The afternoon was spent with the usual explorations and a short rest, lying on the hillside just outside the east wall
Vespers was at 6:00 p.m. with two excellent chanters (one at each kliros), and as at Vatopedi there was a third monk shuttling back and forth to intone the verses. I was particularly struck by the periodic lowering, lighting, and raising of small candelabra; one on each side of the church,
We were relaxing in the courtyard
afterward when one of the monks, Father Efstathios, came by and volunteered to take us on a short tour of the Great Lavra environs beyond the west wall. He showed us the monastery’s water-driven olive press (no longer in use),
and then took us to the charnel house
where we were able to look through a small slatted gate
We came at last to an area strewn with a number of ancient boulders, the remnants of a pre-Christian shrine.
As published in ANAMNESIS the weblog of Professor James S. Cutsinger.