For the first time in many, many weeks, this Sunday felt like a “normal” Sunday, with the serving of the Divine Liturgy in the morning, followed by what has now become the usual combination of tea and lunch. The Liturgy was served perhaps 50% in Slavonic and a little bit in Romanian and Serbian and a touch of Georgian. For those serving, it might have been fine but for the chanter (me) it was at times a little confusing. Even so, it flowed smoothly and was followed by a Pannikhida which was mostly in English but also with a bit of Slavonic. One of the reasons for a bit of confusion was that I didn’t have a Slavonic Liturgy book so had to rely on my memory for the parts in Slavonic. The English I have memorized and could probably do without a book but my Slavonic is rather rusty these days. Hopefully for the next Slavonic Sunday, I will have a book and be better prepared.
Today’s lunch was rather special, again because it felt more like a “normal” Sunday, even though people ate, had tea, chatted a bit and then left. For some reason, the quality of the conversation seemed to be deeper and more lively. Mitcha made his wonderful baked calimari which is always delicious and a real treat. Someone brought a selection of cabbage pirozhki which we also had at lunch time and these were also tasty, though a bit on the spicy side. There was a bottle of red wine which had been blessed at the Pannikhida and so this was opened for lunch and a toast in memory of those reposed (though I don’t drink so toasted with a large glass of water).
Not long after lunch was completed and several of the diners had left, a group of visitors came and were asking to enter the big church in order to light candles and pray. David escorted them up to the church and showed them what to do and then returned to the table. Not long after this, two sisters came, also for prayer and lighting candles but they also sat and talked for a short period of time. They, David and Andy had a lively discussion which everyone seemed to enjoy and so they departed with a fond farewell and best wishes for everyone and to collect their icon which had been placed in the altar several months ago, to be blessed.
Later in the day, Andy set up the camera and computer in order that Archbishop Lazar might present a Meleti by way of the now popular and useful Zoom. So ended this nearly normal Sunday.