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a procession of people on an arid mountainside

Easter in Syria

Celebrations at the Monastery of Mar Musa

Cécile Massie

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  • Marian Haddad

    Thank you for this ... beautiful...

Founded in 1991, the Mar Musa community made its home in Deir Mar Musa, a monastery built in the sixth century.  The community is dedicated to hospitality and interreligious dialogue. Since their founding, and especially over the last seven years, they have been trying to support the local populations of Christians and Muslims.

This year, photographer Cécile Massie joined them during their celebrations of Holy Week and Easter.

Deir Mar Musa el Habashi

Deir Mar Musa el Habashi

 

Morning prayer

Morning prayer

 

Brother Boutros teaches Mickeal, a young man visiting from Homs for a few days, to read the morning prayer.

Brother Boutros teaches Mickeal, a young man visiting from Homs for a few days, to read the morning prayer.

 

Father Jihad leads the Palm Sunday procession, which begins out in the wadi (valley) and makes its way toward the monastery.

Father Jihad leads the Palm Sunday procession, which begins out in the wadi (valley) and makes its way toward the monastery.

 

After the first scriptures for Palm Sunday have been read in the wadi, the Bible is brought into the monastery, symbolizing Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

After the first scriptures for Palm Sunday have been read in the wadi, the Bible is brought into the monastery, symbolizing Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem.

 

Brother Boutros just before entering into the monastery for the second part of the Palm Sunday celebration.

Brother Boutros just before entering into the monastery for the second part of the Palm Sunday celebration.

 

Holy Thursday: Sisters Freidericke and Carol participate in the Washing of the Feet.

Holy Thursday: Sisters Freidericke and Carol participate in the Washing of the Feet.

 

Good Friday: The Way of the Cross

Good Friday: The Way of the Cross

 

Good Friday

Good Friday

 

The Descent from the Cross: the statue of Christ’s body will be brought back into the monastery.

The Descent from the Cross: the statue of Christ’s body will be brought back into the monastery.

 

Easter Vigil, 4 a.m. The first text is read in the dark before mass is celebrated.

Easter Vigil, 4 a.m. The first text is read in the dark before mass is celebrated.

 

The invitation to singing at the end of mass

The invitation to singing at the end of mass

 

At the end of mass, the community celebrates with improvised songs.

At the end of mass, the community celebrates with improvised songs.

 

Breakfast on Easter Sunday

Breakfast on Easter Sunday

 


To see the rest of this series, visit Cécile Massie’s website: http://www.cecilemassie.com/paques-montagnes-syriennes/

Brother Boutros just before entering into the monastery for the second part of the Palm Sunday celebration.

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Contributed By Cecille Massie Cécile Massie

Cécile Massie, who lives in France, began taking photographs while in Syria in 2010–2011. Since then, she has covered displaced populations in several countries, including Nigeria and Iraqi Kurdistan. She is now devoted to issues related to refugees and interreligious dialogue.

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