Technically I'm a day late, we're into the Apostles' Fast now (begins after the Sunday after Pentecost each year, ends on the feast day of the Apostles Peter and Paul - ie next Sunday) but yesterday was All Saint's Day. To quote my priest, it's to commemorate all the Saints we know of (so happy name day everyone, heh) and all those we don't because some 'got died' in secret, or under persecution, or were just too humble to show to anyone that they should be a Saint. I included the 'got died' because my priest who natively speaks Arabic said it about ten times during the homily yesterday, and usually his english is very good and I don't pick up on the mistakes but there was something cute about that phrase. The readings yesterday were among my favourites, too - Hebrews 11:33-12:2, and from the Gospel of St Matthew 10:32-33; 37-38; 19:27-30.
Whoever does not leave father, brothers, mother, sisters is not worthy of Me...
...but whoever leaves [these things] will receive a hundred fold and eternal life...
(from the Gospel)
and "since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfection of our faith"
(from the Epistle reading)
I've been meaning to write but haven't got the movivation to do so in the last few days. Friday was quiet - Dad and I went and ran a few errands and got lunch at our favourite bakery (which was wonderful because for once on a Friday I could eat anything I wanted since it was the week after Pentecost - cream buns and a chicken and mushroom pie, YES) and went to IKEA. I needed a lamp for stitching - I've needed one for a long time but we've never gone and got one. It's just a floor standing lamp, and black, with a spotlight globe. Very cool. I also got some hanging shelves and a rack to hang them off to try and organise my closet, which was impossible to find anything in before while it was all hanging up and cluttered. I put the lamp together, and put everything in my closet on my bed while I set up the shelves in there, and then put all the winter clothes back in with a few inter-seasonal things there too, just in case. It's early winter though so I shouldn't need them for a while! I also took out all the things I wasn't sure about which were winter clothes, and gave them to my sister to decide whether she wanted them or to give them away. Summer stuff didn't really get sorted, just all neatly put in piles to put into my drawers until needed in four or five months' time. The piles are still on my desk and kinda scaring me, actually!
Saturday was my sister's birthday party, so we spent the morning cleaning and then the parents and I went to the Apple store to pick me up a new laptop (nameday present, and also because my old one doesnt' really work anymore) except we were using an education discount, but despite being told a thousand times the other day that she needed a payslip to do that my mum hadn't brought one...long story short we went up to her school and got one, and finally picked me up my shiny macbook :) I bought myself an iPod nano too since I spend so much time on public transport and want to be able to listen to podcasts etc. I had a shuffle but...y'know. Her birthday party was fun, and I'll probably share a few photos at some point. We all dressed up as 5 year olds and they watched and analysed disney movies which was thoroughly amusing to listen to.
Yesterday was All Saints, and I drove to Church. We were early, yay, and I settled down in my spot in the second to front pew near the chanters desk. I've always sat there so Jeremy could translate and help me when I got lost in the service books, and now I sit there so I can chant along softly and learn. I was the only one there for all of Orthros (matins, the service before the DL (mass) - think the singing before the main part of the service in a normal church) and for part of the DL too! Very weird. We got a whole tribe that don't normally come though, and Father used a lot of english for their benefit, and the sermon was basically all in english and really good. Usually it's half english (at most) half (or more) arabic.
That over, my godmother was supposed to come get me but forgot so I stayed for coffee hour and talked to people, and then drove Jeremy's car to her house...she wasn't there either. Finally we met at the church, and I went back to her place while she got ready and we went to the church (again) for a quiz night, fun! I was on a table with my friend (and quiz night partner) Andrew - who also made my Cross, and his brother and a few relatives. We came second, a fluke in our opinion because both Andrew and I (who answer most of the questions) were really tired and not at our best. Fun! We won bottles of wine, little books with the Church calendar and addresses of parishes etc in english and greek, and the morning and evening prayers (again two languages), and kompoiskinia - prayer ropes, think a 33knot rosary-type thing made of wool that fits around your wrist. Mine has a bluey-purpley bead on it :)
I fell asleep in Jeremy's car on the way home (at about 9) and collapsed into bed exhausted. A good day, but I am resting very firmly today because I want to be well for Thursday and Friday when I have a history trip with my school in the city.
Edited to add:
Here's our lovely Koukla at 12 weeks old. And that's my shiny new laptop too :)