Tuesday, September 14, 2010

New places, new experiences

Finally moved in!  Felicity and I will get back to regular posting now that things have settled down.  Daughters are both doing wonderfully.  The new house is a wonderful place to live in a tiny town that's so easy to get around in!  I've been doing my job for the last couple of days and really enjoy teaching.  The OT class that I teach is much more enjoyable than the Latin, but that's because I get to teach only one class at a time instead of two.

We've also started moving ourselves into our new parish home.  There's a small monastery nearby that we've been attending.  I say "Small" being completely ignorant of the regular size of Orthodox monasteries.  Without disclosing too much information, we've landed ourselves in a place highly recommended by some (including our priest) and irritating to others.  Not because they aren't in communion, and not because they don't love Jesus, and not because they aren't Orthodox; but because they have the blessing of the Holy Synod to be a sort of Liturgical testing ground...or maybe an archeological site for the more historic form of public worship once found in Orthodoxy.

All of that said, we have started making ourselves at home in the parish community there.  We are one of the only families from our city, so when we showed up last night for Vespers for Holy Cross most people were pleasantly surprised to see us there!  We love the brothers and sisters we met so far, and they all love our girls (naturally).

The service is slightly different than what we're used to.  Rather than start with the three traditional antiphons after "Blessed is the Kingdom..." we move right into the Trisagion and the Little Entrance, which actually functions as an entrance of the Bible into the temple!  The huge book is then placed in the center of the Nave and we gather around it to hear the three readings: yes, three.  We have an Old Testament, New, and then Gospel reading.  Following that the priest(s) make (their) way into the altar area--not an iconostasis per se, but a lo railing with icons around it that surrounds the sacred space of the altar.  At the end of the service, we were slightly confused, but having talked with Fr. S and calling our priest in North Carolina we felt a lot more secure about our growing relationship with the community up the hill.

Please keep us in prayers as our catechesis begins in earnest within the coming weeks.

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