A New Beginning

Well, it’s good to be back in the saddle once again.  My throat has gone back to it’s usual state of being, although still a bit raw although my right ear has still refused to clear permanently.  If it isn’t careful it will soon find itself invaded and cleared out by force!  So I’m quite on the way to good health, which is a welcome change.  I have grown quite tired of lazing about the house but it’s all I’ve been capable of doing in my semi-delirious state of the last few days.

Anyway, on to business!  I’m sure you’ve been quite anxious over my not blogging since I returned from Our Lady’s Dowry but now I am back, hopefully permanently.  As I said a few posts ago, I plan on keeping the blog up through the coming semester so if you are interested in the life of a humble seminarian and the often dimwitted things I have to say then I invite you to stick around.  It is promising to be a good academic year, God willing.

First a little sad news, I will be leaving the Trinity Choir.  It’s quite unexpected, I know, I only realized it myself on Sunday afternoon.  You see, as a seminarian I will be required to take certain courses at Holy Cross, one of them being Antiochian tele-turgics (essentially a “how-to” class on liturgical services, how to serve liturgy, the sacraments, etc.) and it meets on Thursday nights.  I’m required to be there, even though I’ve attended more than my fair share of those classes over the last four years but only in an unofficial capacity and unfortunately they don’t count towards credit.  So I’m stuck at the seminary on Thursday nights for the next three years or so since the class runs our entire time here.  The problem comes in that the choir rehearsals at Trinity are also on Thursday nights, a conflict I’ve had to deal with before.  I would sing the early service at Trinity with the choristers (they rehearse Wednesdays) but, as you know, I am the organist/choir director/sacristan at a parish in Springfield so my Sunday mornings are full.  Richard, the choir director at Trinity, has offered me the option to stay on in the 6 p.m. service augmentation team who show up only on Sunday nights to help with the singing of that service, but I’m afraid my duties will be expanding elsewhere and are going to leave me unable to do even that.

I’ve really enjoyed my time in the choir, the past two years have gone by fast!  I was really looking forward to the upcoming season, especially singing in the Candlelight Carols services once again this Christmastime.  But, I will be in the congregation for them, and for the concerts, cheering on my former comrades in song.  It’s also rather saddening since I’ve just gotten to know some of my fellow choir members while in England with them.  That is the most distressing part, for me anyway.  I was very much looking forward to singing with them for years to come.  But, I hope, that I’ll be able to continue being friendly with them outside of the choir with the help of Almighty Facebook.

Now, there was something else I wanted to talk about that I can’t quite recall…  Hmmm, it’s so annoying when this happens.  I feel like I’m 82 instead of 22 at times like this.  Oh!  I remember now!  I’m heading to Pennsylvania on Thursday for the wedding of two of my good friends and I really can’t wait.  It’s going to be fantastic!  Not least because they’ve asked me and one other person to provide the music for the reception.  I’ve planned many diverse and sundry entertainments.  It’s always a joy to witness the coming together of two souls in marriage, indeed, it’s always a joy to witness any sacrament.

The sacraments are really an unsurpassed joy, when we get to experience the Kingdom of Heaven and receive God’s grace.  I had the great privilege to assist my parish priest with a baptism this past Sunday (I stayed local and went to the parish in which I grew up) and it was really wonderful to be there for it.  The child was older (almost 2 years old) so that always makes our job a bit more, OK, a lot more difficult because the Orthodox Church practices full immersion baptism.  You can imagine trying to get a screeching 2 year old into a font filled with water with a nice slick of oil on the top.  Needless to say, the priest ends up drenched, but it’s worth it.  This nearly 2 year old did not cease to wail during the service, but I would probably do the same thing in his place.  Well, actually, all the eye-witnesses of my baptism say I was perfectly calm and didn’t cry the entire time.  Indeed, I was absorbed in what was going on and even tried to grab the vial of Holy Chrism from the priest.  Seems I wanted to do it myself.

Anyway, baptisms are always a joyous event, as I said, because we are receiving the child (or adult) into the Body of Christ, into the Church.  The child is dying with Christ, and being raised with Christ.  They are putting off the Old Man (death) and putting on the New Man (Christ), being clothed in the robe of incorruption.  Therefore, I love baptisms regardless of screaming children.  Although it does get a bit bad when said child decides to relieve itself on the priest, or in the font, etc.  But luckily we had no such incident (God be praised!).

So I think I’ve blathered on enough for one day, I will continue posting daily if I can, or every few days when I can’t.  Do subscribe or at least bookmark this blog if you’re interested.  I’ll try not to get too boring.

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