Worship Our Hour On Mount Tabor
By Alexandria Lukashonak
When I heard these words, I immediately wrote them in my Divine
Liturgy book to remind me of what a privilege it is to worship freely, to attend Sunday
and Holy day liturgies and special weekday services.
On August 6, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Transfiguration,
(Matthew 17, Luke 9:29). Our Lord took Peter, John and James up to Mount Tabor to pray. As
he [rayed, His appearance was altered and His robe became white and shining. He spoke with
two men, Moses and Elijah, about what would soon happen in Jerusalem. While they spoke, a
cloud overshadowed them and a voice said, "This is my beloved Son - hear Him."
At this important feast where will we be? At home in bed? At our place
of work? We would consider taking a day off to go to a ballgame, but would we take off to
be on Mount Tabor? Children are off for the summer. Will they ever experience a summer
"Blessed is the Kingdom..." So starts the liturgy, our journey to
communion with God. Again, when these words are first heard and we understand their
meaning; they excite us - we are going on a journey to communion with out Lord. But,
as with so many things in life, there is a point at which something becomes so familiar
that it doesn't have that initial impact on us. For some of us it is not until our sunset
years that we start to realize the effect worship has had on our lives and the way we
meet tragedy, happiness, the unexpected and the hoped for. What happens then? Do we find
renewed strength, hope and peace, or do we become empty vessels: angry, despondent and
I recall a news story about an American soldier in captivity in Viet
Nam. He underwent torture, humiliation, starvation and severe illness for a long period
of time but he kept repeating the 23rd Psalm that he had learned in church as a young boy.
The words lifted him up and sustained him until he was rescued.
And then, there are the dying words of Prince Eugene Trubetskoy, "The
royal doors are opening! The great liturgy is about to begin."
If liturgy, worship and prayer are so important, then why aren't they
primary in our lioves? How can we use the summer months as an excuse to miss being present
when the priest intones "Blessed is the Kingdom?" How can an early day of golf, a Little
League game or slepping in pre-empt it?
And what about the rest of the year? Fifty-two Sundays, 12 major feast
days, countless "special" services - How can the atmosphere in church be one of hasty
un-practiced singing and reading? How can we not be attentive during the consecration of
the Gifts? How can we turn and face the back of the church while this great Mystery is
taking place at the altar where the Holy Place is? How can we assume that God thinks it's
Okay to present Him with careless worship? Remember: the journey we have entered into is
not just for this morning - it is to be the focus of our life, the final action of this
By changing the way we worship, we can change our lives, change
ourselves and be true Christians. To truly love Christ, we need to follow His words to
the best of our ability. We need to worship at His footstool for He is Holy.