Wednesday, November 7, 2012

75th Visit~ Stealing Hats and Answered Questions

My 75th time worshiping in the Orthodox Church was, as usual, worshipful.  The Psalms were especially something I enjoyed. I can see why, in her wisdom, the Church uses the Psalms so much in worship.  Unlike the little chorus's we sing in my protestant church, the psalms have a richness which can't be compared with. Even the "old" hymns of my protestant church - which do have a certain dignity to them but can't really be called "old", even if some of them were written in the 1800's -cannot compare to the Psalms.  But why should that surprise me? The Psalms, after all, are Sacred Scripture.

After Church, I chatted with everyone, talking about Hurricane Sandy. It turns out, me only losing power for five hours, makes me one of the "lucky ones." Fr Ken, it turns out, still has no power plus the storm put a  hole in one of their windows, making the house a bit cold.  Fr. Ken told that news with his usual good cheer and then asked me if someone gave me an answer to the question I asked on my blog. Two weeks ago on my blog, I asked a question about something I heard while Fr. Ken was leading us in Vespers.  As the faithful chanted Psalm 2 (The Kathisma), Fr Ken was definitely saying something else and I had no idea what that was. Fr. Ken was about to give me an answer but we were interpreted-

"Who has Fr. Sergius's hat? 

Well, I looked down and figured, "I don't." I had my hat in my hand.  Upon closer examination, it turns out it wasn't my hat!  Fr. Sergius, a retired priest attached to our parish, has my hat in his hand. He smiles at me and makes a joke about him having a big head as we exchanged hats.  I had grabbed the wrong hat from the hat rack right after Vespers was over.  It is true that Fr. Sergius' hat was a bit nicer than mine but it really did look like my hat.  If I were a Roman Catholic, I guess here is where I'd insert the joke about having to spend extra time in purgatory for stealing a priest's hat, but I digress....:)

Fr Sergius
Fr. Sergius left with his hat and I returned my attention to Fr. Ken.  He explained that priests are supposed to say certain prayers sometime during service that are different from the prayers from the people. I got the impression from Fr. Ken that it really didn't matter when these prayers were said and just had to be accomplished sometime before Vespers was over.   He explained that Fr. Gary probably did these prayers while behind the royal doors which is why I never heard him say them. 

So that answers my question.  It seems that, in Orthodoxy  no matter how many questions you have, there are always answers. Yes, there is Mystery in Orthodoxy but some things really can be explained. 

I'm glad of that because I am the type of guy who likes to know things.

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