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 :
EvangelistStLuke@aol.com or give them to Pearl Homiak at church. Let's help lift the spirits of each other.