January 30, 2012

Hermitage of the Holy Cross in WV

We went to the monastery in Wayne, WV, Holy Cross Hermitage, this weekend. It's a 3 hour drive from Cincinnati, OH.

The last time we were there in September 2010, Bishop George gave us this prosphora (bread that is used in the altar to prepare Holy Communion). Yesterday he gave us one again. We will visit my parents today and give it to them, as they have both been sick and were not able to attend services at all this weekend.

We stayed at the guest house, which is next to a small cemetery where a friend of ours, George Booth, is buried. At night, there is a lamb on his grave that is lit. We walked down the road to have dinner with everyone, about 30 monks and one nun, who makes pure beeswax candles. Along the way, we stopped to say "hello" to Myrtle the cow and the goats. Up on the hill, one can see about 10 white boxes, the beehives, and they sell their honey, which is a beautiful amber colour, Brother Anthony, who helped us in their store, told us that this is dark because of the many tulip poplar trees.

Vigil began at 6:30pm and when it ended at 9:50pm, it was dark, cold and the 1/2 mile walk would have been possible, but when Father Tikhon offered to drive us back, we accepted. He told us that when he turns around, the vehicle would turn into a Ferrari! That made us laugh.

Sunday morning, we watched as the monks sang in beautiful Znamenny chant and Bishop George was dressed in his festive garments. Buttoning up the sides and then finally placing the golden miter atop his head. The girls really enjoyed watching. The service was wonderful, we listened about Zacchaeus, the short man who was a tax-collector, who climbed up a sycamore tree to see Jesus and invited him to dine at his house. Then, he gave up his wealth and changed his life. We all partook of Holy Communion. At the end of the service, Bishop George held a beautifully carved wood cross. An old friend, Audrey, came with her husband and 3 children. It was really nice to see them. Everyone there was so very kind. We hope to go again soon!


elizabeth said...

how very lovely; sounds like a lot of love is there.

Jeannette said...

So often people hurry off to recreate...but you have had a journey into a rich restfulness. Your descriptions are lovely.

Melanie said...

It sounds beautiful!

Mimi said...

It sounds like a wonderful blessing for you.
Prayers for your parents, hugs.

Mike said...

Thanks for sharing. I feel more peaceful just having read this.