Friday, August 27, 2010

Learning to Live in England, Part 31

Thursday, August 26

Bit of a sad time of year for me just now.  My father wuold have been 90 on the 21st of this month, and sister Barbara would have been 52 this coming Monday, the 30th.  Also, the second anniversary of my father's death is September 1.  And I can't even schedule a memorial for him, as he wasn't Orthodox. 

Daniel, my brother-in-law, came with his daughters to take Mom out to dinner on Dad's birthday.  That was very thoughtful of him, but then what what else would you expect from such a great guy?  I feel guilty being away from him and his girls this long.

On Tuesday night we said goodbye to the people in the Anglican discussion group.  I didn't even think they would realize it was our last meeting with them until (God willing) next year, so I was truly surprised when they presented us with a beautiful glass cross, which will now adorn our living room lounge.  We will truly miss Stuart and Angela, as well as Kirsty and Paul.

We have a gift for them, too, St. Dorotheos' wonderful book, but it has just arrived at the bookstore and we can't pick it up until Friday.

Wednesday, we had Stuart and Angela for dinner and I don't know what to say about it except that we had a wonderful evening.  They are very good people and very willing to serve the Lord, and we admire that.  We also admire their humility, really touching.

This afternoon we are going to have tea with Sister Goodwill, a nurse with whom Demetrios worked all those years ago, in 1964.  We are going to host her and one or two other nurses from those days at a pub on Saturday night.

Tonight we are to be the guests of one of Demetrios' medical colleagues.  This is a doctor who was in training back then, but since has specialized in Reproductive Gynecology.  Does that mean he has done abortions?  That makes me uneasy.  But I remember that Christ ate with certain scandalous people and was criticized criticised for it.  Also, as Demetrios pointed out, who are we to snub anybody at all?  How do we contrive to imagine their sins worse than ours? 

St. Paul teaches us not to keep company with certain people, 'Yet I certainly did not mean with the sexually immoral people of this world... since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I have written to you not to keep company with anyone named a brother, who is sexually immoral, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or an extortioner—not even to eat with such a person.' (I Corinthians 5:9-11, emphasis mine.) This physician is not a Christian even culturally.

I still never feel I know how to act in such situations.  How do you love greatly, without seeming to approve?  I've never found the answer, although in the actual working out of it, I seem to manage fine.  If this man really is an abortionist, it will not be the first time I've been challenged to love with all my heart someone who has committed murder legally.

Not that I myself haven't, in my heart.

Kyrie, eleison!


Anam Cara said...

Perhaps you could say the trisagion prayers for the dead yourself. Do you have the prayers in your prayer book? If not, I would be happy to type them out and send them to you.

My priest (my husband is Anglican) did a Trisagion Memorial several years ago for our mothers (mine had been dead 20 years, my husband's 5 years) privately before a Molieben service we used to do every Monday night even though they weren't Orthodox.

Perhaps he was wrong in doing this, but how can it be wrong to pray for someone to find rest in God since we can't be the judge? Doesn't this show the love which we are commanded to have for others?

We have also used the service in the Antiochian little red prayer book on Memorial Day when we've gone to Arlington Cemetary to visit graves of relatives who weren't Orthodox.

Anam Cara said...

I've typed and sent it to your comcast email which I trust you can access there. It is coming from my aol account with the subject line "Trisagion memorial prayers"

I have no idea the rhyme or reason for the capitalization in the prayers.(sometimes it's "Thee" and sometimes it's "thee." Ditto for "Thy" and "thy.")

Anonymous said...

Dear Anastasia: My mother died on 7 December 1979. When my stepfather, being Russian Orthodox, asked his local priest, a close relative, to come to our home to conduct the traditional memorial service, the priest refused, because my mother had been a Lutheran. Father John Meyendorff came some distance and he conducted the “moleben”. He, one of the most renowned scholars of Orthodoxy of the last century, recognized that even Lutherans, such as his paternal grandfather, can have a share in the inheritance our Lord prepared for us.

You can have a memorial service for your father – you just have to find someone who is worthy to conduct it.

Peace and Joy!
George A. Marquart

margaret said...

Memory eternal to your father and sister.

I went out for a wee while years back with a Coptic Orthodox ob/gyn and he had been able to invoke a conscience clause against performing or assisting in abortions in the NHS. There was a timee when they were talking about forcing all ob/gyns to perform terminations or change specialty but nothing came of it. I think there is a resentment against it amongst many doctors, they might not believe it intrinsically wrong but they do find it distasteful and are annoyed that as doctors they are obliged to deal in death. I have a friend who is a nurse and she thinks the reason the govt didn't try to force everyone to be involved is that they were terrified of the public seeing how much disapproval there is in medicine and nursing of abortion and the women who come back time and time again.

Anastasia Theodoridis said...

Thanks to all of you for these great comments.

I do of course pray for my Dad, and my best guess is, our parish priest in Richmond would be glad to, as well.

Anam, thanks especailly for taking the time to type out those prayers. I have a few with me, in my prayer book, but not as many.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Memory Eternal to your loved ones, and love and hugs to you....

Nina said...

May their memory be deepest sympathies.