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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 weekday liturgy?

"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 hopeless?

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 earthly life!

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.

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