|A reason to rejoice; Looking for the Bridegroom!|
photo by Tina Vega, used under the creative commons licesne
check out more photos at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/tinavega/
I was impressed with the flow of the service and I noticed how Orthodox worship is not about sitting around watching what the people in the front do. We all have our parts. There were several readers last night who traded off on the different Psalms. With one exception, each "hand off' was flawlessly done. All these reading s took place while Father Gary was behind the Royal doors. To a Protestant, this would be really weird because, to them, there should always be someone in full view of the people, leading. Yes, Father Gary, leads us in worship yet he expects us to do our part. I was especially impressed on how this is "work" for Fr. Gary. I mean, we are all chanting a Psalm and he is about the place, incensing icons. But it is work for us, too. I felt like I was fully participating in worship. In my protestant parish, it's not as easy.
When I first came in, I found no service book to follow. So I took my place among the faithful and was all set to just pay really close attention. But, the ever helpful Tammy, showed up with a book and handed it to me. Thanks, Tammy; that makes things easier! After the service, I chatted with Tammy a bit and I asked her about taking pictures during the baptism/chrismation. She said, as long as the camera didn't have any obnoxious lights or loud clicking, it should be fine. I asked her how Ben felt about being baptized because I really don't talk to him much. She said he was very excited and asking a lot of questions about the logistics of the thing. I am really looking forward to this Saturday.
Before I chatted with Tammy, I asked Tom, who, by the way used to me a captain in the military, how long the service should last on Friday. He said, "about an hour" and the fellow next to him scoffed, "What service in this Church only lasts an hour?" I had to laugh! I guess to Tom, the services are so good they just seem to fly on by!
I asked how long it was because I wanted to attend but I don't like to keep my son waiting too long at work since he has to wait for me to pick him up. I guess I'll tell him to bring an extra book to read. It is Great and Holy Friday after all.
This Bridegroom Matins marks my 98th time at a service at this Orthodox Parish. If I go to Lamentations (as it's called) this Friday then on Saturday, when I see my first Orthodox Baptism, it will be visit 100! I thank God, that even though I am not Orthodox (yet), I still kept up with going to these services, despite the fact it would be so much easier in my life if I should remained a happy protestant. Yet, I don't think I can remain one much longer; I hear the Bridegroom calling!