|the little booklet I used since I forgot my book|
I really enjoyed liturgy last Sunday. It was the celebration of Afterfeast of the Entry of the Most Holy Mother of God into the Temple. As I walked into the Narthex, I realized I had forgotten my Divine Liturgy Book that I had purchased back in October. (You can read about that here.) So I had to content myself with the little booklets they provided which you are supposed to return at the end of the Service. I wonder if any one "steals" them? I have to remember for next time to bring my book.
During the Liturgy, I saw something very touching. A new mother walked into the Nave with her baby, towing behind her, her toddler son. She came in late which, of course, is understandable, given the challenges that babies present. Well, as soon as the woman came in with her two children, the grandmother of the children, who was armed with candles and who seemed to be waiting for them, grabbed the hand of the toddler and escorted him to the candle stand. The boy was too short to reach the candle stand so he had to step up on the stand on the same level that the Iconostastis was on. ( I don't know what that is called...can someone tell me?) Well, what boy doesn't like to play with fire. He happily lit the candle and the grandma returned him to his mother. I thought, how great are grandma's! What a fortunate boy he is. Not only does he have a mother and father who take him to Church, but he has a faithful grandma to help him in his faith.
Also, during the service, I noticed a mom with his son. He seemed to be around 12 years old. They seemed to be a bit lost in the service but one of the faithful, who obviously knew them, gave them a service book turned to the right page so they could follow along. Before that person returned to where she was standing in the back, she gave a warm smile. Later on, when communion was about to be distributed, the mom of the boy kept looking back as if to ask her friend, do we go up? (Or maybe she was just asking for her son.) I don't think the lady in the back saw her but when that lady was walking up the aisle, the mom asked the question again. She was told no but with such a warm smile, it could no way be interpreted as a scolding. Behold the joy of the Eucharist, reserved for the Faithful but not with triumphalist exclusion. Rather, given the magnitude of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, it is not something that is handed out like candy. When the lady came back, she, of course, had some fellowship bread, which she joyfully shared with the mom and her boy.
It was a very edifying service. At the end, we all approached the Cross, held by Fr. Gary, in order to venerate it before leaving. Normally, Fr. Gary says to each Christ is in our midst and, as we kiss the cross, I know the proper response is He is and ever shall be. Now because it was a feast day, Fr. Gary said Joyous Feast!. I said, Amen but I am sure that there is a more liturgical response. Can someone tell me what it is?
I was sad that I couldn't stay long for Coffee hour but I am grateful that I was able to attend the Liturgy. I am glad that I will be able to do so more often now! Praise the Lord....Oops, I mean, Glory to Jesus Christ! Oh, well, I guess both are correct! :)
|at the end of the Service, Fr. Gary giving announcements.|
See you next time.