It's a new church year for us liturgical types, and on Saturday afternoon three of our parishioners took it upon themselves to decorate the chapel. They did a great job, even if this is a bit early to anticipate the Feast of the Nativity. On Saturday evenings I concelebrate Mass with the priest from the Polish Army, though since the liturgy is in Polish, I'm pretty much silent during most of it.
I try to follow along as he's praying, but the language is pretty difficult, and the Polish alphabet has some letters not found in our western version, so I'm not sure there's been any progress on my part in the month we've been doing this. In today's first photo, one can see the Polish flag in the sanctuary as we're about to begin the Polish Mass.
Rather festive, eh?
Since it was the First Sunday of Advent, and therefore the first time we used the Advent Wreath, I blessed it using some very expensive incense given to me by one of the Orthodox priests in our Area of Operations (AO). Earlier in the week, when we met at his rectory, I commented that I loved the scent of the incense that hung in the room that functions as his week-day chapel. He said he'd just celebrated an infant baptism that morning.
Later when he took SPC C and me (and our Serbian-language translator) into the church building itself, he disappeared for a few moments behind the Iconostasis, and when he reappeared, he had a bindle made from a sheet of copier paper, filled with a kind of incense I'd never seen before. He gave me the incense, so I promised him I'd use it on Sunday.
After the Mass in English which follows the Polish Mass (and is not concelebrated, as the Poles all leave after their Mass is over), the three Soldiers who decorated the chapel cajoled me into having my picture taken with them in front of the Christmas tree they'd set up and decorated.
I'm not sure violet is my color....
But all in all, it was a great way to begin the new year.
Blessings and peace to one and all,
Fr. Tim, SJ