Went to Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Dallas yesterday to finish up the two-day, pan-Orthodox festival. Lots of "big names"--Dr. Clark Carlton, Frank Schaffer, His Eminence DMITRI (my Archbishop), Fr. Peter again--I, being the church geek that I am, waited around to ask questions of all of them. But the best part was having Vespers with a few hundred other Orthodox Christians in that beautiful church with the vaulted ceilings that made the voices boom.
Saturday Vespers (unless you happen to attend an amazingly active and committed parish) is usually not nearly as well-attended as the Divine Liturgy (eventually) is (and if you're Orthodox you get the "eventually" part). To have, then, several hundred brothers and sisters chanting the prayers--"Lord have mercy...Grant this, O Lord...Our Father...Glory...Now and Ever..."--a very deep sense of community, especially after Fr. Peter's discourse on the Book of Acts, Ch. 2, and how we really ARE carrying on the first worship service when we pray "THE prayers" (Acts. 2:42)...the community wasn't only with those present, but with those billions who've gone on to glory before, who've prayed the same basic prayer: "Lord, have mercy. I believe..."