In the previous post we saw the exterior of the Ethiopian Church in central Jerusalem.
Let's take off our shoes and go inside.
It is rare in Jerusalem for a church and its sanctuary to be round, but this circular pattern is used in most of the principal churches in Ethiopia.
The high dome is a starry sky filled with angels.
(You can enlarge the photos.)
Here is a seraph!
The 6-winged seraphim are described in the Prophet Isaiah's marvelous vision.
At the center, behind a circular partition, stands the inner sanctuary.
The priest puts on his vestments
and can then enter the chamber, called the Holy of Holies.
The outer wall has a few benches, like this on which the monk is sitting and reading (probably the Book of Psalms).
But like most Eastern Orthodox churches, the Ethiopian Church is devoid of any permanent seats.
Worship is done while standing, or maybe a little sitting on the floor too.
The prayer can go on for hours so many regulars use these long staffs with carved chin rests for support.
Shepherds in Ethiopia use similar sticks while watching their flock.
This particular folding chair also had warm house slippers under it.
On my first visit to this church years ago, it just happened to be prayer time.
With a handful of Ethiopian women, I stood and listened to the priest chanting from inside the Holy of Holies.
But I have read that music--singing, and even dancing--in an integral part of their worship.
Maybe tomorrow we can look at some of the paintings and people in the church.
See more posts about this church here.
(Linking to inSPIREd Sunday.)