It was a joyous day: His Grace was present in advance of our Patronal Feast Day (Sts. Constantine and Helen, 21 May), and he also handed out certificates to our Church School children and spoke to them and their teachers.
It was a joyous and emotional event for me: hearing His Grace speak of gifts of the Church, a little of my journey, and then calling me before him was, well, something else. As he spoke the blessing and tonsured me, great joy, and a sense of great humility overwhelmed me.
I was taken a bit by surprise at the fact that as he placed the robe on me and presented me to the gathered community, everyone was invite to join in the cry AXIOS! That "capped" it, so to speak and tears filled my eyes. I had difficulty reading the short selection from the Epistle because my eyes were watery and my throat choked up. Such a blessing!
What strikes me about our Holy Church is the order that exists -- and the fact that there are so many literal blessings. My priest blesses me as I approach the Chanter's stand. A Reader is blessed, "ordained," as are taper bearers (altar boys) ... and in the higher orders, subdeacons, deacons, priests, bishops and so on. It isn't a matter of taking vows .... but of being given something. It is different from my previous experience.
In any case, I rejoice in having come home, and in the fact that Holy Mother Church would see fit to bless me to serve in this way!
I look forward to growing in ability to chant and read, and in absorbing all that is given in the words that we pray and repeat.
This simple experience is another marvelous thing that I have been given!
Glory to God for All things