Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Visit 156 ~ Sorry, I don't know what to write!

Service was a blessing, as always. There was no sermon/homily because, the first Saturday of the month, Fr. Gary leads us in a general confession right after Vespers so, to save time, I suppose, he cuts out the homily.

My new work schedule makes writing these reflections a bit difficult. Basically, I am tired all of the time ☺(but I am adjusting) so instead of writing this reflection within a day of my attendance at the Service, it has actually been two weeks since I attended and things that were fresh in my mind then are not in my mind now.

So I have no comment to make on the service. I will say, as I did when I started this post, that I remember it to be a blessing.

That being said, I can't remember much else.

I hope to do better next time.

God bless.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Visit #155 ~ Hear about my latest visit!

Listen here for my three minute update on my 155th visit to a Divine Service

As I mentioned in my brief podcast, If you look on the Iconostasis where they have the 12 major feasts of the Church year, you can see that St. Demetrious is "replacing" one of the Icons that is now on the table in the center of the Nave. It is the third Icon from the left.  You can read about that here

Thanks for listening and reading!

Monday, November 10, 2014

Visit 154 ~ Always go to Church, even if you don't want to!

I really could have stayed home Saturday night because I didn't "feel" like going. After all, a 1:20am wake up time comes rather quickly, especially if you don't get to bed until 8:30pm due to going to Vespers. But, I wanted to go and I am glad I did. Nothing unusually remarkable about the Service. I just felt nourished. A standard homily, whose message, I am ashamed to say, I have forgotten. (I wonder if other people are like me when it comes to listening to homilies.) Yet, attending this service (which was visit # 154 )I felt like I was being fed and connected to God.

So I say, go to Church, even if you feel like staying home!

God willing, I'll be there next Saturday!

Monday, November 3, 2014

153rd Visit ~ Mohawks at Vespers? You better believe it!

Yes, I saw a Mohawk at Vespers; but, more on that later....
It was great to be back at Vespers after a two week absence- one absence because I was too tired from getting used to a new work schedule (3:30am till noon) and the other absence because Fr. Gary was out of town. It was great, as always. I felt like I've been away from the Psalms so hearing them chanted (and joining in) was a great blessing.  There was no homily because right after the Vespers service, Fr. Gary went into a General Confession and that's an extra 15 minutes. Plus, there was a Panikhida before hand so the Faithful were there a little longer than usual.  I was sorry to miss the Panikhida which was celebrated for, among other people, my friend +James Patrick Martin.  I intended to go but had to do something for my daughter.  When I arrived at Vespers, I did light a candle and say a prayer for Jim.  And one for myself as well.

Now, about that Mohawk....The Altar server - whose either in high school or college - had what I'd call a modest mohawk.  I guess Orthodoxy is always about moderation ☺. He was not completely shaved on the side of his head but there was a distinct mohawk on the top of his head. Why do I say all this? Am I scandalized? No, not at all. I think it's great that everyone is not in a cookie-cutter mold. I went to a very conservative protestant church once where all the people were nice enough but EVERYONE had a suit and a white shirt on and all the ladies looked the same, as well. I am glad that, in Orthodoxy, no such demands are made, and, in all honesty, the mohawk was not so outlandish that it drew too much attention to the wearer.

Next Saturday, God willing, I'll be at Vespers again! I'll report back, then.

God bless!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bummer ~ No Vespers Tonight.

No, it can't be true!!!!!!!!!
With my new work schedule and me having to wake up at 1am to go to work, my plan for attending Vespers is to take a long nap as soon as I get home from work at 1:30pm. Then, after a two hour rest, I can attend Great Vespers and still have enough sleep for work the next day.

That was the plan for tonight but, alas, I got this email from Fr. Gary.

Glory be to Jesus Christ!
There will be no service this evening (Saturday) at our parish. The Sunday schedule will be as usual tomorrow, including Adult Education Class at 9am and Church School at 8:45am. Next Saturday, there will be Great Vespers with General Confession.
Yours in Christ,
Father Gary
So I guess I'll have to try my power-nap next week!  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Vespers-lite; Half the Calories and All the Nourishment!

So Fr. Gary was out of town last night and the Faithful gathered anyway.  Deacon Alexander led us all in a Readers service which included all the regular prayers contained in a Vespers Service, only with some modifications. Whenever there was a Trinitarian invocation which was normally said by Fr Gary, Deacon Alexander would instead say, Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen or something along those lines.  It was good to be back to Orthodox Worship since I've been absent for a while. Indeed, the last time I experienced a Divine Service was at the Funeral of my friend, +James Patrick, and while it was a blessing of sorts, it was also very somber and sad. Attending service last night (which marks my 152nd visit to a Divine Service) was spiritually nourishing. Hearing and praying the Prayers among the Faithful helped me tremendously. It didn't matter that Fr. Gary could not be there, the Holy Spirit was still among His people.

I arrived early and, at the recommendation of some of my faithful readers ☺, I lit a candle and offered a prayer.  While I was upfront at the Candle Stand, about to light the candle, Tami came by and told me how today is 40 days since +Alexandra reposed. She wanted to let me know how Fr Gary was to lead a service after coffee hour in commemoration of our departed sister and encouraged me to offer my own prayers for Alexandra. I would gladly attend the service but I have something else going on in the early afternoon today.

one dollar? such a bargain!
I then turned to the business of lighting my candle. At first I thought that the wick was too short but, after holding it under the flame for a while, it lit right up.  All the time I was doing this, my phone was ringing.  I glanced at it and it was my wife calling. Since I was in the Nave, I did not pick it up but lit my candle and offered a short prayer.  I decided to sit up front by my candle so I could watch it burn during the service.  I usually sit in the back so this was a change for me.  

Deacon Alexander did give a short homily in which he talked about the hymn "O Gladsome Light," and how the Bishop of Jerusalem would take light from the tomb of Christ make a procession around the Church into the Altar.  It was a very good homily.

As I said, it was good to be back again.  Next week, I start a new schedule at work and that means I will be working Sundays so I will no longer be attending my protestant parish. Vespers will be more important than ever.  

See you next week!