Monday, March 26, 2012

Bishops at Vespers!

I went to Vespers Saturday night and I had forgotten that Bishop Michael was going to be for the weekend.
So that explains all the cars in the parking lot, I thought! Apparently, when the Bishop comes to town, the faithful make an extra effort. It was nice to see such a full house, although, I guess in truly Orthodox Churches, it is
always standing room only! :)

I have to admit I was surprised when I heard the censor. You see, I was told that during lent, the bells are removed from the censor but the bells were on. I figured it was either because it was the Feast of the Annunciation to the Theotokos or because Bishop Michael was there.
Would anyone know which?

I was also curious about the hat. Bishop Michael wore it except when he said certain prayers. Can anyone tell me about this?

I am ashamed to say that I had to leave before it was all over. Just as we were nearing an end to the Vespers, more and different prayers were being said and I could see that we were morphing into a different service. I had to work the next day (up at 330am for some overtime) so I quietly left.

I am also sorry to say that I haven't been to a pre-sanctified Vigil yet. God willing, this Wednesday.

Good Lent, everyone!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Vespers last night ~ Thinking about Icons.

this is what I look like, deep in thought

I walked in a little late last night but I came in and heard the choir and it sounded beautiful! And shouldn't worship to the Almighty God be beautiful? I took my place quickly and started to join in but it was hard to sing because of a sore I have in my mouth, I soldiered on anyway.

It was odd to see (or rather hear) Fr Gary censing the altar. No bells.

I thought of something I heard Fr. Hopko preach on via Ancient Faith Radio. We are Icons of Christ! When the Priest censes the Icons of the Saints and then turns around to cense us the people, do we realize what it is we have to live up to? Anyway, that thought kind of overwhelmed me a bit. Humbled, more like. I guess humility is a good way to feel, especially in lent.

Speaking of Lent, mine is going so well. I have missed the two mid week opportunities of extra services. (I have been exhausted after work) and I am over eating!

That ain't good!

So, hears hoping to a better Lent.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Great Lent - The Bad Beginning!

All during the first week of Great Lent, there were services every night and I didn't make a one of them.

I did manage, however, to attend Divine Liturgy on Saturday morning. There was a commemoration for St. Raphael of Brooklyn and another Saint, whom I cannot now remember. As for the latter saint, the story was told that some Emperor wanted all the Christians to eat food sacrificed to idols in order to ruin the fast and God did some miracle. So after Liturgy we all ate some really good wheat mixture which was mixed with fruit and very delicious.

Two things about the Liturgy. I really appreciated that Jack, or rather Reader Innocent, since he was clad in a black robe, made sure he gave me some of the bread of fellowship after he himself received communion. (What is that bread called again, the non-consecrated bread that is eaten after the Precious Body and Blood?) As he handed it to me, he called me by my baptismal name, James instead of the more informal Jim. which I most normally go by. It really was a nice way of including me as far as they could in fellowship.

Also, after the Liturgy when Tammy was handing out the wheat mixture and I mentioned I had to scoot out of there, she said, "We'll see you the next time you are here." This she said with her cheery smile. Now, I had been to Sunday Morning Liturgies twice but hadn't been able to return for various reasons and Tammy did not try to guilt me into going but rather left everything on a positive note. (In some of the pentacostal churches I went in the past, guilt was the way things were done!)

I do hope to return on Sunday mornings but some family things keep me at my protestant church on Sundays.

Prayers, brothers and sisters, prayers please!