Sunday, October 13, 2013

Learning the Power of Sacred Scriptures on my 118th Encounter

angry chris
It's hard to stay angry, if you want to be obedient to the Scriptures
photo by Dave Appleby, used under the creative commons license.
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The thing about arguments is a person who is in the argument always thinks they are right. Otherwise, there would be no argument. Right?  So, with out going into too much detail, my son and I had a heated disagreement, in which he was very offended by what I said. Well, I was right so I didn't care.

Enter Sacred Scripture:  While sitting listening to the Old Testament readings being chanted at Vespers last night,  I heard a passage from Deuteronomy:

 Therefore, circumcise your heart and stop being stubborn.

Now, I have been accused by my family members in the past of being stubborn and they may be right so when I heard the command in Deuteronomy, it did get my attention. So, the first chance I got, when I got home from Vespers, I went into my son's room and apologized.  He seemed grateful to hear it.  I guess when Fr. Gary says, "Let us be attentive" right before the readings, he does so for a good reason!

I have a question: There was someone else with Fr. Gary, leading in most of the prayers. I think he was a Deacon but I was not sure. Are Deacons ever allowed to go through the Royal Doors or is that only for Priests? I saw this man the last time I was here and I couldn't figure out if he was a Priest or not. He did incense the Icons during part of the service. Is that only for Priests to do? Last night, at the beginning of Vespers, he said to something to the effect of "Arise and worship" and in doing so, he called Fr. Gary Master instead of Father.  I meant to ask Tammi about it last night we got to talking about other things and I forgot.

Speaking of Tammi, she was all excited to tell me about an interview on Ancient Faith Radio of Rick Warren, the Southern Baptist Mega church Pastor. It was a great interview and I was impressed by his humility and willingness to reach out to all Christians! You can listen here if you like

Thanks for reading!


  1. Isn't that so true, there's a reason we hear to attend (our translation says "let us attend" but it is the same meaning)
    I would suspect he was a Deacon - Deacons do incense. You can tell a Deacon by their vestments:

    1. Mimi,
      I emailed Tami from my parish and she said he was a Deacon.

    2. Mimi, The Deacon is leading an Adult Education night on Thursdays which I was able to attend...also very coo!

  2. 118th, huh? As in, "Blessed art Thou, O Lord, teach my Thy statutes"?

    As for deacons using the Royal Doors--they may at certain times.

    As for referring to the priest as ""master," it is a more literal translation. For example, in the Slavonic, the deacon begins Liturgy by exhorting the priest: "Blagolsavii, Vladiko," or "Bless, Master." I suspect that this was originaly reserved for hierarchical Liturgies since I believe that the Greeks use "Pater agie, evlogison" or "Holy father, bless." However, during the entrance of the bishop at Liturgy, we sing "Eis polla eti despota," or "Many years to you, O master" (referring, of course, the bishop because the Master of All is immortal so there is no need to wish Him many years).

  3. that was "blagoslavi", not "blagolsavii"

  4. Han,
    118th refers to the number of times I've been to a service...I don't feel right calling them "visits" anymore so "encounter" seems to be a good term :)

  5. Han,
    The deacon came to us from a ROCOR parish; I wonder if they use "Master" more than OCA?

  6. Hey Jim,
    At the beginning of Liturgy the Deacon exclaims "Bless Master." Master being a term we use a good bit during the service, although not always for others to hear such as Bless Master the censor, Break Master the Holy Bread, etc.

    During Vespers and Vigil we open with "Arise, O Lord Bless." Being a ROCOR Deacon, I'm not certain how often the term Master is used in the OCA.

    And yes, we go through the Royal Doors throughout the services at certain times. If not, we use the Deacon Doors.

    Keep pluggin along,
    Deacon Nektarios

  7. Deacon Nektarios,
    I was told once that we use the term "Master" if the Bishop is present so that instead of "Father, Bless" it would be "Master, bless"

  8. That is true. When the Bishop is there we do use Master, or Most Reverend Master bless. Yet regardless if a Bishop is present or not....each Liturgy begins with Bless Master.