|While at work, sisters say Jesus' prayer|
For someone who is eager to lead a truly monastic lifestyle, any obedience in the monastery will be good for salvation. Yet, out of all monastic obediences, the sewing obedience is, perhaps, the most beneficial one in the process of spiritual enrichment, in acquiring skills needed for every monastic person: patience, obedience, and prayer. Other occupations in the abode could potentially be connected with a certain distraction or vanity. Here, however, everyone works intently and quietly: the hands are busy with work, and the mind with prayer.
Today there are 17 sisters toiling at this workshop. Working as a unanimous and coordinated team, the sisters not only acquire sewing skills, but also — which is more important — they learn mutual help and self-discipline.
|In the workshop|
Having gathered together, in the morning they pray to the Mother of God and to St. Simeon. From the church tradition we know that Theotokos was a adroit seamstress. St. Simeon is our protector as well, since he was also clever with his needle (he sewed winter coats). After prayers are read, everyone takes her place: at the cutting room, the ironing room, and the embroidery room. The prayer does not cease in any room during the day: alternating, sisters pray aloud. Before leaving the obedience at the end of the day, they sing "It is meet and right" together and ask forgiveness of each other.
|Weaving of the belt|
Mainly the clergy's garments for church services are what is manufactured at this workshop: priestly, deacons', and sextons' garments. Also garments for churches' interiors, for the altar and the nave. Canonical samples serve as the model.
|At the cutting room|
For instance, we use Byzantine and old Russian patterns of the VII-XVI centuries as models for making crosses and ornaments for various garments. That is what concerns the form and ornamental details, whereas the fabric, equipment, and the technology of sewing methods are modern. All the products are manufactured from silk and brocade. For a private order, the technique of machine embroidery could be employed.
The workshop sews garments for the clergy outside of church services (cassocks) and monastic garments (cassocks, klobuks, etc.). We also produce little souvenirs that would adorn the life of any Orthodox family: embroidered towels for icons, little purses for relics, napkins, oven gloves, and bookmarks. The workshop accepts orders from churches and private persons, and organizes deliveries.