Presvytera Stacey Dorrance is one of three sisters comprising ‘Eikona,’ a female chanting group of over 20 years (www.eikona.com). She also works as a professional home organizer. Married to Father Theodore for over 30 years, she is the blessed mother of four children and ‘Yiayia’ to three grandchildren. Presvytera Stacey is the Music Director of their parish, St. John the Baptist, in Beaverton, Oregon. She blogs for the ‘Prez to Prez’ ministry of the National Sisterhood of Presvyteres, and enjoys walking, homemaking and gardening.
Many mornings we wake up rushed and ready to begin a new day of working, parenting, achieving…of living. We grab our coffee, eat some breakfast and run out the door to head into the ‘world.’ But have we forgotten something…something rather important?
“Having raised me from bed and sleep, O Lord, enlighten my mind and my heart, and open my lips that I may praise Thee, O Holy Trinity. Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God. Through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.”
Sometimes as we hit the ground running, head filled with to-do lists, we forget the most important item—to pray to our gracious and life-giving Lord and to kiss His holy Eikones, or icons. What is an icon? It is a sacred image—prepared according to our Orthodox Tradition—of Christ, His mother, the Saints, and Holy events. It is a window into heaven and a reminder that God created us and gives us life, and whether we are awake or asleep, it is He who sustains us. Eikones bring to mind that God and His Saints are alive, and real, and available for help, if we will only remember them! Kissing an icon is like kissing your favorite relative and is an expression of love and respect for them. It makes present today the Kingdom of Heaven.
The morning prayers continue. They stop us in our tracks:
“Of a sudden the Judge shall come, and the deeds of each shall be laid bare. But let us cry out with fear in the midst of the night: Holy, Holy, Holy art Thou, O God. Through the Theotokos, have mercy on us.”
Yikes! Have I remembered this before I head into the pandemonium of the world?
‘Dear Lord, bring to my mind the final judgment and that I am accountable for everything I do, say and think. Slow me down that I may focus on that which is vital and life giving, not the trivial things I allow to engulf me. Renew me with your love and make it the motivating factor for everything I am.’
Each morning we have an opportunity to gird ourselves with prayer as with a sword and a shield, and to say good morning and greet the most important person in the Universe: God. Have you prayed and kissed your Eikona today?
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