Monday, July 13, 2009

Commemorating the 15th Anniversary of Elder Paisios' Repose

Sunday (yesterday) marked the 15th anniversary of Elder Paisios' repose. He is buried at one of the women's monasteries he helped found, located in Souroti, about 25 minutes from our house.

As is their custom every year, the nuns held an Athonite style vigil to commemorate his passing, starting at 8:30 Saturday evening and ending at 3:30 Sunday morning.

After our Vespers here in Panorama, my friend and I decided to go to the vigil for a little while and pay our respects to the elder.

Several thousand people attend this yearly service. The small church, of course, was packed, with the bishop of the area leading the service. People were everywhere around the church, in the courtyard. Some had brought blankets and found a little corner in which they could catch a nap.

The line to venerate the elder's grave was enormous.

I wanted to capture some of this with my camera, but I didn't want to use the flash, so I took this very short video instead. In the video, you can see the church -- dedicated to St. Arsenios the Cappadocian -- to the left, and the line to venerate the elder's grave to the right.

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