This weekend, I was down near Trebišov to celebrate with Petra's family the ordination of her brother, Daniel! It was an excellent celebration, and I'm so happy I could be there to celebrate with them.
I got there on Thursday afternoon. The ordination also meant a visit from the bishop, and people were over at the church cleaning and painting the rectory and doing all sorts of things. We took them zákusky, which are small assorted cakes. (Look for this to be a continuing theme of the weekend.) Friday was a whirlwind of cleaning and cooking. We were moving plants around, I was mopping the walk, Petra was mowing the lawn, etc. During breaks, we ate zákusky. Petra's mom and I made this totally killer halupki (they call them huľki in the Zemplen dialect -- for the non-Rusnaks reading the blog, I'm talking about stuffed cabbage) filling, with ground beef, pork, sausage, and baconbaconbacon, plus veggies fried in baconbaconbacon. I went over to the hall where the reception was going to be and helped Petra's mom's cousin hang the backdrop for over the head table. He's an artist and writes icons, and his old job was painting murals and backdrops in the socialist realism style -- but his real interest is in painting religious themes. We got back to the house, Petra's former roommate from Gaming, Katie, arrived, and we ate some zákusky then headed over to church. Baba was getting really antsy because the halupki weren't made, but Petra's mom, Daniel's wife, and I made them after church quite quickly. As the law of halupki making goes, we were one piece of cabbage short, so we also had 2 small meatballs in the pot.
On Saturday, we ate the halupki for lunch. They had been sitting on a wood-burning stove all day with a weight on top of them (in the form of a pot lid -- Baba's idea) and they were hysterically good, which I attribute almost completely to the high amount of bacon fat present and the creative mix of meats in the filling. They were so good. Most of the day's work was about decorations. We made ribbons for the ushers, made ribbons for a garland Baba had made, and Katie and I were supposed to decorate the fence at the front of the house. Petra's mom was almost done getting a haircut, and I asked her to come outside when she was done to show us how she wanted it, and she was like, "Don't worry about it, whatever you do is fine." So we went out, started putting up crepe paper, and Baba came out, started laughing, and was like, "I think this is too much." So Petra came out, also started laughing, and explained how to do it.
Both Friday and Saturday evenings, people were coming over for visits. On Saturday night it got especially crazy, because there were relatives from all over the country coming over, plus friends. Katie and I realized there were multiple waves, and because the family was really busy with visiting, we just did dishes and refilled dishes of zákusky and salads (including this one ham + red cabbage one that was really good) between the groups of people, anticipating more.
So the ordination itself was absolutely lovely. The music was done by the group Daniel used to sing with at the seminary, and it was beautiful. There was a nice mix of Church Slavonic and Slovak, and the church was packed. I had a really good spot in a corner near the front, which was a good place to take photos and also have a little space to breathe. Out in front of the church, there was a tent with a large flat screen TV so that all of the people outside could see what was going on inside.
from the liturgy. Sorry about the scratches at the beginning.
AXIOS!es (he is worthy) started and there wasn't a dry eye in the place.
Afterwards at the reception it was lovely to see some friends and make some new ones. Amazingly, I was sitting by a Rusyn priest from Osturna and another priest and his wife originally from Svidník. When he found out I had family there he was like, "I bet by the end of this we'll figure out we're related." I don't think we were, but we knew some of the same people.
I had to leave rather prematurely to get to Ružomberok, but it was an excellent weekend.