On Sunday, July 16, upon completion of the Divine Liturgy, the abbot of Holy Protection Male Skete in Buena, NJ, Hieromonk Tikhon (Gayfudinov), went in procession – joined by parishioners bearing banners – to the adjacent cemetery, where they blessed the votive Cross.
"The Cross was erected in the 1970s, but since the church underwent a 20-year period without a standing parish, the Cross fell into a sorrowful state," said Fr. Tikhon. "The Cross was cleaned, and new plaster applied. One feels joy when he sees the difference: what was and what it became."
The restored cross is a symbol of the ongoing restoration of the monastery, which month after month is being splendidly renewed. And parishioners come here on Sundays and feast days to pray and to observe the ongoing beautification.
"It is not enough to just repair the Cross," Fr. Tikhon believes. "It is important to bless it as well, so that it is not just outward beauty, but also a sign of the church’s rebirth."
In addition to the Cross, the onset of warm weather has allowed parishioners to clean all of the cemetery’s headstones, as well.
After the procession and blessing of the Cross, a luncheon with brotherly interaction was held in the church’s refectory.