Thursday, June 01, 2006

good to be back

I finally got to my first Orthodox service since Pascha. Yikes! It's been a long time, especially after going so frequently during Lent and Holy Week. It was good to be back. I went to the Antiochian parish I was at for Pascha. I'm feeling more and more like I need to pick one parish as my "home" (even though I really don't belong anywhere just yet). I'm starting to meet people there--actually able to put names with faces now. It helps that I've been able to share some meals with them. I was only half-expecting that there would be a meal last night, since it was a fast day and evening liturgy. It turned out there was, and since the guy who was supposed to preach didn't make it (a visiting priest) and the service ended a bit early, I stayed for a while after. I met some interesting parishoners and had some good conversations.

One interesting thing Fr. Gregory did say in his brief remarks at the end of the service--the Ascension isn't primarily about Jesus returning to the Father, since they were always together anyway. It's about him bringing humanity--even all creation--to heaven with him. Not that we're fully there just yet, but we're with him, and he is there. When we participate in the eucharist, we experience for a moment on earth the reality that is ours in heaven. I'd never really thought of it that way.

On a more disappointing note, the date my wife and I had planned to visit a service will have to be postponed. Fr. Gregory will be on vacation, and as it turns out the substitute priest they'd lined up will not be able to make it. I suppose I can wait another couple of weeks.

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