His Beatitude, Metropolitan Tikhon presided at the 49th annual Saint Herman Pilgrimage here August 7-9, 2019, and was joined by His Eminence Archbishop David.
The pilgrimage opened on Wednesday evening, August 7, with the celebration of the Akathistos Hymn in honor of Saint Herman at Kodiak’s Cathedral of the Holy Resurrection, in which his relics are enshrined. Following the Akathist a Panikhida was served for the newly departed Archpriest Steven Belonick by Metropolitan Tikhon and Archpriest Alexander Rentel, Chancellor of the Orthodox Church in America.
The following morning—Thursday, August 8, the Feast of Saint Jacob Netsvetov—the Hierarchical Divine Liturgy was celebrated at the cathedral. Immediately following the Divine Liturgy the clergy and pilgrims gathered for a meal during which pilgrims shared moving accounts and stories of their pilgrimage experiences. Later that day, the Vigil for the Feast of Saint Herman was celebrated, and the many pilgrims who attended were blessed with the opportunity to venerate his relics.
On Friday August 9 His Beatitude, His Eminence, clergy and pilgrims made the trip from Kodiak to Spruce Island by boat to celebrate the Divine Liturgy for the Feast at the the chapel of Saints Sergius and Herman of Valaam. His Beatitude was joined at the altar by clergy from the Greek Archdiocese of American, the Antiochian Archdiocese of North America, the Bulgarian Patriarchate, and the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate. In addition to many clergy and laity from the Orthodox Church in America, specifically from the Diocese of Alaska, clergy and faithful from many other churches participated.in the pilgrimage. Also participating were a group of twenty youth from the parish of Saint James in Napasiak, Alaska led by their priest Priest Vasily Fischer who had the chance to speak with the Dimitrios Rentel of the OCA’s Youth Department about their hopes and dreams for youth work in the OCA.