By Aristea Zekios
In view of the terrible tragedy on September 11, 2001, the
following article seems fitting. Sometimes the greatest blessings are right in front
of our eyes, ears, nose, etc.-Ed.
These are some 'special moments' I've experienced at Saint Luke
Church. Like the Apostles Peter, James, and John at the Transfiguration, these are
moments when I say, "Lord, it is good for me to be here!" (Mark 9:2)
A sunny Sunday morning like "the day of the never-setting sun." The
smile on the greeter's face as you enter the church that says, "I'm really happy to see
you!" Sitting next to the heating vent on a cold, wintry day; sitting next to the air
conditioning vent when it's hot and humid. The sweet taste of the Holy Eucharist on an
empty stomach. The choir's voices finally meshing together after an inharmonious start.
The entire congregation singing, the smell of incense, a sunlit church, the presence of
all of heaven…. a liturgical paradise! With eyes closed, listening to the priestly
prayers-being transported to somewhere not on this earth…a peaceful Presence. The Kiss
of Peace-truly Christ is in our midst! Amen! Amen! Amen!...the miracle of the
Consecration. The Creed-an affirmation of the faith of our fathers. Sour notes-did the
choir practice that hymn? Holy Silence-or someone missed a cue. Father? A deacon? The
choir? Sights, Smells, and Sounds During Church Services Laser-like beams of sunlight
shooting through the sanctuary windows targeting the altar table. Clouds of incense
hovering over the heads of the faithful-like the Glory Cloud that guided the Israelites
to the Promised Land. Aroma of fresh-brewed coffee during the Cherubic hymn (unless, of
course, the coffee hostess was late!)
At Vespers singing "Now that we have come to the setting of the sun…"
and the sun really is setting! The magical moment when the Saints on the iconostas
radiate with a golden glow from the rays of the setting sun. Looking out the
windows-falling leaves, snowflakes, budding trees, raindrops, deer feeding, telephone
towers. The Virgin Mary with open arms above the altar beckoning us to "Do whatever He
tells you." (John 2:5)
The fragrance of Easter lilies adorning His tomb. After seven weeks
of anticipation, proclaiming, "Christ is Risen!" Dreaming of Kentucky fried chicken
during the midnight Pascal liturgy. Pascal Agape service. youngsters hunting for Easter
eggs. Transfiguration-the sweet taste of blessed grapes. Flickering candles penetrating
the darkness of the Christmas Eve Vigil. Saint Basil sweet bread…who will win the lucky
coin? Thespian-Holy Water that always tastes fresh.
Listening to the Prayer of Absolution read over you and knowing your
sins are really forgiven. Cracking knees that accent Lenten prostrations. Savoring the
first Lenten meal of Great Lent...relief after the last Lenten meal of Great Lent.
Little children squirming in their seats unaware of the grace that is
pouring down upon them. Children holding candles while gathered around the priest…what
are they thinking? An infant's cry: a young member praising our Creator. "Out of the
mouth of babes, thou hast brought perfect praise." (Matthew 21:16) Children waving to a
friend in the choir loft when their parents aren't looking. Children crossing
themselves…forehead to right, to left, to belly…or is it left-hand to forehead, to
right, to? Looking forward to the opening day of Sunday School…looking forward to the
last session of Sunday School.
What "spirit lifters" have you experienced (either at church or in
daily life). Submit them to the Editor at:
give them to Pearl Homiak at church. Let's help lift the spirits of each other.