Sunday, October 25, 2009

Divine Liturgy at Decani Monastery

We finally arrived at Decani Monastery on Saturday evening, where we were greeted by His Grace Bishop Teodosije of Lipljan (the abbot of the monastery) and the monastery's brotherhood. We visited with the fathers, and I had some very interesting discussions with Hieromonk Sava, who speaks nearly flawless English. We then went for some much-needed rest before getting up early Sunday morning for Orthros and Divine Liturgy inside the monastery's magnificent church.

As guests, they honored Fr. Sava (from Tvrdos) and I by allowing us to serve as first and second priests during the Liturgy. Above, you can see us waiting with Fr. Sava (of Decani) for Bishop Maxim at the entrance to the church.

The bishops vesting in the middle of the church. You can see me in the background.

Here I am holding the bishop's mitre as they finish vesting.

Bishop Maxim blessing the faithful; me in the background again.

The prayers just before the start of the Divine Liturgy. I'm somewhat obscured behind one of the deacons. The complete incorrupt relics of Saint King Stefan Uros III, the founder of the monastery, are in the foreground.

At the altar during the Divine Liturgy.

I should note here that the monks of Decani are renowned for their chanting, which Bishop Maxim described as a mix of old Serbian, modern Serbian, and Byzantine chant. There seem to be many videos on YouTube which feature the monks' chanting as background. See this one for instance, which also has nice photos of Decani and other holy places in Kosovo.

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