He is a young Greek Orthodox priest who has been studying Russian in Saint Petersburg. In fact, he was due to fly back to that city the next day when we invited him to my 70th birthday dinner on Spetses last year. I was so honored that he found time to spend the evening with us. He told priest jokes (in English!) and gave me a beautiful icon, which my Russian language student-computer tech Morgan confirmed as being from a particularly exquisite school of Russian Orthodox religious painting.
Tonight at 11 p.m. (to be in sync with midnight in Greece, I guess), the bishop at my church, the Cathedral of Saint Stephen, will emerge from behind the iconostasis, the wall of icons that separates the nave from the sanctuary in an Orthodox church, bearing a single candle symbolizing the Resurrection. Slowly the darkened cathedral wil brighten as the light is passed from parishioner to parishioner. Marti, our friend Nate and I will be outside with a couple of hundred others in front of the jam-packed church, awaiting light for our candles and watching the procession of the bishop, priests and attendants outdoors and then back into the cathedral. Everyone will be singing the following hymn (this version from a small Orthodox Church in Hersonissos port in Crete, Greece):