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SOUTH CANAAN, PA [OCA Communications] -- The 103rd annual pilgrimage to Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk Monastery here will formally open on Friday, May 25, 2007, with the celebration of Vespers and Matins, followed by a procession with the relics of Saint Tikhon of Zadonsk and the singing of the Akathistos Hymn in his honor, at 4:00 p.m.

His Beatitude, Metropolitan Herman, Primate of the Orthodox Church in America, will preside at the four-day celebration. Joining Metropolitan Herman will be His Grace, Bishop Tikhon of Philadelphia and Eastern Pennsylvania; other members of the hierarchy of the Orthodox Church in America; and numerous clergy and faithful from throughout North America.

On Saturday, May 26, the hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 9:00 a.m. At 2:00 p.m., the 65th annual commencement of Saint Tikhon's Seminary will be held in the school's auditorium. His Eminence, Metropolitan Philip of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, will deliver the commencement address and will be awarded a Doctor of Divinity degree honoris causa. The Vigil will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m.

The hierarchical Divine Liturgy will be celebrated on Sunday, May 27, at 9:00 a.m. Vespers and Matins will be celebrated at 4:00 p.m., after which a grand banquet honoring members of the 2007 graduating class will be held at the Genetti Manor, 1505 South Main Street, Dickson City, PA at 5:00 p.m. Also slated to be honored at the banquet are the Very Rev. Sergei Glagolev, the Very Rev. Yaroslav Sudick, and Mr. Walter Palchik, who will be awarded the distinction of "trustee emeritus" for their dedicated service as members of the seminary board, and Metropolitan Herman on the occasion of his 75th birthday. Tickets are available at $35.00 by contacting Mary Sernak, 700 Delaware St., Mayfield, PA 18433 or by calling 570/876-5855.

On Monday, May 28, the early Divine Liturgy will be celebrated in the monastery church at 7:30 a.m. The traditional pilgrim's procession to the monastery and the greeting of Metropolitan Herman and the concelebrating hierarchs will begin at 9:15 a.m., followed by the hierarchical Divine Liturgy in the pavilion. A General Memorial will be celebrated for all faithful departed at the grave site of His Eminence, the late Metropolitan Leonty, after the Liturgy.

At 2:00 p.m. Monday, the Service of Intercession to the Most Holy Mother of God with the anointing of the sick, infirm, and all pilgrims will be celebrated at the monastery bell tower.

The pilgrimage will close with the celebration of Vespers and Matins in the monastery church at 4:00 p.m. on Monday.

Clergy will be available for confessions on Sunday evening and Monday morning.

Throughout the pilgrimage, the faithful are invited to visit the seminary and monastery bookstore, the Metropolitan Theodosius Museum, and the various food booths. Graves will also be blessed in the monastery cemetery.

Founded in 1905, Saint Tikhon Monastery is the oldest Orthodox Christian monastery in North America.

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