Sunday, January 10, 2010

Chrismation Day

I skipped church today. Instead of attending my church service, we attended first a hockey game at the local arena, and then a chrismation. Friends of ours joined the Orthodox Church today. I don't fully understand the Chrismation process, but it is sacred and beautiful. Although I am from the Protestant faith tradition, I find all the different ways in which Christians worship God fascinating. Aris commented that the service was similar to synagogue, except that synagogue doesn't have sunday school. :)

There were two highlights to my day today. As the Chrismation was starting, dear friends of mine wandered in. Kate is my kindred spirit(a la Anne of Green Gables). I love her and her family so much! Alas they live in a different city and I don't get to see them much. When they walked through the doors, it made my day! :) I spent several hours chatting with Kate and her family, getting to know some new people, holding wee ones and eating very good food. Oh, and I had brandy for the very first time. We were offered wine as well, but I wasn't sure that was a good idea for me. The half shot of brandy left me wobbly enough as it was. :) However, the food and drink more than made up for the very long service. I spent most of it in the basement with my kids. This wasn't a bad thing though since the playroom was fantastic and my friends were down there with their kids. :)

The second highlight was more of a sacred one. You have to understand how different the Orthodox tradition is to my very informal Protestant church. The church I currently attend has no formal liturgy, not even necessarily a set order of service. There is no one hymn we always sing, or one prayer we always pray. So in a very formal, very liturgical service, I felt a bit out of place. The sung liturgy coupled with incense and candles was very soothing albeit in an unfamiliar manner. I'm able to sing at least most of the responses now and I managed not to get completely lost thanks to the help of my dear friend's husband. But twice today, once before the meal and then again at the blessing of my friend's house, we said the Lord's prayer. For me, that was such a beautiful moment of unity. We worship God in such a different manner and there are substantial differences in our doctrine. But for all our differences, there is One God who hears and answers our prayers, and we share that most sacred basic prayer of Jesus Himself. How I love this diverse body of Christ, His bride, the Church! :)

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