Last week we all went to tour the Lavra. Some of the Lavra was an underground monastery and is still a working church today. It was really interesting to see the monastery—the tunnels were interesting and they had mummified tombs of some saints on display. Some of the saints had their hands showing and that was a sight. I had never seen mummified hands before and, well, this whole experience is just full of firsts.
Also, you are going to see in most of the pictures, our heads our covered in scarves. To enter into the Lavra, as it is still a working Monastery and there are working Catholic churches on the grounds, you must enter it and treat it as the people do—sacred. So we follow their customs and that is to wear a dress or skirt and keep your head covered.
Then we went and toured the rest of the ground of the Lavra for most of the day which is mainly a bunch of beautiful Catholic churches. We arrived in one beautiful church that was specially made for capturing sound. Under the wood floor of the church is all sand and the walls are hollow… We all stood in a circle in the middle of the church and sang ‘As Sisters in Zion’ and by then we had a little crowd so we took a request and sang ‘Silent Night’. It was a beautiful experience! Even though those in the church couldn’t understand what we were saying, many of them were in tears and recording us.
Another first would be attending a Catholic Mass. It was a neat experience to see how the Catholic Church is run and to see how devout its members are.