Sunday, November 08, 2009

A Sermon, Cranberrry Bread, and Getting Ready for Christmas

Today Anselm Samuel paid attention to the sermon. I think it might have been the first time ever. In addition to being the 22nd Sunday after Pentecost this morning was also the Synaxis of the the Archangel Michael and the other bodiless powers. So, instead of just the Sunday Gospel reading we also had a Gospel for the Synaxis, which in the wisdom of the Church Fathers who arranged the lectionary, has nothing to do with any of the Archangels, unless, as the priest pointed out, you know the back-story. The sermon was over in 5 minutes but explained who the 70 were and what their job was, explained the rebuke Jesus gave to the 70 (it was very funny), and told the story of Lucifer's rebellion, the war in Heaven, and the casting down of Satan by Holy Michael. When the sermon was over and the priest was walking back to the Altar Anselm said, "That was good. That was the best sermon ever." It was pretty good.

Sadly, I am not well, and could not stay any longer. I have been drinking large amounts (even for me) of coffee doing without much sleep for days in order to get all my school assignments completed. Lately I've been shaking, experiencing stomach problems, and once even hallucinated. It was a very strange thing. Anselm, Basil, Athanasia, and I were all sitting in the living room and I saw another boy just stroll through the room. It was startling, but I saw right away he wasn't really there. Anyway, when after the sermon I fell asleep standing during the liturgy. Realizing I was about to become a huge distraction(Headline: Church burns as man falls asleep and spills oil lamps), Anslem and I left (Basil is sick - puke,sniff,cough,puke,sniff,cough- and Athanasia stayed home with him.) just as the clergy were getting ready for the Great Entrance. The drive home was pretty scary, but we made it and I crashed for 3 hours.

I really like this priest. I hope I am not breaking any kind of rules about the silence surrounding confession, but just before he prayed the prayer of absolution he me some spiritual advice, which essentially was "Satan sets traps, you see them and avoid them by prayer. You aren't praying enough." Another thing I like about him is that before he became Orthodox he was Pentecostal, like me. He was one of the Jesus People in the early 1970s.


I read "Cranberry Thanksgiving" to the boys tonight. They enjoyed it, and like I did when my mother read it to me, asked me to make cranberry bread. So, tomorrow, morning, after I clean the laundry room and get the roofers set up (we are re-roofing building 8) we are going to make cranberry bread. Much fun!

This is the recipe in the book, not my wife's famous Cranberry bread recipe.


Sift: 2 cups flour (sifted), 1 cup sugar, 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp salt and 1/2 tsp baking soda.

Cut in 1/4 cup butter until mixture is crumbly (I use a mixer to crumble-ize it)

Add 1 beaten egg, 1 tsp grated orange peel and 3/4 cup organge juice and mix until mixture is evenly moist.

Fold in 1 and 1/2 cups light raisins and about a half bag of chopped cranberries per loaf.

Spoon into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 loaf pan bake at 350' for 1 hour and 10 mins or until toothpick in center comes out clean.

Cool out of pan on a wire rack. keep stored in aluminum foil, unless you eat it all before it cools.


A friend of mine has given me a fabulous idea: A candlelight reading of W.H. Auden's For the Time Being: A Christmas Oratorio. I'm thinking Jan 3 or 4, since the piece is really about the movement from Christmas into ordinary time. Oh! I can hardly wait! Got to get texts (Oh, I do hope it is in the public domain!), settle on a date, and get the invites out to all my friends and family. I haven't done readers theater since the 4th grade. This will be fun.

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