On Monday, March 11th, the St. Tikhon’s Community began preparing for the Great Fast which would begin the following week with a lunchtime lecture by His Grace Bishop Mechisedek Bishop of Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania, Locum Tenens of the Diocese of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania.
His Grace admonished the community to begin the fast thoughtfully and prayerfully with “measured steps,” keeping in mind that all things must be accomplished with an attitude of love.
The following day Tuesday, March 12th both the seminary and monastery joined together during the lunch hour in a meal of pizza and ice cream, sponsored by His Grace Bishop Michael, the Rector of the Seminary. It was here that Fr. Sergius, acting dean of the seminary, reviewed the responsibilities of the seminarian’s participation in the Holy Services throughout the Great Fast.
Here he reiterated the words of instruction given the day before stressing the significance of both a humbleness of heart and a genuine love of neighbor are for any ascetic undertaking.
After classes on Tuesday, March 12th the student body was dismissed for the Pre-Lenten break that would end at the beginning of Forgiveness Vespers on Sunday, March 17th.
On Monday, March 18th, Clean Week began as it always has at St. Tikhon’s, with the Midnight Office in the Monastery Church. No classes are scheduled for the first week of Great Lent and the students, instead, participated in the entire monastic cycle of services each day. Classes resume on Tuesday, March 26th.