My Sleeping Soul
...offered by Dn. James Ferrenberg, a sinner at 10:27 PM [+]
Once Monday arrives, it will mark the first day that I will not have been in Church in 9 days. I suppose that might sound like bragging or perhaps trying to display my piety...but those who know me, know better than to suspect that I have any notion of personal piety - rather I am somewhat astonished to have "made it" without an major familial discord. We simply decided that since I was home that we would try and attend every service this first week of Lent...to my surprise, the kids all did pretty well with it all.
But, did I?
The services are busy for a Reader: with the canon on M,T,W, and Th and then 9th hour, Typika, and Pre-Sanctified Liturgy on W and F (plus Moleben for St. Theodore on F)...it made for a very chant-filled week for me. I am eating up the experience that is coming with all of these services...but I find that it does make it a little harder to focus on entering INTO the services while one is busily worry and flipping pages and trying to chant. However, I've always found that something in the various services always centers me properly...a sort of sacred calibration that sets me to rights.
The Kontakion of the Canon of St. Andrew always seems to accomplish this for me:
My soul, my soul, Arise!
Why are you sleeping?
The end is drawing near,
and you will be confounded,
awake then and be watchful
that Christ our God may spare you,
Who is everywhere, and fills all things.
I've been reading (somewhat re-reading actually) Fr. Schmemann's journals and while there is much I could say about them, one thing that somewhat haunts me as I read, is knowing the approaching date of his diagnosis, treatments, and ultimate repose. As the season approaches it seems that Fr. Schmemann never fails to note this Kontakion. How powerful it is to read him mentioning it and knowing the future...knowing that with THIS journal entry he has only two years or one year remaining. It almost makes it difficult to read...feeling a little too voyeuristic.
But, the song is for us. It is us singing to our sleeping soul. None of us know what remaining time is given to us...there is much to do...much to change...much to repent of...much to celebrate. Why am I sleeping?!?!?!? I'm already confounded!
There's a reason they call it the Great canon, not the ok canon or the pretty good canon. It's just GREAT.
Doing the whole thing is a GREAT experience and GREAT exercise, too.
Nothing like it. The only thing close is the Lamentations of Great Saturday with Psalm 118. Wow.
-- Bob K.