The clock is running down, friends.
Fr Nikolaos, who can be very persistent, wouldn't let a little thing like the fact that I hadn't brought episcopal vestments with me prove an insurmountable obstacle to his desire that I preside at worship here. He arranged for a bishop in Greece to lend me a set, and had his brother Demetri bring them over from Kastoria earlier this week. Of course, it's not for Fr Niko to decide whether or not I can serve here; that's up to the local hierarch, His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios. As he, too, is eager that I should do so, I will celebrate the Feast of the Entry of the Theotokos into the Temple tonight at the Church of St Iakovos. We will chant Great Vespers beginning at 6pm, follow with Orthros, and conclude with the Divine Liturgy. In fact, I'm grateful that Fr Niko was so adamant, as I was ordained to the Holy Diaconate on this feast, 16 years ago.
I'll be in Constantinople from Tuesday through Friday of next week. (That means I'll be in Turkey for Thanksgiving, for a change.) When I get back to Florence, I'll have nine days left to collect myself for the return home. *sigh*
Between now and then, I have a lot of loose ends to tie off: Dante, my trip to Venice, the Greeks of Florence and their role in the Renaissance, the Medicis, Patriarch Joseph and the Council of Florence, and, at last, Savonarola. I'm working on a way to bring them all together in a single narrative. Brace yourselves.
Lastly, fans of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have complained that I've written about Leonardo, Michelangelo and Donatello, but not Raphael. I'll try to think of something nice to say about him in the days remaining.