Thursday, March 25, 2010

Annunciation Update

Greetings on the Feast of the Annunciation! I am celebrating by listening to Kate Campbell's album Rosaryville, whose thematic threads include Louisiana, the Blessed Virgin Mary, motherhood, and the color blue. I have twice heard Campbell, a southern, Christian singer-songwriter, live, and I have most of her albums on CD. Rosaryville was my first exposure to her, and it is still my favorite of her albums.

Today is a liturgical rather than academic day here at St. Vlad's. Metropolitan Jonah is spending the whole day with us. We had a two-hour hierarchical Matins service this morning. It was impressive to see 11 priests lined up in front of the metropolitan, all in blue phelonia. Next, at 3 PM, is the Ninth Hour, followed by a hierarchical Vesperal Liturgy at which two students will be ordained - one to the priesthood, another to the diaconate. Then, at Compline at 9 PM, Metropolitan Jonah will receive the monastic vows of one of the students and tonsure him as a stavrophore.

Tomorrow will be a final academic day before we launch into Holy Week. Our schedule for the week will be, essentially, the full cursus of services from the Typikon - the kind of thing that is normally found only at a monastery. Bright Week, by contrast, has few services and no classes - it is our spring break.

I had been planning to make a visit to my home parish for Agape Vespers and Bright Monday, with a stop on the way back to watch the final game of the NCAA basketball tournament with my brother's family. But this year Agape Vespers was moved from the customary 6 PM to noon, which will make it impossible for me to attend, so I will probably just cancel the whole trip and stay on campus to study.

I am looking into some exciting possibilities for this summer. I have applied to take an intensive three-week summer course on the missiology of Archbishop Anastasios of Albania, which is being offered by the Missions Institute of Orthodox Christianity and OCMC. It will include two weeks in Albania! There were 16 applicants for 10 slots, so it's not a sure thing. I am also considering studying Syriac at Notre Dame for three or six weeks. And it looks like my institute might have some work for me, which would take me back to the DC area for at least a few weeks. I also hope to fit in a long road trip to visit friends and family I haven't seen in a while.

I just added a two new features to the blog, which you'll find in the right-hand column. First is OLD POSTS, BACK IN SEASON, which collects links to my past posts that are appropriate to the current season. It currently lists my old posts related to Lent, Holy Week, and Pascha. Second is a list of my followers. Yes, believe it or not, I have followers - or at least my blog does!

P.S. While I was writing the above, I received word that I have been accepted to the missiology course!


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Liza said...

I hope you have a wonderful experience in Albania! I absolutely loved it there, and it's a place I would love to return someday. But unfortunately, Anglican professors of theology are not overly in demand there!

By the way, you can still do Syriac as well. The dates don't overlap...I checked!

Roland said...

Thanks, Liza. Hearing and reading about your many foreign adventures was a major inspiration behind my applying for the Albania program - otherwise, it might not have occurred to me that this was something I could actually do!

As for Syriac, I just learned about an even better possibility: We might be able to bring the language instructor from St. Nersess to St. Vlad's to teach languages here. He currently teaches both Syriac and Ancient Armenian at St. Nersess every year. We are proposing that he should teach one language there and one here each year, alternating from year to year. If the proposal is accepted, he would teach Syriac here next year!

If the proposal is not accepted, I could still study Syriac at St. Nersess, but I could not get credit for it since St. Nersess is not accredited.

I have not heard anything positive about studying Greek at St. Vlad's. It seems they usually just make the most junior available faculty member teach it. It meets for 2.5 hours once a week, which is not ideal for learning a language. And since it includes both serious scholars and future priests who just don't get languages, it doesn't meet the needs of either very well.