|The Service was Simply Beautiful, like this Fall Leaf!|
photo by Walt Stoneburner, used under the creative commons license.
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It turns out I had no reason to feel any disappointment because the service was simply beautiful! We progressed through the service book nicely and all our voices rose towards heaven, much like the incense we see at the services. Having a small choir meant that when the hymns were sung, Deacon Alexander and Reader Innocent (Jack Hayford) would alternate singing the hymn solo. That made it much easier to understand the lyrics of the hymn.
I felt uplifted during the whole services and was very disappointed as I turned to the last page in the book and realized we were about to end. One thing that made me smile was, towards the end of the Service, while some hymns were being sung, Reader John carried out a small Icon of Sts. Cosmos and Damien (We did hymn them that evening) and he handed it to one of the ladies standing next to the table in the middle of the Nave which had a different Icon on it. John removed the Icon on the table and the lady placed Cosmos and Damien on the table, replacing the Icon John just removed. What made me smile about this was the lady's expression when John handed her the Icon of Cosmos and Damien. She had a Who, me? expression, surprised that she was being called upon for this service. I guess since we were a small group that evening, we all had to do our part!
|Sts. Cosmos and Damien, pray for us!|
Through the prayers of our holy fathers, Lord Jesus Christ, our God, have mercy on us and save us.
But none came. Instead, Reader John turns to Fr. Deacon Alexander and asks, "Do you have any words for us?" He said, Sure and went to the front to deliver an impromptu homily. It was very good. He began by saying Don't forget to turn your clocks back tonight and went on to say that when it gets darker earlier, and when leaves change color and the grass turns brown, you can't help but think of death and wonder will there ever be life again. It was a very solemn yet joyful homily and I found it extremely uplifting as I did with the whole service.
Afterwards, we all venerated the Icons and congregated in the back for some discussion. I had a talk with Deacon Alexander about the Supermarket industry (I used to work in it and he currently does) and Tami hands me a music stand and tells me to carry it upstairs to the balcony. I, of course, obey. It was the first time I've ever been up there and you do get a different perspective of the Nave from there. Tami showed me where the bells were and explained the process of how the girls would ring it during Divine Liturgy. She then joked about how now that I was up in the balcony, I'd soon be in the choir and learning to ring those bells.
The Church is like any other church. Once you get a job, it's yours until you die! :)
I'm glad to know that! I could get used to ringing bells.