Saturday, April 14, 2007

The Resurrection at Evangelismos

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Before I get into the evening Resurrection service, let me give you the links to Rob’s latest videos, which are excellent!

Click here for Great Thursday and Friday combined. It switches from Thursday afternoon to Friday afternoon about halfway through because Rob didn’t take any video of the Reading of the 12 Passion Gospels on Thursday night and he slept late on Friday morning.

Click here for the first half of Great Saturday, including excellent footage inside the Cave of the Apocalypse.

Again, don't give up while the videos are loading. I'd say they're each about 5-8 minutes long and it takes a few minutes for each to load.

Also Brendan is scanning some of the 35mm black & white photos he took and posting them here, if you’re interested.

Ok, now for Great Saturday night. After much debate, we decided to go to the Convent of the Annunciation (Evangelismos) for the service. This was for a couple reasons. One, we hadn’t been there yet. Two, we heard the nuns were beautiful chanters. And three, we heard that ferries would be coming in loaded with pilgrims and tourists to flood the Cave and the Monastery of St John, and that Evangelismos would be relatively quiet.

This last part was definitely true. Of course, it was a great service, but all of us agreed afterward that it was certainly the most – well, somber is too strong a word but subdued is not quite strong enough – Resurrection service we’d ever been to.

Nevertheless, it was Pascha and of course it was beautiful. The service started at 11 PM and the highlight was, of course, the Holy Fire. On Patmos (as in all of Greece), the Holy Fire is flown directly from Jerusalem – so we had the real deal! Click here to see a video on YouTube of the actual Holy Fire in Jerusalem this year. For more information on the Holy Fire, click here.

Anyway, a few minutes before midnight we all processed out into the courtyard, where we all waited in silence for the Monastery of St John to ring its bells. Fireworks and guns went off all across the island. Interestingly, most of the Greeks left at this point to begin the celebration, while a relative few went back into the church for Liturgy, which ended about 1:30 or 2 AM.

There were many little differences in the service from what I had come to expect in America. One, for instance, was that the Greeks do not do the knocking on the door bit when they come back into the church after the procession. I can only assume that is Russian practice.

Anyway, after the service, we walked back to the house and broke the fast with sausage and cheese before heading to bed, exhausted, around 4 AM.

The photos here are of Evangelismos. We stopped back on Sunday during our bike ride to take photos.

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