Monastic Tonsure in Melbourne
On August 27, 2016, on the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, Rassophor nun Seraphima was tonsured to the mantle at the Parish of the Intercession of the Theotokos in Melbourne, Australia. The tonsure was performed by Hegumen Andrei (Erastov), who had received a blessing from Archbishop Andronik (Kotlaroff).
At the end of the Vigil, a procession took place, and immediately after the faithful had passed under the Shroud of the Mother of God, the tonsure began. It was accompanied by deeply emotional monastic singing, and the austere beauty of this sacramental ritual was profoundly impressive, all the more so that many had never witnessed a monastic tonsure before.
In accordance with a blessing from Archbishop Andronik, the newly tonsured was given the name of Nun Macrina. This name has an interesting history. Rassophor nun Seraphima had lived for many years at the Convent of the Ascension on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem, under the spiritual mentorship of her confessor, Archimandrite Andronik. Her novice probation was to provide care to Nun Macrina, now-Archbishop Andronik’s mother. She consistently carried out this probation, always doing her very best. After the tragic reunification of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia with the Moscow Patriarchate, Seraphima left the convent and followed her confessor back to Australia. Nun Macrina had already died by then. And now Archbishop Andronik has given his spiritual daughter the monastic name of his own mother, of whom she so devotedly took care: Nun Macrina.
The memory of Saint Macrina the Younger, the sister of Saint Basil the Great, is celebrated on the same day when we celebrate the memory of Saint Seraphim, on July 19 (according to the Julian calendar traditionally used by the Orthodox Church), so the newly tonsured Nun Macrina will celebrate the memory of both her heavenly patron saints on the same day.