Sunday, March 26, 2017

Annunciation and other things

     Friday night was the vigil for Annunciation.  I took the boys with me.  (They are both taller than I am now.  Maybe I should stop calling them boys.)  There are 5 parts of that long service I absolutely love.
     The first is the Polyeleos, when we tell God how amazing he is.  The list of what He has done to save his people is truly awesome.
     Second is when the lights are extinguished and a lone reader with one candle chants the Six Psalms, prophecies of Jesus' thoughts when he was on the Cross. (Some say that just before Jesus returns an angel will appear in the sky chanting these Psalms in all the tongues of men, announcing by what judgement we shall be judged.)
     Third is the Gospel reading.  This is when the heart of the feast is revealed.  It is the epitome of the service.
     Fourth is when the priest or bishop stands at the west end of the building and invokes the prayers of dozens of the saints.  "...St Ambrose of Milan, the protomartyr and equal to the apostles St. Thekla, St. Katherine of Alexandria, St. Mary of Egypt, St. Peter the Aleut martyr of San Francisco, St. Vladimir equal to the Apostles, St. Mary of Paris, St. Raphael of Brooklyn, St. Patrick of Armagh the enlightener of Ireland, St. Irenaeus of Lyons, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Ss Gregory, Clement, and Leo Popes of Rome, St. Panteleimon the unmercenary physician, St. John Chrysostom..."  As their names are called out their lives and deeds fill my mind and I am reminded of what kind of man I am supposed to be.
     The fifth is when, near the end of the service, we line up to venerate the icon of the feast (I am not able to prostrate anymore.  If I try it I lose my breath.), receive the blessing of oil on our heads, exchange the festal greeting with the priest, and then get some of that yummy bread dipped it wine.  (I really have no idea what this is about.  It's not communion but what is it?  I'll have to ask the priest sometime.)
     My contract with the school district was not renewed.  I was expecting that.  I am not a credentialed Special Education teacher and the district is under scrutiny  from the state for Special Education irregularities.  They really need someone who knows better than me how to teach these kids.  I'm great for lectures and essays, but when a student has auditory and visual processing problems I don't know how to reach him.  But I am not worried.  The school year is over May 25 but I chose the 12 month pay schedule so I'll still have an income through the end of July.  Also, I'll teach summer school.  After that?  Return to being a substitute until I have completed the requirements for the Social Science teaching credential. (It looks like that will be in December.)

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