Sunday, November 9, 2008

Going Ever Day to the Temple

More than once someone has asked me why our parish has services ever day. I usual answer has been I thought a church, a temple, is a place of worship and study seven days a week, and when our bishop is in residence 24 hours a day. I still say that, but yesterday while looking for something else I found the following on the blog of an Orthodox mother. Here is what she has to say, and say much better then this priest can say. (Our ladies usually say it musch better and with few words then we do)

Going to the Chapel

For years I've been longing to be in a place where I could pop over to Church and pray Matins or Vespers daily. Not by myself, but with others in the Church. God has blessed me and answered that prayer, and it is so comforting and wonderful.

Even though I feel like a stranger in this city, when I walk into St. George's Chapel, and it's still dark outside and it is literally lit only by candle light and oil lamps, I am no longer a stranger. There is a deep human need to know and be known, and there at least I get to see the icons of my Christ, and the Theotokos, St. John the Wonderworker, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, and many others. Familiar faces, even though the ones in the flesh around me are still mostly strangers.

And familiar melodies, although to a different rhythm mixed with familiar lines and unfamiliar tunes, blend with enough insence to scent my yawns afterwards. Lungs full.

And it is in such a place that I am known and that I can know. Even after just a week the faces around me are becoming familiar and are becoming attached to names and stories and personalities. Knowing others, and becoming known is a process. Having a cup of coffee with others afterwards helps, too.

But there's this other aspect of daily prayers that I really like: The way it ties my day together, beginning and end. Not too long to be impractical: just thirty minutes at 7 am and thirty minutes at 6 pm, a nice frame to the day. And it's an extra support for my feeble heart, who surely needs it, for the private prayer life I struggle to cultivate.

It's a good thing.


Check out Morning Coffee. Alana is worth reading and reaidng often. And by the way, Alana, if you read this, your invited to take a really long drive from Kentucky to Northern Indiana and join us for morning or evening prayers any day.


Alana said...

Thank you so much! I'll take note, and if I'm ever in the area, I'll try to stop by.

Father Theodosius said...

You're welcome. A question: Most of the folks who attend our week day services, either morning prayers or evening prayers, are none Orthodox, may have never been in an Orthodox Church, and tell me the reason they came to our church is that it was the only church in town which was open, are there a lot of people attending the services at your parish? How does your parish get people to attend? I know the reason that most do not attend our daily services is that live a fair distance away and only pack up the family in the car on Sundays.

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