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Friday, March 2, 2012

Rejoice, O Bride Unwedded!

On Friday nights, after a busy week of chasing children and keeping the house from falling down, the place I want to be most is on my couch(with some knitting in hand).  And every Friday night during Lent, there's a church service.

I admit to thinking unkind thoughts as I scramble to serve dinner early and change everyone so that we can be out the door in time to hear the first notes of the Akathist Service.  Not because I don't like Church, but I like the comfort of my couch and the thought of a reward, however small, at the end of the week.  I crave silence, with my non-stop children asleep(or getting there), and the rhythm of knit and purl.



I am not headed to church this evening, and I miss it very, very much.  I have come, over the last few years, to realize that the reward is the service, rather than my knitting.  It's hearing my older children belt out "O Champion Leader" because they are so excited to hear it again.  It's the bustle and noise of arriving home well past bedtime, and the flurry of pajamas and brushing teeth and kisses.  And, the reward is honoring the ultimate model of motherhood, the Mother of Christ, who nodded her head and said "Behold the Handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to your word."

(And next year when I fall into grumbling, could remind me that I said this? I'd appreciate it.)

So I'll be thinking of our friends at our parish in the States who are so lovingly and devoutly preparing for this service tonight.  And I'll be humming as I do the dishes and prepare my children for bed.



Rejoice, O seer of the ineffable Will. Rejoice, O surety of those praying in silence.
Rejoice, you the Preface of Christ's miracles. Rejoice, you the Pinnacle of His commandments.
           Rejoice, O heavenly Ladder, by which God descended. Rejoice, 
                                           O Bridge leading those from earth to Heaven.
Rejoice, O Miracle, much marveled of Angels. Rejoice, O trauma, much dirged of demons.
Rejoice, you who ineffably gave birth to the Light. Rejoice, you who revealed the mystery to none.
Rejoice, O knowledge superceding the wise. Rejoice, You who enlightens the minds of the faithful. Rejoice, O Bride Ever-Virgin!
 






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