Friday, April 18, 2014

Holy Friday: Decorating the Tomb

Great and Holy Friday

 Almost there. Many tasks were done yesterday in an effort to free up today and tomorrow. I'm trying to keep in mind what's important and not let the little stuff get to me. On the other hand, remembering to wash diapers is not "little stuff". :)

The eggs we've done so far are varnished. They'll be dry after Liturgy tomorrow. See the icon of the resurrection lurking in the background?

We're on our way in just a minute to go decorate the tomb. I'll take photos of it as usual. 

I'm keeping in mind all the people I'm praying for, especially today.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Course, not a Contest

Here we are in the thick of Holy Week. Tomorrow is Great and Holy Friday. Because I know everyone is tired I'll make this short.

We all know there are seasons to life. As a parent there are years when you're pregnant, when you have babies, toddlers, preschoolers, etc. Lots of times you have combinations of these. Your attendance at church services will be different when you have many small children versus when you have teenagers. But even then, it's not that simple. I have many friends who have one or more children on the autistic spectrum. I have friends dealing with chronic health problems that make attendance at church a rare event, friends who are struggling with families falling apart, family members with life-threatening illnesses, dire financial situations, and a friend who will probably be hospitalized tomorrow for preeclampsia. None of them have been able to make it for the full cycle of services for Lent, much less all of the services of Holy Week so far. If you are in this camp, please do not beat yourself up! Lent is not a contest to see how many services you can attend! We all run the race, and try to finish the course, but for some people, just attending a half a service takes more stamina and courage than it does for another person to make it through all dozen-odd services of Holy Week. We're not running the race against each other, but with each other. Remember the Paschal sermon of St. John Chrysostom?
If any man be devout and love God, let him enjoy this fair and radiant triumphal feast. If any man be a wise servant, let him rejoicing enter into the joy of his Lord. If any have labored long in fasting, let him now receive his recompense. If any have wrought from the first hour, let him today receive his just reward. If any have come at the third hour, let him with thankfulness keep the feast. If any have arrived at the sixth hour, let him have no misgivings; because he shall in nowise be deprived thereof. If any have delayed until the ninth hour, let him draw near, fearing nothing. If any have tarried even until the eleventh hour, let him, also, be not alarmed at his tardiness; for the Lord, who is jealous of his honor, will accept the last even as the first; he gives rest unto him who comes at the eleventh hour, even as unto him who has wrought from the first hour. (read the rest)
 Pascha is coming! Let us all finish the course, these last few days, rejoicing in our Lord's mercy and graciousness, secure in the knowledge of his perfect love, not mourning our shortcomings, real or imagined.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Holy Week so far...

I'm so sorry it's been so long since a post. I wasn't taking a conscious break, it's just how it turned out.

Several of us have had lingering colds and Miss Moppet and I seem to have gotten a second one that dovetailed right on the first. Blech. We're both on the mend. Thank goodness!

The services have been beautiful! I was feeling pretty bad for Palm Sunday and my photos reflect it. Here are a few anyway:

One of the things I wanted to do this week was do pysanky (Ukrainian decorated eggs). I always remember too late in Lent. Oh well. Anyway, this year I actually let all five of the older children do it. Whew. Five kids sharing two kistkas (the wax writing tool). I'm going to order more, that's for sure. We're going to do more egg dying this week but here are the pysanky so far:

Pickles (I helped):

Can you find the accidental smiley face?





And here are some of mine:

(went for the minimalist look here...)

And I tried something new: etching eggs with vinegar. The vinegar is a weak acid so it eats away at the egg shell, except where you put wax. This was a complete experiment so the results were so-so, but here it is anyway (I started with a brown egg):

It seems to me I was going to post something else...


I remember! Since we sing the Hymn of Kassiani in church on Holy Tuesday (Matins of Holy Wednesday) I will repost this video I put up last year. It's lovely (I can say that since I wasn't one of the ones singing.)