Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Meeting of Our Lord or Take Your Kid to Church Day

Today is the rare combination of 2 feasts - 

The Meeting of the Lord (fixed date)

The Sunday of the Prodigal Son  (moveable date)

If you look closely, The Meeting of the Lord falls on February 2.  On the Julian Calendar, today is February 2nd.  We are on the old calendar, which is 13 days behind the civil (Gregorian) calendar.  So, it's Feburary 2nd for us too, despite the fact that everywhere else in the world, except Ethiopia, it's February 15th.  In ROCOR, we don't let some 16th century Pope tell us what to do.  The sun - what a whacky way to determine the date.  Anyway, the old calendar, beside being the Orthodoxically correct, is a procrastinator's dream.  You haven't sent your Christmas cards out late until even after January 1st, and it makes April Fool's day extra fun because NOBODY is expecting it on April 14th.

Today is the day that the Theotokos took her 40 day old Son to the Temple to be dedicated to God, following Jewish law.   It is also the day that the Prodigal Son returned to his father's house. So what you get is, the mother bringing the child to the temple and the Father receiving him with open arms.  Very circular.  Very complete.  Very cool.

And here is how my children marked the occasion.  When we got to church, Roman - the 3 year old - absolutely insisted that he wanted to serve at the altar.   I said that maybe he could come sing with me later instead.  He's as well behaved as your average 3 year old.  I left Roman with the  babysitters and went to sing.   As soon as I was gone, the older boys took Roman to the vestry and found vestments for him.    

Imagine my surprise when at the end of the Great Litany, all of my boys appeared on the opposite side of the church in vestments looking very proud of themselves.  Roman was so happy that he was literally jumping for joy.  He came running up the ambo and stood on the stool next to my music stand.  He gave me a big hug and sang a little "Blagoslovi dushe moya Gospoda", hugged me again and ran out the side door to take the back dor to that altar.  Well, what do you do at that point?  It's not like I can go get him out of the altar.  He came back a few minutes later, out of St. Michael's door, without any vestments.  He sang a litte of the Second Antiphon and then went back to the babysitters.  Busy feast day for a little guy.

1 comment:

  1. that is TOO funny. I hear good stories from my 16 & 15 yr olds who serve on the altar. Somehow I foresee one of them publishing, "Confessions of altar servers..." or something to that effect - title alone would make it a best seller....but to the readers dismay it would contain more about nose picking, action figures and what exactly happens to the holy bread before it makes it out St. Michael's door!

    blessings to you ~