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Portland, OR, United States
I am finishing up my midwifery apprenticeship and plan to be a real midwife early in 2014!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

A Beautiful Fall Day

This morning dawned beautiful and sunny, like yesterday. Before yesterday, I'd been just longing for days like today and yesterday. Our rainy season had started (yes, we do have a rainy season here in Portland and it's not 12 months long) and all we were getting were cold rainy fall days. I wanted a nice, crisp sunny day and I was so glad that it looks like that's what we'll be getting a lot of in the next week or so!

I started out the day with going to church. It was an interesting experience, because it was the Feastday of St. James, the brother of Christ. And the interesting part comes because there is a liturgy of St. James, which is quite different than the liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which is what we regularly use for most liturgies during the year. It is much more primitive, as Paul says it hasn't been polished by constant use; it is still rough and ancient and reflects the early church to a much greater extent than what we have today.

One thing that marks the liturgy of St. James is that communion is distributed by hand. The current practice in the Orthodox church is to put the body of Christ, which in our church is leavened bread unlike the Catholic church, into the chalice along with the wine. Then a spoon is used to give each communicant a portion of both at the same time. In the liturgy of St. James, each communicant is given in their hand a small cube of the bread, and then the chalice is offered to sip from. I quite liked it. Paul says that he was told by a bishop that you can also celebrate this liturgy on the Sunday after Christmas. It seems a good time to bring it out to the general public; the reason for the spoon was to prevent spillage, and big crowds just invite disaster. But there wouldn't be too many people in church on the Sunday after Christmas.

After I got home, I took a bike ride to Peninsula Park. I haven't noticed this until this time of year--as I'm riding into the entrance at the corner of Rosa Parks Blvd and Albina, there is the most wonderful scent. I'm assuming it's the trees. I don't know trees very well, I think they're some sort of pine? Maybe incense cedar? But they just smell divine. I want to bottle that smell and wear it. Then I rode my bike around the rose garden, finally coming to a rest on a park bench just beside it. There was just the faintest hint of rose smell from where I was sitting, and the color in the garden wasn't as vibrant as it was in the summer. The roses are giving their last show before they go dormant and look quite dead for the winter. The sky was the most wonderful blue and the path was paved in fallen leaves.

I did this same bike ride yesterday. I'm thinking to do it every day while we're having such glorious weather! Tomorrow I hope to remember the camera.


Mimi said...

Today isn't so glorious, but yesterday sure was!

I've never seen the Liturgy of St. James, fascinating! Thank you.

Molly Newman said...

We took a walk to Peninsula Park last week to bask in the last glory of the roses, too. Gorgeous. (And then a stray cat followed us home, and now we have three cats, but that's another story.)

The liturgy sounds beautiful and moving--thanks for letting us unorthodox (ha ha) types in on it.

Elizabeth said...

Man, what happened to today's weather? Wah! It was supposed to be nice again. Oh well, at least I enjoyed the nice weather while it lasted!

architect said...

Glad that you were able to get out, while the gettin' was good. =) Sounds like you have been busy.