Monday, September 5, 2011

The Last Weekend

It’s been a pretty good weekend, the last hurrah before the new school year begins, and we all start to get a little (but not too) serious.

Labor Day weekend is a pretty big deal at Jordanville, usually second only to Pentecost or Memorial Day. The ever-memorable Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), the third abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, instituted an annual pilgrimage on Labor Day weekend in honor of both St. Job of Pochaev, the patron of the monastery’s printshop, and the Pochaev Icon of the Mother of God. He took the idea from St. Tikhon of Moscow, who instituted a Memorial Day pilgrimage at St. Tikhon’s Monastery when he was still in America. The pilgrimages on Memorial Day and Labor Day help sanctify the summer, encouraging Orthodox people to visit the monastery and spend their time in a God-pleasing manner.

Usually, quite a few people show up, but it was a little less than last year, perhaps because of the weather. There was, however, a sizable contingent from New Jersey led by Fr. Serge Lukianov. I also heard rumors of a certain M.M.* who was in search of a husband/going to be engaged, but those claims were absolutely, definitely groundless.

Sunday was the longest day for me. I had to wake up early in the morning, go to the first liturgy, and then open the bookstore, which was pretty quiet because everyone was at the later liturgy. The weather was quite muggy, and the heat hung off one’s skin; wearing a podryasnik didn’t help. The morning was quite relaxing with the (unfortunate) lack of customers for my shift; I feasted on some bacon and eggs that a friend brought from a restaurant in nearby Richfield Springs.

After the lunch, I left my duties to my superior, and went with a certain seminarian to another certain married seminarian’s house, where we watched episodes of The Office. Later that afternoon, I hung out with people from New Jersey, who kept feeding me hamburgers and sausage: “Eat, eat! You’re a growing boy!”

Later that evening, we went to Mr. Shake, another Jordanville Haunt, where we second-years had a last meal with a former compatriot, who is becoming a novice at Holy Cross Monastery in West Virginia. We’ll miss him terribly, but are thankful that he’ll be praying for us!

All in all, it was a very full weekend, and a good way to end the summer. I’m very much looking forward to whatever the new year brings!

*Matushka Material

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