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 to celebrate the Divine Liturgy. It is a three hour climb from the monastery to the chapel.

Proskomede at three o’clock in the morning

The small chapel and iconostasion

The chapel and surrounding mountains

Other mountains visible in the distance

Hawthorn trees grow in the Sinai mountains

The berries are edible

Beginning the long trek back to the monastery. The peak of Sinai is visible in the distance.

Following the trail through the mountains

Dried seed pods on a desert plant

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