Monday, September 22, 2014

Visit #150 ~ Third Day Panhida for Jim Martin

On the day, Jim entered into the Church
My heart has been full these past couple of days. I am very much shocked by the sudden passing of my friend, Jim Martin and I was glad to be able to attend the Third-day Panhida for him. It was right after the Divine Liturgy.  I woke up feeling sick so I didn't make it to my protestant parish for their worship service but only arrived for the coffee hour. While there, I spoke with people who knew Jim (for he had been a member there with me for many years) and everyone was in disbelief.  It was good to share some memories of Jim with them.

Here is the announcement of Jim's Repose at my protestant church; also a prayer for his family

I scooted out of there to make it to the Panhida.  I walked into the Narthex and Tami was standing in the back.  She greeted me warmly, knowing that I had lost a friend. Jim and I go back a long way. Back in our Church of the Nazarene days, we led Children's Church together. He would sing songs on his guitar and lead the kids in singing. He was a licensed minister with the Church of the Nazarene and, for a time, I was pursuing that as well so we would go to "minister's meetings" together.  That was then. Now I can say it has been  a joy  for me to see Jim embrace Christ in the Orthodox Church. I am happy I had a small part in that. (Jim noticed that on Goodreads, which is like facebook for book lovers, that I had been reading the Orthodox Study Bible and he asked my opinion. After I gave it, I directed him to my blog so he could get the full story. Well, he read the entire blog in one weekend and he ended up attending Vespers and the rest, as they say, is history! You can read about Jim's first visit to our parish here)

I arrived at 11:30 and Communion was just finishing up. I stood in the back and I did notice Tiffany was in the back with her husband, Andrew.  Glancing at the Icons that are painted on the wall, I noticed that Tiffany was standing right by the Icon of St. Patrick, enlightener of Ireland. That was Jim's baptismal (or, rather, Christmation) Name.  I don't know if she planned it that way but it was cool to think that she was standing by the Icon of the Saint who meant so much to her father.

Jim's Icon of St. Herman
The service, which lasted about a half hour, was beautiful.  To hear the name James Patrick being prayed for was a bit surreal but I joined in as much as I was able.  It was a bit emotional me when, towards the end, Father Gary chanted, rather slowly, "Let his memory be eternal."  When the service ended, I was, of course, going to greet Tiffany but she was talking to some  people and I waited in the back. I came across Reader John, Tami's husband, who was very emotional and gave me a warm hug, with tears in his eyes. He was especially broken up about Jim's passing because John was Jim's sponsor in the Church.  (I guess that makes him a Godfather, right?) Later on, I greeted other people who were just as much in a state of shock as I was in regards to Jim.  People knew that Jim and I go back a long ways and they were very kind to me.  One person said that he will be very missed. That I know is true. Jim had a presence about him and you knew when he was in a room.

When Tiffany was free, I, of course, gave her a hug and told her how sorry I was. She said, "Come here, I have something for you."  She then took me into the Narthex where she presented me with Jim's Icon of St. Herman.  Although Jim took the name Patrick, he had a special bond with St. Herman because Jim loved Alaska so much!  Tiffany said that her father would want me to have this because I was the one who got him here.  I accepted the Icon, with tears in my eyes and with a full heart.  I was honored to have a small part- and yes, it was small; I just pointed the Way- in Jim's entrance into the Church.

Today, will be the viewing at the funeral home. My wife and I will go.I am trying to make arrangements to attend Jim's funeral tomorrow. Even as I type this, I am in communication with someone who is seeing if she can take my shift. As a Federal officer at the Airport, it can be difficult for me to get time off but I am hopeful.

Jim, Tiffany and Ben on the day they entered into the Church
Becoming Orthodox
Memory Eternal, Jim.

Sorry, but I can't get one line from the movie Ghostbusters, out of my head. Towards the end of the movie when, in order to save the City, the heroes had to risk death, Bill Murray says, "See you on the other side, Ray," 

So I say, "See you on the other side, Jim."


  1. I've been praying for James Patrick's Memory to be Eternal, and lit a candle for him on Sunday. What a blessing that Tiffany gave you - I have tears.

  2. So glad you remember James Patrick in your prayers!