The First Week of Great Lent was celebrated with the usual solemnity at Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV. Every effort is made annually to ensure that this sacred time, so important to monastics and all Orthodox Christians, proceeds with silence and discipline. The morning cycle of services, combined with the monastic readings by Bishop George of Mayfield from St. Ephraim the Syrian, St. Theodore the Studite, The Ladder of Divine Ascent, and the Evergetinos, lasted almost eight hours each day. Every evening, His Grace read the Great Canon during Compline, and the Hierarchal Rite of the Presanctified Liturgy was served on Wednesday and Friday.
At the conclusion of Clean Week, on the Sunday of the Triumph of Orthodoxy, the All-Night Vigil and Divine Liturgy were served by Bishop George, co-served by monastery clergy. At the Little Entrance, with the blessing of His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, and in honor of the fifth anniversary of his diaconal ordination, monastery Deacon Jeremiah Davis was awarded the right to wear the double orarion. Monastery dean Hieromonk Alexander (Frizzell) delivered a sermon on the importance of preserving our Orthodoxy in a changing world, especially as ones who must realize that we as Orthodox Christians are fundamentally different from the world around us, because of the interaction of our souls with divine grace through the Holy Mysteries of Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, and Holy Communion. After the dismissal of the Divine Liturgy, the Moleben for Those Gone Astray was served, along with the Rite of Orthodoxy.
At the conclusion of the Rite of Orthodoxy, Bishop George congratulated Fr. Jeremiah on his award, noting that he has served diligently as a deacon for five years without any salary out of his love for the monastery and the divine services, and is always ready to travel to missions and parishes to assist with hierarchal services and archpastoral visits. The Polychronion was intoned for Fr. Jeremiah and his Matushka Margaret, who expressed her thanks to God for living to celebrate this anniversary. She and Fr. Jeremiah originally moved to the monastery environs in anticipation of her death after she was diagnosed with terminal cancer, from which she was later miraculously healed. Bishop George presented Fr. Jeremiah with a gift of another double orarion in burgundy and gold in gratitude for his service.
Wayne, WV: Bishop George leads First Week of Great Lent at Holy Cross Monastery - 03/07/14