Monday, October 29, 2012

We have a Winner, Sort of, and another Question!

a photo from the Winner's blog!

The silly contest is over and, Janelle (whose blog I feature on my blog roll on the right has won...but more on that later; First I have an other question:

I arrived a few minutes late (It's getting to be a habit) and the first thing I noticed is that the old familiar words of Vespers, sounded a bit different.  Yes, the tone had changed slightly. Can someone give me the scoop on the changing of the tones? I just don't understand what governs when and why they change. Feel free to comment below or email me, but no prizes this time :)

Fr Gary has come back from vacation! And where he went, he needed our prayers! You see, Fr Gary and his wife went to the Bahamas's on a well deserved trip and were greeted by Hurricane Sandy! So a few days ago we did get an email from one of the parish members to remember them in prayer. We did and God, in His Mercy, kept them safe. It was great to see Fr Gary again even though Fr Ken did a bang up job last week.

 Fr Gary was funny in his homily. He said, "Sandy sends greetings from the Bahama's," then we all chuckled. Then he added, "She says, 'see you soon'" More chuckles, although as I write this in the Midst of Hurricane Sandy starting to ramp up, I am not doing too much laughing.  But God is good and so far we are well.

I do like how in his homily, Fr Gary mentioned he couldn't help but notice all the preparations being made for the hurricane, remarking how this was the right thing to do.  He then went on to say that we should be spending out life making preparations for the return of Christ.  A nice short homily that, by its brevity, helped drive the point home! Be Ready!

I chatted with Daria for a while after Vespers (She runs the choir when Reader Timothy can't make it).We were all in the Narthax while Fr Gary was hearing confessions in the Nave.  She introduced me to her son, Daniel, whom I think I have seen before but now had the pleasure of meeting. A pleasant chap! Daria asked if we were prepared for Hurricane Sandy. I gave a half~hearted "Yes."  (I mean, how ready can you really be for a hurricane?) She then proceeded to invite me and my family to her house since she lived on high ground. Daniel remarked, not without humor, "If everyone shows up whom you invited to we'll have no room!" This brought some laughs. Indeed, it seems everyone was laughing at something. In the conversation next to us, I heard some laughing and finally Tammy gave us all a kind yet forceful "Shh" and then some lady who, to me, looked like a short, feisty Italian woman, said, with a big grin on her face, "Yeah, be Quiet; I want to hear the Confessions!" This almost brought loud guffaws and we all had to leave so we really wouldn't disturb the confessions.  I remarked to Tammy, as I went to my car, I like that woman! It's hard not to like someone who knows how to laugh.

Now, about the contest. I had one person go through the trouble of counting since my 46th visit way back in January.  Jannelle came up with my next visit (meaning this one) being number 78. Well, the thing is, I got a different number. This visit is actually number 74. I think what Janelle did is count the blog posts but some of them did not document a visit to my parish; a few said that I wasn't going so in the interest of accuracy:

 This is visit number 74!

But, what the heck, since she went through the trouble of counting, she wins anyway! Janelle, shoot me an email and I'll arrange to send you the gift card!

By the way, Janelle's blog, A Geek and A Camera Phone,  inspired me to start another blog which is basically me uploading a new pic everyday from my camera phone. Check it out!

See you guys next time for posts about Visit number 75! Oh, if someone actually wants to go through the trouble of checking my count, go ahead~ I don't mind being proven wrong! :)

Monday, October 22, 2012

A Contest and A Question!

Before you read, you can listen; but it's not mandatory! click below.

Yes, I have a contest for y'all! I'm sorry, I can't help it .I run a Children's youth group and am always giving away prizes so I thought I'd offer a prize to one of my readers. But before I get to that, let me ask a question....

I arrived early to Vespers, had a nice chat with Tammy who informed me that Fr Gary was on vacation so Fr. Ken would be leading Vespers. Then, after venerating the Icons, I decided to sit in a different location than I normally do. (What can I say? I just wanted to shake things up a bit). Well, as a result, I was closer to the front than I normally am. So, we got to one of my favorite parts of Vespers, the Kathisma, where we chant Psalm 2. (Psalm 2 is a psalm I memorized as a teenager and God used that Psalm to get me through a mini crisis of faith!). As we are all chanting, I hear Fr. Ken (sounding like mumbling to me; forgive me) and he was definitely NOT following along with us. I imagine he was praying (I mean what else would it be; surely he wasn't just thinking out loud about the things he had to take care of after Vespers). My Question:
What was Fr. Ken praying? I know the Orthodox have "Secret Prayers" of the priest but I don't remember ever hearing Fr. Gary pray during the Kathisma.  Maybe, he did but I never noticed it before. I would have asked Fr. Ken but, as is my custom, I have to rush out of Vespers right after service to pick up my son at work. As it is, he has to wait at least an hour for me because he gets off work just as we start Vespers so I really don't like to keep him waiting.

So if any of you experienced Vesper's people can clue me in on what type of prayers are in the Rubrics for the priest to say while we chant Psalm 2, I'd appreciate it!

Now, to my contest! For those of you who have been reading for a while, you may remember that I used to number each visit that I made to my parish. I did it as a way to keep track in my mind. But, I stopped putting numbers on my visit back in January . I still would blog each and every time I went to my parish but I did not put a number on it anymore. Well, one of my readers, Bill,  remarked to me, "I know it's silly, but I liked when you use to number your visits."  I thought it was funny he should say that because I was thinking or reprising my numbering system, well....just because!

So, here's the contest: The first person to either email me or, better yet, comment below, what number visit I am up to, wins a $15 gift card to Itunes!  It's really kind of easy to figure out. Just scroll below to the Blog Archive, click on January of this year and start counting to this present blog post! Deadline is by next visit to my parish which, God willing, will be this Saturday night!

I know it's kind of silly to do this and, in many ways, vain but please accept this in the spirit of fun and, more importantly, thank you all for reading my blog and for your prayers. They mean a lot to me as I journey towards Orthodoxy!

Have a great week!

Sunday, October 14, 2012

So do I blog when I have nothing much to say...?

my blog a waste of Internet space? I hope not!
Yes, I will.

I know, it's a horrible waste of internet space but when I started this blog, Orthodoxy or Bust, I promised myself I would blog about each and every visit to the Orthodox Church. I made this promise because I have a tendency to lose track of important things and let "life" pass me by without much thought. I guess it's the whole Seed sown parable come to life and I don't want to be among  these are they which are sown among thorns; such as hear the word, and the cares of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the word, and it becometh unfruitful.  If I stop blogging, I'll lose track of my spiritual state...and that would be bad!

So what do I mean, I have nothing to say? Well, nothing new to add about last nights attendance at Vespers; It was, of course, a blessing. I guess that is enough to say about it.  I felt as if I were worshiping and I was blessed to be around others who were too.  

So keep me in your prayers as I remember you!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

I arrived early to Vespers for a change...

our parish, taken with my phone minutes before Vespers!
It was good to be back.  Last week I did not attend Vespers because of a family commitment and, even though I only missed a week, I feel like I've been away forever. So I made sure I arrived early this week. I even had time to take a quick picture with my phone! (See above)

On the first Saturday of the month, our parish does a general confession after Vespers. The first time I experienced that I was a little freaked out only because Fr. Gary launched right into the Confession after Vespers concluded. Almost immediately, we were praying the Lord's Prayer and I thought, "Didn't we just do that?" (The Lord's prayer comes towards the end of Vespers). Eventually, I figured it out.

One thing I don't like is, usually, Fr. Gary does not give a homily when he is doing the General Confession. I imagine that is so he doesn't have to keep the faithful out longer than usual on a Saturday night.  But I enjoy his short homilies.But I'm not complaining! I suppose if I want more homilies, I"ll have to abandon the protestants and start going to Divine Liturgies!

In the meantime, I'll enjoy what I can!

Saturday, October 6, 2012


on my way to Vespers soon!
I missed last week and I really am looking forward  to going back!!