Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pre-scantified Liturgy

A blog entry regarding yesterday...
Just when times are darkest and we are most in need of hope and refuge the Son is there waiting.

You know who is working overtime on awaking old insecurities, generating new resentments and using his deception to twist up thoughts and feelings into something removed from circumstance and reality.

I drove Stavro-nikitas directly from his flute lesson to church for Pre-scantified Liturgy. Arriving early we straightened up the candle stands lighting the candles and preparing the space within ourselves leaving the world outside and welcoming the cosmos. As it unfolded he was the only altar boy serving and I was the choir. I hardly looked forward to the responsibility or up for the task. Choir singing I have managed to avoid for about fifteen years until a month ago. Father came over to me and asked pointedly "You are going to help [do] with the singing right?" I replied "Yes of course. Help or Hurt." Then father replied sarcastically or not, I don't know, "Just pray".

Regardless of his intent, I took Father at his word and prayed to dispense with all my vain thoughts, self consciousness, all my inadequacy to wash away as I was the one now charged with helping the service along: pray well. I sang the responses and hymns, the way I run [used to run] the miles one at a time never looking ahead just staying in the present step. Jim read all the readings and I sang all but 'O Gladsome Light' which Father came out and directed Jim to sing. God I was drenched with self awareness of my ineptitude. I immediately worked to release and push aside any distracting thoughts any speculation about my lack of competency.

I read the words of the hymns and prayed mindful of my instrument and guiding myself to the reality that the notes in spite of the page are the same just as the letters of many different words are unchanged. I made some notes to the music for future reference like repeats in certain hymns to account for timing. I was amazed that despite a rather unfruitful and dark day lost in my imaginings I was blessed to assist in the service in such a profound way. I wasn't sure how many people had attended church until the end because the light at the psaltery was so blinding. The Lord didn't pick a day when I felt strong or deserving but the day of lowliness.

Stavro-nikitas was calmly rushing about assisting Father with this service of Saint Basil. How beautiful it was the my son and I each were responsible for assisting others in their roles and worship as Elias had done with his iconography in our small community. Theophani remained home to watch after Euphemia and take care of some undone menial tasks.

I honestly believe that there were a few moments when the service could have been objectively considered beautiful and by that I don't think my singing a distraction. I wanted to be good for God and for the others. On that rather serious note...When Stavronikitas and I were riding home in the car trying to stay warm, I asked him what he thought of church. He spoke about having to make sure Father had everything he needed. I then asked about the singing and he said it was "O.K". I asked if there were any bad parts and he shrugged his shoulders and said "Not really". Then I asked "Well, were there any good parts?" and he said in true form "Yeah when Father was singing".

Vanity it's all vanity!!!!

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