28 December 2015

The Monsoon

Well, it started on St. Stephen's Day and it lasted until the sunset of Holy Innocents: a rain like I don't ever remember experiencing in my life. Cindi tells me all told in those three days we topped 10 inches of rain. We battled water in the basement. We had a power loss. We wet-vacced more than I care to remember. Buckets dumped. Dehumidifier dumped. A week ago we had our sump replaced, thanks be to God! It (and the battery backup) got us through this mess. We've got two fans running nonstop and the dehumidifier still going, hoping to stave off any infestation of mold or mildew. I've doused the carpet in Lysol. Whew. The cortisol level equals about three rounds of sprints, I'd say. Not exactly the peaceful vacation I had planned, but what is, is.

25 December 2015

The Nativity Feast, 2015

The beauty of the Midnight Divine Service, the overflowing joy of the Christmas Day Divine Liturgy! Aside from the high points of the Scripture readings, the sermons, the partaking of the most holy Eucharist, also rejoiced in...

...a touch of Praetorius...Carlo's organ feats...John's trumpet...Sweet smell of incense wafting aloft...Choir singing so joyously Mary's Lullaby, Tollite Hostia, and He is Born the Divine Christ Child...All the stanzas of "From Heaven Above"...Luther's incomparable "We Praise You, Jesus, At Your Birth"...The reading of the Kalends at the start of the Divine Service...The place rocking with "Now Sing We" as the procession exited the Church.

A few visuals:

24 December 2015

Merry Christmas!

...God is man, man to deliver / And His Son / Now is one / With our blood forever.

05 December 2015

Eve of St. Nicholas' Day

In my old German Bible from CPH, the day of Nicholas the Bishop is provided with an epistle from 2 Corinthians 1:7–9. The Gospel is Luke 12:35–40. The beautiful prayer in Treasury asks that as God bestowed upon His servant Nicholas of Myra the perpetual gift of charity, so He may give His church grace to deal in love and generosity with children and all who are poor and distressed and to plead the cause of those who have no helper. This beautiful ikon of the saint was a gift many years ago from the Jeff Schwarz family: