Sunday, November 04, 2018

Autumn festivals - Feast of St Gregorios and Halloween

The end of October/beginning of November is a time for many religious, spiritual and popular festivals - Halloween, All Saints Day, Bonfire Night etc. I stumbled across one of the lesser known ones this weekend when I saw a procession heading over Telegraph Hill carrying banners and singing hymns.

procession in Gellatly Road SE14
 I believe the procession was linked to the festival of St Gregorios of Parumala being celebrated at St Gregorios Indian Orthodox Church, based in Cranfield Road, Brockley SE4. The church is the main UK centre of the Indian Orthodox Church (also known as the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church), linked to Orthodox Christian churches in Syria, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Armenia.. St Gregorious is the patron saint of this church and his feast day is the 4th November.

As for me, I just marked the turning of the seasons on October 31st with  few candles and putting a bird feeder on the apple tree. This year’s English summer seemed to go on forever  before suddenly shifting last week.

 ‘Samhain...The spirits  of place at this time have their own character. The skies are often thick with tumbling clouds, the fields are ploughed over, the dark earth rough and naked. Those creatures who would are now disappearing into their dens of hibernation, the summer birds have gone south. There is a silence, when the winds re still. The seas are high, the waves crashing upon the shores of our lands, rain wets the air and fills the rivers. It is important that we tap into how this makes us feel, how we respond to the coming winter – for we do, intuitively and subconsciously, just as much as the badger, house martin and field mouse, though we fight it with central heating and electric lights... setting out food for those creatures of the wild displaced by human dwellings…  affirming that we will fill the bird bath through the cold moons, all this can be done at this time’ (Emma Restall Orr, Ritual: a guide  to life, love and  inspiration, 2000).