Thursday, January 29, 2015

Fostering Young Vocations (Part 2)

Yesterday I posted an old photograph of a young boy dressed as a priest and playing at saying Mass, with another boy acting as his server. I had originally thought to contrast it with the following video, as an example of how the practice of children “playing” at the liturgy is still, God willing, fostering vocations and devotion even in our own day. I had seen the video on facebook some time ago, but its title is in Russian, and I couldn’t track it down in time for yesterday’s post. I am therefore very grateful to reader James Badeaux for giving a link to it in the combox.

Note, by the way, that these children are not playing at celebrating the Eucharistic liturgy, but Matins, complete with incensations. (There is so much we Romans can learn from the East!) The “anointing” (with glue, it seems) is a part of the Byzantine Great Vigil service held on Saturday evenings and the day before the major feasts. The celebrating priest paints a cross of rose-scented oil on the foreheads of the laity, who each kiss his hand. However, the other priests present each take the brush from the celebrant, and paint the oil on their own foreheads; the celebrant and the priests kiss each others’ hands before and after. Also note, therefore, how at 1:53 the boy in the red hat correctly acknowledges his brother’s sacerdotal dignity by kissing his hand and giving him the brush. (Slightly missing the point, he later kisses his own hand.) At the end, the smaller one blesses the people and says, (as one does towards the end of every major Byzantine service) “Mir vsyem - Peace to all!” And with thy spirit, little brother!

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