Craftours Lifestyles Magazine December 2018 - Page 59

“It might not be important to others...but on my own I had the opportunity to explore a church compound. I happened to be in the chapel when the service began and it was one of those moments that will remain in my memory for ever as a ‘Treasure’ Here in Moscow the churches are deemed as working churches or museums. Many I’ve visited date back to AD 800.....it’s hard to believe. Life goes on surrounded by beauty and antiquity. The church I was in was a working church so I couldn’t take photos. Like every other church it is shaped like a cross. The marble floor gleams and reflects the gold icon covered walls and the glimmering candle stands. The walls and ceilings are covered with paintings and the altar wall at the front is almost pure gold. In one corner stood 5 black robed nuns. They began to chant which slowly progressed to 5 part harmony hymns. The sound reverberated around the church. Sweet and pure. The congregation stands, many of them had grocery bags in hand. There are no pews just a bench on the back wall for visitors like me to observe. Suddenly a gold robed Priest appeared from a door between the icons in the front wall. He was a young man and carried a gold encrusted smoking incense burner. He appeared to bless all the iconic Saints on the front alter panel and then walked down through the congregation. He gently swung the incense burner at each group of people as he passed by and the smell of incense followed him and remained, it was sweet and heady. In all, I was in there for about 30 minutes....it was wonderful and not the normal tourist experience. Experiences like this influences the way I look at things. The way I see design and the reason I create an image the way I do.” My reservations at traveling to Russia have been put aside. I loved everything, the culture, the food, the art and the seer grandeur.