"Wooooooooooooooooooooooow!" is the first thing that comes to mind. I just got back from Church, literally, 5 minutes ago. The first thing on my mind? Telling everyone and recounting everything so I don't forget a SINGLE thing. So here I am, going to share it with you all. I'll start from the beginning I guess, in a kind of narrative.... it will switch around as I jog my memory. I personally love reading these kinds of stories and such, so I hope you do too.
Matins, 8 AM. I woke up my mom right at 8, and we'r eout the door.... Halfway there, I tell her that it's not until 9. She's happy, she's going back home. I stand near the back as usual, with only a few people present this early. Everything goes as normal for a Matins service.... Of course, everything is lengethened by the end of the Feast for the Nativity of the Theotokos. Near the end, my Mom arrives.
Divine Liturgy starts up somewhere around 9 AM, and my mom stands and then sits for a long period of time, alternating. Mostly everyone sits, so she didnt feel too bad. I didnt say she had to stand, but she did at "Wisdom! Stand upright..." etc. throughout the service. Everyone takes Communion, and both of us get some of the Blessed Bread. Throughout all of this, my shoulders are tense, and I think I'm getting a stomachache. Saturday night, I borrowed a Service Book and read through the Catechumenate section ofnthe Baptism... I knew it pretty well. I spent plenty of time going over it. The only thing I hadn't done is memorized the Creed.
After the Gospel reading and the sermon, I stay for a little while more. My nerves kind of over take me at this point, so I go ahead to leave and use the bathroom... Should I stay? is this what I really want to do? If it isn't, this is the time for me to leave. All these thoughts go through my head, like an instant. I'm standing in the Narthex, thinking, and waiting. Before I know it, Father Andrew is at the doors of the leading to the main room. He calls me over, and before I know it, I'm standing in front of him.
This is what I want to do.
He blows in my face in the shape of a Cross, and I shake more. I'm very nervous, and I can feel myself shaking... He places his hand on my head, and I shake more... I think I may have even cried a little, but I do my best to hold back from that... The Exorcism goes by quick enough, I'm still shaking like a leaf in the wind. Then he asks the questions and I reply, sincerely and firmly. I do. I have. etc. I face west and spit on Satan, uniting myself to Christ. (A bit of an important detail for me personally as I spent most of my life rejecting Christ, and I even had a few months as a Theistic Satanist.)
Everything that happened is this weird mixture of speed, and a feeling of eternity. Time is moing, I know it is, by the rhythm of the words and the chanting, yet, deep inside, everything is still. I am no longer shaking. The Deacon hands me a paper with the Nicene Creed, and everyone recites it with me.
"I believe in One God, ..."
Now I am not shaking. Everyone is with me. I am not alone, standing in front of the Priest, as the only one there who wants to be Orthodox. Everyone is striving and reaching towards Christ, just like I am. I'm not alone: I have the whole Eastern Orthodox Church supporting me. Not just the Parish, but all of it. We believe in everything the same, and that is what I hope to also do.
Afterwards, I return to my spot, and everything continues like normal... Afterwards, peopel congratulate me. One woman told me it's the first time she's seen someone become a Catechumen, how insopiring it is, how it makes them want to learn more about their Faith.
and most important, most of all, I have this sense of Peace that I still feel now. I am no longer troubled... I'm sure I'll run into hard times, still deal with the same old sins, but for now, I feel like "I am putting on the New Man", converting all of me for the glory and sake of Christ, just like what St. Paul writes today in his Letter to the Galatians.
Forgive any errors or typos i have made, all of this is just running forth from my hands.
Lord, have mercy.