Saturday, April 6, 2013

Under-dressed and feeling out of place on Visit number 94.

Model railroad hobo
Feeling like a Hobo last night at Church!
photo by Sean Lamb, used under the creative commons license.
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Did you ever walk into a place and think, "Man, what am I doing here?" That's exactly how I felt last night when I went for what I thought was going to be an Akathist as scheduled on the parish calendar. Well, I forgot that Fr. Gary sent out an email telling us of a member of the parish falling asleep in the Lord and last night was the burial service for her.

I usually like to dress nicely for Vespers and all services of the Church but yesterday was a bit hectic. Since I've seen some people attend with jeans and sneakers in the past, I just contented myself with a nice shirt. And usually, during Vespers, the lights in the nave are very low so I don't feel like I am on display.   It turns out as I walk in Fr. Gary is saying some prayers over a casket and there are a bunch of people I don't know.  I sneak in quietly in the back and that's when I remember the email.  I saw immediately that I was under-dressed but I decided to stay if only to assist the newly departed by my prayers, feeble as they are.

I did recognize a few of the Vespers regulars and was touched by the devotion of one of them (the grandmother I mentioned last post) for she solemnly crossed herself at every opportunity and seemed to be in deep prayer.  Seeing her devotion, helped me forget about how I was dressed and join in the prayers myself.  There were three priests there. Fr. Gary, Fr. Sergieos and another priest whom I did not know and he chanted in a higher tone, tenor I think and it was nice.  Reader John was there and I have always been impressed how he would chant Psalm 50 (51) straight from memory! He did that last night, of course.  I also loved how during the prayers of the priests, the choir sang alleluia  not as a refrain but as background music.  It truly was beautiful.

Reader John read from the letter of Paul to the Thessalonians where we are urged not to mourn for those who die as the world mourns.  And, that sad joy that Paul talked about was very evident last night.  There is nothing but Hope for those whose Hope is in the Lord!

At the homily,  Fr. Gary told us how the newly departed  taught us by her departure to trust in the Lord.  He said it was ironic that her death (or any Christians death, really) is a testament of life for that is what we have in Christ.

I hightailed it out of there right after the homily.  Yes, I stayed to pray for the departed but I still think it was a bit disrespectful for me to show up dresses as I was so I had no intention of staying for the "coffee and cake" I noticed was set up in the parish hall. I wonder, how much "service" was left after the homily? Did I miss much?   Next time, I go to Church, I am going to make sure I am dressed up.

May God grant rest to Olga Romanofsky and may her memory be eternal!

Thanks for reading.


  1. May Olga's Memory be Eternal.

    I do so feel uncomfortable when I am underdressed, and know how that goes.

  2. Mimi,
    As soon as I walked in and saw how I was under-dressed, I actually considered not crossing myself and pretending to be a first time visitor so the family of the departed couldn't say: look at him cross himself- he should know better :)

  3. mimi,
    tonight is my first bridegroom matins...:)