Tuesday, June 14, 2011

40 Day Blessing - Welcome to the Church

Jesus Presented in the Temple
 22 When the time came for the purification rites required by the Law of Moses, Joseph and Mary took him to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord.

In commemoration of the events described in Luke 2:22, the Orthodox church has a special set of prayers and a blessing to welcome new babies into the Church and to bring Mama back into the Church. SO... for the first time in nearly two months, I went to Liturgy yesterday and for the first time ever, Little Mr. Magoo went to church as well. After being gone for so long and missing most of the Lenten services and all of the Paschal (Easter) services, being here and smelling the incense and hearing the prayers sung and chanted were truly blessings to enjoy. The incense hit me the strongest - it is such a unique smell and it really affects me strongly. 

In this post - just some pictures and brief explanations of what's going on... 

This is a shot from way in the back of Annunciation Greek Cathedral in Baltimore, MD. The icons in this church are beautiful - to the left is Christ breaking the gates of Hell. In the back center is Mary with the Christ child - it is my understanding that outside of an icon where she is pregnant, Mary is never shown without Christ. I don't know what the proportions are, but I don't think most Orthodox churches have organs. This one does and you can see it and the choir up in the top left - just to the right of the icon on the wall. 

Here we ALLLLL are at the back of the church getting blessed and preparing to reenter the church.
Left to Right: Bruiser, Smeagol, Maestro, me, Mr. Magoo in arms, Buttercup, Jeff and the priest is Fr. Duane Johnson

Fr. Duane has taken Mr. Magoo and is carrying him up through the Royal Doors to do the blessing and offer Mr. Magoo to the Lord

The Iconostas is a series of icons that you see before the altar. To the far left and far right are images of the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, always to the right of the Royal Door (opening in the center) is Christ, to the left of the Door are Mary and Christ. Through the Door you can just see Fr. Duane lifting Mr. Magoo. He will go around each of the four sides of the altar, stop and lift him high into the air, and chant, "This child, Mr. Magoo, is churched in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit!" and make the sign of the cross. 

A close-in version of Fr. Duane and our sleeping Mr. Magoo - he didn't stir even once while  Fr. Duane had him.

After the prayers are said, Fr. Duane hands him back to me and we return to our seats. 

Just a cute, kid-shot of Mr. Magoo to round things out - look how many fat rolls he has now! Finally filling out to be a "real" baby!


  1. Everything looks lovely ... even the two elder boys' blase expressions (MOOOOOM, we've done this like a HUNDRED times ....) Congratulations.

  2. hahahaha! I noticed those expressions later on too - but that was the best out of three... and Smeagol's untucked shirt...

    Thanks muchly though - he did really well and slept soundly through the whole of it.


I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


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