Saint Mary’s Day was Monday, August 15, a national holiday in Romania. The monastery had services morning and night throughout the weekend. And this was nothing like the mass of my Catholic-Lite youth. These were four-hour-long services.
A recording of the singing during mass:
I sat on a bench outside the church with my journal, listening to and surreptitiously recording the singing, but I was never without company. The worshipers often took “breaks” and came outside for fresh air. Parents watched their children run around the garden to let off steam, and the students (some of whom were studying singing and religion) sat with me on my bench.
Another recording of the singing during mass:
A big meal followed mass on Sundays and the holiday for all those visiting the monastery. Orthodox Christians observe a vegan diet every week on Wednesday and Friday, and for longer periods before holidays. I arrived during such a fasting period (which worked well for me), but this ended on Saint Mary’s Day, and there were plates of local cheeses, chicken ciorbă and meatball borscht with cream. A long-time cheese avoider, I actually liked one of them — you’d all be proud.
The Dreadful Yawns – You’ve Been Recorded