On Monday, September 27, the brethren of Holy Cross Monastery in Wayne, WV celebrated their patronal feast day, the Exaltation of the Precious Cross of the Lord. Celebrations were officiated by Bishop Nicholas of Manhattan, beginning the evening prior with the festal All-Night Vigil with the Litia and special Rite of the Exaltation of the Cross.
The next morning, monastic clergy served the Lesser Blessing of Water. The greeting of the bishop followed, and His Grace, surrounded by monastery and local clergy, served as chief celebrant for the Hours and hierarchal Divine Liturgy.
At the Little Entrance, Hieromonk Macarius (Ruegemer) was awarded the right to wear the nabedrennik for his service to the monastery. Later in the Liturgy, following the Eucharistic Canon, Bishop Nicholas ordained Monk Isaac (Ewing) to the diaconate.
A multitude of clergy and parishioners from both nearby and distant parishes were present at the divine services. This was a source of great joy and consolation for the monastic brotherhood, the more so as it was the first time since the beginning of COVID in the spring of 2020 that it was possible for so many dearly beloved clergy and pilgrims to pray together with the brotherhood in the monastery church.
After the thanksgiving prayers, everyone went in procession from the monastery church to the refectory, where a festal meal was held for all, concluding with the Rite of the Panagia.
On the evening of the feast, the monastic brotherhood came together for a synaxis with Bishop Nicholas. After bringing them up to date concerning various happenings in the life of the Russian Church, he answered spiritual questions and shared stories from his own life experience.
With mixed feelings of gratitude for his visit and sorrow at his departure, the brotherhood bade farewell to His Grace amidst the festive pealing of bells on Tuesday morning.