Today is Palm Sunday in the Greek Orthodox faith, and I peeked into the Byzantine Church of One Hundred Doors this morning to see what was going on. It is one of the oldest, best preserved and most important churches in Greece, and was constructed on the ruins of an ancient temple (some of the original columns were used to vault the chapels) around 300 AD.
The service had apparently begun around 8 am because when we showed up a bit before 10, people had already received their olive branches and palm crosses and were preparing to parade through the streets. (Oops! Unfortunate anglo-episcopal assumption about mass times!) We did, however, get to appreciate the way that the church was decorated, and the informal manner in which Greeks linger in the church to socialize, continue to pray, and light votive candles. All of the chandeliers were hung with elaborately folded palm crosses that were illuminated by light streaming in from the cupola.