I wrote in my spirituality blog (unconnected to this one) about yesterday in more detail, but here's the summary (because not all of you are theologically minded/christian)
Divine Liturgy is the communion service in the Eastern Orthodox church, Sunday morning service, and I can't even begin to describe the effect that that had on me.
Half the service was in arabic, but the other half in english, and what I didn't understand (due to it being arabic) I had the book as an interlinear which let me understand. And it was beautiful. People talk about it being like being in Heaven, and I don't know if I understand that - yet, but I think I will when Im a little more used to it.
We were conspicuous, but people were kind, and we stumbled through happily. The book that Jeremy lent us for the Divine Liturgy (the matins/orthros one wasn't as helpful) was wonderful, with directions for crossing, standing, sitting, kneeling, bowing heads... that helped a lot. I think I need to find a copy of something similar on line and learn it, if I can, so that when I go next I'm a little more familiar with it all. I've been to all the major services now - Vespers, Orthros, Divine Liturgy. And loved them all. I kind of got over being self conscious, it just seemed stupid to be. So I stopped, and it helps! I can cross myself easily as breathing now, in the right directions. Jeremy mentioned that some people come back to the middle after doing it, and I asked why - he said they just do. And now I've found that I do it! It just seems to complete it.
We got through to the end, and Jeremy said that we didn't have to kiss the Cross as we left, but I did - why not? I have no problem with it, so I kissed the Cross and the Priest's hand as I left, and it was nice. It just felt right.
We had fantastic coffee - Lebanese, strong but good. And someone called Troy my brother...lol...we dont look alike, but the Khouria (Priest's wife) thinks we do.
Came home to have soup, and bread, and butter, and feed Jeremy lots of sponge roll, then crash for the afternoon. He went to visit his cousin who lives near here, and I stitched. He came back at five to pick us up, and we went out to the quiz night at the Monastery near where he lives, which was fun. It was run by a Greek church, so a lot of the people there were Greek, and most of the questions related to Greek things... which was alright, because we roped in a couple Greek guys and a girl for our table! We had the two Greek guys, Alexei and Demetrios (sp?), and Maria who I think was a sister to one of them, and two Lebanese girls from Jeremy's usual DL church (he church-hops a bit), me, and Troy. Was a good table, and we came THIRD! Each of us got a bottle of cabernet sauvignon, with a label to say we won third prize, and a prayer rope around the neck - a bracelet sized one, and it fits me perfectly. It might stay on my wrist now :) Black, with a black bead. We taught Troy the Jesus prayer, and we had good fun explaining it all. My new goal is to go through my bracelet once a night, and once in the morning if I remember. I want to get something of a prayer rule going, and this one works. It's easy at least!
I had everyone do the so what's your name thing, find out what it was - and go HEY AWESOME! which was not the usual reaction, and kind of nice. Of course then they all wanted to know how I got that when I wasn't Orthodox, and that was all fun, and then they said so when's your name day and I said um...and Jeremy jumped in and said Kyriaki, and they said HEY that was Saturday! So I got wished happy name day by everyone. It was fun :)
Anyway, I got invited very firmly to Bible Study on Thursday night, the same place - a youth one, that people from all of the city go to - and a lot from a fair way so I assume it's good. So Jeremy is taking me and Troy, and Demetrios will take us home. I am very very very looking forward to it. I also want to buy books. I am wanting to devour EVERYTHING I can get my hands on now.
Yesterday was fun, and I'm very tired now but it was worth it.
Dad came home today, and it was wonderful to see him again - it's been two weeks. He brought presents too - a photo frame of New York each for Bindi and I, and a pen with a flashing light in the end from a jazz bar - it's a blue light, and there are different settings so it flashes to different jazz beats. Very cool. He brought Mum a tshirt with a greek urn design on it (she's a classics teacher so adores it) and some very sparkly silver jewelry, and Troy some things as well but they're still a surprise as he hasnt seen them yet.
Troy's house has been more or less a tip - the guys he's been living with aren't much for cleaning. But his friend Steven moved in, and vacuumed everything, and got rid of all the junk in the communal areas, and cleaned the bathroom (!!!!) which was previously covered in black mould. He also brought some large prints in frames - I think they're Waterhouse's that are in the living room now and they look great. The house is actually starting to look pretty good!
Troy's been using a sheet as a curtain, held on with bulldog clips, but its starting to irk me that I haven't made him proper curtains yet. So I thought I'd buy two sheets from Coles (like $10 each I think) and sew them over at the ends to make pockets to slip onto his curtain rod. They're cheap and they'll do until we have our own house, and then we can probably use them somewhere. He's also on the hunt for a chair for his desk (probably second hand) and a lamp to paint with (probably about $20 from bunnings) and I'm campaigning for a heater for his room ($25 from bunnings again) as well since it gets very cold. But he and steven have been having fun sword fighting and things, and he's starting to enjoy living where he is. They're also going to share meals so they can cook for two which is much more practical.
So life is good. My room is a mess due to my getting back from Melbourne and not having unpacked, but I'm planning to change that soon. And Mum's on holiday now, so she and I are going to attack my purple dress and make it up. I think I'll make it short sleeved, too.
I've stitched a little on A Restful Night, but not enough to take a photo of. It's coming together well though so I'm hoping to get to the hair and things (eek) soon. Wings always go quick.