Orientale Lumen

This year I could not afford to attend Orientale Lumen and I also ended up with scheduling conflict. The funeral of John Buchko was one. I really wanted to attend because this might be the last year that both Metropolitan KALLISTOS and Archimandrite Robert Taft SJ will be attending.

On Tuesday I served at John's funeral.  I frequently come down to Washington for funerals as the cathedral is like a family to me.  It was my parish before I went to the seminary and they paid a major portion of my seminary education.

As he drove me to the subway station after the funeral, Fr. George asked me if I could return the next morning as they needed a deacon since the bishop was serving.  I immediately changed my plans. 

I first serve with then Bishop KALLISTOS back in 1986 or so when I was just a new altar server.   I was the book-holder for the Liturgy and Subdeacon Yaroslav was in charge.  I will always be grateful to him for his guidance and help over the years.  Actually, I am grateful to many people who have made me what I am today.

As it turned out, we actually had two deacons.  Although I wear the single orarion, I was the first deacon and the deacon wearing the double orarion was the second deacon.  But I was actually the senior deacon.  In the Russian practice, a deacon starts off wearing the single orarion and has to "earn" the right to wear the double orarion.   In other practices, they do not wear the single orarion.  Some people who are unaware of this difference have asked me if I am a full deacon. 

As the service progressed, I found myself acting like a protodeacon.  It appeared that, except for the priests, I was the only one familiar with serving with a bishop.  I have experience as both a subdeacon and a deacon.  This was my second time serving as the first deacon.  The firfst time the subdeacons were very much experienced.

I hope that next year I will be able to afford to attend the conference.  If the conference was a week later, I might had been able to attend.
 

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