Friday, July 15, 2011

Say a Little Prayer

I love these votive chapels, most tiny, as small as 5m x 3m.  There are literally hundreds to be found on any of the Greek islands.  One finds them dotting barren hill and mountainsides, along the roads, beside crowded and quiet beaches, and in the village squares.  It is said that each local family has built (most in the last two centuries) and continues to maintain a chapel.  Some even have a little old lady dressed in black sitting solo, keeping a watchful eye over the church, or you might catch them head down, peacefully asleep.  Some churches are private but there are many, especially ones designated as monuments by the Ministry of Culture, that anyone can enter.  If one enters, it's best to give an offering to express one's gratitude to the spiritual world.  I've seen so many different types of votive offerings, from money, photos, and food to pieces of paper and wood with writings of praise.  I find the tradition of these tiny alters quite beautiful, and I hope it continues for a very long time.

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