|My Parish ☺|
The service began and I stood with the faithful, offering my worship and helping some, I hope, by my meager prayers. I was looking forward to the homily but I forgot that on the first Saturday of the month, Father Gary leads a General Confession and forgoes the homily. That is fine I suppose. Like many, I have sins to confess so I did. At the end of the General Confession, we all kiss the Cross that Father Gary holds before we leave the Nave. It was good to be active in worship by doing something as opposed to my protestant parish where really all we do is sing hymns and choruses and listen to spontaneous prayers from one of the Pastors. I especially like the mini-liturgies that happen in Orthodoxy. For example, as Father Gary held up the Cross for us to kiss, he'd say, "Christ is in our midst" and the response is "He is and always shall be." Besides being cool, things like that help me remember to include Christ in my entire life.
One act of kindness that caught my eye as we were worshiping tonight I noticed that Reader Tim, who leads the choir, suddenly left the Nave and I thought, "Where in the world is he going?" but he soon returned with a box of tissues and offered it to a girl in the choir who apparently was fighting a cold. If she was, it certainly didn't effect her voice, which sounded as beautiful as ever as she sang a solo psalm. I know that is a small thing but our lives are made up of small things which shape our character. Small acts of kindnesses help us achieve the Kingdom.
As I was walking out the door, the ever-cheerful Tami approached me and gave me a hug, glad to see me after such a long time. I talked a little bit about my job and she mentioned her new job which she is grateful is close to her house. She said she hoped she'd see me again soon and I said, I hope so, too.
And that is the truth; I hope I return again soon.
Glory to Jesus Christ; Glory forever!