On Thursday evening April 2/15, at the Convent of St. Mary Magdalene in the garden of Gethsemane, four sisters of the monastery were tonsured into the small schema. During the singing the prayer “Into the embrace of the Father”, a chant about the repentant return of the prodigal son to his Father, the sisters lay crosswise on the floor, covered with the mantles of their elder sisters.
Approaching the Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky), he asked them a question: “Why have you come sisters, before this holy altar, and before this holy sisterhood?” To which they humbly but confidently replied: “We desire a life of fasting, honorable father!”
After professing their holy vows, the sisters were tonsured and given new names. Then they were clothed in monastic attire. Sister Alexandra (Pergamentseva) received the name Andrea, in honor of St. Andrew of Crete, the writer of the Great Canon of Repentance; Sr. Justina (Kepke) was named Macaria, in honor of the St. Macarius of the Glinsk Monastery; the conductor of the choir, Sr. Ioanna (Spirina), was named Theophania, in honor of the St. Theophanes the Branded, the confessor – the composer of canons and Sister Glafira (Obraztsova) was named after the Holy archimandrite Philaret the abbot of Glinsk Monastery.
After a word of edification, Fr. Roman entrusted the newly tonsured nuns to the abbess of the convent, Abbess Elisabeth (Smelic) from whom they received a blessing for the monastic path. As per tradition, the sisters stayed in the church for three days.[foogallery id=”12838″]