Saturday, October 25, 2014

Bummer ~ No Vespers Tonight.

No, it can't be true!!!!!!!!!
With my new work schedule and me having to wake up at 1am to go to work, my plan for attending Vespers is to take a long nap as soon as I get home from work at 1:30pm. Then, after a two hour rest, I can attend Great Vespers and still have enough sleep for work the next day.

That was the plan for tonight but, alas, I got this email from Fr. Gary.

Glory be to Jesus Christ!
There will be no service this evening (Saturday) at our parish. The Sunday schedule will be as usual tomorrow, including Adult Education Class at 9am and Church School at 8:45am. Next Saturday, there will be Great Vespers with General Confession.
Yours in Christ,
Father Gary
So I guess I'll have to try my power-nap next week!  

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Vespers-lite; Half the Calories and All the Nourishment!

So Fr. Gary was out of town last night and the Faithful gathered anyway.  Deacon Alexander led us all in a Readers service which included all the regular prayers contained in a Vespers Service, only with some modifications. Whenever there was a Trinitarian invocation which was normally said by Fr Gary, Deacon Alexander would instead say, Through the prayers of our holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us. Amen or something along those lines.  It was good to be back to Orthodox Worship since I've been absent for a while. Indeed, the last time I experienced a Divine Service was at the Funeral of my friend, +James Patrick, and while it was a blessing of sorts, it was also very somber and sad. Attending service last night (which marks my 152nd visit to a Divine Service) was spiritually nourishing. Hearing and praying the Prayers among the Faithful helped me tremendously. It didn't matter that Fr. Gary could not be there, the Holy Spirit was still among His people.

I arrived early and, at the recommendation of some of my faithful readers ☺, I lit a candle and offered a prayer.  While I was upfront at the Candle Stand, about to light the candle, Tami came by and told me how today is 40 days since +Alexandra reposed. She wanted to let me know how Fr Gary was to lead a service after coffee hour in commemoration of our departed sister and encouraged me to offer my own prayers for Alexandra. I would gladly attend the service but I have something else going on in the early afternoon today.

one dollar? such a bargain!
I then turned to the business of lighting my candle. At first I thought that the wick was too short but, after holding it under the flame for a while, it lit right up.  All the time I was doing this, my phone was ringing.  I glanced at it and it was my wife calling. Since I was in the Nave, I did not pick it up but lit my candle and offered a short prayer.  I decided to sit up front by my candle so I could watch it burn during the service.  I usually sit in the back so this was a change for me.  

Deacon Alexander did give a short homily in which he talked about the hymn "O Gladsome Light," and how the Bishop of Jerusalem would take light from the tomb of Christ make a procession around the Church into the Altar.  It was a very good homily.

As I said, it was good to be back again.  Next week, I start a new schedule at work and that means I will be working Sundays so I will no longer be attending my protestant parish. Vespers will be more important than ever.  

See you next week!