Panagia Vlahernon Greek Orthodox
Guidelines for Pilgrims and Visitors
Panagia Vlahernon Greek Orthodox Monastery follows the "cenobitic" way of monastic life, which means "common way of life. " Generally speaking, all things are common to all and everyone follows the same daily schedule, under the discretion of the abbot, the head of the monastery. Meals are eaten together, and the work, rest periods, and services are conducted according to the monastery’s typicon.
Please remember that this is a Holy Monastery of Our Lord Jesus Christ; that is, a place of repentance and redemption for those men leading a monastic life, and for pious pilgrims.
The monastery welcomes all pilgrims and visitors. Please call before visiting the monastery and if you would like to have confession or spiritual counsel, please make an appointment beforehand.
Visitors must be properly attired to enter the monastery grounds. In general, clothing should be modest and loose-fitting, and include the following:
Men are asked to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts.
Women are asked to wear skirts below the knees, long-sleeved shirts, and are to have their heads covered with a veil or scarf at all times. (Please: No hats, shear scarves, pants, shorts, pant-skirts, mini-skirts, sleeveless blouses, short-sleeved shirts, etc.). Everyone is asked to wear socks. (Especially when wearing sandals) A limited supply of scarves, skirts, blouses, pants and shirts are available for use while visiting the Monastery.
Orthodox Clergy must wear a cassock (raso) in the Monastery and an outer cassock (exoraso) in the services.
If you are not properly attired, please ask one of the fathers.
Around the grounds
Due to the sanctity of this Holy place we kindly ask that you respect the quiet and solitude of the Monastery while on the grounds.
Smoking anywhere within the Holy grounds is strictly forbidden.
We kindly ask that children not roam freely on the Holy grounds, but remain under parental supervision at all times.
Please do not visit non-public areas of the grounds without a blessing.
Photographs May be taken of the buildings, the grounds and inside the church. Please ask before taking photographs of any of the monks or guests. Photographs (including videos) are not allowed during the services unless you receive a blessing to do so.
All tonsured monks are addressed as "Father" ("Pater" in Greek). It is appropriate to ask the blessing of the abbot or priest-monk(s) and to kiss his right hand. It is not appropriate to do this to the other monastics.
Visitors are also welcome to attend our services, but according to the rules of the Orthodox Church, only Orthodox Christians may be inside the Church during a service. All others are asked to participate from the side room. If anyone is interested in attending one of the services please call in advance or speak to one of the fathers upon arrival.
Holy Communion is strictly for those baptized Orthodox Christians who are properly prepared.