Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Why I haven't posted since October!

I haven't posted since October because every time I used the computer last fall, I was at an internet cafe. It was enough for me to just keep up with email and the online forums that I frequent.

Anyway, I will make a sincere effort to put something here on a regular basis from now on.

For instance.

Recently I visited the kladbishe (cemetary) on the island. This cemetary is notable because St. Petersburg's native saint- St. Ksenia of St. Petersburg- is buried there. Her tomb is inside this little chapel. Her tomb doubles as the altar. There was a line that snaked around the building to get in there when I went there (around 1 in the afternoon) and when I left, the line was even longer than that. People pray leaning up against the church she's buried inside, as well as inside. You can give them a list of your friends/relatives to pray for and the priest will pray for them during the prayer service. They have them all day long, with short breaks in between (so the priest can get a drink of water, I presume!).

Lent is starting soon. Next week is what they call Maslenitsa here in Russia, from the word "Masla" which means 'butter.' Well, it also means 'oil.' For instance, olive oil is 'olivikichsky masla' (I think). In America, we Orthodox folks call that week "Meatfare Week," as in "goodbye to meat!" Next Sunday is Meatfare Sunday. The Sunday after that will be Cheesefare Sunday (goodbye to dairy products), also known as Forgiveness Sunday...Anyway, if I do it the way I'm supposed to do it, I'll basically be vegan during Lent. I have never made it vegan though. I start feeling faint and getting anemic. Maybe I'll just avoid meat and still eat dairy.

That's all for now!

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