Friday, October 7, 2011

38th time in an Orthodox Church ~ celebrating St. Innocent of Alaska

The booklet cover of the Anakhist we used Wednesday.

I drove into the Church Parking lot this past Wednesday night and parked where I always park - On the far end of the lot, away from all the others. I am not sure why I do this. I always joke to myself that if someone would ask why I park there, I would tell them, "Oh, that? Well, it's the Protestant Interloper Parking Section." I am not sure others would find that funny but, hey, you got laugh when you hear the word Interloper. Although, in truth I am no interloper, more like a fly on the wall- a fly who participates to some degree.

I almost didn't come tonight. You see, on Wednesday my protestant church has Bible studies (really more like discussions based on last Sunday's sermon) and also activities for the kids and the youth group for teens/young adults. Well, my wife usually doesn't go but she promised to help with the kids thing - some sore of craft - so she drove my two kids to church with her. My oldest son begged me to come to the sermon discussion instead (trying to use catholic quilt really - and he isn't even catholic!) but I wanted to Worship so off I went to the Orthodox church for the 38th time.

It was the Akathist Hymn to St. Innocent and, man, it was great. It started out with the Trisigion and then progressed to a couple of Psalms. Then Fr. Gary chanted his life in verse while we, and the choir responded. It was fantastic! I can see that Orthodoxy is very concerned in getting content to the faithful. I learned so much about St. Innocent just by paying attention. Although Fr. Gary or Deacon Ken, didn't say, "Let us Attend," I certainly did. Not only did I learn about Innocents life and humility (and closeness to God), I was able to ask for his intercession on my behalf. Not a bad way to spend the evening.

Afterwards when we all gathered in a circle to chat, Reader John expressed how different it is to chant and sing about St. Innocent instead of just reading about him in your living room. Deacon Ken chimed in with Jesus' words, "Where two or three are gathered...." And that is true, the Holy Spirit could be felt because we gathered in Jesus' Name.

I left knowing I had been in a good place.

Oh, I am hoping that some or all of my family may attend Vespers this Saturday night. More about that later but please keep that in prayer.

St. Innocent, pray for us!

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