Photo of the Day for May 31, 2014

May 30, 2014 7:00 pm

Belarus in Faces (part CXXXIII):  Easter Day, Azdamichy 2014.  Беларусь у тварах (частка CXXXIII):  Вялікдзень, Аздамічы 2014 год.

Depending on the character of a village and the mix of kids, parents and grandparents, some village streets form themselves naturally into an extended agora.  Azdamichy’s main street is one such lively place, especially on a Sunday evening or after a major church feast, when people are able to take an all-too-brief break from work in the fields or in their gardens.  It is always a pleasure to move slowly down the street, chatting with groups of kids, their parents and grandparents as they enjoy the inimitable Polesian evening light.

Photo of the Day for May 30, 2014

May 29, 2014 7:00 pm

Belarus in Faces (part CXXXII):  After the feast of the Ascension, Dzjerkaushchyna 2013.  Беларусь у тварах (частка СХХХІI):  пасьля ўрачыстай Імшы з нагоды Ўнебаўшэсьця, Дзеркаўшчына 2013 год.

Photos of the Day for May 29, 2014

May 28, 2014 7:00 pm

In honor of the feast of the Ascension.  З нагоды Ўнебаўшэсьця.

Feast of the Ascension, Roman Catholic church of the Ascension (1822), Dzjerkaushchyna 2013.  There are several Orthodox churches in Belarus dedicated to the Ascension.  However, the only Roman Catholic church in Belarus dedicated to the Ascension is the one in Dzjerkaushchyna.  In 2013 it was standing-room-only for the midday celebratory Mass, despite Ascension Day’s falling — as always — on the Thursday (i.e., a work day) 40 days after Easter.

Унебаўшэсьця, касьцёл Унебаўшэсьця Пана (1822 г.), Дзеркаўшчына 2013 год.

Photo of the Day for May 28, 2014

May 27, 2014 7:00 pm

Orthodox feast of the Ascension, Rakau 2013.  Ушэсьця, Ракаў 2013 год.

In 2014 the Western and Orthodox dates for Easter coincided.  Thus this year both Western and Orthodox churches are celebrating the feast of the Ascension (40 days after Easter) on May 29.

Photos of the Day for May 27, 2014

May 26, 2014 7:00 pm

Awaiting the blessing of Easter bread and eggs in the churchyard at the end of the all-night service, Azdamichy 2014.  У чаканьні асьвячэньня кулічоў ды яек на прыканцы ўсяночнай службы, Аздамічы 2014 год.

This year Father Aljaksandr sharply curtailed the normal lengthy break in the middle of the all-night service.  Thus instead of blessing parishioners’ Easter bread and eggs before dawn (which would have meant at approximately 5:20 on April 20), he carried out the blessing more than an hour earlier, just before 4:00 a.m.  Some parishioners arrived late, engendering a sharp and funny rejoinder from Father Aljaksandr and mirth among those who had properly heeded the schedule.

Photos of the Day for May 26, 2014

May 25, 2014 7:00 pm

The all-night Easter service continues in the fully-lit church.  The large door (royal door) in the iconostasis, periodically closed or covered by a curtain during regular services, remains open during the entire Easter service.

At regular intervals during the service, Father Aljaksandr thrice proclaims “Christ is Risen!”, to which the congregation replies “Indeed He is Risen!”

The full candle-holders generate substantial heat as well as light.

Photo of the Day for May 25, 2014

May 24, 2014 7:00 pm

After the midnight procession during the all-night Easter service, the banner-carriers and choir crowd into the church’s narthex and wait before the closed door of the church.  Father Aljaksandr proclaims that “Christ is Risen!”  and gives a blessing to the Holy Trinity.  The doors are opened and the parishioners enter the fully-lit church to continue the all-night service.

У бабінцы перад зачыненымі дверамі айцец Аляксандр абвяшчае Ўваскрашэньне Хрыстова.

Azdamichy 2014.  Аздамічы 2014 год.

Photos of the Day for May 24, 2014

May 23, 2014 7:00 pm

Midnight procession, all-night Easter service, Azdamichy 2014.  Паўночны хрэсны ход пры ўсяночнай службе.  Вялікдзень у Аздамічы 2014 год.

The banner carriers and the candlelight in the darkness (symbolizing our Christian journey from death to eternal life) recall the great 19th-century Anglican hymn “Onward, Christian Soldiers”.

Photos of the Day for May 23, 2014

May 22, 2014 7:00 pm

Beginning of the all-night Easter service.  Parents and grandparents, keen to transmit their faith and traditions, bring children for the first part of the all-night service, through the midnight procession and proclamation of the Resurrection just after midnight.  Azdamichy 2014.

Дапаўночная частка ўсяночнай службы ў царквы Сьвятой Тройцы ў в. Аздамічы 2014 г.

A hush descends as the parish awaits the signal to begin the procession at midnight, after which Father Aljaksandr will proclaim the Resurrection of our Lord.

У чаканьні паўночнага хрэснага ходу.

Photos of the Day for May 22, 2014

May 21, 2014 7:00 pm

Preparing for the all-night Easter service, church of the Holy Trinity, Azdamichy 2014.  Прыбор царквы да ўсяночнай велікоднай службы, царква Сьвятой Тройцы, Аздамічы 2014 год.

After the morning service on Holy Saturday, a group of parishioners joins Father Aljaksandr to clean and prepare the church for the celebration of Christ’s Resurrection.