This is a video featuring snapshots of liturgical life and day-to-day living for the monks of Holy Cross Monastery, located in my hometown of East Setauket, New York. The monastic brotherhood, led by the Most Reverend Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar), is under the omophorion (canonical authority) of His Eminence +Hilarion, Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia. The monks maintain a beautiful blog here, and using these two links, you can access their popular Facebook pages.
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion (Kapral), First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia, an autonomous jurisdiction under the Moscow Patriarchate).
The opening to the video is hauntingly beautiful. The first chant which you hear (sung by the brothers of the Valaam island monastery in Russia’s Lake Ladoga) is Stasis 3 of the Bridegroom Lamentation chants for Good Friday. At 1:02 you see the Abbot of the monastery, the Most Reverend Archimandrite Maximos (Weimar), a very kind man and wise counselor and pastor. At 3:52 you see Fr. Hierodeacon Parthenios (Miller), a wonderfully kind, talented choralist and theologian.
Throughout this video, indicative of the incredible diversity and catholicity of Orthodoxy, you will hear Church hymns and prayers in multiple languages: English, Russian, Greek, and Georgian. These languages are often used in every Liturgy, along with Romanian and sometimes Spanish.
As of January 2012, I had attended Liturgy here only twice when I was home briefly for Winter Break before leaving to study on exchange at Scotland’s University of Edinburgh. Since my return to the United States, I have been blessed to visit the kind monks whenever I am back at home in Setauket.
The monastery is a beautiful oasis of calm and peace in my busy Long Island, New York hometown.
The monastery grounds are on the edge of Setauket Elementary School (left of center beyond the hedges).
The monastery chapel, dedicated to St Herman of Alaska, is a century-old historic building which served for years as the town’s primary school.
The monastery’s church, dedicated to St Herman the Wonder-worker and Apostle to Alaska (1756-1837), was beautifully restored in late summer and early fall 2012.
The monastery used to be under the omophorion of the Jerusalem Patriarchate, and is now under the canonical authority of
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, the First Hierarch of the Russian Church Abroad,
The monastery’s bells are used to beautiful effect to call worshipers to the divine services, to signify the rejoicing and going forth out into the world at services’ conclusion, and they are rung at major points during the Liturgy, matins and vespers. Here, Fr. Silouan talks with Archimandrite Maximos.
Icon of the Theotokos with the Christ child inside the monastery church.
The beautiful, miracle-working Kursk-Root icon of the Theotokos has visited the monastery several times.
The monastery supports a small but diverse parish life, including many Russians, Ukrainians, Georgians, Greeks, Romanians, and American converts.
The monks and members of the parish community enjoy a fellowship meal with His Eminence Metropolitan Kallistos (Ware). Metropolitan Kallistos, to the far left with the white beard, is an English Orthodox theologian, titular Bishop of Diokleia under the Ecumenical Patriarchate and retired Spalding Lecturer of Eastern Orthodox Studies at the University of Oxford.
Fr. Maximos and Fr. Hierodeacon Parthenios outside the ROCOR Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Washington, D.C. This is a beautiful cathedral built by St. John of Shanghai and San Franciso. As of Fall 2012, I have begun attending this cathedral with increasing frequency.
The Most Reverend Archimandrite Maximos, Abbot of Holy Cross Brotherhood
Father Silouan, a very kind, wise man
His Eminence Metropolitan Hilarion, First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia, visits the monastery.
Metropolitan Hilarion standing with Archimandrite Maximos, Fr. Cornelius, Fr Silouan, Fr Hierodeacon Parthenios, and other monks and friends of the monastery.
Metropolitan Hilarion alongside Archimandrite Maximos standing before the solea and the iconostasis.
Metropolitan Hilarion blessing the monks and faithful as he stands before the thronos.
Metropolitan Hilarion censing the monastery’s icons, the monks and the lay worshipers.