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Ipotesti - religion

In the community there are three Orthodox churches, a Baptist church, and a Pentecostal church.

 The few Catholic families of the community attend the Roman Catholic church in Suceava. 

 Many of the Orthodox inhabitants converted to the Protestant faith, Evangelical Baptist or Pentecostal, after the revolution of 1989.

Orthodox church

Marriage, Baptism, Burial, Easter, Dumineca Mare (Pentecost), Christmas, New Year, Boboteaza(Epiphany)

The Priest Volosciuc

The Priest Balan

The Priest Emil Truşcan

The Priest Laurenţiu Milici

The Priest Ioan Danalache

The Priest Constantin Bobu


The first Orthodox church in Ipotesti was built out of wood in 1830.   The names of the priests who served this church were Frs.Nicolae Savescu (1834-1835), Gherasim Grigorovici si A. Zebacinschi monks from Dragomirna (1835-1873), Georgi Gregorovici (1873-1874), Ioan Grigorovici (1874-1909), Eugen SÓrbu (1909-1910), Ion Volosciuc ( 1910-1940), Balan (1940-1946), Emil Truscan (1946-1957), Laurentiu Milici (1957-1985), Ioan Danalache (1985-1995), Constantin Bobu (1995- to today), Gabriel Muntean (2003-to today).

  In 1995 a new, more solid church was built on the base of the old church.  The interior was richly decorated with mural frescoes.

Ipotesti orthodox church' s photos





Church committee 1970

Church choral society 1962

Church choral society 1965



The orthodox church in Tisautzi

  The orthodox church in  Lisaura



Cemeteries  & Burial

Generally there  is a small cemetery around each ortodox church and another in the village.


Gicu Lukan's tomb Gicu Lukan         The "tree" with offerings

When there is a death in the village, people still do not use the services of an undertaker.  The family, neighbors and friends of the deceased make all the preparations for the funeral which respect the traditional orthodox funeral rites.  Upon the death of a loved one, the family covers all the mirrors of the house and anything else that could make a reflection, with a black or dark-colored cloth.  They wash the body of the deceased and dress it in the person's best clothing.  They place the body in a coffin and then place it on a table in the "casa mare"
(formal room, parlour) of the house for viewing.  The family dresses in black.  The women let down their hair braids and buns, and the men do not shave allowing their beards to grow as a sign of mourning.  The burial takes place the third day after the death.

Parastas Coliva (the corn cake) "Protzese",
 the banners
The cart which will transport the coffin Preparation of the procession The  head of the procession  
    At the church The offering (sarmale & bread) At the cemetery    

The mourning period for the family lasts one year.  Five Sundays following the burial, a mass is dedicated to the deceased, and another one six months later.  On the one year anniversary of the death, a mass and large "parastas" are again dedicated to the departed.  On this occasion, more offerings are made for the soul of the deceased:  "colac" which is a braided bread with a candle, and "sarmale", "coliva" and wine are provided to all the participants in the  mass. 

    The choral society 1970 1963 1930    


The "Parastas" 

The "Parastas" is an important part of the orthodox burial rite.   It is the ceremony of the offering for the soul of the departed.  The symbols of this ceremony are the "coliva" (decorated corn cake) and the tree branch adorned with special offering gifts.   The "coliva" is specific to orthodoxy but the adorned tree branch is unique to Romania, most likely a tradition inherited from the Romans who presented a tree to celebrate all major life events (birth, marriage, death).  In the mountain regions, this tree is a fir tree but in other regions it is a small, local species.  This tree is adorned with , brioche, cakes, fruits, etc.    In the past, a rooted tree was actually planted at the head of the grave so that the deceased would symbolically live on through this tree.  There remain many such live trees in the cemeteries of Bukovina but today it is customary to use just an adorned branch of a tree for this ceremony.

  "Parastas" Nov. 1963
 (Hreniuc Vasile, Sculi)
"Colac" & candle "Parastas" circa 1980's  

updated  2015-04-22


Copyright © 2006-2012  Maritza Hreniuc. All Rights Reserved.