Monday, October 5, 2015

Visit #185 ~ Celebrating Mary's Protection and getting a New Book!

A Service book for Sale in the Narthex!

I was able to go to Divine Liturgy on a weekday so I made sure I made it to Church last Thursday. It was great to be there to celebrate -

The Protection of our Most Holy Lady the Mother of God and Ever-Virgin Mary.

Now I arrived early because I had my sights on a Service book of the Divine Liturgy that I wanted to purchase. It is true that I owned a Divine Liturgy Service that was gifted to me by Tiffany. It was her Father's book and it meant a lot to me that she gave it to me (You can read about that here.) . But, even though that book had the entire Liturgy used on Sunday mornings, it really was very big to hold, like holding a text book. That's because it had English, Church Slavonic and Serbian translations, all in one book. But that was just like Jim Martin to get a big book. He had a Go Big or Go Home approach to life. That is why he embraced Holy Orthodoxy so wholeheartedly ! I figured it would be more practical to get one of the smaller books that I see the faithful holding in the Nave. 

I wanted to ask questions about the book and who should show up but the ever graceful Tami. I immediately started in with my question about which book to buy but she would have none of it. Instead, she greeted me warmly with a Glory to Jesus Christ and I could tell she was very happy to see me there.  We chatted a bit and then I asked her how much the book cost, ect and she said I should ask Fr. Gary. I did end up asking him after the service was over and found out the book was $11.  There were actually two versions of the book in the case and he recommended I get the older, out-of-print one and not the new version because he used the older one during Liturgy.  So I am a happy camper now!

And speaking of Liturgy, as I was standing with the faithful, right before the chanting of the epistle, Tami pulls me aside, tells me to leave my book on the chair and follow her. She quietly tells me that she wants me to put the Gospel Lectern on the top step next to the Royal Doors so that Fr. Gary can proclaim the Gospel and then give his homily.  You know times are tough when you've got to get a Protestant to do your heavy lifting! 
(Just joking) I was happy to help out.

The Gospel Lectern that I carried!
I grabbed the Lectern at the appropriate time and turned out to be a bit heavy. It was, after all, all solid wood. Tami had instructed me to make sure the Let us attend signage was facing the congregation.  I told her I could handle it.  Of course, I stumble a bit as I picked up the Lectern but at least when I placed in on the top step, I didn't fall.  After Fr. Gary read the Gospel he motioned for me to remove the Lectern. Apparently, he wasn't going to use it for the homily.  

It was a great service, even though lightly attended. But it's not about numbers; it's about worshiping God! And I definitely  felt like I was in worship and it made me think of heaven where worship is happening all the time.  The Divine Liturgy is a good place to get ready for the coming Kingdom! 

At the end of the service when we all venerated the Cross that Fr. Gary was holding, Fr. Gary made sure to thank me for my help! There was no coffee hour afterwards but I was glad to talk with some people briefly after everything was over. 

It's always a good thing to go to Divine Liturgy! 

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