Sunday, July 11, 2010

'Some people get more than two grandmas'...

Heh. Above statement made Mary, one of the old women from Holy Trinity at coffee hour this afternoon. AndrewArthur was by, and teasing them about having to find me some younger women to talk to, and that's when she made the comment. I thought it was cute, so I share. :)

Hmmm...I'm very much enjoying attending the Orthodox services. One thing, and it's not important, but I feel the need to note, their pews are padded. This is a lovely thing. :) The priest, Fr. Ioannis (is that like John? *looks it up* It is.), is going to be on vacation for the next two weeks, so I'm guessing that the older priest, who I have not yet seen, as far as I know, will be celebrating the Divine Liturgy.

The homily is...different. Like, Fr. Ioannis doesn't give the homily right after the Gospel reading, like I'm used to, but at the very end of the service. I'm not sure if that's typical, or just him. I assume that the priest at the Serbian church gave the homily right after the Gospel, or at least it seemed like he did, but given that I couldn't understand what was being said, I might have been wrong. Also, usually, the homily is linked to the Gospel reading of that day, but today his homily was a reflection on the Gospel from last week. *cocks head like confused puppy* It was nice, but, like I said, different.

On a random and completely strange note, I've been smelling incense at random times in the day. Like, when I wake up, or driving my car, or at work. Places where incense is not. *shrug* It's weird.

Hmm...I think that's about it.

Oooh...there's also one woman there, whose name I do not know, who wears black all the time. The ladies at the table were discussing why, and apparently she's in mourning, and has been for, um, a really long time. They all thought it was odd, and no one knows who she's mourning for.


  1. Is the woman in black Italian? My friend, who is Italian, says that Italian Catholics will wear black for a prescribed period of time after a close love one dies and then will do it again the next year or so. I believe the time period is a couple months at least. Maybe that is what she is doing?

  2. Aw, it sounds like a precious time. I love hearing all the particulars from your visits to the Church.

    Smelling incense now, eh? That's really neat. Hopefully you like the smell and it doesn't make you sneeze.

    Glad to hear the happenings and yes it is particular that the one lady keeps wearing black. I love cultural stuff and this church experience seems so neat! Thanks for sharing!

    Are there any young people? About how many people attend?

  3. I long for such loving people in my real life. I'm so jealous. I wish I was near you and could attend your church. These people sound lovely.

  4. If my mother were not to suffer a major nervous break down i would gladly be the always-wearing-black one.... I think it's so simple and so easy. And in case there needs to be a mourning excuse i've always got my sins that need some serious mourning..........:)

    Don't worry about the incense symptoms. I used to have them as well:)

  5. That incense is really pervasive. It gets into your clothes. It gets into your pores. It wraps itself around your nose hairs. There's probably no way to get rid of it :D

    I am told that the traditional Orthodox idea of marriage is that it is eternal, so that if you are widowed, you do not remarry and you wear black for the rest of your life.

    The first bit of info I got from reading a book about Orthodoxy, and the other bit, I got from a discussion that ensued when I was in Slovakia once upon a time and we came upon a lady all in black.

  6. LK,

    I don't know. I haven't spoken to her, and no ones said what her background is. I get the impression though that she's been at this church for a while and no one knows who she's mourning for, or how long she's been in mourning.

  7. Susanne,

    Yep. Random moments of incense. It's very nice smelling, and doesn't make me sneeze at all. In fact, I've even been able to stop taking my allergy pill when I attend church and it doesn't bug me there either. I think it's because they have a better ventilation system than at the Serbian church.

    Not so many young people (my age), that I've noticed. There are kids, and some younger teenagers, and people who are older, but I haven't noticed anyone my age. Hmm...the numbers vary a bit. I'd say, at a guess, the most I've seen has been 40 or 50. But this is off season, so many of the snowbird parishoners are already gone for the season.

  8. Suroor,

    They are very, very lovely. I hope that you do find someplace like it with people who are just as warm and welcoming. And, of course, should you ever find yourself in SW Florida, I'll take you to meet my lovely people! :)

  9. Ann,

    Black does have the perk of matching pretty much everything, and being a nice, simple wardrobe. I personally can't pull it off though. :)

    'And in case there needs to be a mourning excuse i've always got my sins that need some serious mourning..........:)'

    Hee. I like that you've thought about this!

    'Don't worry about the incense symptoms. I used to have them as well:)'

    Oh, good, it's not just me. I was worried I was loosing my mind! ;)

  10. caraboska,

    'There's probably no way to get rid of it :D'

    I'm good with that. It's really very nice, and when I smell it, it randomly takes me back to the service, so it's all around pleasant!

    'so that if you are widowed, you do not remarry and you wear black for the rest of your life.'

    Huh. I don't remember reading that anywhere. That might explain it, though. She does wear a wedding band, but (in my very limited four visits thus far) she's never come with a husband. So maybe that's it. But you'd think the ladies would know about something like that...perhaps that's a culture specific custom? I shall have to look into this!

    I had assumed that widow(er)s would be allowed to remarry in Orthodoxy like they are in Catholicism. Especially since Orthodoxy allows for remarriage after divorce (with provisions). Then again, marriage rites/customs/laws aren't something that I've had much call to look into in Orthodoxy as of yet, so I may just be making it all up in my head!

  11. "But you'd think the ladies would know about something like that...perhaps that's a culture specific custom? I shall have to look into this!"

    I see a detective-solving-a-mystery post in our future! Hopefully! :)

    Seems we need an "Ask Amber" column since you are so good at finding out stuff!

  12. Oh yeah, that'a common among the widowed here where I am. One of my best friends here - who is about my age, or even a little less - had the misfortune to be widowed over 15 years ago, and to this day she wears her wedding ring. And there is an older man at the church I've been attending whose wife died a few years ago and he visits her grave every day and has basically vowed to stay single and wear black for her for the rest of his life. I have VERY occasionally seen him in other clothing - but perhaps only once a year if that (Maybe because he hadn't gotten around to doing laundry, who knows? Sounds like something I'd do, anyway...).

  13. Susanne,

    Seems we need an "Ask Amber" column since you are so good at finding out stuff!

    And what I don't find out, I just make up answers to! ;P

  14. caraboska,

    See, that makes me wonder if it's maybe a Slavic thing, since it's prevalent where you are. Of course LK said that they do it in Italy as well...I figure the black forever thing is cultural. It's the no remarriage thing I'm more curious about.

    If I was widowed? I'd keep wearing the ring too. Just because your spouse dies doesn't mean you aren't still married to them.

  15. Well, in the Bible the fact that your spouse has died does mean you aren't married to them anymore. Check out Romans 7. But there are traditions that understand that passage in a manner other than the literal meaning of the words, to put it delicately.

    Here, it is common to wear black for a prescribed time, then black and white for another prescribed time after that. I think maybe it's 6 months and 6 months. Since most people here are Catholic, there isn't normally this thing of wearing black for the rest of your life.

    But that business of Orthodoxy and marriage being eternal is probably worth finding out about.

  16. caraboska,

    I just glanced at it. But isn't that just an argument (if taken literally) against never remarrying if widowed? Saying that it isn't adultery to do so, even though it would be adultery to remarry if both parties were still alive?

    I just meant, by what I said, that I couldn't see removing my wedding band just because my husband had died. It'd (from my thankful position of not being in that position) seem like negating all the time I'd been with him, and just going, 'oh, well, time to move on!'.


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