Sunday, 5 April 2009

Taking the Electrishka to Sergiev Posad

Friday, March 27, we rode the electrishka to Sergiev Posad, which takes a little less than two hours from Moscow. This gave Scott & Kristine an opportunity to see some of the countryside outside of Moscow. It's also an experience to ride the electrishka with all the vendors circulating through the cars selling all kinds of things. We bought an ice cream cone on the way there and another on the way back.

Trinity Monastery of St. Sergius at Sergiev Posad
(Scott, Kristine, Narene, and Sam)

This was the third time Sam and I have been to Sergiev Posad. The first time we went with Greg & Chris Shepard in the summer time. We went again in September with Ryan & Tani. Since I have written about that trip and posted pictures on a blog posted 1 October 08, I will keep this entry rather brief.

For centuries, czars and commoners came to Sergiev Posad. It was thought to be a place of military strength as well as spiritual strength when one of Russian history's most important battles was won after the blessing of Sergius Radonezh, the founder of Sergiev Posad. Perhaps this explains why during the Stalin era it was left unmolested; and after World War II, Stalin even allowed the monastery to reopen as the spiritual center of the state-monitored Orthodox Church of the Soviet era. It remained the headquarters of the Russian Orthodox Church until 1988 when it was transferred to Donilovsky. Sergius was canonized after his death, and his remains lie in the Cathedral of the Trinity.

Looking toward the monastery, which is about a
10-minute walk from the train.

Assumption Cathedral (1559-1585)
with the blue onion domes is patterned after
the Cathedral of the Assumption in the Kremlin.
The smaller blue and white structure in front (left)
is where in warmer weather the pilgrims bring
jugs to get "holy water" from the spring.
To the right of that is the Chapel over the Well
where holy water can be bought.

Church of the Virgin of Smolensk (1745) -
the blue and white round structure at the right.
The blue and white building at center with the
narrower dark tower is the Pilgrim Tower.

Sergius is buried in the Cathedral of the Trinity.
(This photo was taken in September -
Narene, Tani, and Renee Mason in the foreground.)

One of the things we enjoyed was listening to the Gregorian chants by a half dozen singers, which was beautiful. The chants were sung at intervals between the reading of text by the priest while another monk or priest walked back and forth swinging a gold vessel with incense rising into the air.

Narene, Scott, and Kristine
with the monastery in the background.

No comments: