Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Blessings, Prayers, and Peace

Sunday was the feast of Theophany (n.s.) and it was a rough go to get into town for church. Had it not been Theophany, we might have foregone the push to town on the ice packed slush of a road, but how often does it fall on a sunday, the day of Resurrection, and this year we have a body of water to go for the Great Blessing of waters! Of course, we were running late getting out the door, since Jay was driving the farm truck and have to always be uber prepared for leaving the house for town, careful not to forget anything if we can help it.

We arrived in decent time, though not early enough for the Gospel reading and homily, but it was enough to make it there in time for A Mercy of Peace; it is my favorite in the whole of the liturgy and I hope that one day we can sing a few other arrangements and compositions, but we made it and that is what matters. It is a beautiful miracle to participate in the life of the Church and her services.

That being said, a liturgy is a liturgy, it may seem, but feasts be shifting and the tides turning with the depths of timelessness set in our time-filled humanity. Each is a new day to chose for oneself the path wherein we step, with each rising of the sun, a fresh day greets us with fervor and constancy to awaken the world from her slumber. This day was no different in her splendor, though from where we stood, a challenge was in our path. Those being weather and our will to leave the mountainside on such a cold day, when a pot of tea and breakfast was more welcome than a long, arduous journey down to town, though worth it in more ways than are completely tangible.

We got off, running late as I stated, arrived, participated, stayed on for a bit during the trapeza/coffee hour, then I got to take my sister out for a birthday coffee! Hurray! She got a fancy something full of sugar, caffeine, and cream. After some time to sit and chat to catch up, we were off to the park where people refer to it as 'the fairy ponds'. Foggy and chill it was, as we trekked from the parked car to the place where everyone had just begun the Great Blessing of the Waters. As I looked across the crowd to the opposite side, I saw Jay standing there with his pants rolled to his knees and hair pulled back and for a few moments, I noticed that he had the same countenance as on the day he was baptised, right as he and Fr. Boris walked three times around the center of the church and baptismal font. That was truly beautiful and simple.

After the main prayers, the time to bless the water thrice with the Holy Cross came and to sing the Troparion of the feast: When Thou, O Lord, wast baptized in the Jordan the worship of the Trinity was made manifest! For the voice of the Father bare witness to Thee, calling Thee his Beloved Son. And the Spirit, in the form of a dove, confirmed the truthfulness of his Word. O Christ our God, who hast revealed Thyself and hast enlightened the world, glory to Thee. It was at this point Fr. Andreas arced the cross from hand to creek with Jay and Brenden going in after it. This happened every time and on the third time, Basil, my youngest nephew, was asking to get it, so Brenden grabbed him from my sis and he helped Basil grab it. That water is amazingly glacier cold and fresh, hence it being January, but still quite pleasant.

We went to venerate the cross and be sprinkled with the newly blessed water on this lovely feast. Afterward, we had a group photo with as many of the church family who were able to attend. As everyone gathered themselves to head home, or wherever they may be going, I walked back down to the shore after handing my glasses over to Jay. I got down and scoped some up to splash on my face and have a drink. It refreshed my body, mind, and spirit. Many prayers have been answered, simply in finding some peace within, when things are so chaotic and swirling without. Glory to God for all things!

Next year I think there will be many more people wanting to go in after the cross, many of whom are under the age of 10!


elizabeth said...

Glory to God for His mercy! been thinking of you today!