not exaclty greeting one another with a holy kiss but what I am used to!
I am getting to the point now where the "newness" of the Orthodox Worship experience is not new anymore and where attending Vespers is becoming routine. Now this is good and this is bad. Good, because, it shows a sense of belonging and comfort on my part but bad in that I can, believe it or not, become complacent and fall into a rut of "just going to church." One thing I like about keeping this blog is it forces me to engage myself in the Worship and to pay attention, although I don't have a lot to say regarding my 18th visit in the way of "new observations."
Father Gary was away on vacation so retired priest Sergius was conducting the service. He has a rich deep voice which is pleasant to hear as he chants. I did notice that during a particular prayer where "Fathers and Mothers" and "Brothers and Sisters" are mentioned, Fr Sergius opted to only mention the Fathers and Brothers, omitting the Mothers and Sisters as printed in our Vespers Service book. I wonder if he was going "old school" and the mention of only the masculine? Perhaps his was the original version and the Mothers and sisters were added for "modern Americans?" I don't know.
I also noticed that as Fr Sergius handed the incense to one of the altar boys that I did not see the customary "kiss on the hand." I immediately concluded that this honor was only for an active and not retired priest....but I was wrong. Later, when I had a better view and could actually see the altar boy (before his view was blocked by the doors) I saw, the second time, that he gave Fr Sergious an "air kiss" about a foot away from his hands. Now, what is that about?
Speaking of kisses, I am having a hard time feeling comfortable with the 'triple kisses' even if they are cool triune reminders! It just isn't part of my culture and although the bible says to greet each other with a holy kiss, I wonder if I wouldn't like a holy handshake instead? But I need to get out of my comfort zone.
I did meet with my Pastor on Saturday, right after the prayer breakfast. I want to give that due attention so I will hopefully blog about it in a few days.
Thanks for all your prayers!