Friday, August 30, 2013

More churches

If you think all we did was visit churches on this trip, you're about 80% correct! The rest of the time we had wonderful visits with family and added lots and lots of miles to our car (I was only stopped once, for the ticket, I just wasn't driving with my lights on which apparently is a law in Slovakia. Good to know!)

On with the tour!

Our second day (Sunday) took us to the village of Siroke. This is such a special place for me. It's my heritage! My father's family (both sides) hail from this place and so it is full of the cousins, aunts and uncles that are missing on this side of the world.

1. The village church of Siorke.

Hanging out after Mass

A simple, village church made beautiful by the people inside.

A view of the steeple from the top of the cemetery which is directly behind the church. It's kind of lovely to think that your eternal resting place allows you to see your lifelong church and, beyond, your earthly home.
My cousin, Fr. Peter, said the Mass which we attended, making it even more special. It was all in Slovak of course but it is amazing how the Mass flows, no matter what the language. I said all of my English responses at exactly the right time!
On the way into the church, Father pointed out a small room just inside the foyer. "This," he said, " is for the times when you have some trouble with the baby." Ahh, the "trouble room"...Slovak for "cry room".
Of course, G-man was the troublesome (read squirmy) 16-month-old that he is at home so I went to the trouble room. The trouble room was quieter than most of the churches I have attended in the US. Oh, and that's with at least 5 strollers, with fresh newborns (including one set of twins), jammed into the room. The children eventually got a little rambunctious as Mass went on but, truly, I was impressed with the behavior. The main church was silent. Wow. Reverence.
Then, after the final blessing, all the parents filed out with their kids and up the aisle to the altar. My cousin, Eva, waved me to the space in line with my husband and other kids. When we got to the altar, each child received a personal blessing from the presiding priest. That impressed me. The whole way home I couldn't get out of my head how much they welcome and value children here and how annoyed the people at home would be if someone tried to add 5 minutes to the already less-than-an-hour service. (I know, not nice. True, but not nice).
2. Spisska Kapitula

This is a really cool area about 30 km from Siroke. It is called the "Slovak Vatican" because it is a walled city containing only church-related buildings. The seminary is here (where Fr. Peter studied), the bishop lives here, and the Cathedral of St. Martin is here. This Cathedral was built between the 13th and 15th centuries. Not at all what we would expect of a Cathedral (on the small side and NO bathrooms!) but the building and some of the art/murals were just stunning.

this mural must have dated to the 13th century

this was the side altar

I love, in the midst of this antiquity, the electronic song number sign!

The wall is still there and in good shape.

We finished our church crawl with authentic Slovak fare at a local restaurant. Homemade pierogi and halushki with sheep's milk cheese. Yum.

1 comment:

  1. I love pierogi! My grandmother made the BEST ones. The churches you went to are so beautiful. That must have been a wonderful trip.