Well it says it in the bulletin **(pdf file), and Father Pat referenced it in his sermon: one week from today, in God’s mercy, my daughters will be baptized and chrismated, and my wife and I will be chrismated, as our household is joined to the one, holy, catholic and apostolic Orthodox Church. Today as we moved from the Liturgy of the Catechumens to the Liturgy of the Faithful, our daughters were called forward and the first prayers of the baptismal rite (up to the exorcisms) were prayed over them.
Priest: Let us pray to the Lord.
Choir: Lord, have mercy.
IN THY NAME, O Lord God of truth, and in the Name of Thine Only-begotten Son, and of Thy Holy Spirit, I lay my hand upon Thy servant, (name), who has been found worthy to flee unto Thy holy Name, and to take refuge under the shelter of Thy wings. Remove far from him his former delusion and fill him with the faith, hope and love which are in Thee; that he may know that Thou art the only true God with Thine Only-begotten Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and Thy Holy Spirit. Enable him to walk in all Thy commandments, and to fulfill those things which are well pleasing unto Thee; for if a man do those things, he shall find life in them.
Inscribe him in Thy Book of Life, and unite him to the flock of Thine inheritance. And may Thy holy Name be glorified in him, together with that of Thy beloved Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, and of Thy life-giving Spirit. Let Thine eyes ever regard him with mercy, and let Thine ears attend unto the voice of his supplication. Make him to rejoice in the works of his hands, and in all his generation; that he may render praise unto Thee, that he may sing, worship and glorify Thy great and exalted Name always, all the days of his life.
For all the Powers of Heaven sing praises unto Thee, and Thine is the Glory, of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever, and unto ages of ages.
I, for one, am feeling as though taken by surprise in all of this. For five years this has always been on the horizon, and I have settled my soul in patience to await the day. For so long I’ve steeled myself to the “someday” that it is difficult to realize the “someday” is now. Now that day is near. We are having a Memorial Day get together at our house, and I find myself thinking, “I’ll be Orthodox on that day.” During Holy Communion, as I watched the communicants receive the Body and Blood of Christ, I thought to myself, this is the last time I will stand watching and waiting, without the opportunity to prepare for and partake of the sacred Gifts. And yet, telling myself these things does not make it any easier to realize we are at last receiving that for which I have for so long waited.
I feel as if awakening from a dream, from some sort of stasis. I have begun to feel a new energy, new warmth of devotion, indeed, new feeling for spiritual things.
I will need to focus my energies toward next Sunday, and so, aside from a few pre-prepared posts for which almost the only thing left to do is to click “publish”, I will not be blogging this week.
I humbly ask for your prayers for me and my family, for our safety and health, our oneness of mind and spirit, and our energetic attention to God’s grace as we prepare this week to enter the Orthodox Church and complete our initiation into the Gospel of Christ. We have almost reached the end of the beginning of the beginning. Pray we make it safely to harbor.
**Well, okay, as Theodora Elizabeth points out, it doesn’t say it in the online version linked above. Silly me for not reading the file before linking it. But I have a hard copy with the evidence!