As seminarians we quickly learn that Orthodoxy demands a proper understanding of stewardship. It is essential to the Orthodox life that we always keep in mind proper care and respect for those things God has entrusted to our care for the betterment of His kingdom. This includes the many items that are required to do the holy services properly, with beauty and reverence. The vestments, the icons, the chalice and paten, all these things and more, are necessary but expensive when bought new and are often out of the reach of mission and/or smaller parishes. Many of the students at Saint Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary hail from this type of home parish setting, and are keenly aware of the needs and financial stresses present. Elijah’s Mantle is a means to meet some of these needs.
Elijah’s Mantle is a ministry that will act as a conduit for older or presently underutilized liturgical items to be passed from churches with items to spare, churches that are closing, and retired or reposed clergy, to new missions or churches that are in need of these items but cannot afford them. Our inventory is comprised entirely of donations, and all items are made available at the cost of shipping only. We may, on occasion, arrange for direct shipment of larger items directly to the recipient to save on storage and shipping costs.
Elijah’s Mantle accepts donations of vestments, liturgical vessels and utensils, service books, icons, and anything else “Church related.” Once an item is received by Elijah’s Mantle, its condition and history are assessed. If the item is of historical significance, it is turned over to the Saint Tikhon’s Museum, administered by the Archpriest John Perich. If it is not of historical significance, but is in good, usable condition, the history of the item is recorded and it is put into the inventory for future requests.
Donated items are stored in the main building of the seminary. If a donated item is irreparably damaged and not of historical significance, its history is recorded and it is turned over to the monks of Saint Tikhon’s for a proper disposal on monastery grounds.
Elijah’s Mantle was conceived of and is run by seminarians at St. Tikhon’s Orthodox Theological Seminary in South Canaan, Pennsylvania. We have already received over fifty requests for specific liturgical items from four canonical jurisdictions. We have received donations from the OCA, ROCOR, UOC of USA, and ROEA. Four requests have been filled and six more are currently pending.
Placement updates for donations of liturgical goods will be posted on the St. Tikhon’s Seminary website along with thank you letters and stories of encouragement on the part of the recipients.
Elijah’s Mantle is a program designed to assist the people of God in helping one another. To help those who have more than is necessary to support those who are in need. To help build relationships between Orthodox communities who may be hundreds of miles apart, but still live the same common faith.