Now that I'm catching up on Church news, I can't help but make note of an event of great historical significance in the history of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad that seems to have received scant online coverage: the election and consequent installment of Archimandrite Luke as Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY. The website of Holy Trinity Seminary offers this brief but interesting report on the election process:
On May 6/19, the Feast Day of St. Job of Pochaev, a new abbot for Holy Trinity Monastery was elected. Metropolitan Hilarion of Eastern America and New York, and Bishop Peter of Cleveland traveled from New York City to take part in the election. They were met with the ringing of bells, as Archimandrite Luke and the brotherhood waited in church to greet their new First Hierarch and Metropolitan.Archimandrite Luke was officially installed as Abbot by His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion – himself a member of the Jordanville brotherhood – on the Feast of Pentecost, the monastery's feastday.
After a short litya for the health and welfare of our new Metropolitan, Fr. Luke spoke a few words of welcome, and Metropolitan Hilarion then greeted everyone present, thanking them and asking for their prayerful support.
The bishops and the monastic brotherhood then proceeded to the lower chapel dedicated to St. Job of Pochaev,for the election of the new abbot. A molieben was served, invoking the help of the Holy Spirit before the beginning of every good work, followed by the singing of “Eternal Memory” for our reposed abbot, Metropolitan Laurus. Then the election took place. One monk was selected to be the secretary and record the proceedings, and two other monks to count the votes. Ballots were then handed out and each one cast his vote. There were also votes of four members of the brotherhood who were unable to attend.
After the counting of the votes it was determined that Archimandrite Luke had received the majority of the votes, and Metropolitan Hilarion congratulated him on being elected the new abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, the fifth in the history of the monastery. Metropolitan Hilarion then gave a brief talk, exhorting the brotherhood to beobedient in all things to the new abbot, and encouraging them to be zealous in the monastic life. Archimandrite Luke then thanked Metropolitan Hilarion and the brotherhood for their support, also asking everyone for their help in fulfilling this difficult obedience which has been laid upon his shoulders.
The proceedings then concluded with the singing of “Many Years” to our new abbot, Archimandrite Luke, and the hymn, “Shine, shine, O new Jerusalem.”
Archimandrite Luke is the sixth abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery: he succeeds, in order, Archimandrite Panteleimon (who founded the monastery in 1930), Bishop Seraphim (Ivanov), Archbishop Vitaly (Maximenko), Archbishop Averky, and the late Metropolitan Laurus. Fr Luke will also succeed the late Metropolitan Laurus as Rector of Holy Trinity Seminary, a duty held by all former abbots beginning with Bishop Seraphim.
The above photographs shows His Eminence, Metropolitan Hilarion, presenting Archimandrite Luke with the abbatial staff at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy on the Feast of Pentecost, 2008.
This photograph shows a portion of the monastic brotherhood and seminarians of Holy Trinity Monastery and Seminary following Fr Luke's election as abbot. The monks in the front row are, from left to right: Archimandrite (and soon-to-be Bishop) George, Archimandrite Luke, Metropolitan Hilarion, Bishop Peter of Cleveland, and Archimandrite Flor. The Kursk-Root Icon is held by Hieromonk Theophylact.
May God grant Archimandrite Luke many years!