St John, The Baptist

Today’s Rant

Blog post for 1/14/11

The past couple of days have been a whirlwind. A relative passed away. Wake and funeral took up a good slice of our days. School is cranking up again and I had in-service obligations at the college.

It snowed and has been fierce cold. Last night coming home from the school at about 8pm the mirror thermometer said, in order, ICE, 2, !!!

I have a bunch of feelings and reactions to the wake and funeral. I need to process them but fresh off my mind some things:

The wake, not so much. Pretty standard stuff except for the Russian Orthodox blessing mentioned yesterday.

The funeral, for which I acted as a pallbearer, was a very moving experience, certainly no pun intended on the carrying of the casket. In terms of that I feel I was about useless with my left arm barely functioning due to an old injury.

The service was held here:

St. John the Baptist Orthodox Church, Nanticoke, Pa

The interior is breathtakingly beautiful.

Interior, St John the Baptist Orthodox Church

The Father Adam Sexton, -Acting Rector served the funeral mass:

Father Adam Sexton

About him I will have more to say at a later time. Suffice for now, he is a very interesting character, deeply religious but very warm and human.

Those of you who know me at all know I am not a religious man. I have my reasons.

Yesterday didn’t change me, but it got my attention.

Standing in that beautiful church (and you do stand during a Orthodox Funeral) on that cold Northeast Pa. day with an open casket in the aisle beside you lots of thoughts, emotions and feelings come up.

Father Sexton gave an intense tribute to the deceased. Unlike many funerals I have been to the Father actually knew, and loved the man.

It was touching.

Two times during the service, I was given pause.

The moment the Father brought the golden bible out and held it up before reading the gospel, the sun, which was muted all morning, came strong and bright through the church windows and made that gilded book glow.

Made me wonder, it did.

At the end of the service, a final blessing where the Father once more performed the ritual with the incense, when the church bells began to peal, the sun made a curtain call. Brighter than before.

I know, it was coincidence, right?

I like today’s rant very much. It’s from April of 2006. I don’t always like what I write but this one is pretty good. My writing teacher, Ed Ackerman helped me edit it
recently and made it better by leaps and bounds. I think it fits nicely with the blog today.

Today’s Rant

As always, thanks for reading. Both of you.

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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