Sunday, April 11, 2010

Bright Saturday 2010

Posted: Sunday, April 11, 2010
Updated: 16 April

Birgitta and I came together to hear and experience Fr. John's last sermon as the priest of St. Dimitri's. I had agreed to sing the Epistle at his request. (It turned out that the scripture was from the book of Acts, rather than from a letter by St. Paul, which made a difference for me). I had intended to be silent during the Liturgy as I had previously expressed via email to Fr. John, unless prompted otherwise.

The prompting came in a surprise gesture from Elizabeth. During the service I sat down most of the time rather than stand because of an ailing knee, when it came to my turn to sing the "Epistle". So, as I was holding the binder of music unsteadily in my hands, rather than having it rest on the music stand as normal, Elizabeth quietly brought the music stand over to where I sat and lowered it to my eye level. This immediately reduced my discomfort and fumbling. Then, after I sang the "Epistle" in comfort and she began singing the regular Liturgical music, her voice was surprisingly and unusually soft and gentle and I could easily hear Fr. John's sweet tenor coming from behind the Iconostasis--just the two of them singing. As their duet continued, soon I could not stay silent--I mean I could not NOT sing and began adding my bass voice to what was becoming a much needed harmony. Birgitta then joined in with her marvelous alto voice and the beauty of quartet blending of our hearts and voices again filled the temple, a sound we had not heard since Maestro Drillock's visit to us last September. It was a gift of the Spirit and we all rejoiced in beautiful Orthodox Liturgical music once again.

What will now happen after Fr. John's departure is anybody's guess. I understand that Fr. Seraphim, the dean from the Diocese of the South based in Dallas, will be serving and celebrating the Liturgy. But I do not know or how to relate to him. I understand further that he is young and ambitious and originally from Los Alamos with a degree in physics, which raises caution flags for me. How all this will play out is a mystery in my mind and heart and I can only hope the Spirit will again be present with new surprises.

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