Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Praying with your Feet

Like Matushka Anna, I spent last Sunday praying with my feet. Carrying my littlest ones, (sometimes in arm, sometimes by the unwilling wrist) back and forth so that they would not be disruptive. I admit that a good 85% of my energy was spent in frustration. I want to work on that.

I saw something while I was so occupied that is worth an entry. Our parish's Reader, whose name is Luben, has a small child. She is tiny and sweet, maybe 1 year old. Last Sunday he came out with her several times to hold her and snuggle her and while he did, even though he was standing on a gravel path, he continued his part of the liturgy. I watched him through the windows for the most part, amazed at him holding this fussy baby on his hip while he sang, made the sign of the cross, bent to touch the ground, and continued like so for a long time. It was amazing. 


  1. That is beautiful. Remember the Reader has, most likely, more church 'under his belt' as it were. don't worry about comparisons; you are doing just fine. 1. you showed up 2. you want to pray 3. you attended to your children

    These are three big things. Working on the rest (like frustration) takes time and work but sadly it seems (at least for me) that it takes a long time. But it is not impossible. Not that I have done it yet but I have seen it in some I've met since being Orthodox....

  2. It's hard juggling little ones but Mat. Anna's advice is practical and right on the money: http://prayingwithmyfeet.blogspot.com/2011/05/children-in-church.html

    When my husband was in seminary, he'd commute on the weekends and whether I was pregnant with two little ones at home plus babysitting or when we had three or four and I'd have to go to Liturgy solo because he had just worked third shift there was ALWAYS the shuffling of kids (there still is sometimes). Asking for help usually worked, bringing an icon or prayer book or having a baby monitor plugged in so that when we go to the hall helped too, that way they weren't missing everything. Even in the hall, atleast for a couple of the older ones, there's no playing- that comes after Liturgy but the littlest usually needs some leg room. It's perfectly acceptable to allow the littlest ones a break as long as it tapers as they get older. Each child and circumstance is different though, I have a challenging one and there are times when time-outs in the car is needed... the most important thing I can mention is not to stress. It only causes them to and one shouldn't want to associate that with the beauty of the Church. Continue prayers at home and every now and then a service in the home to help establish proper conduct but it is a slow process. Some children adapt more easily than others but helping establish their relationship to Christ and ultimately their salvation is the goal, not how long they can participate on Sunday. It'll come. Prayers for you for strength and patience.

  3. I can relate very well to what you are experiencing. Consistency is the key. Keep going, keep insisting your children pray and pay attention. Leave when you need to, but always go back in and don't let the children "enjoy" being out of the service for being disruptive.

    My priest often says that mothers are martyrs for their children.

  4. I've been trying to post for days! I'm so glad I've got this working again.

    I was going to tell you (not that you haven't figured it out by now!) that I linked back to this post for the sake of the illustration of the reader. Thank you for sharing.


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