Thursday, August 6, 2009

Holy Transfiguration

It's been a long time since I've been able to work up the nerve to post. The Lord Jesus, through His mercy and the prayers of His Mother and His Saints, has been blessing me with some new progress in my recovery. Yet I am still reminded by my doctor, "Rome was not built in a day." True. But also true is that Christ my Lord truly has been merciful to me.

This evening my family and I made the journey to Ft. Wayne for the Vesperal Liturgy of the Holy Transfiguration and the Blessing of Grapes. Normally we go on Saturdays for catechesis and Sundays for Liturgy. I like the Vesperal Liturgy. It's an elision of Vespers and the Eucharistic Liturgy. Plus, I'm getting used to singing the music.

While looking in the bookstore our lead chanter and choir director asked me if I could read a prophesy. Read, yes. Give, no. He showed me what to do. I sometimes get asked to do something when people are scarce. A book I was reading recently explained that males tend to learn better by doing and through apprentice-like relationships. I find this is true for me, so I appreciate opportunities to help out (and I like to help).

Anyway, after the Liturgy our priest blessed the grapes provided by sprinkling them with holy water. These rites and services are always beautiful and speak to the heart of the Faith and Life in Christ's kingdom.

Our priest, Fr. Anthony, had a short sermon on the Transfiguration. It was good. He's very well versed in Orthodox theology (it is evident, plus Bishop MARK gives him high marks), and he gets to the point very well. I had read on the back of our bulletin already how what was revealed outwardly to the disciples was the inner reality of our Lord that had normally been hidden. What was also revealed, though, was Moses and Elijah. But it's not like they showed up and then went away. Christ's transfiguration revealed them, because they are in Him and He in them. It's true that Enoch and angels were not revealed, but that's because the focus here is on Christ's coming exodus to the cross that fulfills the exodus of the OT Jews. But Moses and Elijah are there because they are always there in Christ, as are angels and all now who have been liberated from Hades/Sheol and are with Him. This isn't a recap of the sermon, but just the effect the sermon had on me and my wife. I have trouble remembering good sermons, probably because I'm too busy enjoying them to retain them :-)

We are in the fellowship hall of our new building now. Everyone in the congregation is so happy; it's the fulfillment of a life-long dream for them to construct their own building. Here's a couple pictures.

The church proper doesn't yet have a door or all the windows.

The construction workers aren't too thrilled about the drywall work needed to finish the dome.

The church for now is the fellowship hall. Neat modern chandeliers. The on/off switches aren't hooked up yet, so they have to be switched on from the fuse box.

It was Fr. Anthony's idea to put the crucifix at the center, since "it is the symbol of our salvation." I enjoy being able to see and hear everything going on behind our transparent iconostasis.


Anonymous said...

Let me be the first to say, "glad to see you back". I'm LCMS born and raised, but also now halfway through Orthodox catechumen classes. I look forward to your upcoming blog entries. Very nice church, by the way!

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Make me the second to say it, Glad to see you back and looking forward to hearing from you regularly once again.