September Sun

Services at Sinai begin at four o’clock in the morning, when the stars are still bright in the clear desert sky. The sun rises during the celebration of the Divine Liturgy some three hours later, filling the bema with light.

The basilica at Sinai faces exactly east. In the winter, the sun rises far […]

Gateway to the Kitchen Stairs

The gateway that leads to the kitchen stairs, with the trapeza bell in the early morning sun

The Chapel of the Holy Cincture

August 31 is the feast of the deposition of the precious cincture (ἡ τιμία ζώνη) of the All-holy Theotokos in her church at Blachernae in Constantinople. The most remote of all the chapels on the high Sinai plateau is dedicated to this feast day. Father Nikodemos, Father Akakios, and I went there the previous evening […]

The Chapel of the Prophet Aaron

Services in the Chapel of the Prophet Aaron

Mahogany Stasidia

A detail of the mahogany stasidia where the protopsaltis stands. Over the years, the stain and varnish have worn away, revealing the grain of the wood underneath.