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Monday, February 06, 2006

Water of life; Oil of gladness

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me
because he has anointed me!

Behold how good and lovely it is
when brothers live together in unity!
It is fragrant as oil upon the head,
which runs down over the beard;
Fragrant as oil upon the beard of Aaron,
which runs on the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon,
like the dew that falls upon the hill of Zion.
For there the Lord hath ordained his blessing,
which is life for evermore! - Psalm 132

Nearer and nearer draws the time.

I'm more or less at peace now that I know what's happening and when, and can focus on the spiritual now. I had planned to prepare myself with a fast for a week but, as I'm dieting anyway, I find myself observing most of the fasting rules without necessarily intending to.

However, on the 18th, I plan to make a personal pilgrimage to the tomb of St Bertram from where Fr Paul has asked me to bring back some water to add to the font. I'll go straight from there, bottle in hand, to Fr Paul's house, where I'll join my fellow catechumen in spending the evening in quiet reflection and prayer. We shall make our confessions, and say the hours. Then in the morning, some friends of mine are arriving and I shall be baptised and chrismated before the Liturgy. The weekend should be a thoroughly spiritual experience and I can't wait. I still have a few nerves about the confession but I'm sure that these will pass.

Goodness! In a fortnight, I'll be Orthodox!

The photograph above is my baptismal Cross, which arrived in this morning's post. It is a replica of the Cross found in the tomb of St Cuthbert at Durham Cathedral.

I'd like to thank everybody who has read and contributed to this blog in any way. You have all be so very inspirational and helpful to my formation so far. It is now almost one year since I started this and I have gained so much. I hope that you have received something here as well. I ask for your continued prayers.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Greek fasting cheese

Has anybody heard of this? If so, do you know where to get it? I have tried various vegan places with no luck.

It apparently tastes and behaves like mild cheddar (melts when heated, &c.), but is completely dairy-free. If this is available, it may be the only thing that gets me through Lent without charges of GBH.

If anyone can help, I'll be grateful.

Thank you. :-)

Friday, February 03, 2006

Please sponsor me!

The title of this post links to a webpage with information about the fundraising appeal of the St Edward Brotherhood. They plan to build a new monastic house to better enable them to continue their incense and candle-making, icon-framing and book-binding, and to better serve the pastoral and administrative needs of the church community that they have built up over the years.

As I still have just under 4 stone to lose before I get down to my ideal weight, I have decided to make this a sponsored effort. My current weight is 14 stone and 12 pounds (208lbs.) and my desired weight is 11 stone (154 lbs). I started at 16 stone a month ago and my goal is to reach 11 stone by Pascha, which falls on the 23rd of April.

I have been in touch with my parish priest about this and he will contact Fr Alexis at the monastery so that they will be aware of this. I also plan to place sponsor forms in some local parishes and other organisations.

If any of my online friends and readers are able and willing to give to this cause, please do get in touch and let me know. The monks will be very grateful, I'm sure, and I will be pleased to have the added incentive to keep on with my diet. I'm trying to keep this 2003 photograph of myself in sight to remind myself of my goal.

The King Edward Orthodox Trust Company Ltd. is a registered charity (no 284929/0). If you are a UK taxpayer and would like to contribute, please enable to Brotherhood to reclaim 28 pence for each £1 that you give, at no additional cost to you, by choosing to Gift Aid your donation. Please contact me using the e-mail link at the right-hand column of this weblog for details of how you can donate.

Many thanks in advance for your contributions and may God richly bless you!