About St. Nicholas Marin

Come and see! I lived near this church most of my adult life and didn't know. How did I not know? Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I had stumbled inside at 16, or 20, or 25.

I wrote the following a short while after our first visit:


We first visited St. Nicholas on an invitation from friends. I had no idea what it would be like. I certainly had no idea of how it would change my life.

My first moment in there, in front of the icons you can see on this journal- they're the actual icons in St. Nicholas- is permanently in my mind. I felt like I might cry at any moment. Do you know the feeling right before tears come? My senses were completely overwhelmed. Later I read several books that had snippets of this very same experience, apparently I am not alone. I felt at once uneasy and at home in the church. At home is important because what I mean is that it feels lived in. It feels like a foyer from which you can peer into the house of God. It is a home. You are a guest, you don't want to sit down. You are being received.

There is also a sense of participating or being witness to something that has no beginning or end. It is not like any other church I have been to, where people start and stop and shuffle out to live their lives. It feels as though you are joining a constant thing, something we don't know because we are deaf to it most of the time.

To describe St. Nicholas in terms of how it is different: The first thing that comes to mind is the obvious intent of the people there. Everyone present is there by choice. They seem to know how important this is, and are not engaging in it lightly or reluctantly. No one is in a hurry to leave. They are serious but happy.

Writing about the music at St. Nicholas perhaps trivializes it, but it is worth hearing however you feel about the church. You can listen to recordings of the music at St. Nicholas on the website, and I have some clips here on this blog.

All that, clumsy. Parts of the Liturgy repeat in my head all day. I don't even know the words.
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