptist Monastery, Essex).
In the evening, His Beatitude Metropolitan Tikhon attended the St. Tikhon’s Choral Concert titled “Remembrance,” held at St. John’s Catholic Church in Honesdale. The concert featured singers from St. Tikhon’s Singing School, St. Tikhon’s Seminary Choir, and St. Tikhon’s Festival Choir. Notably, students of the St. Tikhon’s Music Residency Program conducted their own composed pieces and were awarded certificates for their completion of the nine-month training program. A highlight of the concert was the world premiere of musical pieces from Benedict Sheehan’s Liturgy No. 2: The St. Michael’s Service.
On Memorial Day, Monday May 29, His Beatitude presided at the celebration of the Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating was His Eminence Metropolitan Nicholas, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR). His Eminence Archbishop Melchisedek, His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Archimandrite Sergius, and numerous visiting clergy also concelebrated. His Beatitude delivered a homily and during the Liturgy seminarian Seraphim Robertson was ordained to the diaconate. The liturgical responses were sung by the St. Tikhon’s Festival choir under the direction of Benedict Sheehan and was the liturgical premiere of Sheehan’s Liturgy No. 2: The St. Michael’s Service.
At the conclusion of the service, His Beatitude first addressed the newly-ordained Dn. Seraphim before offering warm greetings to the those present, especially to Metropolitan Nicholas and his delegation; Archpriest Serafim Gan, Chancellor of the Synod of Bishops of ROCOR, Protodeacon Eugene Kallaur, and Hierodeacon Panteleimon (Jigalin). To mark the occasion, His Beatitude presented Metropolitan Nicholas with an icon diptych, and Metropolitan Nicholas reciprocated with a Panagia set.
A Panikhida was served at the grave of Metropolitan Leonty of blessed memory, and Memory Eternal was sung for all those who have sacrificed their lives in defense of their country.
That afternoon there was a healing service with the Iveron Icon of the Mother of God. The pilgrimage came to a close with Vespers and Matins in the monastery church.