Saturday, May 21, 2005

Eastern churches
Taissa of Byzantine Rite Church Supplies dies
Went to Hanusey’s Ukrainian Shop today and had a lovely time talking to the venerable owner, Mary Hanusey, and getting a embroidered рушник (towel) and писанка (decorated Easter egg — either this is really wood or a heavily lacquered ‘fortified’ real eggshell, white with brilliant red, orange and black Greek-cross patterns.)

Anyway I mentioned one of the US Northeast’s spots to stock up on Byzantine Rite goodies, the Byzantine Rite Church Supplies shop across the street from Philadelphia’s Ukrainian Catholic cathedral (for the longest time this treasure was jammed into a narrow rowhouse), and Mrs H told me that the longtime owner, Taissa, died this week, only in her 50s, of ovarian cancer. What a vicious disease.

And interestingly this friendly, helpful woman (she found me the chain on which I’m wearing the crucifix I always have on me), whose business easily could be mistaken for part of the cathedral, was Eastern Orthodox. Reminds me of what a friend upstate in Pennsylvania told me recently about relations now between the two sides: friendly. (Happily quite different to all the rubbish on the Internet.) The old Orthodox priest’s wife taught at her RC primary school for example.

A lot of people miss you, Taissa.

Во блаженном успении вечный покой подаждь, Господи, рабе твоей Таиссы и сотвори ей вечную память (in her falling asleep, O Lord, grant unto Thy handmaiden Taissa rest eternal with the blessed and make her memory eternal).

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