Friday, August 7, 2009
So much for the holiday season...
Halfway through the Dormition Fast, and I just realized we haven't made it to one service yet except for Sunday morning. We've been on our way to or from a hospital or doctor's appointment on top of the regular two therapy appointments each week, and now it's Saturday the eighth of August already!!
Well, we have managed to add one habit in honor of the Dormition of the Theotokos - we are listening to the daily readings every morning at breakfast, courtesy of some church in Akron OH, and my husband's iPhone (to quote the commercial of which the whole universe is thoroughly sick and tired: "Yes, there's an app for that!"). It's Kittyboy's favorite part of breakfast, known in his dialect as "Sheshuh!!!" (Jesus). It's the Sheshuh part of breakfast. They're beautiful recordings, with the Trisagion hymn in English in the background (the Slavonic arrangement, I believe), the reading about the saint or feast of the day, the Epistle and Gospel, and with an icon of Christ Pantocrator as the background on the phone. Kittyboy sits and holds the phone and doesn't touch anything, because he doesn't want to make the picture of his Jesus disappear. When it's done, he bounces in his seat saying "Sheshuh more Sheshuh!" Husband says, "How do you ask?" "Sheshuh peas." And so we play the readings of yesterday, or the day before, or a week ago, so he can hear the music and see his Jesus. He's so sweet! We will definitely keep doing this after the 15th.
The 15th, we are making it to church, regardless. "No, Kittyboy, you cannot fling yourself from the roof now, today is the Feast of the Dormition, and WE ARE GOING TO CHURCH!! You'll just have to injure yourself some other time, we don't have time for this today!" I'm upset, though, that I missed the Paraclesis this week.
"O You Apostles from far off, being gathered together in the village of Gethsemane, lay my body in burial, and You, my Son, and my God, receive now my spirit from me." - hymn from the Paraclesis
I love those hymns!!!
Icon above is from the Goarch.org site, where they have an icon gallery. We've got a copy here that I'm going to show Kittyboy and talk about next week in preparation for Saturday, assuming he does nothing dramatic in the meantime. I remember the first time I showed it to Kittyboy, actually, back in early spring when he was getting REALLY good at pointing out "his Mary" in icons, pictures, etc. We both were curious whether he was figuring it out based on her robes (pretty red and blue robes = Mary), or the fact that she held a baby, or a combination of both, and I saw the Dormition icon in the insert of an Eikona CD and thought here was our chance to find out. He'd never seen that icon before. He was a little over two years old. The icon has the Theotokos lying down on a bed, fallen asleep, and Christ upright holding the small swaddled figure of her soul. Would he point to pretty lady in robes, though out of context, infant-less, and laying down, or would he point to the figure holding a "baby"? I put him on my lap, handed him the icon, and said, "Where's Mary? Find Mary!" His finger went momentarily towards Christ (ah ha, it's the context of holding a baby! we thought) - then he stopped, moved his finger to the side, and pointed firmly to the wrapped, infant-like soul of the Theotokos. "Mehw!" he stated authoritatively. HUH? And off he went with his icon to play. As I tried to figure out by what equation he totally bypassed pretty-lady-in-robes AND person-holding-baby and instead pointed at... her soul.
Is it irreverent of me to pronounce him occasionally creepy?
The 16th, the day after Dormition, is our anniversary (six years!). I forget why it was we didn't want to get married as soon as July, but because of the fast we couldn't get married in August until the 16th. We decided on the Theotokos as our family patroness, fittingly enough, and the day before our wedding were surprised by non-Orthodox friends of ours with a BEAUTIFUL icon of the Theotokos. They didn't know about us choosing her for our family saint, they just knew we liked icons, and hey, this was a big, beautiful icon! Awesomest wedding gift ever. I'll get a picture of it to post next week.