Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery (Otego, New York)

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Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery
Jurisdiction OCA
Type Female Monastery
Founded 1977
Superior Abbess Raphaela
Approx. size 6 nuns
Location Otego, New York
Liturgical language(s) unknown
Music used Russian Chant
Calendar Revised Julian
Feastdays celebrated Myrrhbearers Sunday, the second Sunday after Pascha
Official website Official website

Holy Myrrhbearers Monastery is a stavropegial monastic community for women in the Orthodox Church in America. It is located in Otego, New York.

The community was founded in 1977 under the auspices of His Beatitude Metropolitan Theodosius, Archbishop of Washington and Metropolitan of All America and Canada. The monastery began its existence within the OCA Chancery between 1977 and 1982, moving to rented facilities near St. Vladimir's Seminary while searching for a permanent place for monastery, which was found and purchased in 1983. In 1986, along with already existing buildings, a chapel was built.

The community consists of women living the monastic tradition of a Christ-centered prayer life for the monastic members. The community publishes a newsletter, Essays and Notes, with essays on the Christian life written by members as well as by other authors and conducts numerous retreats. It also maintains a mail-order catalog and online store for those who require books, icons and other selected items for churches and homes, including embroidered items from the "Myrrhbearers Arab Orthodox Society of Jerusalem." The monastery also runs a farm with flocks of sheep and goats and produces prayer ropes from the wool. Guests may be given permission to work on the farm and with the animals when this is healing for them and helpful for the monastery.

Daily life

5am - Matins and First Hour.

Breakfast, chores, quiet time.

9am - Third Hour.

House meeting, work time.

Noon - Sixth Hour.

Lunch, work, personal time.

3pm - Ninth Hour.

Work time.

5pm - Vespers.


7pm - Compline.

Quiet time.


During time at Chancery, the Sisterhood is able to visit other monasteries, including the Monastery of the Protection of the Mother of God in Bussy, France.
Also during this time, the monastery develops a full cycle of monastic services, including the compilation of the Horologion, Octoechos, Triodion, Pentecostarion, and Menaion.
  • 1982 - Monastery receives blessing from Metr. Theodosius to move into rented quarters near St. Vladimir's Seminary. In the same year, the Sisterhood look for a more permanent place of residence.
During this time, the Sisterhood becomes incorporated, finds sources of income, and becomes independent. A mail-order business is begun.
  • 1983 - The Sisterhood find and purchase a property; through a series of events (or miracles), the monastery pays off the $55,000 property after having saved only $5,000.
  • 1986 - Ss. Peter & Paul Church, joined by St. Basil Church and Dormition Church, offer to build a monastery chapel.
  • c.1987 - Chapel is completed, then consecrated by Metr. Theodosius. Mother Raphaela becomes first abbess.
  • c.1988 - St. Michael's donates funds to create memorial prayer garden.
  • 1991 - Property adjoining monastery is purchased, including an old house.
  • 1995 - Renovation of the old house begins.
  • 1997 - Renovation is complete; now a guesthouse.
  • 1998 - Monastery building project is finished.
  • 2002 - In connection with the monastery's twenty-fifth anniversary, a portico entryway, visually joining the chapel with the monastery wing, a deck, and a kiosk to hold the six bells cast for the monastery in Russia are all completed.
Future plans include paying off the mortgage on the new building and installing a permanent monastery sign, privacy fence for an outdoor cloistered area, and fencing for the garden.

External links