Our tenth anniversary as a monastery was September 27, 2010, but we decided to have a celebration for it on our feast day, Holy Theophany, which is January 6.
And so we did. As the feast itself was on a weekday and the clergy were in their home parishes, we scheduled our public observance for the weekend following, January 7-8. Planning is not our strong suit, but what seemed to be a long fitful stream of: “Oh, yes, we should have that ready.” or “Did you remember to reserve _______?”, to “I just know it is going to rain!” (it did, but this is Olympia, rain is a given) culminated in a wondrous two-day affair of liturgical services here at the monastery and dinner in the hall of St. George’s parish, a half-mile up the hill.
Realizing plans we had made years ago, we had a small pond and waterfall installed by the herb garden that is next to the chapel so that the Great Blessing of the Waters could be done properly. Yes, that is snow in the background.
The men who installed the tents did exactly as directed, installing the tent in front of the chapel as close to the building as possible so guests would not be rained on. But the front door would open only a third of the way. Oh, well. Members of the monastery’s extended community helped transport the chairs from the basement of the sewing studio up to the chapel, fetch visitors from the airport in Seattle, take photographs, wait for the caterers’ (Sam Pelligrino’s Catering), lug stockpots of water-to-be-blessed to the pond and a score of other necessary jobs.
Visiting clergy were: Rev, Fr, Abbot Nicholas of Holy Resurrection Monastery in southern California; Rev. Fr. Abbot Neal, OSB and Brother Edmund, OSB of St. Martin’s Abbey in Lacey; Rev, Fr. Mark Melone, of St. George Melkite parish in Sacramento, California who also provided the music for Great Vespers, Festal Matins and the Divine Liturgy; Rev. Fr. Lee Perry of St. George Ruthenian parish next door; Rev. Fr. Abraham Miller of Our Lady of Zarvanitcia Ukranian parish in Seattle and who is our regular chaplain; Deacon Joseph Wargacki of St. George, and Deacon Joseph Kaiser, a Melkite new to the area.
The following photo is of some of the clergy and the nuns after dinner.
See collection of photographs in Photo Album.