Abbot Sergius [Bowyer] was elevated to the rank of Archimandrite on May 25.
'Archimandrite' means 'chief shepherd of a sheepfold' and is the highest honorary rank of the priesthood (between a priest and a bishop). Pilgrimage weekend's Sunday Liturgy was chosen as the time for Abbot Sergius to receive this honor from Metropolitan Tikhon.
A week earler on May 17, a new riassaphore monk was tonsured: Fr. Basil. This the 'second step' in the monastic vocation, the first being that of novice. 'Tonsuring' involves the cutting a a small amount of hair in a cross-shaped pattern as a sign of humility. 'Riassaphore' means 'robe-bearer' from the outer cassock he is given. A riassaphore monk is one that has made a commitment to remain a monk.
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