|Why they use pussy willows for Palm Sunday, I have no idea...|
photo by Ed Gaillard, used under the creative commons license.
check out more photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ed_gaillard/
During Vespers last night, Fr. Gary "switched out" the Icon for Lazarus with the Icon for Palm Sunday - on the table in the center of the Nave (What is that table called again? I keep forgetting) This was done with a simple elegance. One thing I love about Orthodoxy is it has a humble pageantry about it. Let me explain: There are certain ways of doing things in Orthodoxy that is ritualistic and ceremonial. This adds dignity to Worship. Yet, a humbleness abounds. For example, last night before the homily, Reader John took the Litya into a side room in order to cut it up for distribution later. When he was done, he put it on the table and sat down. Well, that table was in front of Fr Gary who was giving a homily. In a more "High" church atmosphere, Reader John would have felt compelled to stand aside while Fr. Gary preached. Yet, in our parish, he quickly and quietly placed the Litya on the table and then sat down to listen to the sermon. That may not seem like a big deal but, to me, it is. I love that we worship Christ in all manner of respect and reverence and yet, are not full of ourselves as we do so.
Talking to Jim, we also discussed confession, something I had been meaning to ask about. I wondered when a catechumen would receive the Sacrament of confession because, technically, isn't that supposed to be for "the Faithful" and he would not be Orthodox until he is christmated. And yet he should confess before receiving the Eucharist, right? Maybe, I am being too legalistic about this. Turns out confession for him will be on Great and Holy Friday. I said to him that confession isn't something I'd be looking forward to. He joked it might be easier just to give Fr. Gary a list of the sins he didn't commit!
I am looking forward to next Saturday. It will be Vespers with Divine Liturgy of St. Basil the Great at 10am. That is when the catechumens become part of the faithful and then, later on that evening it's PASCHAL Matins and Divine Liturgy. I better get a long nap in that afternoon so I can be fully awake for the celebration of Jesus' Resurrection!
As I drove away, I met Jim at a red light. He rolled down his window and said, "How's it going you Nazodox. (For those keeping score that would be half Nazarene -my protestant parish- and half Orthodox). He also asked if I was any closer. I said, soon. The light turned green and we parted. And I repeated to myself, "soon."