Sunday, 17 January 2016

No Whores Please. This is the Church of Saint Mary Magdalene.

Sign outside the office of St Mary Magdalene's Episcopal Church,
Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Courtesy of my brother.

For their vision click here.

Friday, 8 January 2016

The Templars in Korea

The Knights Templar in Korea.
My book The Templars: History and Myth has now been published in South Korea by Cum Libro.  Interesting name for a publisher.

I love the cover.  Especially their legs and feet.

Legs and feet.

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Orthodox Christmas

Unscrewing the lightbulbs
along Jermyn Street.
Though in London and elsewhere the Christmas lights are coming down, in many other countries Christmas has just arrived.

Orthodox Christianity goes by the Julian Calendar, introduced by Julius Caesar in 45 BC, which runs thirteen days later than the Gregorian calendar introduced by Pope Gregory XIII in 1582. And though Orthodox Christian countries use the Gregorian calendar for everyday purposes, their churches still use the Julian.

Therefore in the Orthodox Church today is Christmas Eve.  Tomorrow, 7 January, is Christmas Day.

Christmas in Red Square, Moscow.
There are fifteen countries which follow the Julian calendar for Christmas: Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia, Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Romania, Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (I wish they would drop their Macedonian pretensions and come up with some other name), Greece, Egypt, Eritrea and Ethiopia.  Also there is Israel whose Christians celebrate Christmas on 7 January if they are Orthodox, on 25 December if they look to the West, and on 18 January if they belong to the Armenian Church. 

St Basil's Cathedral, Red Square, Moscow.
Russians celebrate Christmas with a big family meal on the Eve which often features twelve courses to represent the twelve apostles and includes fish, stuffed cabbages and beetroot soup.

On Christmas Day, 7 January, they go to church and then settle down for another Christmas dinner.

Worshippers attending midnight Christmas mass at a Coptic Church in Alexandria.
Egyptians belonging to the Coptic Orthodox Church observe advent with a fast during which they abstain from meats and other foods derived from animals.  But then after midnight mass on Christmas Eve they feast on meat, eggs and butter, and in particular they enjoy a special lamb soup.

On Christmas Day Egyptian Christians come together for parties and give one another sweet biscuits. 

Father Serapamoun conducts Christmas midnight mass in Alexandria.

Monday, 4 January 2016

On the Eleventh Day of Christmas

Taking down the Christmas lights along Jermyn Street, London.
On the Eleventh Day of Christmas ... and the lights are already coming down in London's Jermyn Street.

On the Twelfth Day of Christmas there will be no Christmas at all.