Tag Archives: Ethiopia

Wednesday in the Octave of Easter

From a monastery near Lake Tana, in Ethiopia.

Christians, to the Paschal victim
Offer your thankful praises!
A Lamb the sheep redeemeth:
Christ, who only is sinless,
Reconcileth sinners to the Father.

Victimae paschali laudes
immolent Christiani.
Agnus redemit oves:
Christus innocens Patri
reconciliavit peccatores.
~ from Victimae Paschali Laudes

Saint George

Almighty God, who gave to your servant George boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.






The image above is from Lalibela, in Ethiopia, and is a detail of this:


Lord, It Is For You That I Wait

A priest, in Addis Ababa.

The 7 Penitential Psalms set forth the meaning of the season of Lent which invites us to ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Psalm 38

A psalm of David. For remembrance.

LORD, do not punish me in your anger;
in your wrath do not chastise me!

Your arrows have sunk deep in me;
your hand has come down upon me.

There is no wholesomeness in my flesh because of your anger;
there is no health in my bones because of my sin.

My iniquities overwhelm me,
a burden too heavy for me.

Foul and festering are my sores
because of my folly.

I am stooped and deeply bowed;
every day I go about mourning.

My loins burn with fever;
there is no wholesomeness in my flesh.

I am numb and utterly crushed;
I wail with anguish of heart.

My Lord, my deepest yearning is before you;
my groaning is not hidden from you.

My heart shudders, my strength forsakes me;
the very light of my eyes has failed.

Friends and companions shun my disease;
my neighbors stand far off.

Those who seek my life lay snares for me;
they seek my misfortune, they speak of ruin;
they plot treachery every day.

But I am like the deaf, hearing nothing,
like the mute, I do not open my mouth,

I am even like someone who does not hear,
who has no answer ready.

LORD, it is for you that I wait;
O Lord, my God, you respond.

For I have said that they would gloat over me,
exult over me if I stumble.

I am very near to falling;
my wounds are with me always.

I acknowledge my guilt
and grieve over my sin.

My enemies live and grow strong,
those who hate me grow numerous fraudulently,

Repaying me evil for good,
accusing me for pursuing good.

Do not forsake me, O LORD;
my God, be not far from me!

Come quickly to help me,
my Lord and my salvation!

Ps 37, Domine Ne in Furore, A. Gabrieli

The LORD Looked Down from the Holy Heights

In Ethiopia, a woman prays.

In Ethiopia, a woman prays at an outdoor shrine.

The 7 Penitential Psalms set forth the meaning of the season of Lent which invites us to ask for God’s mercy and forgiveness.

Psalm 102

The prayer of one afflicted and wasting away whose anguish is poured out before the LORD.

LORD, hear my prayer; let my cry come to you.
Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress.
Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly.
For my days vanish like smoke;
my bones burn away as in a furnace.
My heart is withered, dried up like grass, too wasted to eat my food.
From my loud groaning I become just skin and bones.
I am like a desert owl, like an owl among the ruins.
I lie awake and moan, like a lone sparrow on the roof.
All day long my enemies taunt me; in their rage, they make my name a curse.
I eat ashes like bread, mingle my drink with tears.
Because of your furious wrath, you lifted me up just to cast me down.
My days are like a lengthening shadow; I wither like the grass.

But you, LORD, are enthroned forever; your renown is for all generations.
You will again show mercy to Zion; now is the time for pity;
the appointed time has come.
Its stones are dear to your servants; its dust moves them to pity.
The nations shall fear your name, LORD, all the kings of the earth, your glory,
Once the LORD has rebuilt Zion and appeared in glory,
Heeding the plea of the lowly, not scorning their prayer.
Let this be written for the next generation, for a people not yet born,
that they may praise the LORD:
“The LORD looked down from the holy heights, viewed the earth from heaven,
To attend to the groaning of the prisoners, to release those doomed to die.”
Then the LORD’s name will be declared on Zion, his praise in Jerusalem,
When peoples and kingdoms gather to serve the LORD.

He has shattered my strength in mid-course, has cut short my days.
I plead, O my God, do not take me in the midst of my days.
Your years last through all generations.
Of old you laid the earth’s foundations; the heavens are the work of your hands.
They perish, but you remain; they all wear out like a garment;
Like clothing you change them and they are changed,
but you are the same, your years have no end.
May the children of your servants live on;
may their descendants live in your presence.

Psalm 102 in a setting by Alexander Archangelsk (1846-1924).

Remembering An Ethiopian Monastic Adventure a Year Later

DebreDamo-3Last year this time I was preparing to fly to Ethiopia in order to visit ancient Christian churches and monasteries and come to a deeper appreciation of Ethiopian Christian art. One dream was to visit the monastery of Debra Damo. This video gives you an insight into the challenge I faced to scale the side of the cliff in order to gain access to the monastery. I am happy I did it a year ago because I’m not sure if I could do it again.


Melkam Gena

Melkam Gena! That’s “Merry Christmas” in Amharic, in case you didn’t know.
Today in Ethiopia, the majority of people are feasting and celebrating. It’s Christmas for Orthodox Christians around the world, and the majority of Ethiopians are Ethiopian Orthodox. (Read the rest at Aleteia).



Earlier this year I was fortunate to travel to Ethiopia. Read about
Lalibela: The Mystery of Faith Hewn from Living Stone
here, or see all of the posts using the Ethiopia tag, here.

Ethiopia: the New Spirit of Africa

When I boarded the flight from Washington to Addis Abba, I was a bit apprehensive because I would not return home until November. That is a long stretch of time! However this would be a return over 40 years later to a country that captured my imagination. Would my experience the second time around be as exciting as the first? Will I be disappointed? After settling down and waiting for takeoff I picked up the Ethiopian Airlines flight magazine and across the front under their logo was emblazoned: “Ethiopia, the New Spirit of Africa.”

Almost three weeks later as I prepared to leave, that new spirit seized me; however it is a new spirit that is rooted in the spirit of a people who have inherited a rich history.

The Spirit of Welcome

The spirit of hospitality with dignity

The spirit of conviviality and a zest for life
EthiopiaDay4-19    Ethiopia-Gonder-3

The spirit of hard work
EthiopiaDay5-11  SpiritOf-030031   Ethiopia-ToAksum-22

The spirit of mutual respect

The spirit of pride in ancient Christian heritage

The spirit of piety and devotion
SpiritOf-035326  Ethiopia-Axum-18

Spirit of pride in a heritage
Ethiopia-Gonder-23   Ethiopia-Yeha-11

The spirit of paving the way to the future


The spirit of respect for others who are different is a hallmark of that exceptional Ethiopian spirit of hospitality. In a country where the Gospel has informed the culture since the first days when Philip preached the Gospel to the Ethiopian in a carriage (Acts 8:26ff), the Gospel has forged a people imbued with a spirit that reaches out to others in respect. The Christian majority reaches out the Muslim minority to be their neighbors. Christians do not simply tolerate the Muslim minority but invite them into their lives by sharing coffee and their feasts. They invite them to be neighbors. In the Middle East today religious minorities are not accepted, rather are persecuted and even martyred for their faith. Ethiopia embodies that spirit of mutual respect that leads to human flourishing and a more humane culture. Thus theirs is a new spirit born of the spirit of the Gospel preached from the earliest days of Christianity, that is the new spirit of Africa.

Welcome to Ethiopia: the new spirit of Africa.