On Wednesday, September 27, Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV celebrated the great feast of the Exaltation of the Precious Wood of the Life-Giving Cross of the Lord, the monastery’s patronal feast.
The celebration began on Tuesday evening with the All-Night Vigil, Litia, and the Rite of the Exaltation of the Cross. The next morning began with the Lesser Blessing of Water, followed by Hours and Divine Liturgy. The clergy, monastics and guests processed from the monastery church to the refectory, where the community and guests partook of a festal meal that concluded with the Rite of the Panagia, along with distribution of the Panagia bread. The clergy and parishioners of the local parish, Christ the Savior Church in Wayne, joined the brotherhood for the feast.
The annual Pilgrimage Weekend on September 30 & October 1 was presided over by Metropolitan Jonah (Paffhausen) and was begun with a moleben and procession from the church to the outdoor chapel on Saturday afternoon. The All-Night Vigil for Sunday was served at the outdoor chapel by His Eminence along with monastery clergy, as well as Archimandrite Nektarios (Harding; cleric of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY), Archpriest Roman Star (dean of the Central States – Patriarchal Parishes in the USA), Archpriest John Dixon (rector of Holy Spirit Antiochian Church in Huntington, WV), Priest Gabriel Weller (rector of Holy Myrrhbearers Church in Harrisonburg, VA), Priest Jonah Campbell (rector of Christ the Savior Church), and Priest Paul Akmolin (cleric of St. George Church in Cincinnati, OH).
On Sunday morning, the greeting of the Metropolitan was followed by Hours and Hierarchal Divine Liturgy. Concelebrating in addition to those present for the preceding Vigil were Archpriests Onouphry Keith (former rector of St. Nicholas Church in Fletcher, NC) and James Dougherty (Eastern American Diocesan cleric). Metropolitan Jonah delivered a homily following the Liturgy.
Visiting clergy and pilgrims were invited to a festal banquet following Liturgy, which was held at Holy Spirit Church in Huntington. Metropolitan Jonah and Fr. John Dixon were presented icons of the Holy Great-Martyr & Healer Panteleimon as gifts in gratitude for their many labors and prayers on behalf of the monastic brotherhood. Archimandrite Seraphim (Voepel; monastery abbot) thanked all of the clergy and pilgrims for participating in the occasion, and the meal was concluded with the intoning of the Polychronion.