looking over my shoulder
...offered by Dn. fdj, a sinner at 10:59 PM [+]
Since the death of my Grandmother I have been really delving into my eastern european family history. (Yes, I know I've posted about this before). Something about the past appeals to me - not sure I can explain it. The fact that I have a slavic and Orthodox ancestry is very exciting to me...and yet a little saddening too. As I talk and correspond with some of my more distant Orthodox relatives and as I peruse numerous historical documents and texts I find myself learning all sorts of beautiful family traditions and practices - some of which I have been learning and tripping through the process of establishing in my own family. This should not be the case.
Does anyone else out there, feel an emtpiness in regards to connecting with their ancestors? A sort of void that fuels a desire to establish your own personally designed family traditions? Perhaps you are like me and growing up you had none, save for watching TV or something along those lines. A longing for something meaningful we DO that speaks to us as a people and unites us in some way. Liturgy is alot like that I suppose...for it's part, Orthodoxy brings many wonderful traditions and practices that accomplish much of this...but as a convert I sometimes feel clumsy about it all. I mean, I don't want to pretend to be Greek or Russian...and yet there are somethings the ethnic cradle Orthodox do which can make the faith come alive in the home...beautiful things, wonderful things. Frankly my kids freaking LOVE IT when we engage in our little rituals at home which we have learned. Kids seem to have an innate need and appreciation for such things.
I do not pretend to ignore this profound sense of interest in the past as being a factor in my initial attraction toward Orthodoxy. In a way, this Church kept saying to me: I am your past...I am your ancestor...and I am yet alive. Of course one needn't find Orthodoxy in their distant relatives for these words to be true.
I've heard some folks lament that they felt cheated for having known next to nothing about Church history...in a way I feel cheated for having all of my family's Orthodox traditions and faith denied me...but we are working to correct that!
I know there are probably many out there who would merely shrug their shoulders at this concept of "t"raditions, I suppose it may be another sign of my agedness? LOL!