Friday, April 29, 2016

Visit #200 ~ A Milestone and Redirection for my Blog

Last Wednesday was the last Pre-Sanctified Liturgy for Lent and I was so happy that I was able to go there. Usually on Wednesday nights I am at work but I had taken the day off because I had to finish a video project for someone. It was only after I took off that I realized that Vespers was that evening. I was happier than a Dairy Salesman on Bright Monday (Okay, that was lame but I said it anyway ☺) I love Pre-Sanctified Liturgy. It is my favorite service in Great Lent. And my favorite part is the Let my Prayer Arise Psalm.  I was able to record the whole chant which runs nearly seven minutes. With Fr. Gary chanting the verses and with the Choir singing the chorus, it was beautiful in a joyful mourning kind of way.  Below is a video I made which has the recording. Even though Great Lent is over and Pascha is almost here, I could listen to this all year round. It is simply beautiful!

So this is my 200th visit, a sort of milestone, I suppose. I guess I should give out a prize. Nah, never mind. I have decided though to change the direction of this blog. After 200 visits to Orthodox Services, I would hardly say I've exhausted all the complexities and beauty of Orthodox Worship, but much of what my feeble powers of observations  are able to do,  is exhausted.    So instead of just repeating myself, instead of blogging after each visit, I plan on blogging "whenever the spirit moves me;" That is to say, whenever a topic reaches the top of my mind, then I will blog.  I did have fun counting my visits though (It must be the geek in me) so I think I'll keep track of each time I visit on a separate page (You can find it here and I'll post a link on the front page of this blog. I took the liberty of putting visit 201 on the page, in anticipation of attending service this evening.)

In the meantime, keep me in your prayers as I move slowly East and  will  I remember you. May we all be united in Christ.

I know it's a little early but,

Christ is Risen, 
He is Risen, indeed!

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Visit #199 ~ Periscope Broadcast of my Last Visit

I did a live Periscope Broadcast - instead of writing a blogpost about my latest visit, I did a short 3 minute video....hope you enjoy!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Visit # 198 ~ I Love me some Pre-Sanctified Liturgy!

This is a great service of the Church and I am sorry I cannot go on Wednesday nights during lent because of my work schedule. Yet, luckily, The Pre-sanctified Liturgy was served Friday morning so I was able to catch it before I went to work.  I love the combination of Psalms, prayers and prostrations.  Nothing says Great Lent quite like it!

The view from my car, before I entered
I arrived early enough to light a candle, say a prayer and enjoy the silence.

Here is a video of the nave before the Service.

Fr Gary did make mention on how this service is really supposed to be served in the evening and how we had to modify, "Let us complete our evening Prayer unto the Lord," by taking out the work evening. Okay, that works for me!

The Prayer of St. Ephraim is such a simple yet profound prayer.  If we live in that prayer, we shall truly be Christian.  It gets a bit hard for me to do the prostrations (and when I am home, I don't do them) but the prostrations certainly put your body where your soul is supposed to be!

I also love the "Let my prayer arise" hymn. I know by rubrics, it is supposed to be done by three clergy (and last year I witnessed that) but I confess I love it best when it is just Fr. Gary chanting it alone.  The tone has a slow, mournful feel to it that matches with the spirit of lent so well.

I hope to go to more services during Lent and, by the way, whoever said fasting was easy, lied to me!