It is the longstanding custom of our Diocesan pilgrimages to the Holy Land that all pilgrims confess to their Spiritual Father or Parish Priest before departing on the pilgrimage (and you should do this in the week immediately preceding your departure from home). We do not make confessions during the pilgrimage itself, except in cases of genuine emergency: our group is so large that it is impossible for our priests to confess everyone whilst in Holy Land; and the established custom is that we do not overburden the local monastic priests with confession requests, since they have many spiritual and practical obligations in their monasteries.
Receiving Holy Communion
Assuming that you have made your confession prior to departure, a blessing is given for all pilgrims to receive the Holy Mysteries during all the celebrations of the Divine Liturgy throughout the pilgrimage, unless some circumstance arises during these days that prevents it. Should that be the case, you are encouraged to speak to the Bishop or pilgrimage clergy about your circumstance.
Many pilgrims bring with them small paper bags for prosfora and antidor, which is useful if you are planning to bring them back home with you.
Commemoration lists at monasteries
It is the pious custom of pilgrims, since ancient times, to seek the commemoration of their loved ones by the inhabitants of sacred monasteries in the Holy Land. For this purpose, you are invited to bring commemoration lists that can be provided, with an offering to the monastery, at the various monasteries we will visit.
Due to the intensive schedule, we strongly recommend that you prepare commemoration lists before the trip, rather than having to rush to write these out at each place. The monasteries in general request that no more than 10 names be included on a single list. If you wish to commemorate more names than this, please use additional lists.
Each church and monastery has its own recommended donations for commemorations — we ask all pilgrims to be mindful that most of these places rely completely on the donations received from pilgrims for their survival, and therefore we encourage you to be generous in these donations. Below is an example of recommended donations:
- Commemoration for 2 days (10 names): $/€ 3, or 10 shekels
- Commemoration for 40 days (1 name) $/€ 10, or 35 shekels
- Commemoration for a year (1 name) $/€ 50, or 170 shekels
- Panikhida: $/€ 20, or 70 shekels
- Moleben: $/€ 20, or 70 shekels
- Lifelong (perpetual) commemoration (1 name): $500
- 1 Candle: 1 Shekel
Our Monastery has shops with the great selection of books, church goods and different products — purchases from these shops also go to support the monastic community directly.