Sunday, January 5, 2014

Vespers # 123 ~ A New Year....and I"m back!

My Parish
Because of my work schedule and other things in my life, Vespers has been very hard to go to. Thankfully, I was able to attend last night and the first thing I noticed as I entered into the Narthex- after being absent since late November - is the smell. Incense has a very distinct odor which I only associate with Church.  That is one thing I like about Orthodoxy; it assaults the senses. And why not? Why shouldn't God use taste, touch, smell and sight to help us enter into His Kingdom? After I venerated the Icons in the Narthex, Daria noticed me and greeted me in the Narthex, wishing me a happy new year. We couldn't chat long because she had to return to her place in the choir and service was about to begin. I was glad she came to say hello. Even though I was there to worship God, it is nice to be remembered by His people.

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!

4 comments:

  1. Thanks, Brian and thank you for reading

    ReplyDelete
  2. Glad that you have returned - both to Vespers and to blogging!

    ReplyDelete
  3. mimi, it's good to be back!

    ReplyDelete