The service was a real blessing. I found myself enjoying watching all the Faithful interact with each other during the Divine Liturgy. There was a lot of smiles, in between hymns and Psalms, a lot of warm glances- all the while, everyone's attention, towards the Altar, where Christ was making Himself known to His people! The awe and reverence of the Service, coupled with the love among the people, made this Service a place I wanted to be- where God was in the midst of His people!
One great thing about being in an Orthodox Church, is, because of it's Icons, it is a place where bored kids don't have to stay bored for long. In a Protestant church, if a baby get's fussy, the only thing you can do, besides sticking Cheerios in their mouths, is to take the baby out. Well, in the Orthodox Church, you have other options. Your baby is fussy? No worries, just get up during the service and visit the Icons. No one looks at you funny, like you're disrupting the service or anything. Last Sunday I saw this very thing. A very cute baby got a little fussy and was on the verge of crying so the mama took the child to the Icons on the wall and the baby was transfixed- and quieted! It was win-win! The people didn't have to be distracted by a crying baby, the mama got to continue in Worship and the baby, well, the baby got to be a baby!
The homily was good. You can hear a little snippet of it in the above video. Fr. Gary talked about how people could come and see our parish and, yes, they'd see beautiful icons, hear a beautiful choir but how much more important it is they find people who, though sinners, are seeking Christ!
With Great Lent coming up, we all have an opportunity to really seek Christ! May we all have a blessed Fast as we prepare for the Resurrection of our Lord on Pascha!