According to the typicon of the Lenten Triodion, on the Saturday of the Fifth Week of Great Lent, the Akathist Hymn to the Most Holy Theotokos is chanted as part of the Matins service. As usual, His Grace Bishop Luke, served the Akathist Hymn, along with the brethren of the monastery.
At the end of the First Hour, the service of the tonsure to the Little Schema as performed by His Grace. Hieromonk Sergei (Gusakov) from the Canadian Diocese was tonsured at the request of His Eminence Gabriel, Archbishop of Montreal & Canada. He was given the name of Spyridon. Monastery cleric Rassophore Monk James (Hazen) was tonsured and given the name of Mardarije, in honor of the newly glorified saint of the Serbian Orthodox Church in America.
Tonsures are always joyful events in the life of the monastery. It is traditional in Holy Trinity Monastery to have tonsures on this feast of the Mother of God, as she is the Protectress of monastics.
After the tonsure, Bishop Luke gave a short sermon, in which he expressed the thought that, by being tonsured, these men extended the Kingdom of Christ in our world and pushed back the kingdom of darkness. His Grace stated that, according to the Gospels, even if one righteous man prays for the world, it will continue to exist.
May the Lord, through the intercession of the Most Holy Theotokos, guide the new monks in their paths to salvation.