Dear friends, visiting Cyprus, you certainly, regardless of religion, the place of religion in your life, you want to witness the majestic, ancient temples and monasteries of the island, which is not only a religious heritage, but also a beautiful pearl of great world cultural heritage.
To avoid uncomfortable situations and confusion, we suggest you read some of the rules of conduct in Cypriot churches and monasteries that are somewhat different from those generally accepted in Russia. If you go on a tour with a guide, you will get more detailed information, and in this article we mention only the main points.
Although we often hear that the Russian Orthodox Church lives according to the Orthodox calendar, this is somewhat incorrect. Since there is no Orthodox or Catholic church calendars. There is the Julian calendar - the calendar of the old style, along which the Russian Orthodox Church and the Gregorian calendar live, along which the Greek and Cypriot Orthodox Churches live. Therefore, in spite of the fact that we have one religion with the Greeks and Cypriots - Orthodoxy, we do not coincide with church holidays except Easter. In Greece and Cyprus they are marked with 13 day ahead of schedule, the same applies to name-days.
In traditional Byzantine church architecture, which adopted and Cyprus during worship you can sit. There are specially designated for that seats. In some churches, as, for example in the Church of St. Lazarus, for women and men separated and signed: ΓΥΝΑΙΚΩΝ-woman, ΑΝΔΡΩΝ - male. Only at certain times of worship must all stand up and bow to bow.
The church must be observed modest, restrained style of clothing. For men, this pants covering knees, shirts with extended sleeves, no headgear. For Women - skirt below the knee, closed neck and shoulders, to wear headscarves but not mandatory. In many churches will treat loyal to the woman in trousers restrained style. Some churches and monasteries (Church of St. Lazarus, Kykkos Monastery and Machaira) you provide free capes or robes that you can visit a monastery, even if your clothes do not fit the strict church rules.
In some monasteries, such as the monastery of the Virgin Trooditissa, tourists are not allowed. But this does not mean that if you want to visit these holy abode, you will be denied. As pilgrims, dressed and behaving modestly and decently, you may venerate these holy places.
In many ancient temples forbidden pictures and shoot video. This was read as signs at the entrance. This measure is not adopted because of the tourists to buy colorful booklets with pictures of church decoration as many might think. Flashlights can seriously harm the ancient icons and frescoes. Therefore, even if the photo and video are not prohibited, we kindly ask you to turn off the flash.
In Cypriot churches and monasteries no candle shops. Candles usually lie on the table, inside the temple. On these tables has a special box in which each omits as much money as he is willing to sacrifice for the candles.
Candles in churches not put before the icons, but in specially designated areas. Most often, these special containers with sand, into which the candle. In some temples, such as the Church of the Monastery of Kykkos exists the following sequence of this ritual. You take a small candle on a special stand in front of the iconostasis are large candles. Its spark from a burning candle, you light a candle burning and not extinguish his small candle special tweezers.
On the morning liturgy you can leave your notes on prayer in health and for the repose of your loved ones. The Greeks and Cypriots no specific prayer for the health and repose. In the morning, before the Liturgy, in a bread shop buying communion bread, together with its memorandum to the altar. Above the list of those you want to remember in prayer, we must write ΥΠΕΡ ΥΓΕΙΑΣ - in health ΥΠΕΡΑΝΑΠΑΥΣΕΟΣ - for the repose. Names in the lists of desirable written in Latin letters, if there is nobody to help you, write them in Greek. Not all churches are able to read Cyrillic.
In annexes temples or near them have shops where you can buy hallowed icons, pectoral cross, Orthodox literature in Russian, writing church music, incense, altar wine, and more. All this will be a wonderful and memorable souvenir gift for you and your friends and relatives with the blessing of the island.