In an Orthodox Monastery – Savvas and Francesca

Savvas and Francesca met in Frankfurt, she from Calabria, he from Greece, two great minds who moved for work and found each other for love. 

Their wedding was planned for the summer of 2020 but with so many miles ahead, guests from various parts of Europe, and a rather uncertain situation because of Covid, they decided to postpone the event for a year. Our meetings went on longer and almost all of them took place via Skype, and it was only close to the big day that we met in person, but their joyful and bubbly personalities had drawn us in right away.

The bride and the tradition

Tradition dictates that the place where the wedding ceremony should be held is the bride’s place of origin, but in order to respect their two cultures Savvas and Francesca chose to celebrate it according to the Greek-Byzantine Orthodox rite, finding in the Monastery of S.S. Elias and Filareto of Seminara di Calabria, the perfect place.

The monastery was a real surprise even for us because we did not know it at all. The building was almost completely destroyed in the 1693 earthquake and was abandoned for a very long time, but at the beginning of this century its restoration began, allowing it to return as it is now.

The rite we witnessed is very similar to the Arbëreshë rite typical of some Albanian areas in the Cosenza area, it is a very articulate ceremony and very rich in symbolic objects and gestures. In this article of ours we decided to give more space to pictures of the religious event and the monastery because that is what bewitched us and we are eager to show this wonder to you as well.

Surrounded by colors. Among the blue sky and yellow lemons

We have abundantly documented every nook and cranny of this small but magnificent church and along with the photos of the event you will see many details of the interior so striking and colorful. The walls are entirely frescoed in intense, saturated colors that warm the light of the entire room. As you enter on the right hand side, skirts to cover bare legs and scarves to cover the shoulders of unprepossessing visitors are made available in golden baskets; on the left hand side are beautiful handmade thread candles to be purchased to help support the Monastery. Toward the back of the church was set up for the occasion the small altar on which was placed a beautiful wrought Bible, wreaths for the bride and groom, wine and a single chalice from which they will both drink.

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