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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Authors

  • avatar

    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.

  • avatar

    Eikona is three sisters who love to chant. Presvytera Stacey Dorrance, Presvytera Marika Brown, and Chrysanthy Therianos started their ministry over 28 years ago, at the urging of their husbands and in answer to the question, “What are you doing to use your talents for the Church?” Born and raised in Denver, Colorado, they grew up in the community of the Assumption Greek Orthodox Cathedral. They were raised in a loving, musical home where church attendance was not optional, but rather, an extension of their parents’ love for music and the church. Each sister has four children, many married and starting families of their own. Their mission is to bring beautiful English Byzantine Chant to the world. Their love of liturgical worship and desire to grow in their own faith inspires them to continue their music ministry. Presvytera Stacey is both the co-chanter and assistant choir director in her parish of St. Catherine’s, in Greenwood Village, Colorado. She is also Chair of the Byzantine Music Education Committee of the National Forum as well as a Chant teacher specializing in helping parishes form Byzantine Choirs across the country (and even in Australia), via Zoom. Presvytera Marika is head chanter at her parish of Sts. Peter and Paul in Boulder, Colorado, as well as a host to many of their parish ministries. Chrysanthy is the choir director at the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Theotokos in Denver, Colorado, as well as a chanter. She is the President of the Metropolis Music Ministry, a composer of music, and an Ace Bowler!

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Stacey Dorrance

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.

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