298 – Dionysiou III

This is the third episode of the story that started in nov 2007 (nrs 237 and 240).

In the nrs 237 and 240 I told you about our encounter with a Dutch archondaris and our trip to Karyes, just before Easter in 1986. When we returned from Karyes and when we went back to our room in Dionysiou, the monks were busy preparing for the celebrations that would take place that evening. Our room looked like this:
And near our room we found this typical Athos-balcony, with a spectacular view:


Balconies outside Dionysiuou – 1986

Dionysiou does not have a lot of space inside its walls, as you can see on this plan.

This picture, taken from the guesthouse (2), shows how close by the church is:

The Easter-service started at 23.00 hours and offcourse we joined, together with a few other guests. We were allowed to stay in the nartex. The darkness, the beautifull singing, the smell of insence and the colorfull fresco’s made it another special experience. After two hours we askes ourselves how long this would go on, but we decided the stay a little longer. At three o’clock in the night my friend almost fell asleep, so he went to bed. I said to myself that it was once in a livetime to have the opportunity to join this Easter-service, so I decided to stay. At five in the morning I had to fight against the sleep: the service continued with singing and bible-reading. Whole night long I heard a lot of “Kyrieleison’s”. When the sun rose and the time was close to 7 o’clock, I suddenly heard “”Christos Anesti”. Everybody greeted eachother joyfully and celebrated the of ressurrection of Christ. I woke my friend and we were invited to a great meal in the refectory with wine (that tasted like sherry!) and boiled fish. I was told that this meal, after the (very) long service, was one the best meals of the year. I was too tired to really enjoy it, but I was also proud of myself that I managed to hold on for 8 hours !!
Meal at Dionysiou – 1986

Sunset at Dionysiou – 1986
Wim, 29-12

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