Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Pilgrimage Week (Part III)

Finally an update!

Since most of you haven’t been here in over a month, here’s a quick recap:

  • We did some singing.
  • We traveled around a bit.
  • There were many people in black.
That’s Pilgrimage Week for you. The tail end of it, after St. Tikhon’s, Holy Protection, and St. Nektarios, was of course Jordanville. I taxed my brain making sure that everyone got to the monastery in time and was had food and shelter for the weekend. Thus, I was on the phone quite a bit.

“Sign of an organizer,” one of the “neighbors” of the monastery said to me. “Always on the phone.”

People came at random times. I connected them with Fr. Cyprian, who put them to work. By the evening, most of the pilgrims arrived. We all went to Ephraim’s house, where we had grilled salmon burgers and enjoyable conversation.

The next day we had liturgy and some work around the monastery. After lunch, Fr. Cyprian had a discussion with us. He talked about various spiritual/life issues, including (natch) relationships. After that, we had some free time. A few of us, led by Nicky, went up to the cross. Then, we went down to the lakeside chapel. There, we did the pre-communion rule. After that was a long vigil and rest.

The next morning was very busy, since it was Pentecost. I was assigned to do the service in the early morning (6 am) liturgy. I sang the liturgy with Nicholas Chapman, Orthodox historian and my boss. I then went to a diner called the Tally-Ho with Nicholas and his wife for a hearty breakfast.

The rest of the morning was spent in the bookstore. I unfortunately missed the later service, including the Kneeling Vespers. I got leave from my shift in time to get everyone organized for a group photo, however!

Dimitry, one of my good friends, organizer of this whole Pilgrimage Week, and avid reader of this blog, went up to me and asked: “So, what are we going to do now? A final discussion about spiritual matters? How this trip affected us?”

“We’re going to Mr. Shake,” I said.

Mr. Shake, located about ten minutes from the monastery, is a local hangout for many of us hankering for an X-Large X-Thick Monster Shake. I gave the group some rudimentary directions, and they managed to find their way to the place.

It was a great end to the pilgrimage! We laughed and talked about our experiences. One of us (Anastasia) had her birthday that day, so we had a communal sundae served in her honor.

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