Adventures in Reading
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 5:10 PM [+]
During the first Pre-Sanctified Liturgy after the Kathisma, I was told by a fellow choir member that I had misread one of the verses. Unfortunately what he was trying to communicate to me and what I was allowing to be communicated to me were two entirely different things. I was convinced he was telling me that the verse was misprinted in my source and that the word "sleep" was supposed to be "sheep." I looked at the verse again and it did seem initially a little murky as either "sheep" or "sleep", but I didn't investigate further being convinced (wrongly) of what my exact error had been. And so I made a mental note for the next service.
On Friday, after being kindly reminded again of the upcoming verse, I set in my mind to doing it correctly this time. And so I chanted:
It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved [and remembering this verse I set in stone my will to say it correctly this time and in so doing unintentionally pronounced what followed with a special emphasis as if to prevent myself from screwing it up again]SHEEP.
The numerous spontaneous snickers that followed threw me off somewhat, but I managed to finish the Psalms and once I did, my choir comrade leaned over and asked: "Did you do that on purpose?"
"Ummm, yeah I did," I answered, utterly confused.
Only later would I find out that from the very the beginning, I had apparently said "Sheep" and that he had been trying to tell me all along that I had done so and that the word was supposed to be "sleep" as written! And so when I had so confidently declared "sheep" again, the choir nearly lost all composure for it seemed everyone, save me, knew the truth of my first mistake.
What must have my friend thought when I confessed to saying "sheep" deliberately the second time?
I am sure you will all rest easy knowing that on my third attempt today I did manage to squeeze out the word "sleep" which is not itself beloved (as might be sheep), but given to His beloved (to whom, I suppose, he might give some sheep).
Perhaps I could use a bit more of MY own beloved sleep?
Well, Glory to God for all things! No doubt God looks upon our liturgical errors as a loving father does his young children's attempts at fine art. I try to keep this truth in mind as we (as I) strive to serve Him and His Church to the best of our (my) abilities.
I'd like to think that HE probably snickered, too. God must have a sense of humor. After all, he created us, and giraffes...