Everyone in my family likes to joke. So, it was no surprise when my son Justin, who attended Vespers with me last night, looked at the title of the service book and said, "Great Vespers, as opposed to Not so Great Vespers? Hardy, har har! Well, that got me to thinking about all the different titles that Orthodoxy gives to its services and people:
- Great and Holy Saturday
- Your All Holiness, (when addressing the Patriarch)
- Uncovering of the Holy Relics of Optina Elders. (A Feast Day)
- Equal to the Apostles Emperor Saint Constantine the Great
So why do the Orthodox gives such "High and Mighty" names? I have to admit that it took some getting used to, this Highfalutin language. But, I realized that Orthodoxy is always trying to help us remember our exalted position as humans. We are in the Image of God and God is always trying to remind of that. Also, when we go to church, we are not going on an afternoon outing to the beach. We are there to Worship the Holy Trinity. I think the use of almost pretentious sounding words helps us remember that God is so much higher than any words can really say. So I am alright with all these fancy words; they help me remember what I am here to actually do!
Speaking of Worship, I really enjoyed it last night, especially Prokeimenon, "The Lord is King, He is robed in Majesty."
I loved the homily from Father Gary. Since it is All Saints day he reminded us that there are no special vocations for sainthood. There are for being a priest. (God calls one man to be a priest and not another). But as far as sainthood goes, that is a call for everyone!
May God, through the prayers of the Saints, help us with that call!