Saturday, June 06, 2009

Vigil of Pentecost

Tonight was the Vigil for the Feast of Pentecost, the patronal feast day of my parish, Holy Trinity Cathedral, which is the oldest Orthodox Community in the lower 48 and has the distinction of having been the first Orthodox parish in the United States. Bishop Benjamin was there tonight, but also Metropolitan Jonah. There were a bunch of priests. Archdeacon Kyril, the son of my late pastor Archpriest Victor was there, too. I guess he travels in the Metropolitan's entourage. After the Vigil - and I want to say how good it is to hear and pray O Heavenly King again (you can read about a chanter's experience of this here.) - there was a reception for the Metropolitan. Its funny, the last time I talked to him he was the abbot of a tiny monastery in Marin County. Now he is the Metropolitan of All America and Canada. Its been six months and he still seems pretty amazed by it. I hope the strain of the office does not prove to be too much for him.

Bishop Benjamin came over and talked to me during the reception. He wanted to know how I was doing. I'm doing. Then he asked what Anselm's Bracelet said. It's one of those rubber bracelets. Actually, he had four different bracelets on, but the one Bishop Benjamin asked about was the white one. When Anselm told His Grace it was the Scouting Values bracelet Bishop Benjamin's eye's lit up and he said "Are you a Scout?" To which Anslem replied, "Yes, Your Grace. A Cub Scout." Well as it so happens, Bishop Benjamin is a Scout, too; Order of the Arrow, even. Anselm was very impressed.

My friend, Subdeacon Randy sent me a link to a beautiful Akathist for the repose of those who have fallen asleep. I love this about our Church. We have prayers for everything, and not just any old prayers, but prayers that have stood the test of time and have been proven by thousands and thousands of people. And, when any of us prays them, we know that others around the world, and in Heaven are praying them with us.

I made, with help from Athanasia, Basil, and Anselm, smoked salmon mousse for the reception. I guess the highest compliment came from Subdeacon Elias (He's from Nigeria. Pope Theodore II has loaned him to us for a while.) who said, "Oh my! This is like being back in Alaska!" Here is the recipe:

48 Oz of cream cheese
32 Oz of smoked salmon
24 Oz of sour cream
1 large red onion (peeled)
About 1/2 cup fresh dill leaves

Put all of the above ingredients in a food processor and them until smooth.
Line three bread pans with plastic wrap.
Cover the bottom of the pans with fresh cracked (a mini chopper works well for this) black pepper.
Spoon the mousse into the bread pans.
Set bread pans into a large container of ice and leave there for 4 hours before serving.

This morning Zack was Chrismated by Fr. John. I think that leaves Dennis as our only adult catechumen. We better get to work.

I very much appreciated so many of my brothers and sisters greeting me with the bright words "Christ is Risen" when they came to offer their condolences to me because of the death of Billy. Those three words put everything in perspective. When I hear them I don't just here those three words, I hear the whole Paschal Canon, and St. John Chrysostom's Paschal homily, too.


Mimi said...

Bishop BENJAMIN gave my youngest son his St. George medal, and mentioned being a scout.

Our parish's chapel in the foothills is Holy Trinity (our regular church is Holy Resurrection) so we share a Feast Day! Happy Feast Day!

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Yay for Scouts !

The salmon recipe sounds wonderful. I must give it a try out.

Praying for you all.....