Being made one
Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church
23 April 2011. The Orthodox Christians calculate the date of Easter differently, and therefore Whitsun too. The Ethiopian church, that ancient African church going back to around 300 AD, is also Orthodox. In Pernis, near Rotterdam, they came together for the ceremony from 10 o’clock in the evening onwards. Shoes off when you enter the church. This doesn’t go back to Islam, but to Moses, who took his shoes off before the burning bush. So too the Ethiopians, to show respect. Respect is the atmosphere pervading the little church in the village of Pernis. The church is full, the men on the left, the women on the right. Almost all of them in their traditional white Ethiopian attire. In the corner of the church the altar in the sanctuary, behind an iconostasis. Two priests and two deacons in shining white liturgical robes lead the way. The service ended at 4 o’clock in the morning.