CHURCH MASS IN DIAFANI, VISITORS WELCOME
from the Diafani A to Z list of the website WELCOME TO DIAFANI (www.diafani.com)
THE REGULAR SUNDAY MORNING ORTHODOX CHURCH MASS:
Everyone is welcome to attend the church services in Diafani.
You are requested to dress modestly. Please do not take photographs during the service.
The Sunday morning church service begins around 8 a.m. and finishes around 10 a.m. You will hear the first church bells around 7.30. At around 8.30 you will hear the church bells again. These are rung to remind the latecomers to "hurry up".
You enter the church via the door towards the back of the church. On entering the church it is the custom to donate some money and light a candle. The local people will then also make the sign of the cross and kiss the icon.
Inside the church you will see the breathtaking mural paintings which cover the walls and ceiling . You will also see the traditional carved wooden stall seats along the walls and some chairs provided for the elderly. It is however the custom that most of the congregation stand throughout the service. It is also the custom for all the local women to stand on the left and all the men on the right. Except for very small children, girls and boys stand, as their parents, on separate sides of the church.
You will notice that people come and go throughout the service. It is acceptable to enter or leave at any time except during the Consecration of the bread and wine.
After the Consecration some children, and sometimes older local people, may then go up to the priest and take the Communion Cup.
At the end of the service the door to the left of the altar will be opened and each person of the congregation will take, from the basket near the door, a small piece of the blessed bread, called “prosfero”, as they leave by that door into the front courtyard of the church.
Many of the congregation will linger there to eat their “prosfero” bread and catch up on the news of friends and family.
No bells are rung at the end of the mass.
If there is an anniversary of a death in one of the local families they will distribute to everyone small packets of a specially prepared sweet, called “koliva”, in memory of the lost member of the family.
The local people will use a special expression when receiving this gift. It is however sufficient to say "Thank you" quietly and accept the packet.
Papas Minas is very happy to welcome all the congregation of locals and visitors to the Church Breakfast which follows the Sunday morning Mass and is held in the hall below the church. Generally the men and women sit at separate tables. Coffee, tea and various biscuits and cakes will be served by the local women.
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Churches and Chapels in and around Diafani