Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Visit #190 ~ Late for Church but for a Good Reason!

The Christmas Tree in the Narthex
Liturgy was great, even if I did arrive ten minutes late...but more on that later.  I've been thinking lately on how Liturgy is not just a preparation for the future kingdom, but also a participation in it.  Yes, I believe that in Heaven we will be worshiping God and certainly the Psalms and Divine Hymns are but a foreshadow of what we will be doing. But, won't we be singing the actual trisagion Hymn in heaven? Why not get used to being in worship now? It gives me joy to know that the hymns and Psalms we are singing now, will also be sung in the coming Kingdom.

 Yet, attending Divine Liturgy IS a participation in the Kingdom. We sing the Psalms, along with the Saints and bodiless Powers.  One of my favorite parts of the Liturgy is the chanting of the Prokeimenon which is just the Psalms, really.  Below is a sample of Reader Tim chanting the Prokeimenon before the Epistle reading.

I enjoyed the whole liturgy. I was happy that I remembered to bring my service book so I wouldn't have to use the ones sitting in the Narthex.  I now have to figure out how to use the book more effectively. It has additional prayers in the back that coincide with the festal days and I have to learn how to flip back and forth so I can follow along better.  Sadly, because I had to go right to work, I could not stay for Coffee hour.  I told this to Tami as I was leaving and she gave me a warm greeting and blessing for a good day.

As I said, I was ten minutes late but that is because my wife woke up with a migraine headache and, besides strong aspirin, one thing that helps her in these times, is a massage, which I gave her. When I was almost at liturgy, she called me and thanked me for "ministering to her." I said, no problem and remembered how marriage is a means to Salvation. It would have been wrong for me to abandon her in her time of need. As you know, both the Priest and the Levite, walked passed the man laying on the side of the road. They would not help him because they were "rushing to church," i.e., the temple in Jerusalem. It was the Samaritan who turned out to be the good guy.

The good guy, that's what I want to be!

Christ is Born; Let us glorify Him!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Visit 189 ~ Back to Liturgy!

Good to be back to Liturgy!
photo by Christopher Sessums, used under the creative commons license.
check out more photos here:
Here is a link to the original photo:

Divine Liturgy last Sunday was, well, Divine! It's been a two weeks since my last liturgy because of things I had going on. I did, however, attend my protestant parish but it was really good to be back to liturgy. This is the second time I forgot to bring my Divine Liturgy book from home but I was able to follow along pretty well just by paying attention.

Do you ever find yourself thinking that the homily was especially good and then, days later, you cannot recall what it was about? Well, that is where I find myself now. Here it is Wednesday and I remember thinking the homily was good and beneficial and, now, I cannot remember the content. Annoying, eh?  I guess that is why we need to constantly be in attendance at Church, because we are a forgetful people.

One thing I do remember clearly is at the end of the service when the Faithful sometimes bring me the bread of fellowship (I know there is another name for it but I can't remember), someone handed one piece to Joanne who was standing next to me. She only had one piece and that person knew Joanne and didn't know me so that makes sense, right? Well, Joanne Immediately broke that little piece in half and gave me one. That is cool, eh?  I mean, I love the idea on how we are all in this together and it's always a good thing to be on the lookout on how to share with other people.  I/m glad Joanne did; it was inspiriing.

We are in the midst of a food drive, initiated by the Tuesday night Discussion group. As you can see from the picture below, they have collected a lot of food for the needy. I have a bag at home now and hope to fill it and bring it next week.

Until next time, have a blessed Nativity Fast!!

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

My Protestant Parish

As I  said in my last post, I am grateful that I now have Sunday mornings off of work. Thus, I will be able to attend Divine Liturgy more often. I shall be splitting my time between DL and going to my protestant parish with my wife. Above is a short clip of the service of my Protestant parish.