Russian Orthodox
Cathedral of the Transfiguration   

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Sisterhood of Myrrhbearing Women

Founded 1932

President: Ms. Ann Kandratino

The original Myrrhbearing Women came to the Tomb of Christ to bring aromatic spices to anoint the body of our Lord in the Jewish tradition for the burial of the dead. They were not discouraged by the thought of how to move the stone, which sealed the Tomb of Christ. On that faithful morning, they approached the Tomb with love and faith, and found the stone already moved!

In 1932, in the same spirit of love and faith, Matushka Millitza Buketoff organized the Sisterhood of Myrrhbearing Women. The Sisterhood originally started with only 20 women and soon became an integral facet in the mosaic of the Cathedral of the Transfiguration of Our Lord. The Myrrhbearing Sisters raised money for the Parish when there was little money to be had during the difficult years of the Depression. The Sisterhood truly exemplified what St. Paul described as "the living stones" of the Church.

In 1967, at the 35th Jubilee of the Sisterhood, Archpriest Igor Tkachuk said: "The Sisterhood has dedicated itself to one task, that if serving the Church. No need has been too lowly, no work too menial for the devoted followers of the Service of Mary."

Over the years, the Sisterhood has been instrumental in raising money by hosting various dinner dances, cake sales, and raffles. The Sisters have always been responsible for collecting donations for the flowers that adorn the Plashchanitza (Shroud of Christ) for Pascha (Easter). Also, the Sisters assumed the responsibilities of changing, mending, and cleaning of the Church Cloths for the various festal cycles in the Orthodox Church.

The Sisterhood coordinates the Christmas Eve Holy Supper, a tradition started by Father Igor. The Holy Supper is well attended by many parishioners and visitors each year. Also, the Sisterhood coordinates Maslenitza (Cheesefare Sunday) and the Myrrhbearing Trapeza Namesday.

In 1988, the Sisterhood coordinated a very momentous event in the life of the Orthodox Church, the Millennium of the Baptism of Rus in 988. Also in 1988, the Myrrhbearing Sisters coordinated the Bicentennial of Orthodoxy in America with a memorial service on Ellis Island.

In the same spirit as their namesake, the Sisterhood of Myrrhbearing Women continue to work in our Parish with the same spirit of love and faith as the original founders in 1932. The Myrrhbearing Women know that "with God nothing is impossible."

The Sisterhood of Myrrhbearing Women is strengthened by the good example of the many Sisters who have gone before them. It is said, "that one pair of hands can only to so much work, but many pairs of hands can do much more work." Many of the Sisters had so little time for themselves with the demands placed on them from family and work. But, somehow, they always managed to find time for their beloved Church!

The founding Sisters had so little when they came to America, and yet they left us a true treasure, a jewel exemplified by their love and faith in the Orthodox Church. We are fortunate they have requited such a precious jewel, a shining future for the Orthodox Church in America, their children, and the generations of Orthodox believers who will follow them.

Therefore, the Sisterhood of Myrrhbearing Women embraces and honors the memory of Matushka Millitza and the founding Sisters. Memory Eternal! Vechnaya Pamyat!

May we who follow always remember and be worthy of their example, and may we one day be the worthy example of those who follow us.

 

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