August 15, 2012
Jordanville: Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal led the 25th Anniversary Celebrations in St. Elizabeth Skete

On Wednesday, July 18, on the feast of the New Martyrs Grand Duchess Elizabeth and Nun Barbara, the sisterhood of St. Elizabeth Skete in Jordanville, NY not only celebrated 25 years of the existence of the small community of nuns, but also the elevation of Mother Elisabeth (Czwikla; the convent’s rectress), to the rank of abbess.

On Tuesday evening, July 17, the feast began with the All-Night Vigil, led by His Eminence, Archbishop Gabriel of Montreal, co-served by Archimandrite Luke (Murianka; abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery and the sisters’ spiritual father), Archpriest Chad Williams (rector of St. Alexander Nevsky Church in Richmond, ME), Archpriest Vladimir Tsurikov (convent cleric), and clerics of Holy Trinity Monastery: Hieromonk Gabriel (Astrahankine), Protodeacon Nicholas Olhovsky, Guardian of the Kursk Root Icon of the Mother of God, Deacon Andrew Doubleday, and Deacon Ephraim Willmarth. Priest Paul Ivanov (cleric of the Church of our Lady "The Inexhaustible Chalice" in Brooklyn, NY) also prayed at the service.

The following morning, services began with the Blessing of the Waters, followed by Divine Liturgy. During the Little Entrance, Protodeacon Nicholas led Mother Elisabeth from the choir to the middle of the church to Archbishop Gabriel, who read the prayers elevating Mother Elisabeth to the rank of abbess. The Liturgy was followed by a moleben to St. Elizabeth and a procession. Just before the veneration of the Cross, Mother Elisabeth was led once more to Archbishop Gabriel who handed her the Abbess’ staff and read the instructions from the Book of Needs to guide her in her new responsibilities and the sisters in their responsibilities to their new Spiritual Mother.

All of the guests were invited to share in the festal luncheon following the Liturgy. Abbess Elisabeth and the sisters ask for everyone’s prayers, that the Lord might continue to help the new Abbess and the Skete to prosper and grow to the Glory of God.