Working on the Weekend

This past weekend parishioners from a couple mission churches in the area made their way to Saint Nicholas for a joyous baptismal celebration on Saturday.  The Bishop, His Eminence Damaskinos, and 3 helping priests were there to assist in the ceremony to receive 15 people into the church.

Catechumens praying outside the church 
His Eminence Damaskinos and the other priests praying over the water
Two newly illumined children admiring each other's crosses
The whole group processing around the baptismal fount

There is still a great need for God-parents for these people (and others soon to be baptized), as there isn't a large Orthodox base among the mission parishes here.  I was happy to be able to sing for the service, but turned down the opportunity to be a God-parent as I had just been introduced to the entire bunch and wasn't familiar with any of the people yet.

The following day I made my way to Mamelodi to participate in a "reader service" (a liturgy that can be done without a priest).  The service was done mostly in a language foreign to me with bits of English and Greek mixed in, but I was able to follow along well enough and really enjoyed the experience.  The group meets in family homes, so it makes sense that the church mainly consists of different generations of the same family.  After service this provides for a very family-like atmosphere; wonderful Sunday lunch and children playing outside included.

At one point during the service I asked to use the restroom and was escorted to a small outside room with accommodations less that those I've seen at most American campsites… I felt bad for a moment and then I remembered that if they've never known otherwise that they're probably perfectly happy with this.

After the service concluded the women in the room broke out into this lovely song:

The kids from the neighborhood playing around after service
All this to say, I had a very eventful weekend and spent a lot of time in prayer for these people and their families.

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