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Sunrise After Rain

It began to rain on Saturday, and the rain continued through the night, the first rain since last spring. On Sunday morning, a faint sunlight appeared for just a moment as the rain clouds lifted.

Ceramic Cross

A ceramic tile with a beautiful cross in shades of blue. There are two such tiles on the back wall of the Chapel of the Burning Bush, one to either side of a large icon of the Tree of Jesse, depicting the genealogy of Christ.

Ceramic Inscription

The ceramic inscription over the throne of the Archbishop in the Chapel of the Burning Bush.

+ Ἀρχιερατεύοντος Κυρίου Ἀρχιεπισκόπου Ἰωαννικίου καὶ Οἰκονόμου ὄντος ἐν πόλει Δαμασκοῦ Γέροντος Κυρίου Φιλοθέου ἐτελειόθη τὸ παρὸν ἔργον ͵ΑΧΠ΄ ἐν μηνὶ Αὐγούστου.

+ When Master Archbishop Ioannikios was High Priest, and the Elder Master Philotheos was Oikonomos in the city of Damascus, the present work was completed 1680 in the month of August.

Ioannikios I Laskaris, from the Peloponnesus, was Archbishop of Sinai from 1671 to 1702

The Chapel of the Burning Bush

Ὁ γὰρ τόπος, ἐν ᾧ σὺ ἕστηκας, γῆ ἁγία ἐστί.

For the place whereon thou standest is holy ground. (Exodus 3:5)

The Chapel of the Burning Bush is the easternmost chapel of the great basilica at Sinai. The walls are lined with beautiful blue faience tiles, and the small apse is set with gold mosaic tessarae. The Holy Table is raised on four marble columns, allowing pilgrims to venerate the place of the Burning Bush beneath.

The Chapel of the Burning Bush is wide, and not very deep. Even my wide angle lens would not be able to take in the entire chapel. This photograph was stitched together from twenty-four overlapping photographs. It captures the subdued light of the chapel even during the day, and the way a few candles and lamps illuminate the small apse.


A door leading to a passageway in the morning sunlight.

End of the Liturgy

After the celebration of the Divine Liturgy at Bostani, silence again descends on the little chapel.

Simple Cross

The simple metal cross over the entrance to the chapel of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary, at Bostani, a short distance from the monastery.

Midnight Office

At the beginning of the Midnight Office, the church is lit by only a few lamps and candles.

As you pass through the narthex, you can see nothing for a few moments but the blaze of the gold and crystal chandeliers which hang the length of the building. The church is loaded with the accumulated piety of centuries. Although the great caravans, which for so many years found their way to this lonely place, have vanished like a mirage, a token of the faith and the love they brought with them remains in the gilded gifts and the glowing ikons which shine everywhere in the dim half-light.

H V Morton, Through Lands of the Bible, 1938

Sunlit Leaves of the Burning Bush

Leaves of the Burning Bush in the noonday sun, in front of the Chapel of the Burning Bush.

Leaves of the Burning Bush

Leaves of the Burning Bush in front of the door that leads to the ancient kitchen.