On Sunday evening of the 5th week of Great Lent, two novices of the Ascension Convent on the Mount of Olives were tonsured rassophore nuns.

After the first hour while singing the 26th psalm: “The Lord is my enlightenment and my Savior, whom I will fear!” Mother Varvara (Novikova), the abbess of the monastery, introduced the sisters to the Head of the Russian Ecclesiastical Mission, Archimandrite Roman (Krassovsky). Father Roman tonsured them and blessed them to put on the monastic robe. During the tonsure, the rassophore nuns received new names: sister Valentina (Ashikhmina) received the name Sebastiana, in honor of St. Sebastian, confessor of Karaganda, and sister Natalia (Arsibekova) was given the name Anisia, in honor of the Holy Martyr Anisia of Thessalonica.

After a parting word, Fr. Roman handed the newly tonsured nuns to the abbess with the exhortation “as with Christ obey the elderesses in everything, and be patient in all things, be humble, obedient, meek, and keep silent, and you will find grace before God, and you will be saved.”


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