Visitors to Holy Trinity Monastery got a glimpse inside the world of those who call the community home on Saturday during the monastery’s first ever open house.
The monastery’s Father Luke greeted the dozens of visitors to the open house and said he hopes they will become more common, with one in the spring and the fall. “This is so that everyone in Herkimer County, New York state and beyond can take advantage of what we have to offer,” he said.
Father Luke gave one of two slide show presentations during the open house. He spoke about the history of the Russian Orthodox church and how it traces its roots directly back to Jerusalem.
“Jerusalem has been the center of the church life,” he said, describing the Orthodox churches that exist at the sites of major events in Christianity, including where Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection were believed to have happened.
He also distinguished the church from the Roman Catholic practice by saying their clergy are allowed to marry and they have had no crusades or reformation in their history. Father Luke also said icons are an important part of the Orthodox practice, but noted “icons are venerated, not worshipped.”
Father Roman Krassovsky spoke about the history of the Holy Trinity Monastery. According to its website, the monastery was first settled by Fr. Panteleimon. With the help of four new brothers, the progress continued with the construction being completed in 1935. A fire, however, destroyed the buildings later that year during a dedication ceremony and a new monastery was later built.
Baked goods were available for visitors during the slide shows, who were also given a tour of the grounds.
“I think people see our architecture and it may seem quite exotic,” said Father Roman before the start of the event, referring to the monastery’s recognizable Byzantine-style design. “But orthodox Christianity has its roots 2,000 years ago. It’s very traditional.”
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