Vespers and Liturgy of Holy Saturday

by , under church, services

Time: 2:45 Total: 4:50 Grand total: 14:15
Congregation: Fr T said 60 at the final blessing, but at Communion it looked more; 14 of them were children (that’s everybody under 18 in his counting, so from the 6-week-old baby –who incidentally is going to be Tertia’s godchild when she gets christened on May 5– to the two very tall 17-year-old girls)
Crew: Altar: Fr T, two hypodiakons, adult acolyte, 8-year-old acolyte (who also did one of the readings, excellent!) Choir: SSSAAB and after a while also Auxiliary Tenor.

I’d volunteered to read the Book of Jonah if there wasn’t anyone else who could and wanted to, and got to do it! Most teenagers have grown up so much that they’re elsewhere and the new crop of children is mostly too young, but there were three teenage girls and a boy and three girls aged 8-11 reading. One of the girls read so clearly in Russian that I could follow along with the Dutch text in the booklet that I also read Jonah from.

I love this service: if “liminal” means what I think it means this is a wonderful instance of it. We’re talking about the Resurrection all the time, knowing that it has happened, but it’s not in the open yet. The whole day is a sort of in-between thing in that way.

My body now knows I dragged it out of bed at 4:15 and made it stand up for an hour an a half, then again two and three-quarter hours (usually I can sit for some of the readings but all the stools in the choir were taken, and I didn’t want to sit on the edge of the choir platform because that makes it very hard to get up), but I won’t go to bed until I’ve done the three things I really must do today: grocery shopping, decorate the kulich, bake spinach pie.

But I’m glad I read in the night, and I intend to do it again: I realise that I’ve really missed it.


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