Before I begin, I'm really tired of referring to my husband as Turtle. I don't know, it's been bothering me for awhile. I am now going to refer to him by his first initial, which is C. And I will refer to myself as J (my first initial). I'm about to just say our names, because this is getting slightly ridiculous.
Anyway. I think I may have mentioned this before, but C had been approached a few months ago by our priest, Father T, about being an altar server. Those of you familiar with Catholicism might be thinking "isn't he a little...old to be up there?" Another difference between the Roman church and the Byzantine church: any male, between the ages of 7 and 70, may serve on the altar in our church. (I think they can be older than 70, but that's what our priest wrote in the bulletin as a call for servers.) And no girls, either, which used to bother me, but now I get it--women can't be priests, so WHY allow them to be up there in the first place? I think that's a worse situation...to be told "Oh you can be an altar server!!! But that's all, while your co-altar server could be a priest when he grows up." I can't think of a more eloquent way to say it, but it's half-assed, in my opinion.
C had been bothering Father about starting training for awhile, in a nice way, don't worry. Finally, the Saturday after Pentecost, C went up to our church and did a training session. The following day was his first Sunday on the altar. Today was his third week; I'd been meaning to write something...but you know how it is. C is currently serving with a little boy (I) who is 7 or 8. It's really funny to see the two of them up their cassocks and sticharions. (I might have the wrong word for the cassock--Priest's Wife, feel free to correct me! It's a black tunic that the servers wear over their street clothes, and the sticharion goes over that.)
Father T picked a great time to have C start serving. It's been at least 80 degrees by 9 am when Liturgy starts, so he's feeling lovely by the time the service is over. On the altar, there are fans, but they do little to help when you've got fifty candles (if not more) blazing away right near you. ;-)
After his first Liturgy on the altar, Father asked C how he felt, and C said "It's like I was always supposed to be up there, it felt almost like home." I don't know if I've ever mentioned this here, but C is also discerning whether or not he is being called to be a Deacon. That's a huge responsibility, and the church requires you to be married for seven or eight years before you can start your training, so we have time. (Not to mention, we live far from all of the seminaries, so...a lot would have to change.)
You might be wondering what I'm doing, now that my seat mate has gone to a more public location. Oh don't worry...I got roped into the choir. Well, not really, I CHOSE to be in the choir, but I was recruited heavily. It's hard to turn the cantor down when she moved the group from the choir loft into the congregation, just ONE pew up from where you usually sit. How timely! Joining the choir wasn't a huge deal; I always sang the entire Liturgy anyway. Now I just have a "part" instead of singing with the book. There are two other altos, I believer, but one doesn't come every week.
Singing has always been a part of my life. And I had been curious about the choir for some time, but just didn't feel comfortable back when I was originally asked. Now it works. I like having something to do during Liturgy and being more involved. Although it's still a little strange, with everyone else old enough (save one woman) to be my grandparents.
That's the sad part about our church, which I'll write about in another post--everyone is OLD. It's hard to "fit in" but then again, I've never really fit in anywhere, so I should just accept it. :-)
ETA: oh, and I've also changed my design/layout. I wanted something a little brighter, with more space devoted to the actual posts. I didn't like the empty side nonsense.