Photos of the Day for September 30, 2012: Feast of the Assumption / Унебаўзяцьця

September 29, 2012 7:00 pm

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pinsk 2012.  Унебаўзяцьця Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі, Пінск 2012 год.

At the end of the Mass, the moment the parishioners have eagerly awaited and a splendid example of Christian and pre-Christian syncretism:  Bishop Dzjam’janka joyfully blesses parishioners’ flowers and fruit.

Bishop Dzjam’janka is joined by Archimandrite Sergei Hayek (Сяргей Гаек), Apostolic Visitator for the Greek Catholics of Belarus.  У літургіі й асьвячэньні прыняе ўдзел таксама Архімандрыт айцец Сяргей, Апостальскі Візітатар для грэка-католікаў Беларусі.

After the 1596 Union of Brest, which led to the formation of the Greek Catholic church (so-called “Uniates”, Eastern in liturgy but in communion with Rome), Greek Catholics represented perhaps 80% of the population of present-day Belarus.  The Russian Orthodox church and the Russian imperial regime loathed the existence of Greek Catholicism.  After a concerted two-century campaign, the Russian church and empire finally suppressed the Greek Catholic church in Belarus in 1839 and in succeeding years took over Greek Catholic churches and forced most Greek Catholics to convert to Russian Orthodoxy.   Today, under the patronage of Rome, the Greek Catholic church is slowly reviving in Belarus, but remains a shadow of its historic self.

After the blessing.  Пасьля асьвячэньня.

 

Photos of the Day for September 29, 2012: Feast of the Assumption / Унебаўзяцьця

September 28, 2012 7:00 pm

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15.  Унебаўзяцьця Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі.

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pinsk 2012.  Касьцёл Унебаўзяцьця Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі, Пінск 2012 год.

As with the Orthodox Feast of the Maccabees (see photos for September 18-25), so too the Belarusian celebration of the Roman Catholic Feast of the Assumption contains a similar pre-Christian tradition of the blessing of flowers and first fruits.

Bishop Dzjam’janka, like all other priests, tries to keep parishioners’ focus on the worship of Mary.  At the same time parishioners eagerly await the Bishop’s blessing of their flowers and baskets of first fruits of the season at the end of the celebratory Mass.

Photo of the Day for September 28, 2012: Feast of the Assumption / Унебаўзяцьця

September 27, 2012 7:00 pm

Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, August 15.  Унебаўзяцьця Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі.

The feast of the Assumption is one of the obligatory celebrations and feasts in the Roman Catholic liturgical year.  Here Bishop of Pinsk Antoni Dzjam’janka (Антоні Дзям’янка) distributes Holy Communion at this year’s celebratory Mass.

Church of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Pinsk 2012.  Касьцёл Унебаўзяцьця Найсьвяцейшай Панны Марыі, Пінск 2012 год.

 

 

Photo of the Day for September 27, 2012

September 26, 2012 7:00 pm

Near Hatsuk 2012.  Ля Гацуку 2012 год.

This painted boulder demands (in Russian), “LOVE NATURE”.

Photo of the Day for September 26, 2012

September 25, 2012 7:00 pm

Gable, Vjeras’nitsa 2012.  Шчыт, Верасьніца 2012 год.

Belarusians often incorporate pre-Christian symbols (e.g., the sun or stylized designs of furrows in the field or rows of crops) into the gables of wooden houses.  This gable, like the absorption of pre-Christian traditions into Belarusian church feast days, is an example of the strong Christian/pre-Christian syncretism in Belarus:  a cross flanked by sun designs.

Photo of the Day for September 25, 2012

September 24, 2012 7:00 pm

Home from the feast of Honey-Blessing.  Дадому пасьля службы на Мядовы Спас.

Azdamichy 2012.  Аздамічы 2012 год.

Photo of the Day for September 24, 2012

September 23, 2012 7:00 pm

On the way home with flowers blessed at the Orthodox church feast of the Maccabees (Honey-Blessing Feast), Azdamichy 2012.   Макаўе-Мядовы Спас, Аздамічы 2012 год.

 

Photo of the Day for September 23, 2012

September 22, 2012 7:00 pm

Feast of Honey-Blessing/Feast of the Maccabees.  Мядовы Спас-Макаўе.

This feast is linked to the pre-Christian ceremony of gathering at a sacred source or sacred well and washing one’s face and eyes and drinking from the water to purify one’s soul and give one spiritual insight.  See, for instance, photos for August 14, 2012; August 14, 2011; and August 13, 2010.  Now, with the tradition firmly incorporated into the Orthodox church calendar as the August 14 feast of the Maccabees, the blessing of water is held in church for parishes which do not have a sacred source or well.

Azdamichy 2012.  Аздамічы 2012 год.

Photos of the Day for September 22, 2012

September 21, 2012 7:00 pm

Feast of Honey-Blessing/Feast of the Maccabees.  Мядовы Спас/Макаўе.

The blessing of flowers marks this feast as the first of a series of harvest-time feasts in the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches.

Azdamichy 2012.  Аздамічы 2012 год.

Photos of the Day for September 21, 2012

September 20, 2012 7:00 pm

Feast of Honey-Blessing (Feast of the Maccabees).  Мядовы Спас (Макаўе).

In this Orthodox church ceremony with pre-Christian roots, Father Aljaksandr blesses the parishioners’ flowers, honey and water.

Azdamichy 2012.  Аздамічы 2012 год.