"You will have significant experiences. I hope that you will write them down and keep a record of them, that you will read them from time to time and refresh your memory of those meaningful and significant things. Some may be funny. Some may be significant only to you. Some of them may be sacred and quietly beautiful. Some may build one upon another until they represent a lifetime of special experience." Gordon B. Hinckley, 2006

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Pecherski Lavra

One of the first places Brian took me was to the "Lavra".  It is a worship site for the Russian Orthodox Church.  It was so beautiful.  I've never really seen anything like it in person before.  I could really get used to this traveling thing!

This is in front of the Dormition Cathedral, one of the largest buildings inside the Lavra.  

The women are supposed to wear a dress and cover their heads.  Luckily Brian warned me about this beforehand and I wore a scarf.  I guess when he was there on his mission the sister missionaries got yelled at for not wearing scarves.

Since Brian showed up in shorts, he had to rent this to wear.  Ha ha!

I was dazzled by all the sparkles.


Sculpture made of traditional painted Ukrainian eggs.

The thing that amazed me about this place is that most people weren't there as a tourist attraction, most people were actually there worshipping.  One of the priests there said that people make pilgrimages from all of the world to come worship there on a regular basis.  There are many saints that are buried there, and people come with all of their candles to pray in front of particular saints.  For example, they'll pray in front of a certain saint for wealth, or another saint for health.  There are small underground tunnels that you go through to worship the mummified saints that are buried deep below.  Some of them had hands sticking out that you could see.  No pictures allowed in there.  Sorry.

Along with the candles, many people bring flowers to leave.  You can see the box of all of the flowers this woman has brought.

One of the priests that was showing us around gave me a piece of their sacrament bread.

The grounds there are huge, and we wandered around there for half a day.  I say wandered, but really I mean hiked a ton.  Our feet got so tired during this trip!

I didn't want to leave without a picture of the monks.

Very beautiful!

4 comments:

Nana Candy said...

The cathedrals in St. Petersburg, Russia are very similar and have saints buried there, too. It seems very strange to us, but to them it is a way of life.

Joyce said...

Beautiful! I'm glad you were sneaky and took a picture of all the sparklyness. (I know not a word but it expresses what I thought)

Melissa said...

This is cool stuff! That egg sculpture is impressive. The designs are so intricate. Why is painting eggs a tradition over there?

Claudissima said...

wow...and to think that that fashion is now in the US...well at least you see it more and more...cute scarf...i HAD TO SMILE at your comment of the rent gear....love the floor inside that church..... oh, my this is soo interesting thanks for sharing....