Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Bridegroom Matins, AT NIGHT or "Why are we praying, 'let us complete our morning prayers unto the Lord' at Eight O'clock in the Evening?"☺

1-2-3... JUMP!
A reason to rejoice; Looking  for the Bridegroom!
photo by Tina Vega, used under the creative commons licesne
check out more photos at:
 My first Bridegroom Matins; Quite Nice! The only thing I am confused about is why are we doing a morning service at 7pm? Couldn't we be doing a Bridegroom Vespers? I guess such a service does not exist I am not complaining, though, because the service was beautiful. The hymnody, especially in contrasting Judas with the sinful women who anointed Jesus for His burial, was absolutely beautiful! The sinful women, cognizant of her sins, repented. Judas, in his pride and greed, did not. One met forgiveness; the other, death!

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!


  1. At our parish, Great and Holy Friday is pretty long -- like 7pm to 9:30 or 10. It's completely worth it, but maybe there's a way to arrange an alternate ride for your son? (If not, it's ok to attend part of the service!)

    It's a joy to be able to hear about your first experiences... thanks for sharing them on this blog!

  2. I am going to agree with Elissa, the Lamentations at Great and Holy Friday are very long. Gorgeous and amazing, but long.
    Perhaps he meant the Taking Down from the Cross, which in our parish is served at 2. That's not a very long service (not a very long service = about an hour ;) )
    As to your question about time, Holy Week services are flipped, Matins are in the evenings, Vespers in the mornings. I found an article on the Antiochian Website that indicated it was for parishes to be able to offer them to the faithful.

  3. Elissa,
    According to our Holy Week Schedule, Vespers is served at 3pm and Matins w/Lamentations and Shroud Procession is at 7pm. If I have to, I'll stay until 830pm and then leave.
    and thanks for reading my blog! ☺

    1. The Vespers at 3 is the Service with the Taking Down from The Cross.

    2. Oh, and PS - I agree, it is very ok to attend the Lamentations until you have to leave at 8:30.

  4. Mimi,
    thanks for the link... fascinating reading! I love that so much in Orthodoxy is VERY OLD!

  5. Off topic, and probably inappropriate to All Holy and Great Saturday, have you really looked at the picture of the Bride you used? She looks rather, um, er, athletic. Sorta like a....

  6. maybe you're right ! :) I must admit, I don't spend a lot of time picking out the pics. I just go to and search the creative commons- those are the pics that they give permission to repost - keeps my blog on the up and up!

    Blessed Pascha to you!