Pilgrim's Guide (Overnight Guests)

This page contains guidelines for staying one or more nights at the monastery. Please also refer to the day visitor's guide, since they apply to overnight guests as well.

Pilgrims should contact the monastery to inquire about room availability before making travel arrangements.

You have a blessing to stay up to seven days. To stay longer than seven days, must receive a blessing from our monastery's abbot before any travel arrangements are made.

Pilgrims can arrange for transportation from the airport to the monastery by contacting one of shuttle services below. Please call in advance of your trip.

  1. Fr. Basil: +1 (520) 709-3993 email: [email protected]
  2. Timothy: +1 (520) 431-2688 email: [email protected]
  3. George Gikis: +1 (520) 858-5987 email: [email protected]
  4. Florence Shuttle: +1 (480) 580-3438

We ask that you arrive at the monastery between the hours of 9:30 AM and 5 PM.

Pilgrims may help themselves to all the food provided in the guesthouse.

Please also follow these rules:

  1. Men are not allowed to enter the women’s guesthouse, nor are women allowed to enter the men’s guesthouse.
  2. Do not gather in the area immediately in front of the monks’ cells or in front of the guesthouses, especially after the morning service and after Compline.
  3. Do not place personal items on unoccupied beds, but rather keep them free for other pilgrims who may be coming to stay at the monastery.
  4. Do not bring food ordered from restaurants or meat products into the monastery.
  5. Label all personal food items.

St. Anthony's Monastery is a place of repentance and prayer for the fathers and also for the faithful who are our pious guests. In honor of the saint whose monastery this is, and out of love and respect for this sacred ground, we humbly ask that you be properly attired at all times.

Orthodox clergy are respectfully asked to wear a cassock (rason) in the monastery; and to wear also an outer cassock (exorason) in the church services. Clergy are asked to wear a clerical head covering at the appropriate times.

Women are kindly asked to wear long-sleeved, loose-fitting shirts that fully cover the chest up to the neck; long skirts (or dresses) without deep slits; scarves that cover the head and wrap under the chin and around the neck, so that the neck is also covered. Please refrain from wearing lipstick when venerating icons and receiving Holy Communion. Please remove any visible face or body piercing jewelry.

Men are kindly asked to wear long pants and long-sleeved shirts. Please, no baseball caps or clothing with inappropriate words or images. Inside, especially in church, men are asked to keep their heads uncovered. Please remove any visbile face or body piercing jewelry.

For both men and women, socks (at least ankle high) with shoes or sandals are to be worn at all times. Please do not wear sheer stockings. Please wear practical and comfortable flat shoes while at the monastery since it is desert terrain and the pathways are of rough flagstone. Please do not wear high heels, platform shoes, or open-toed sandals.

If you are not properly dressed, please go directly to the bookstore, where there is a limited supply of clothing for your use. In the guesthouses, we ask that you remain properly dressed when outside your room, since the fathers often need to enter the common areas.

We humbly also ask our guests to refrain from wearing perfumes, colognes, scented lotions, etc., for the sake of those who have strong chemical sensitivities and get very ill from even these types of scents.

Although we kindly ask all visitors to be quiet and orderly at all times while at the monastery, we ask that you be especially quiet during the monastery’s quiet hours from 6:30 PM until 8:00 AM. (Please note that the morning services are from 1:30 AM - 4:15 AM, during the quiet hours.)

If you do not wish to rest in the morning after the service (after breakfast), we ask that you leave the guesthouse and the inner courtyard quietly. There are many areas on the grounds of the monastery where you can sit or talk quietly. We ask that you do not use the telephones or the showers during the quiet hours.

Cell phones must be turned off during the church services and the meals in the dining hall.

All pilgrims staying at the monastery are expected to attend all scheduled church services. Non-Orthodox visitors are asked to participate in the services from the narthex. Also, catechumens are dismissed from the services at the appropriate times.

When entering the church for the divine services, we ask that you venerate the icons only up to the first set of pillars in the nave, and that you do not venerate the icons in the front part of the church when the monks are present for the services. After the church services, you are invited to venerate these icons.

When you get Geronda Ephraim's or Geronda Paisios's blessing, we ask that you simply bow and kiss his hand. Please do not cross yourself and do not make a prostration in front of him.

The order within the monastery for venerating icons, for processions to and from the trapeza, and for receiving Holy Communion is as follows: the elder or abbot first, then ordained clergy, then the monks, nuns, men, and women. All guests are asked to please follow this order.

Please note that men stand on the right side in the church and women on the left.

During the reading of the Six Psalms (usually read approximately 30 minutes into the morning service), please avoid any unnecessary movement; this includes veneration of icons and even making the sign of the Cross.

Only Orthodox Christians and catechumens (those who are learning the Faith and are about to become Orthodox) may be seated in the trapeza (dinning hall) during a formal meal. All others will be served after the meal has ended and the fathers have left the trapeza.

We ask that you maintain quiet during the meal, since a reading for our spiritual nourishment takes place. The monastic custom is to wait until the abbot or presiding hieromonk rings a bell before drinking any water at the meal.

Guests who have not finished eating by the time the meal ends have a blessing to return immediately afterward to eat their unfinished food.

The Sacrament of Confession is offered daily from 12 noon until 3:30 PM and from 4:00 PM until 6:00 PM. The faithful may confess in Greek or English with one of the priest-monks directly, or in Russian or Romanian with a monk acting as interpreter.

  1. Guide to Confession in Greek
  2. Guide to Confession in English
  3. Guide to Confession in Russian
  4. Guide to Confession in Romanian

Holy Communion is truly the Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, and just as it sanctifies those who are prepared and becomes provision for eternal life, it may very well become “fire burning the unworthy” for those who are not, as Saint Symeon the New Theologian says in his Communion prayers. We therefore ask all Orthodox Christians to prepare with Confession and to have permission from their spiritual father before receiving Holy Communion, and also to prepare with the required fast as established by the Holy Fathers of the Church.

When the Holy Cup is brought forth from the altar for Holy Communion, the veneration of icons should stop, since the Lord is present in front of you in His Precious Body and Blood. We ask that you do not venerate the icons in the front of the Church as you proceed up to receive Holy Communion. We also ask that you do not venerate the icons after receiving the Precious Body and Blood of our Lord God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Pilgrims who receive Holy Communion should take antidoron immediately afterward from a tray held by one of the monks. Those who received Communion should not come at the end of the Liturgy to receive antidoron from the priest.