Sunday, June 27, 2010

Video: And Now You Can See What A Dork I Am

I knew I'd forget things in the video. Apparently they have two priests at the church, and this time it was the younger one. He's a little less heavy on the incense. :)

Anyhow. Things one must adjust to if going to an Orthodox Church from, well, pretty much anywhere else: When you get there, assuming you get there at the time stated in the bulletin, you will think that you're late. There's a pre-Divine Liturgy service that starts an hour before, called Orthos (or Matins). In my limited understanding, it's the preparation for the Divine Liturgy. So yes, you will be walking in on a service 'in progress'. It's okay. People walk around the church more than anywhere else I've ever been. They are constantly walking up to icons and lighting candles. You just have to get used to it. Also, people come 'late'. No one minds.

Personal stuff. Like I said, everyone was super nice! It was so lovely and warm and happy! One couple brought their baby who was, I'm guessing, maybe a few months old. Towards the end of the service she got fussy and cried a little. There was *no* shushing and dirty looks like 'shuffle the kid out!'. The only comment I heard was, 'Isn't that a lovely sound to hear!' *makes gushy faces*

The service is a mix of Greek and English. The hymns are sung in Greek, but the hymnal has the words in both languages so you can follow along. They also use a book of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom with English and Greek. As a matter of fact, here's the book:

Anyway. When I say that the service is split, I mean that sometimes it's Greek one sentence and English the next. Like, during the Petitions. One will be in Greek, along with the response, and the next will be in English. And there are some things, like the Creed and the Our Father, which are said twice. Once in Greek and then again in English. But the homily is only in English.

Also, while Communion was going on, I was looking around at the icons, trying to figure out who was who. I figured out most of them, but, here's the awesome surprise:

This is a picture of the iconostasis of the church from their website. From left to right we have, by my figuring, St. Michael the Archangel, the Last Supper, the Virgin Mary and the Child Christ, the Annunciation (on the doors), Christ, St. John the Forerunner, and, in the last icon on the right....*drum roll* St. Raphael the Archangel! My thrill is because *no one* ever uses Raphael! It's always Michael and Gabriel that get the love! And since Raphael is my patron saint...*grin* I was *so happy* to see him up there!

Hmmm...the grandma's, like I said, abducted me and made me go to coffee hour. They even fed me, though I turned down the baklava. They also managed to find out, in about five seconds, that I am neither married nor in a relationship. I have no idea how, or why this was important information. Even though I kept saying, at first, that I was just visiting, and I made a point of explaining that I was neither Greek nor Orthodox, they insisted on referring to me as the 'new parishioner'. So I eventually just gave up and went with it. *shrug* I also have my 'official' table for coffee hour, with them, and must be back next week.

On the non-church related front, I was in the parking lot at the mall around 4:30 this afternoon, talking with a friend of mine after a movie. We could see there was a storm way off in the distance, but it was clear where we were. And then, all of a sudden, there was the electrical poppoppoppop like light bulbs and electronics blowing, and then the freaking *ground* shook as lightning shot over our heads! It set off car alarms, I'm not even kidding. And that's when we decided we were done talking. :)

This is the second time I've been close to a lightning strike. The last time was years ago. I was weeding, and a storm was coming up, but I just wanted to finish what I was doing. So I kept on weeding and weeding until *boom* when the flash and the thunder come at the same time, you're *under* the lightning, boys and girls. It hit in the empty lot across the street, and I *still* felt like I'd stuck my finger in a socket. My hair stood up, I'm not even kidding. And that's when I figured the weeding was done for the moment. :)


  1. YAY glad it went so well. Little old ladies are just so darn cute! No matter what religion, they all act the same way hahaha.

    Love your hair btw.

  2. Ah, you know FL is like the death-by-lightning capital of the US, Girl!!! Great lightning stories...though scary!

    Loved the lightning pics the other day.

    And I am soooooo happy to see a video! You look great and sound just like I hear you when I read your posts. Love it! I hope you didn't mind doing it and maybe will do more from time to time. :) I have a couple videos of myself online that I forgot about until recently. Maybe one day I'll let you hear my lovely southern accent. :)

    Yay for a Raphael touch to the church. The people there sound wonderful and welcoming! I'm happy you had a great experience. Thanks much for sharing all the interesting tidbits with us. :)

  3. Oh I love your church, you new parishioner :)

    You are so lovely. And you wore my favourite colour so you are double lovely!

    I love old ladies and that Andrew guy sounds so sweet. Really cute post. Thanks!

  4. Ah, gotta lose that dorky self-image. You could pass for a nice Greek girl :D Now all you have to do is learn Greek and become Orthodox :D Glad you had a good time and didn't get asthma from the incense :D

  5. I'm so glad you did go and even more glad you liked it.

  6. Glad you had a good time! Nice to see your video too, you don't look dorky. I agree with Caraboska you could pass for Greek! :o)

  7. So nice to see you on video! :) I'm glad it went so well! That was your second time to that Orthodox Church? Sounds like you do need to go back next week!

  8. LK,

    I don't know. This is my first encounter with the little old ladies phenomenon. :) It's sort of frightening, like a force of nature!


  9. Susanne,

    Yes, I am aware. However, living with it, you kind of become used to it. And occasionally do stupid things. :)

    I don't mind doing the video, it's just getting it right, and then posting it, since I have to do the uploading when no one else is on the internet (otherwise it takes *forever*), which is a narrow window given the percentage of computer nerdage in my house.

    I demand Susanne in video form!

    Yes. All instances of Raphael make me squeeky happy! :)

  10. Suroor,

    Yes, I apparently have no say in the matter. It's been decided, somehow... *looks around confused* I'm not really sure how it even happened... ;)

    Thank you! I love green too, it's such a happy, soothing color.

    Yes, everyone was so very sweet and adorable.

  11. caraboska,

    Ah, but if I really *am* a dork, how should I lose the image? :)

    Heh. People were surprised at my last name, which is clearly not Greek, and I did get asked by one actually-from-Greece Greek lady if I was *from* Greece, but that was before she heard me talk. :) hard is Greek to learn? Following along in the lectionary (I'm just calling it that. It's probably called something else.), some words were fairly easy to figure out what the English was meant to be, like Theos, Kyrie, etc. But the alphabet is very, very different looking. And the incense just gives me a headache, but I think that's partially some priests apparently have a heavier hand with the stuff (I had the same problem when incense was used for Eucharistic Adoration - lots of incense, small chapel), and that it's not used much in other churches, so I'm just not used to it.

  12. Ann,

    It was lovely, really, really lovely. I'm very glad I've gotten over my own nervousness to go and actually speak to strangers. :)

  13. Sarah,

    Thanks. :) I always feel dorky when I watch the videos though. But maybe that's just how everyone feels when they see themselves.

    I find this consensus that I could pass for Greek very amusing, considering there's nothing even remotely Greek in my genetics. :) It's the skin tone, isn't it?

  14. Candice,

    Yep. That was my second visit. I think if I don't go back next week the grandma's may hunt me down. I have no doubt they could do it, too. :)

  15. Well, you don't look or sound like a dork, so either you have some sort of hidden dorkiness, or the word dork means something other than what I thought...

    Let's see: learning Greek. I have never tried to learn Modern Greek, but am told that native speakers of that language have very little trouble reading New Testament (Koine) Greek - that it's pretty similar. And there is a nice, painless way to learn Koine which I discovered quite by accident and is detailed here:

    I will qualify the word 'painless' only with the proviso of getting used to the alphabet. That was something I had to do as a child - in fourth grade, as I recall, our teacher required us to learn it and had us write stories in English but transliterated into the Greek alphabet. But you can of course learn it now - :D

  16. caraboska,

    Thanks! I *knew* I'd seen a post from you about learning Greek, but I didn't think Koine Greek and modern Greek were so similar. Hmmm.

  17. It is pretty similar, actually, from what I can see. Lately, for a certain project which you can see on my blog if you haven't already, I needed to see how the shahada is said in Greek, and so I ended up reading various materials in Greek to find it, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I was able to understand. If anything, Modern Greek grammar is probably simpler. The biggest adjustment for me personally, as far as I can see, would be the pronunciation.


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