Our church Arts Ministry Team sponsored a field trip to Houston to visit an Orthodox Church and have lunch at a Mediterrainean grill.
St. George Antioachian Orthodox Church, West University, Houston TX (Website Photo)
The Nave or main worship area with its Iconostasis and Holy Doors in front of the dome of the icon of the Mother of God which is above the sanctuary area behind the Iconostasis.
Father Symeon Kees, holding an incense censor, has opened the Holy Doors of the Iconostasis to reveal the Sanctuary behind where you will see the altar in front of the icon of Jesus Christ, The King of Kings or Great High Priest.
Father Symeon sang a chant for us from the responses to liturgical services.
Psalteria for singing and chanting.
One of my favorite icons was of St. Rapheal because it had a reliquary built in. An icon reliquary is a recessed hole filled with a relic from the saint like a little piece of garment or bone. Here is the whole St. Raphael piece:
(Photo from web site.) Sorry about the glare. Near the center bottom is the reliquary. Here is a close up of it:
The dark piece in the middle is a little piece of St. Raphael's bone.
This is another icon with a reliquary:
The reliquary is under the second figure, and contains a little piece of fabric from St. Herman's garment.
This is a close up of the Holy Doors on the iconostasis (photo by Kaye Smith):
Icons of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John on the Holy Doors.
Did you know that the peacock was an early religious symbol? Because of a belief that the peacock’s flesh did not decay after death, the peacock became a symbol of Christ, and, as such, early Christian paintings and mosaics use peacock imagery. Here is a detail of the peacocks on the Holy Doors:
Here is the rear wall of the Nave. Through the doors is the Narthex. (web site photo)
Icons like this one were painted on the side walls of the Nave:
Icon of St. Barbara.
These are icons of Christ and the Apostles (includes Paul in the circle with Peter) painted on the wall of the Narthex:
Other icons in the narthex:
The Narthex prayer corner:
Icon station for children in the Narthex:
There were many icons in the church - too many to photograph all. I'd love to go back to have time to really look at all of them.
Kaye got a couple of pictures of us in the Narthex as Father Symeon talked to us about the Orthodox Church practices.
It was a wonderful field trip. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
We celebrated Christmas with our children and grandchildren on New Year's Eve and New Year's Day. Weird time? Well, not really. It was still during Christmastide - the twelve days of Christmas beginning with the birth of Christ and ending twelve days later with Epiphany.
Kade, Carly, and Korie
Today, January 6, is the feast day of Epiphany, Three Kings Day, or the Twelfth Day of Christmas. The word epiphany means “manifestation” or “revelation" and is commonly linked in Western Christianity with the visit of the wise men (Magi) to the Christ child. Through the Magi, Christ revealed himself to the gentiles.
Visit of the Magi(Artist Unknown)
I think there is a monumental parallel between the journey of the wise men as led by a bright star to find the Christ Child and our own journey to find Christ and His leading us via the Light of Life.
God gave us a light, Jesus, to enable us to come out of the darkness and live eternally in right relationship with Him. In view of such a merciful offering, what gifts shall we come bearing for the Christ Child?
Epiphany by Pieter Aertsen, The Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
Homily for Epiphany,bishopsblog.dioceseofcheyenne.org
For Those Who Have Far to Travel An Epiphany Blessing
If you could see the journey whole you might never undertake it; might never dare the first step that propels you from the place you have known toward the place you know not.
Call it one of the mercies of the road: that we see it only by stages as it opens before us, as it comes into our keeping step by single step.
There is nothing for it but to go and by our going take the vows the pilgrim takes:
to be faithful to the next step; to rely on more than the map; to heed the signposts of intuition and dream; to follow the star that only you will recognize;
to keep an open eye for the wonders that attend the path; to press on beyond distractions beyond fatigue beyond what would tempt you from the way.
There are vows that only you will know; the secret promises for your particular path and the new ones you will need to make when the road is revealed by turns you could not have foreseen.
Keep them, break them, make them again: each promise becomes part of the path; each choice creates the road that will take you to the place where at last you will kneel
to offer the gift most needed— the gift that only you can give— before turning to go home by another way.
Adoration of the Magi, Edward Burne-Jones, 1887, tapestry, England
This is Jerry and me with our son, Clint; his wife, Stacy; and our three awesome grandkids, Kade, Carly, and Korie. Aren't these guys beautiful?
Brother Jack's Gorgeous Group
My brother, Jack Jr., with his wife, Millie; son, Doug (far right); and his daughter, Jacquelyn; her husband, Stacy (back left); and his fantastic grandson, Jake. And aren't these guys beautiful?
Brother Jim's Glitzy Gang
Here we have Jim and his wife, Linda (center); their daughters, Kim (next to Mom) and Lauren (left); their son, Rodney (far right); and their gifted grandkids, Nick (far left); Amanda (next to Jim) and Ashley (far right).
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the
Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
~ Deuteronomy 31:6
But I Felt Normal
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. ~ Romans 12:2a
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. ~ Philippians 4:8
You and Me, Babe
I trust in you;do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me. ~ Psalm 25:2
It's Just That I Tried
So I strive always to keep my conscience clear before God and man. ~ Acts 24:16
It's How I Roll
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. ~ Psalm 139:13-14
The app path for this edited photo was posted in March, I think. I needed to post the steps for it today so my iPhoneography students can see it step-by-step.
Above is the succinct chart of the steps. I'll explain each step below:
The raw photo as it came out of my iPhone camera was this:
The Raw Photo from My iPhone Native Camera
I first used Crop Seuy app to crop the raw photo to a square format (only because I knew I wanted to post it in My365 app and also in Instagram app. Which both use only square format ) This resulted in the photo I call the original photo for the app path chart:
Next I used a filter from InstaEffectFX HD app:
Here is the result of using that filter. I erased away a lot of the filter, especially over the road:
For the next step, I opened the photo in FilterMania 2 app and used the Old Road filter which looks like this:
After I opened the filter, I used the Opacity tool to make the road blend with the road in the original photo. Here is the result of adding the Old Road filter to the photo so far:
Then I used another filter from FilterMania 2 app, Flock of Birds:
Below is the result of adding the birds:
As a final step, I opened the photo as it was so far in the app, My 365, and used the Vivid filter:
Below is the final result:
Actually, when you post a photo in My 365 app, it saves a copy in your iPhone Camera Roll. So, I decided to take that final photo and put it back into FilterMania 2 app to use the Sun filter:
Sun, FilterMania 2
Obviously, I pulled the opacity of this filter way down (I think i used 1%) so that it just lent a few dim sunrays and a warm glow to the photo: