Spring Break is finally here, so it was a quick finishing up of mid-term grades, and here we are now in Tulsa, in my aunt and uncle's house. Anza (short for Esperanza, Hope in Spanish) and Audra are both sleeping after a particularly hard night. We got in early yesterday afternoon, and went to St. Antony's before presanctified in order to talk to Father for different reasons. Audra, to ask Fr.'s blessing to be the sponsor of a friend of ours who's a catechumen there and is slated to be chrismated on Holy Saturday (which means a BIG trip for Mommy and Baby come late April, but Audra wants to do it, so...), and I to ask Father's forgiveness for speaking badly of him during my time as a catechumen under him (his way of putting things and my way of understanding things did not always mesh, which frustrated me--a frustration I made known to many people, save Fr. himself, of course). Thanks be to God, both requests were answered positively, so Audra will be a godmother (again!) and I am restored to a clear relationship w/the priest I do owe so much to.
After the talks with Fr., presanctified, Byzantine style. But first, a bunny trail!
I've said it before, but not on here (I don't think), that I converted to Orthodoxy in spite of the Eastern Rite, not because of it, as so many did. Not knowing how the (often rather complex) services ran at the time, the added confusion of the Byzantine tones (which I inevitably tried to dissect while hearing them) made for a stumbling block of sorts, though I still enjoyed the services, more or less. I was eager to join the Western Rite church when Audra and I moved to Ft. Worth, but Audra's clear preference of Eastern Rite led us to join the OCA parish--and I have to say, I'm glad. Not because of any animosity towards the Western Rite (on the contrary, I think it's a cause in the Church whose time has definitely come and through whose presence we as a Church will be enriched), but because I was able to experience Eastern Rite sans Byzantine tones, and this Russian expression of Orthodoxy has become my home. Now that I'm much more familiar with the flow of the Eastern Rite services (much more than I ever was with the Western ones), I can go back to St. Antony's and participate SO much more fully in the services...and now I'm thinking, "Wow, what pretty music!"
Back to presanctified. Father let me chant with Reader Michael and Mrs. Saliba, and I took ison (the "drone" underneath the melody)--gorgeous, eternal music. We seemed simply to rest in the presence of the Gifts which had been prepared for us last Sunday, humbly yet consistently approaching the throne in passionless waves, in ebbs and flows of praise and repentance. Afterwards, a Lenten meal with the few who showed up (including Julie, who showed up AFTER communion--Hi, Julie, if you're reading this! ::grin and wink::). Good food, several people asking me if I've been or am going to be ordained a sub-deacon soon...sigh...must be the cassock. Sepa Dios. God knows. Glad to say that I have absolutely NO desires either to pursue anything further in the ranks of the clergy or to run away from any calling I might feel otherwise. I always tell people who ask about that, "Ask me again when I'm thirty." Why the hell anyone would want to listen to a twenty-six year old kid is beyond me.
Will go today, God willing, to meet a cousin of Audra's who lives in Arkansas and whom Audra hasn't seen in years. St. Patrick's Day party over at the house of some friends from St. Antony's on Friday. Will call St. Barbara's in Ft. Worth on Fri. night to ask about whether or not the permit for occupancy went through; if so, we'll be heading back Saturday. If not, we'll just stay and go to Liturgy on Sunday @ St. Antony's (the thought occurs to me: if we were to move back to Tulsa, I would most likely have to attend Holy Apostles (the OCA mission) or ask for a release from Vladyka if I wanted to attend St. Antony's. Huh. Different world.)