Yes, it's ALL SAINTS DAY and that was a wonderful way to spend my 140th visit to an Orthodox Church! I arrived five minute late because I had to work overtime today and, after my much needed nap, I quickly cleaned the kitchen and off I went to Vespers. I enjoyed the intentional solemnity of the Worship and I found my mind wandered less than it normally does.
Fr. Gary's homily was Good. He talked about how it might seem odd to commemorate ALL SAINTS and still mention some individual Saints (like Augustine of Hippo); Doesn't that seem redundant? He pointed out that is what happens when calendar's collide. You see, always in the liturgical calendar, the first Sunday after Pentecost is when we remember ALL SAINTS but we still have the regular calendar to follow which states that on June 15th, certain Saints are commemorated. Not to worry, Fr Gary says though because we become inspired from the lives of these individual Saints and when we hear their stories we learn how to become holy ourselves. This is most certainly true. Like everyone, I have a few favorite Saints who inspire me and whose stories motivate me.
|Oh, When the Saints go Marching in!|
As I delve more into Orthodoxy, I find a special place in my heart for the Theotokos. I must admit that was an issue for me at first as it is for most Evangelicals. I just couldn't comprehend why so much honor and attention was paid to her. But, hanging around Orthodoxy and participating in her services, I come to understand what all the fuss is about. It's not something I can really explain well. I just "get it" and know the difference between bestowing honor and worship.
One thing that I did like in Fr. Gary's homily is he said he believes that the individual saints mentioned today would have been just as happy to just simply been lumped into ALL SAINTS. Such was their humility. Their goal in life was not to become famous in the Church but rather just to be united with Christ. They are happy, though, that their lives can inspire others to embrace Christ.
May the prayers of the Theotokos and all the Saints, lead us unto Christ! Amen!