So Audra and I get back to Ft. Worth last night (at 11:30), and actually get a good night's sleep (thanks, Anza!). We go to the new building for Divine Liturgy this morning, and see THIS beautiful thing to your right!! The photo doesn't really do it justice--even the enlarged version--but the things just looks GOLD. Gorgeous, and what's even better: the A of G megachurch behind us has these two spotlights that shoot up behind it, giving off this kind of [does jazz hands and sings in high-pitched voice] "Ahhhhhhhhh!" aura. Bet they didn't know they'd be advertizing for an Orthodox Church when they did *that*. ;->
It was funny--over the phone Father Basil had said we were going to have a sort of "bare bones" liturgy--makes me think that perhaps, given our (soon to be former) mission status, most of our previous liturgies were "bare bones," as the only real difference I noticed (though this may come from having never served altar) was that today we were sans iconostas, and the rest was much the same, except for the fact that we had LOADS more elbow room.
Fr. preached today on St. Gregory Palamas--he of course, tied it in with the new building by saying that St. Gregory had a great deal of responsibility in the Church; we have a responsibility to take care of what God's given us in this building, etc--but mostly it was about making our whole lives the ceaseless prayer, the constant meditation on and abiding within the Holy Name of Jesus that St. Gregory stood for, about always making ourselves open to the divine Grace of God--which is the energies of God, and therefore God Himself, ultimately--that deifies us, truly making us as He is.
Father, as you can see, is here presenting the gifts, along with the petitions we all have individually, on the Holy Altar to become Eucharist. Was very odd actually seeing him do this, with nothing between him and us. Very western; reminded me of Catholic masses...
All in all, a wonderful Sunday... unfortunately, it was a "one-day pass" courtesy of a financial gift from an impressed contract worker--we had done so much work he wanted us to be "in" by a certain day--and therefore Presanctified tomorrow will be in the old building. Father did say, however, that there is a chance that Annunciation Liturgy this coming Saturday will be in the new facility. Drove by this afternoon and saw the dome--seen here in relation to the rest of the building--gleaming in the sunlight, as opposed to this gloomier backdrop. Quite a sight. Thanks be to God.