Monday, September 17, 2007

With One Voice

I think I take for granted standing in church and singing together as a congregation. This Sunday, standing in the choir as we were singing 'O Lord Save Thy People' and came to the part about 'grant victory to the faithful' I realized something. We were the faithful standing together singing to God asking Him with one voice to send His Grace upon us. How beautiful.

Plus I wanted to share something from my favorite book, "A Collection of Letters to Nuns: Profitable instructions for laymen and monastics" by St. Anatoly (Zertsalov) of Optina

Letter 193. What Chanting Should Be Like
Peace to you and salvation reverend novice! So, you have started to chant "Lord I Call Upon You Hear Me." But the fact that you have started to chant is not important. The roosters out on the farm sing like anything -- they will drown you right out. But you are not a rooster. You have to remember that your singing should not be like the roosters but like that of the angels -- that is, done with profound humility, fear, ardent love and self-reproach. Such is true and God-pleasing chanting. But the vainglorious kind, designed not to please God but men, is worse than that of the roosters. ...My dear novice, be meek and obedient. May God preserve you from pride, audaciousness and disdain of others.

From the greatly sinful Hieromonk Anatoly.

"Now each is commended to give glory in whatever way he can: one by labor, one by chanting --- and you and I by patience. Christ will receive this too, just as He did the praise of angels, which they rendered to the One Who was born, as He, the King of kings and Lord of lords, lay small, weak and newly born in a manger. And what awaited Him in the future? Tribulations, hunger, thirst, revilings, wounds, blows, scourging, and finally being nailed to the Cross and a shameful death. All of this the Lord beheld as a man -- a child lying in the manger wrapped in swaddling clothes. Let us also patiently endure for a little while for the sake of the Lord Who died for us, that we may also be glorified together with Him." --St. Anatoly


At 9:06 PM, Blogger Julia said...

That's really beautiful.


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