I'm have e-mailed this out to as many friends as I know on my e-mail list who go to my Church, as I really think it's important we get people more involved.
Feel free to forward it on to others that you may know as well, for their encouragement. It's time we take our stand and be more accountable for the Church we love.
Last night I went to Matins to find my priest looking tired and overwhelmed, and even heard him say, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I feel old.Ã¢â‚¬Â This made me sad and brought me to the realization that if he is pained to see his flock wandering away, how much more does it pain our Heavenly Father when we wander straight into harms way by walking into the lionÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s den?
My friends Ã¢â‚¬â€œ we have a lot to be accountable for. This Church is OUR
church. WE are the next generation Ã¢â‚¬â€œ but where is everybody? Last night,
not including our priest, the choir made up about 9, and the parishioners made up about 5. If there were no choir, thereÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d be hardly anyone left in Church. Again, where is everybody?
We spoke to an older lady who tends the lampadas faithfully from day to day, week to week. She mentioned last year during Holy Week, she had no-one to help her so was there until midnight tending and changing the lampadas in order for us to feast.
Some of my fondest memories as a child were when I would help my Aunty in the small Church the family used to attend, to Ã¢â‚¬Å“change everything from black to whiteÃ¢â‚¬Â on Good Friday evening. I remember the smiles and the smell of silver spray paint outside, as the boys tended to their candlesticks, shining them and making them look as new as possible for the upcoming feast. The women inside would be cleaning, sweeping the floors, dusting the icons, and arranging big, fragrant white flowers. The men would be behind the iconostasis putting up the XB sign, making sure the light bulbs and electricity worked. Others would be ironing the vestments, but most importantly everything would be changed from the deathly black, to silvery clean white. And every year, my Aunty would faithfully tie the floral embroidered white cloth around ChristÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s waist on the Cross, in devotion almost as if she were standing before the real Christ JesusÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ body Himself. All this was done with such love, fervency, and mostly with such sweet anticipation of the coming feast of victory over death, and the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My friends, the old ones who do these jobs are not going to be around
forever. Plus with people leaving due to the political nature of the Russian
ChurchÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s reunification and the discomfort with that (which is entirely another matter all together), I now realize it is time for us young ones to step up and help. If we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t, do you think the generation coming behind us Ã¢â‚¬â€œ your children, and your childrenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s children Ã¢â‚¬â€œ will follow? Unlikely. If we donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t take action now, the Church will become an empty morgue, and the saints who so faithfully and lovingly stare down at us from the walls above, will shake their heads in shame and sadness at having no-one to serve Christ Jesus with them.
Please, please if you can, stay and help tend the Church Ã¢â‚¬â€œ yes during Holy
Week (and I know weÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re always tired after such long services, but Ã¢â‚¬Â¦) Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and
carry this on throughout the rest of the year as well. It may not seem like much, but every little bit helps. And God will greatly bless you for your faithfulness in serving Him.