What a long and exhausting day this has been. The celebration of Saint Panteleimon began on Saturday evening at the service of Vespers and continued today with the early morning Matin service, followed by the Liturgy. This was all served outside in the little outdoor chapel which is dedicated to the Theotokos “Joy of Canada”. Again, it was hot but also, again, a canopy had been erected for the chanters and Readers to stand under and be shielded from the sun and excess heat.
At the end of the Liturgy and following the “Prayers after Communion”, an abbreviated anointing service was held and seemed to be appreciated by those attending. Fr Markel gave a short explanation and then anointed everyone with the blessed anointing oil before giving a dismissal.
After most of the people had left, a small group of us remained in the kitchen where we had tea and a few snacks which allowed a lively discussion on a variety of topics. Andy came in after he and Sorin, Nikolai, Ovidiu, Nianna, Georgeta and Dima, cleared away all the outdoor Liturgy accesssories and were then able to sit down and rest from the heat and stress.
The subjects of discussion ranged from the ecclesiastical history of Christianity, to the modern stresses which are affecting daily life, especially of people who are believers. As well, there was discussion concerning appropriate ways to understand the Bible and the part it plays in guiding believers in their quest for better knowledge of reality and how to best be of service to God; quite lively and enlightening way to end this long day of celebration.