May 4, 2012
South Canaan, PA: A Memorial Day Pilgrimage will be held from Mayfield to St. Tikhon’s Monastery

On Sunday, May 27, Pennsylvania will witness the rebirth of the traditional Orthodox procession on Memorial Day weekend. The faithful will process for 11 miles (over 3.5 hours) from St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield (ROCOR) to St. Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery in South Canaan (OCA). The Orthodox faithful of Eastern Pennsylvania have been holding processions on Memorial Day weekend since 1905.

This tradition ceased for many years when there were no canonical relations between ROCOR and the OCA. As a result of the signing of the Act of Canonical Communion between the Moscow Patriarchate and the Russian Church Abroad, on May 17, 2007, relations with the OCA were normalized. ROCOR pilgrims started visiting the monastery in greater numbers and the seminary began to fill up with students from the Church Abroad. Organizers hope that the faithful of both OCA and ROCOR will take part in the pilgrimage. As reported by the official website of the OCA, "Faithful are invited to ‘walk in our forefathers’ footsteps’ in the procession that follows the same route from Mayfield to the Monastery."

St. John the Baptist Cathedral in Mayfield is once again playing a key role in the annual Memorial Day Pilgrimage to St. Tikhon’s. The day will begin with a Divine Liturgy in St. John the Baptist Cathedral at 9:30 AM, followed by a luncheon in the cathedral hall. The procession will begin with a moleben and then the faithful will process on foot to the monastery.

Similar processions have taken place in recent years on a smaller scale, but this year the procession will follow the original century-old route.

Young people are especially encouraged to participate, and parishes should bring their banners to carry. Pilgrims are invited to camp out on the monastery grounds on Saturday night, May 26. Group transportation to St. John’s will be provided on Sunday morning. Camping will also be available on Sunday night, the eve of the monastery pilgrimage proper.

Pilgrims are asked to please confirm their participation in the procession from Mayfield with Protodeacon Joseph Matusiak at or (914) 318-7505.

A detailed schedule of services at St. Tikhon’s Monastery is available here.

Media Office of the Eastern American Diocese
with materials from