Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm Out of Practice


There's a lot of standing in the Orthodox service. More than I remember, really. I can't figure out if it's just my memory playing tricks on me or if maybe it's because it's Pascha? I know that there's no kneeling for prayers until after Pentecost, so maybe that's something to do with it. I'll have to look it up.

*lol* I just know there was more standing!

It felt good to be back, and it reminded me that I really do need to get to learning Greek. The church does have Greek language classes, but they're Monday evenings at 6:30. When I have my trainer, of course. And believe me, her schedule is packed, so moving my times around is not going to happen. I'll do my best to muddle through on my own and at some point things will change and I'll be able to take the class if I need to I'm sure. Same thing with the Bible study on Wednesday nights. *pout* Do they not know that they're supposed to make things convenient for *me*? ;)

*thinks* The little old man who greets everyone came over and asked me why I wasn't taking Communion. He's a sweetheart and I love him! I have no idea what his name is, but he's just so dang cute! Anyway, that led to the whole, 'not Orthodox' discussion, and he was telling me about one of the men there who was Jewish. He says the man attended the Divine Liturgy for three weeks and then came up to him (they'd spoken before, of course) and told him that he wanted to convert. My little old man was telling me all about how, at his age, he'd learned that you have to do what seems right to you, not what people tell you is right. *pinches his cheeks* He's just so dang cute!

I didn't stay for the coffee hour because my schedule on Sundays is a little packed. *shrug*

*thinks* Oh! Does anyone remember how the baba's were telling me (the last time) about the Woman In Black and how no one knew why she wore black all the time, yadda? Well, she's not wearing black anymore! She was wearing a very pretty fuscia dress with a white sweater over it. I can't tell you how much prettier she looks now. Not that people can't look beautiful in all black, but she was definitely...dumpy about it. Unhappy. Which, if she was in mourning would make sense. Turns out, she's the priests wife! Presbytera Photini.

The homily was on Mother's Day, unsurprisingly. I'm not a big fan of Mother's Day. Not because I don't love and appreciate my mother, but because it's just another one of those made up holidays. I try to remember to make sure my mother knows I love her all year round. I fail at being the perfect daughter a lot, but I try. The main thrust of the sermon was, I think, about reassuring mothers who, at a great many times feel invisible or unappreciated, that even when no one else seems to see everything that they do, God does.


  1. Oh, yay! I was hoping you'd tell us how church went yesterday! I remember when I read the Orthodox church book that the guy mentioned the standing and people moving around. He likened it to our visiting our father's house and how we would feel free to move around and not be stuck in a pew like most western churches. :)

    Is this the same little old guy you've mentioned before that you used to refer to as Andrew? But then later found out his name was something else? Arthur comes to mind, but I can't recall for sure!

    So glad you had such a good experience. It definitely has such a charming sound to it when I read it. I love how welcoming they make you feel and personally I love the freedom of mingling with both men and women at church. Makes it feel more natural and like family than keeping the sexes separate and some hidden behind barriers.

    Thanks for the details about the lady who formerly wore black! Good to hear how lovely she looks in colors. Maybe she wanted to look dumpy as you said because she was mourning. I wonder if she has an interesting story to share about that...or if she were doing this symbolically for some reason. Eh...anyway, glad to read this.

    I wish you could attend some of the classes as I can see you really enjoying those. Plus I could learn what you are learning about. :) But I understand the trainer conflict!!

    Thanks for the update! Oh, and I like seeing you and your mom (I assume) joking back and forth on Facebook. :)

  2. Oh yeah. Lots of standing. But I think there's more standing than usual this time of year!

    Yes! Okay. So his name is Andrew. Let's go with that for now.

    Maybe some day I will know why she wore black.

    Heh. Yes, my mom and I are joking. :)

  3. It is not a made-up holiday! I mean, no more than any other one. Sorry, I'm all excited about this because we learned about it in my UU class (and then I looked it up to be sure it was true). Unitarians invented Mother's Day!

    It was actually originally for mothers who had lost kids in the civil war on both sides, and was about hoping/working for peace. A Unitarian named Julia Ward Howe wrote this Mother's Day Proclamation and really got it picked up! It's still included in our hymnal. :)

    My professor also claims, though I can't verify this as easily, that the move towards honoring mothers that led to this sort of day also came from UU practices in my area. There weren't a lot of men available to be Unitarian pastors out here in the midwest, so Unitarian churches in this area started ordaining women pretty early on. That had a major effect on the way church was done, and the lobby came to be more like a living room, with a fireplace and a family feel. Motherhood became equated with ministry, and so pastoral care became as big a part of ministry as preaching/teaching, even after men started to become the majority of ministers again.

    ...Sorry. Carried away. Um. Glad you enjoyed going back! Despite the standing. :) The little old man does sound adorable. Good luck with the Greek! It's not so hard, really. It would be more modern, Greek, though, right? So I can't really recommend books/programs because I didn't learn that kind. I had a little trouble reading the Greek in the hymnal of the Orthodox church my class went to. But you can do it!

  4. sanil,

    I did not know that! I just thought it was one of those ones they made up for greeting card sales! I stand corrected in that case. :)

    I'll readjust to all the standing. It's not like my legs are weak or anything. Just that I kept thinking, 'and now we sit, right?' Lazy!

    Actually, I'm going to start with the Biblical Greek. I wanted to learn that anyway, and I think, even though there's language drift, that it'll be useful in learning modern Greek.

  5. Oh, cool! Biblical Greek is fun! My professors say Mounce's is the best program/book. And I don't know if this is just me because I'm bad at classroom learning, but I got further and learned more from it studying on my own than I did in class, so it works for that too. Good luck!

  6. Cool! Thanks. I'll check that one out. :) Always nice to get a rec from someone who actually learned from the book.


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