Saturday, September 11, 2010

Otpust 2010

Last weekend, from Friday afternoon through Monday morning, the kids and I were at the 76th annual Pilgrimage on honor of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, at the Monastery of the Sisters of the Order of St. Basil the Great in Uniontown, PA.  I'm determined to get this posted, with photos, today, so I can move on to other things.

One of the things the kids in our parish do is clean the racetrack kitchen in preparation for Pilgrimage.  We sweep, hose the floor, wash down the chairs and tables, wash serving trays, and clean the refrigerators so the Sisters and volunteers have a nice clean place to serve cabbage rolls, hot dogs and other refreshments to pilgrims.

Here are Lightning McQueen and Birdman, along with one of my bff's sons (foreground) and Velvet and another bff son (background).  It was a bright, sunny day!  Here are some more:

One of the things we enjoy about doing this is that once we're all done, we get to go up to the Motherhouse and have lunch with the Sisters.  They are always so happy to see us.

Then there is a frenzy of planning, shopping and laundry on our part until the day we leave.  We load the car and try to get headed out by lunchtime, so as to allow plenty of time to set up our campsite before the first Divine Liturgy of the weekend.  This year we had a bit of a cloudburst right as we'd finished, so Velvet's sleeping bag had to be laid out on top of the car until it dried (tent leaks, ugh).

another view of our campsite; I'm standing in front of my tent.  The tents visible in the photo belong to my bff's family.

"kitchen" area; this year I used the car as both food storage and a closet, which worked out very well.

Then it's time for the opening Divine Liturgy.  Usually it's held at the huge Mother of God shrine, but due to the wet weather it was held in the main room of the Trinity Center, a building that houses the Gift Shop, pilgrim dorms and the main room where talks are presented (and Liturgies celebrated when weather prohibits them being held outdoors).

There are many processions throughout the weekend.  Part of the whole experience of Pilgrimage is the walking, so we make sure to wear comfortable shoes!  (Note:  I always have a huge agony of indecision over what to pack, since it is pretty much a continual Church service but it's also camping, and my Church clothes and camping clothes are mutually exclusive).
Processional crosses, decked with flowers and ribbons to identify the parish, lead each procession.

More in the next post.......

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