Malkhaz Songulashvili – Tales of Canterbury – 6 – The Encolpion

An Orthodox encolpion

Perhaps I should tell you a little bit about my encolpion. Usually an encolpion is a small icon or a reliquary worn by hierarchs of the Church in the East. Initially I wore not an encolpion but a pectoral cross until the late 1990s.

After a fundamentalist attack on our church more than ten years ago I went to the Georgian President’s office to place our formal complaint. On my way to the government building I received a call from an Old Orthodox Archbishop, Iona Chakhava.

“Vladika (Church Slavonic for my lord), we have to meet immediately. I have business to settle with you,” Archbishop Iona insisted.

“Can’t it wait for this afternoon? I am going to the President’s office.” I tried to negotiate but it did not work. He told me it was urgent but would not tell me what sort of business he was going to settle with me.

“If you come to the President’s office immediately we can have a brief meeting here.” I had to succumb. Within ten minutes or so the archbishop arrived. Continue reading “Malkhaz Songulashvili – Tales of Canterbury – 6 – The Encolpion”