The more that happens and becomes clear to me, the less there is to say. It would be easy to speak of the unease I feel at certain trends in the Church; far more difficult to speak of the immeasurable river of grace I find there. Easy to criticize individual or parish or even jurisdictional examples of Orthodox Christians forgetting to some extent that they are the Church (and not a social club or a foundation for the preservation of culture or a center of activism for some favorite “issue” somewhere in the world); much more difficult to explain why I think they are the Church, nonetheless.
My parish priest finds himself unable to put on services this Bright Week, primarily because our elderly parishioners are too exhausted by Holy Week to attend. Our dear Fr. G reports that he will attend services elsewhere, and today I have decided that I will do the same. The week is, indeed, too Bright – too much of Pascha lingers in the heart and in the mind – to stay at home all week attending to mundane affairs while area Churches celebrate Divine Liturgy.
Interestingly enough, this Pascha marks a transition for me in that I finally feel comfortable using Orthodox terminology. As if I now have a right to do so; as if these logoi have a lodging in my own heart now and I am not being merely imitative when I say “Pascha” instead of Easter, and “Nativity” instead of “Christmas.” In the ancient Church people were only baptized on Holy Saturday and took first Communion always on Pascha. I have to wonder whether my own initiation into the Church is only now complete.
What else has changed since that first Orthodox service two years ago when we walked out because we skipped ahead in the service book and saw the phrase “I believe that this is truly your own most precious body and blood” and we were afraid and felt that it was no place for us?
So much has come… and there’s so little to say.
Bless the Lord O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name. What shall I render to the Lord for all his bounty to me? I will lift up the Cup of Salvation and call on the name of the Lord.