Tuesday, April 22, 2008

4 days - Holy Monday and Holy Tuesday pt 1

I was told that Holy Week is nuts. Now I understand!

I had a non-Church day yesterday until the evening, but I was shopping with my mum for the last few things I needed clothes-wise for Saturday. You need sunglasses to look at me all dressed up in bright white! It's good fun. Now that's organised, and I'm a bit more relaxed on that side of things. I got very tired though, and ended up resting lots. I got some other clothes, too - mostly things that I needed, but also a top that I didn't need but is beautiful and we got on sale. Black and white, kimono style, very comfy.

I came home and rested, and then went out again to koorong (protestant bookstore chain here) to get Jeremy's name day present - the new OSB (a version of the Bible mostly based on the NKJV but the Old Testament is translated from older manuscripts in our bibles) has just come out, and he needs a case for it, right? *smile* They have really good ones with plenty of pockets, and hardwearing...and best of all, they're canvas on the outside...now, what's a needlewoman to do with all that blank canvas? I've got a lot of spare moments, just not at home, so I'm going to take my tailor's chalk, needles, and deep reds, greens, blues, golds, whites, purples.... the case is black, so I'll use the liturgical colours. I'm putting his name on it, and a Cross, we'll see what else beyond that. Mine's going to have a peacock, an ancient Christian symbol of eternal life. Troy assumed I was going to x-stitch it, but I don't think so. It doesn't need it, and decorative stitches will work just as well.

After that I met Jeremy in the city at his work, then we went to pick up Troy and get to the bridegroom service, this time in Greek. They messed a few things up, much to our amusement, but most people wouldn't have noticed. Beautiful, beautiful. All the lights were down very low there too, which just added to it... and I get to go again tonight! Everyone is 'dressing dark', in purples, blacks, navy. Technically red isn't a 'dark' colour but it's not mandated that we dress dark, and it's better than wearing my white jacket! The colours match the mood of the services, and the week in general. I've never experienced a religion that acts out the intellectual side of things practically like this before - even the anglicans and catholics always seemed somewhat like they were playing a role. This is just honest - we don't dress dark because we 'should', we do because it's how we feel. How could you not feel sober, dressed like this, holding candles, while the choir chants solemnly:
Behold, the Bridegroom cometh in the middle of the night, and blessed is that servant whom He shall find watching; and again unworthy is he whom He shall find heedless. Beware, therefore, O my soul, lest thou be overcome with sleep, lest thou be given up to death, and be shut out from the Kingdom. But rouse thyself and cry: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God, through the Mother of God, have mercy on us.

Best of all is that when we sorrow, we sorrow...and when we rejoice, we REALLY rejoice! Pascha is going to be wonderful.

I am getting my days thrown out of whack though - because our liturgical day starts at sundown, and we have been having the services for monday on sunday night, tuesday on monday night, etc, I keep thinking it's wednesday! Not necessarily a bad thing though :)

I slept on Niki's floor last night, on a futon mattress she keeps under the bed. It was just easier than trying to get to a 7:30 service from my house, 45 minutes away. It was hard enough to get up as it was! Service this morning was worth it though - presanctified liturgy, in Greek, and I wasn't chanting! And I got to hold the beautiful Photini after, too - my friend Eleni's little girl who is about 5 months old and very chubby, and adorable.

And now I am home, resting for a while, before I go out again tonight. I really need a nap, but I'm not sure if I'll be able to as it's during the day. Lots of coffee instead maybe :)

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