Midnight in the Elfin Garden of Paschal Pajamas

A portion of this week’s episode, already in progress:

Having gathered in front of the temple, we were at the point, per the service rubrics, where I turned toward the door with the hand blessing Cross in my hand and forcefully knocked on the door, saying:

Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in.

Nothing happened.

Realizing that much preparation had gone into this moment – that all the folks gathered behind me were expecting a great and festive service to commence …

I was, to say the least, disappointed and befuddled.

Those of you familiar with this custom during the service of Pascha will know the way this part of the celebration is supposed to go:

It’s a dialogue between the Priest and the Devil …

Priest: Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in.

Who is this King of Glory?

Priest: The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord, mighty in war. Lift up your gates, O ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall enter in.

Who is this King of Glory?

Priest: The Lord of hosts, He is the King of Glory.

And, being not just a little embarrassed, I thought, “Well, maybe louder …”

BANG, BANG, BANG!

Lift up your gates, O ye princes …

“Alright, alright … I’m coming, I’M COMING! I say!”

What the – ?

Breaking protocol, I tried to open the church door only to find it locked!

Embarrassed, I looked behind me to see: no one.

I was all by myself. Naturally, the wind started to blow.

I bent over to look through the keyhole, only to see that all the people who were supposed to be behind me were now gathered quietly inside the church – in their PAJAMAS!

HELL-O-oo!

“I said I’m coming!” came the voice …

The Orthodixie Podcast on Ancient Faith Radio.

Through The Looking Glass by Kenneth Rougeau.

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