A Wild Liturgical Ride
Here I was again, not yet quite awake in Matins after having gotten up at what seemed the crack of dawn in order to make the 35 mile drive in time for my girls to attend Church School. (Aren’t we cool to not call it Sunday School - well whatever.) My son was contentedly sitting at my feet listening to the beautiful chanting of the choir as I stood near the center of the temple amidst a small crowd of persons who may or may not have been equally as yawn-full as I was.
The censor bells jingled and the aromatic smoke filled the room while I found myself afforded the rare opportunity to really let the moment soak in. Christ and the Theotokos- through the fog - gaze into me, the Altar is lavish and carries upon it icons which I have brought to be blessed, I feel enlivened by the presence of the host of Saints who join us for worship and surround us on the walls. For a moment, my son could have gotten up and walked away and I would not have known it. As I listened to the profundity of the chanter's words I began to feel undone…who am I to be here? Who am I to speak of the things of God on this blog or anywhere else?
Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand,
Things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.
"Woe is me, for I am undone!
Because I am a man of unclean lips,
And I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips;
For my eyes have seen the King,
The LORD of hosts."
I was glad to see that the Seraphim behind the Iconstasis did not approach me with a tong and fiery coal. “This is all too big for me to take in,” I thought to myself, “This Faith I’ve become apart of seems to rise so far beyond me…it’s beauty is at this moment staggering to me and I shudder to take it all in.”
I felt enveloped in pure potent truth that at once convicted me and blessed me. In every place that I directed my senses, I was confronted with another facet of truth in what seemed to me to be an endless array of crystalline knowing and unknowing reaching forward from the day of Pentecost, past and through me and then on into eternity. I wanted to cry and I wanted to laugh…but God and Nicholas had other plans.
A tug on my pant leg brought me back to my parental duties and there is a certain perfect beauty in such things. I picked my son up and directed his attention to the large Icon of Christ before us. He smiled and raised his hand and sang: “Awoly”
“Yes,” I said to him, “Holy.”
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 5:34 PM [+]