The spiritual strength and the beauty of the monastery compile not only its magnificent temples and relics, but also its inhabitants. God’s great miracle was to make the Holy Pochayiv hill a source of light under the protection of His Holy Mother as well as to gather people there, who can save and maintain it. Directed by the Divine Providence and realizing their
purpose, they came there to save their souls, as well as with the hot prayers and living faith to ask God for intercession for all those in need. Their great feat is often odd to a worldly person. Although for many people, men in black cassocks, either very young or gray-haired old men, are a reason of admiration and astonishment. It’s them who are a spiritual strength of the monastery. Their prayer sanctified the life of a new day, invisibly protects and strengthens the Orthodox Christians.
It starts early in the morning, with the first morning star, when a sound of a bell convenes monks for the first prayer – a Midnight Office at the Pochayiv Icon of the Theotokos. The prayer consecrates the life of a new day of our people, invisibly protecting and strengthening them. With the cathedral singing the Icon lowers down from the height of the iconostasis and the Akathist begins.
After the Akathist is over, brothers bow unto the Icon and with a narrow corridor go to the Caves Church for the veneration of Sts Job and Amphilochius’s relics asking for blessing of their day obedience. The Early Divine Liturgy is served in the Caves Church and the Akathist at the holy relics is served after it. The Late Divine Liturgy is served in the Holy Dormition or the Holy Trinity Cathedral. The occasional religious rites (Molebens, Water-blessing prayer services, Unclions, Panikhidas (Offices of the Dead)) are served after it or at the same time in other temples (there are seven of them at the monastery).
At 1 p.m. brothers get together at the Refectory Church of the Great Martyr Barbara for their first meal, during which the life story of the Saint, who is commemorated on that day, is read in the Church Slavonic language. Monday, Wednesday and Friday are a fast. After a meal brothers continue bearing their obedience: except prayer and Divine services they have their duties.
The administration of the monastery is entrusted to the Superior. This high and responsible obedience is appointed by the Clerical Council of Lavra to a person who has the experience of supervision of spiritual life of a cloister. This obedience is born by the Archbishop Volodymyr (Moroz) at present. The internal rules of life in Lavra, distribution of obedience and their execution compose the duties of the Most Reverend. The order of the Divine Liturgies and provision with everything necessary for the officiants is in the authority of a sacrist while a senior choir singer ensures the accuracy of services. The spiritual life of monks is under the control of their confessor. A regent is responsible for choir obedience. The Lavra’s economy is kept by a steward and his assistants while its finance side is a responsibility of a provisor. Monks also bear the obedience of a librarian, a bell-ringer, an altar bread baker, a tour guide, a teacher at the Theological school. Others work in the kitchen, at the icon shop or candle stand. Everyone has the obedience, some of them have several. There is also special obedience - the obedience of a shrine keeper, a caretaker of the wonder-working Icon or the Footprint of the Mother of God or the relics of Sts Job and Amphilochius.
The Vespers starts at 5 p.m. On Monday and Thursday it finishes with sacred procession of brothers and pilgrims. After dinner and a prayer rule monks usually go to their cells, but this is not the end of a monk’s prayer work. Each of them read their individual prayer rule, chosen either by himself or his spiritual father: Canons, Akathists, Kathismas, etc.Thanksgiving God for previous day, brothers retires for the night to preface the next morning with glorification to Almighty God.