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February 2013

The Newsletter of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross

A Message from His Grace Bishop George and the Brotherhood concerning Lenten Prayers for the Departed at Holy Cross Monastery
he brotherhood of the Hermitage of the Holy Cross greet you all as we prepare ourselves to enter into the season of Great Lent. We pray that the Lord grant you a fruitful spiritual struggle through this upcoming time of repentance and inner cleansing. Through our prayers, fasting, and ascetical struggle, we seek to scrub our souls clean of the dark grime of sin that we have let accumulate through our forgetfulness of God so that our true nature the holy image of God within us - may again shine with all the brilliance of the golden icons that adorn the inside of our churches. Our spiritual striving while we are in this life has consequences in Eternity. As St. Isaac the Syrian has said: Our life is given to us for repentance. Do not waste it in vain pursuits. Our time in this life is a gift from God, and we must use it wisely in order to draw closer to Him, for time is the only thing that we can not regain once it is lost. During Lent, it is also very important for us to remember those who have already passed on and now await the General Resurrection and Last Judgement. Once we repose, we can no longer offer repentance to the Lord, and we must rely of the prayers of the Church and of our loved ones to lead us along towards Paradise. The Lord, who is infinite in mercy, hears our prayers and is quick to respond to our loving and heartfelt petitions, and the Church over the ages witnesses to the effectiveness of our prayers for those departed who find mercy in comfort in them. For this reason, the Lenten period is a time not only of personal prayer and repentance, but a season in which we offer our prayers on behalf of the departed. Beginning March 9, the first Saturday of the Dead for 2013, special prayers for the dead are added to the Saturday liturgical services. In monasteries, the names of the reposed are read during the special Matins service on Lenten Saturdays and Universal Pannykhidas (memorial services for the reposed of all ages) are served following the Divine Liturgy on these four Saturdays. We now invite you to submit for prayerful com-

memoration the names of reposed Orthodox Christians. For the duration of the Great Fast, all of these names will be prayerfully read at every Matins service for the departed, at every Universal Pannykhida, and at every Divine Liturgy. Enclosed you will find a commemoration slip and a return envelope. Please write the names of reposed Orthodox Christians* and send the slip back to us, together with whatever offering of alms you are able to make on behalf of your loved ones. The Holy Church bears witness that both prayer and almsgiving are beneficial on behalf of the departed, who can no longer pray or perform works of virtue for themselves. Let us all pray this Lent that our merciful and compassionate Lord grant rest to the souls of His departed servants, and to lead them to a place of green pasture and the waters of rest, where there is neither sickness, nor sorrow, nor sighing, but life everlasting.

Above photo: The Hermitage brotherhood serves a pannykhida for the reposed during Radonisa.
* Only formal Christian names, please.

The Hermitage of the Holy Cross is a Russian Orthodox Mens Monastery under the omophorion of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York and His Grace Bishop George of Mayfield, Abbot of the monastery. Mailing Address: 505 Holy Cross Road Wayne, WV 25570 Administrative Offices: 304.849.2072 Business Office / Gift Shop: 304.849.4726 www.holycross-hermitage.com

+ George, Bishop of Mayfield

Hermitage Newsletter

Update on Project Kellia

he Brotherhood of Holy Cross Monastery is growing tremendously and, with the blessing of His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, we are building more living quarters for monks. Project Kellia is a monastic dormitory consisting of 9 cells, an infirmary cell, and a medical dispensary. We expect that the cells will be filled immediately by novices currently living in temporary housing and monastic candidates arriving in 2013. Thanks toyourgenerous support,Project Kelliaconstruction is continuing steadily, but we still have a long way to go before completion. Over $216,000 has been raised so far and we are currently in the process ofroofingthe building. However, there is still much work yet to do. After the building is roofed in, then we can start working on the electric work, plumbing, drywall, painting, trim work, and all of the other small details that go into constructing a residential building. Though construction is currently in full swing, we are afraid that construction will stop due to lack of funding, and we are concerned about not being able to continue this building which is so greatly needed.

Please donate generously to make it possible for more men to serve God in the monastic life at the Hermitage of the Holy Cross. You may make your donation by sending a check with Project Kellia in the memo line to: Hermitage of the Holy Cross Attn: Gift Shop 505 Holy Cross Road Wayne, WV 25570-5403 The soonerProject Kelliais built, the sooner more men can join the brotherhood to give their life to Christ in monasticism, and we thank you for making this happen. Your prayers and support are essential to realizing our goal and making this dream a reality.

Thank you, and may God bless you and remember you for your generosity!