An unworthy Deacon, named for the brother of God: James, striving to "work out his salvation with fear and trembling" within the Tradition (paradosis) of the Eastern Orthodox Faith. It is a strange and marvelous journey, and I am accompanied by the fourfold fruit of my fecundity. My wife, the Matushka or Diaconissa Sophia, is my beloved partner in the pursuit of Theosis, and she ranks me in every way.
Amidst the darkness and lack of running water, we roused the kids from their slumber and hauled them off to the Kingston-Edmunds ferry for a 7:50am departure. We were going to St.Paul's to see our dear friend Valerie be chrismated.
It was odd the be back at Saint Paul's after being gone now for nearly 3 months I guess (?). Some of it was familiar and some of it was new and some of it I had trouble following along: evidence that I am beginning to make St. Elizabeth's my home.
This story properly belongs to Sue, but I do not think she will mind me telling it since she remains moreso in the dark than I am at work and it certainly deserves telling. A while back we were excited to learn that Valerie had chosen St. Elizabeth the New Martyr as her patroness, and so Sue went to Vespers the other night intent on getting an icon of St. Elizabeth for her. Unfortunately, we were fresh out of stock of anything other than small icon cards.
Desperate, Sue appealed to Fr. Christopher, hoping that he might perhaps have one back behind the altar. He went to check, but returned empty handed...empty at least of any icons. What he did have however would turn out to be something amazing.
Fr. Christopher gave us, to give to Valerie, a secondary relic from St. Elizabeth: a small portion of her casket. Needless to say we were astonished. Sue brought it home and once the kids were in bed we sat down in the dark and carefully embedded the small pieces of wood into some wax and then wrapped it up for her. What a wonderful chrismation gift: thanks to Fr. Christopher and St. Elizabeth Mission.
With the Chrismations over and Valerie duly illumined, we spent some fun time hanging out with friends. When all was said and done we caught a 10pm ferry and returned to a very dark and cold house, with Killick dancing at the door needing to relieve himself. Sue got the kids in bed while I got a fire going and then went out to chop some more wood for use through the night and the next morning. I'll admit to being a bit grumpy about the cold, the dark, and hauling wood near midnight...but once it was done and we sat together next to the warming fire I felt much better.
Holy Grand Duchess Elizabeth, pray unto God for our salvation. Some electricity would be much appreciated as well.
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 10:13 AM [+] +++
What he didn't mention is how people kept coming over to venerate the relic. Sue had presented it in a congratulatory card, and when they read her narrative about Fr. Christopher's giving of the relic, each and every jaw dropped. Eyes glistened (or more). It was amazing.