So I was very happy that yesterday I was able to mark my 129th visit to my Orthodox parish as we did the Life of St. Mary of Egypt- The canon of St. Andrew. I arrived really early because I was already out and about and it didn't make sense for me to travel the 18 miles home, just to turn around and go back to Church. Fr. Gary was there and greeted me. We talked a little bit and my job came up in conversation. I told him how I wake up at 2am to go to work and I could tell by the way he rolled his eyes that he wouldn't have liked those hours.
At first there was only two people in the choir so I tried to make sure I would lend my voice as well just to give the Church a more full sound. Tami arrived a bit late and joined the choir and that helped the complete the choir, although, even with just two people, they were sounding pretty good.
My favorite part of the whole service was when Fr. Gary read the life of st Mary of Egypt by St. Sophronius although I have to admit I started to doze off because, usually by 730pm I am headed to bed but I was able to rally myself and when Fr. Gary read the second half, I was able to be more attentive. Because I had arrived early to the service, I was able to stand in prayer in front of St. Mary of Egypt's Icon which seemed appropriate since she was the subject of last night's service.
I did have to leave early because I had to get some sleep and I would like to get more than five hours if possible. On my way out, I noticed Tami, who must have slipped out of the service to tend to something in the fellowship hall. She asked if I was leaving and I told her yes. She then gave me a hug good night and quickly joined in the service as I left.
As I drove home, I thought about my trip to the Church. I had passed a Byzantine Catholic Church which had posted on their outside bulletin board the following message: "Google the Life of St. Mary of Egypt." Now that is good advice. I hope people follow it. I also hope that people ask for her prayers, as I do, almost daily.
St. Mary of Egypt, pray unto God for us!