Well, it's now official – as of a few hours ago, I am an Orthodox catechumen! At tonight's Vesperal Liturgy for the Feast of the Presentation, I went forward after the Gospel (there was no homily tonight) with my fellow catechumens and our sponsors to stand before the icon of Christ for the Prayers of the Catechumens.
I chose this date primarily for a practical reason – it was the first Divine Liturgy at Holy Cross since I completed my final duties at St. Paul's. But I also think it was symbolically appropriate to make my official Orthodox debut on the day when Jesus made his first visit to the temple.
On Tuesday morning I attended the early Mass at St. Paul's to celebrate the Feast of King Charles the Martyr and to receive communion for the last time as an Anglican. Tomorrow night I will make my first visit to St. Paul's as a non-Anglican for the annual Candlemas service, featuring the Blessing of Candles, a procession, and an orchestral Mass setting by Mozart. It is actually the same feast that we celebrated tonight at Holy Cross. Since the Antiochians normally observe great feasts that fall on weekdays on the eve, I will be able to celebrate one of my favorite feasts a second time!