This morning, ten of us, including my family, were received into the Holy Orthodox Church. It was such an amazing moment. Here are several reasons:
- Knowing our family and friends were there to support us. Thank you Mom and Dad H, Mom & Dad Z, Linda, Steve, Maribeth, Caleb, Jennifer, Fr Michael & Kh Kyra, Mic & Ginny, and David. And thank you David H. for filming the entire service.
- Seeing the excitement on our friends’ faces from St Peters. Thank you to each person at St Peters who has prayed for us, encouraged us and supported us this past year. And a special thanks to our family’s sponsors — Dn Rico, Kh Christina, Aaron, Elly, Lisa & Robert.
- Watching my best friend, Mark, be baptized.
- Hearing the beautiful and spiritually rich prayers.
- Holding my candle as a symbol of my heart becoming illuminated.
- Being signed with the chrism (Holy Oil) as Fr Patrick made a sign of the cross on my forehead, eyes, nostrils, mouth, ears, chest, hands and feet, while each time saying, “The Seal and Gift of the Holy Spirit” to which the entire congregation responded by saying “Sealed!”
- Receiving the real Body and Blood of Christ in the Eucharist for the very first time. Absolutely awesome!!
- Receiving the cross on a chain around my neck as a constant sign of my life in Christ.
- Being encouraged to invoke the prayers of our patron saints.
- Knowing that from this day forward my family and friends will live and grow in the fullness of Christ’s life through the nurturing care of the Church.
A lot more can and must to be said about today. It was momentous in ways that I’m still trying to fathom. All day, I have been sensing something deep, and to this point beyond words, simmering inside of me. It’s similar to what I remember experiencing after other life-changing events, like my wedding day or my children’s birth. Each of those events marked the end of a specific journey and the beginning of a new journey that would prove far greater and life-impacting than I could have anticipated. I have been sensing the same thing since this morning’s service. We’re Orthodox and I suspect it will change everything. And I love it.
You can view photos from the event on the St Peter’s website by clicking HERE.