It has been a bit too long since I have posted, I apologize to all 2 of you regular visitors.
I have now returned to beautiful and exciting HC/HC and have settled back in nicely. I have rearranged my room, moving things about it always a good way to start the semester. And I have cleaned, vacuumed, and dusted the place within an inch of its life. We received a notice that at the end of this school year we’ll have to move out of our rooms, something they haven’t made the students do in over 7 years or so. While it will be somewhat annoying to do in May, it did give me an excuse to clear out a large amount of things I no longer need, which was a lot. I also have reorganized my library and expanded it by a few volumes. My room is now more spacious, organized, and cozier. I would count this as a success.
I also received some good news about financial aid this year, God-willing I will not have to take out any loans this semester, and even if I do they will be small. Every little bit helps, as they say. I am on track for graduating in May, which is also very good. And in late September I will be attending a Gregorian Chant course/event in Washington D.C., for which I am very excited.
So things are looking up here at HC/HC.
Last night we had Reader’s Vespers in the chapel, there weren’t any priests around at the time (yes, I know, we’re a seminary, you’d think there’d be priests around). All in all there were about 10 people there, all gathered around the right chant stand. I lead the English while Mike Mercado lead the Greek. I can say with all honesty that it was one of the best services I have ever attended in my three years here. Two weeks ago, when I came down for a few days to help one of the new Antiochian seminarians move in, we had a similarly lovely service. Fr. Elias Velonis served for us, once again I led the English and John Kocolas led the Greek. I think what characterized these services was the prayerfulness that one felt. None of the chanters were grandstanding, we were simply singing the hymns. It was simple and reverent. There were no problems with language, we went back and forth seamlessly. It was what the chapel should be like. I only pray that this year chapel life will be just that much better.
Something Fr. Elias said after Vespers has stayed with me these last few weeks. He told the story of an Elder, I can’t remember which, who was asked what true love was. The Elder said, “When you see a man with leprosy, covered in sores, a festering mass of flesh, and you pray and beg God that you might become him, that you might take on his leprosy and he take on your healthfulness, that is true love.” May God have mercy on us sinners.
I ask for your prayers as I start a new semester here at the Holy Hill.