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Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

Devotion

On the 8th of November the Agios Michael church will have a big celebration and the preparations have been going on for weeks. The carpets need to be cleaned, the candle holders need to be polished, all the embroidered pieces need to be washed and ironed and placed under or near icons. Miss Maria is one of the persons who has devoted her life (more than 40 years) to this church. She protects it and treasures it. She cannot imagine her life without it. She knows everything that happens in there and together with the priest who will perform the ceremony she organizes every major event. There are a lot of women like miss Maria on Skopelos. They usually live near a church and are keyholders and “general managers” It gives their life extra meaning performing this task and their time is usefull spend they say,

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I had to go for an errand and passed by the Saintukeri shop. The lovely smell that came out of the shop was incense that was lighted (μοσχοθυμίαμα, λιβάνι in Greek) It felt so good, it made my day.

In the Greek orthodox church and probably in other religions too incense is used to honor God, bless the believers, sanctify what ever is being incensed and to keep demons away. It is burnt during most church services. I know many people also burn it at home to bless their home, start the day well etc. My day started well anyway.

Saintukeri is a cooperative shop that sells many things that have to do with the church like icons, candles etc. but they also sell handmade soaps, oils and other biological products.

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Stone

This small church lies on the crossroad between Anania and Karya and the road that leads down to Elios. It is a quick way to get to the other side of the island if you want/need to go to Elios, Klima, Glossa or Loutraki etc. They say that in this area the patron saint of Skopelos Riginos sat down on a stone and that the little church was built around it. Most churches are not open all the time so only goats use the land around the church to rest in the shade. The church is surrounded by big trees.

This goat herd might be part of the big herd that belonged to Pandelis Karvelis. It’s station is close to this church. I once ate traganas with him with fresh milk from his goats. The weather was really bad. It was raining and we saw lightning. We took shelter under a makeshift roof and were surrounded by goats. I will never forget it. The milk and oats were put in a big pan that was standing on a wood fire. A couple of people around the fire and waiting for the milk and oats to cook.

We were a little bit impatient but also glad to relax and see the milk slowly get to a boil, the oats cooked and asking ourselves; will this taste good? It was gorgeous! Pandelis unfortunately is no longer with us but for many he lives on.

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Pentacost


(photo wikipedia)

On Monday it is Pentacost. Offices and banks will be closed. It might be busier in restaurants and bars because it is a three-day holiday for Greeks. have a nice weekend and don’t forget about the dance festival organized by the cultural association. It is worth a visit and bring a cushion for your…..

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Weddings on Skopelos

Quite a few weddings are being held on Skopelos the last few years and Greece in general seems to be a hotspot for organizing weddings. Civil weddings can be organized almost everywhere on the island and if you have a spot like Amarandos near Agnondas or a beach like Stafylos, Limnonari or Kastani, what else do you want? A church wedding is common for Greek orthodox couples but nowadays many foreign couples take the big step on Skopelos and choose their own venue. Usually the vice mayor will marry them. Below is an example of a couple who married in a church.
The movie was made by Dimitris Pavlidis and the couple that got married are Alexandros and Elisavet. The film was uploaded with Vimeo.

Wedding In Skopelos – Vision Films from Dimitris Pavlidis on Vimeo.

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Plenty to choose from

These candles are normally placed in the back of this store so churchgoers can search undisturbed for the right candle to take to the church. If a deceased person is remembered on a certain day relatives will buy candles and light them during the church ceremony. The candles are in different shapes and colors (white and brownish) They are weighted and you pay. During Easter the candles are placed in the front of the store. There are more people that need a candle.

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Take the time

Getting ready for Easter does not involve just getting the shopping done.
A son meets up with his godparent and asks him how he is doing and how he is doing in school. She gave him a colored candle which he can use on Easter Saturday evening and money to buy his own present. He is too old to get a present. They have a strong bond. She cares about how he is doing and the conversation they have is important.

The short visit to my sister in-law to talk about Easter Sunday yesterday became a five hours effort to fit a kitchen and an impromptu meal afterwards.

Being too early to see the decorated bier coming out of the Christ church made it possible to talk with friends and relatives that we have not seen for a while. After so many years living here we still don’t know when the bier leaves the first church. Last night it was around 21.30 hours.

(The decorated bier of the Christ church last night)

Tonight you can still go shopping. At midnight many people will repeat the words of the Greek Orthodox priests;”Christ has risen, it is true he has risen” This can be said for many days after Easter.
On Skopelos the four main churches will have crowds around the church waiting for the priest to come out of the church and fireworks might be lighted. Families go home a little later and eat Easter soup.

Bread can be bought again on Tuesday and shops and offices will be closed on Sunday and Monday. Butchers might be open on Sunday morning for a little while. No boats on Easter Sunday.

Happy Easter everyone!

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