The meetings continue, but with some significant breaks; yesterday (Sunday) we passed time in worship, some tourism and (most significantly, perhaps) eating together.
In the morning we worshiped at on Orthodox cathedral. Because so many priests (including Bishops and Metropolitans) are here, it was Divine Liturgy with an abundance of clergy support. The experience of the worship was powerful: the cathedral itself offered rich visual surroundings, with modern frescoes and beautiful, ornate icons. The chanting of the liturgy created an amazing auditory experience of the holy, and incense only added more rich, sensory depth.
It is, of course, lamentable that we could not share at the communion table; I did, however, enjoy the moments where all people were particularly involved in worship. As we said the Nicene Creed and Lord’s Prayer, each in our own home languages, I felt a taste of the wonderful, global and diverse richness of the Body of Christ.
After worship, we enjoyed our Greek Feast One. At a beautiful restaurant on the sea, wrapped in floor to ceiling windows with a view of the blue water and striking mountains, we feasted on course after course of rich Greek food. Stuffed, we then headed to hotels for a break. Then, we visited a women’s monastery, enjoying their warm hospitality (including a delicious yogurt snack). And, after a stop at a patriotic site, Greek Feast Two. Featuring the same, three-plate, multi-course feast as lunchtime, the bountiful meal seemed almost absurd in its abundance. I suppose that’s why so many talk of Greek hospitality… Like lunch, this Feast included folk dancers, but in the evening, they invited us into the dancing action. A delightful time.
And, it seems to me, it has made us all friendlier with one another in our meetings—funny how good table fellowship changes us.