Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Holy Monastery of the Dormition

This morning (Sunday) I went to the Monastery of Kimissios tis Theotokou (Dormition) for Divine Liturgy. They start Orthros at 6:30 and finish around 9:45. (In Greece, if you ask when a service is, they seem to always tell you the beginning AND end times. I guess so that you can judge just how late you're going to be.)

( ;

Anyway, it was a beautiful service -- the nuns' voices have an angelic quality. I was surprised to find that the monastery was packed, and that men actually comprised a decent 35-40% of the population. (Usually, it seems like we see a 98:2 ratio at most services.)

Of course, the monastery seems to attract the "pious" type of Greek, which also seems to mean that someone may get hurt trying to venerate an icon or receive the priest's blessing at the end of the service. An elderly woman blatantly cut me off without the slightest sense of shame.

Afterwards, the sisters go to the kitchen and prepare coffee for everyone. The people go and sit in a sort of reception room just off the kitchen to socialize and wait for coffee. I sort of sat back to try to get a feel of how things worked. Apparently, it's the same as the rest of Greece. The sisters bring out beautiful trays of coffee, each with a saucer and little cookie on it. As soon as someone smells coffee emerging from the kitchen and heading down the hallway, a pulsating mob instantly forms right at the entrance and attacks the person as soon as they enter.

I took the bus to the monastery on the way there, but I decided to walk back to get a sense of how long it would take. It probably took 25 minutes or so. We used to think we were lucky to ONLY have to drive 3 hours to get to a monastery!

I spent the afternoon putting together a side-by-side Greek/English service book for Vespers. I now have a draft ready. If anyone is interested, send me an email. I'll be glad to share. I'm looking for ANY Greek/English service texts you may know of. (Thanks to Rdr. Moses -- aka Anagnosti, Kenny Banya, etc. -- of Spokane for his help!)

The top photo is the south side of the monastery's katholikon. The second photo is also of the south side of the temple, but it also includes the courtyard. The third photo is the interior of the wall that runs around the monastery. The photo at bottom is of what I believe are some of the sisters' cells.


Anagnosti said...

If you run into Sister Roberta, tell her Rdr Moses says "hey buddy"

Denise said...

Sounds like a wonderful place to spend Sunday...did Peli go too?