by Emma Solak | Feb 12, 2016 | Student Reflection
Our Christian brothers in the West started Lent on Wednesday, but we’re over here just chilling.
But then you realize Zacchaeus Sunday is already this Sunday.
Meaning there are only four more weeks until Great Lent starts.
It’s time to begin making the most out of the non-fasting days you have left.
And to start getting in shape for all those prostrations.
You take these next four weeks to live it up before spending the next 40 days in prayer and silence.
And to begin gathering up the spiritual books you want to read this Lent.
It’s also important to finish all the food in your fridge you can’t eat once Lent to starts.
Use your time wisely, because Lent is coming.
by Emma Solak | Dec 7, 2015 | Student Reflection
1. Having to get to church early.
2. Being sent into the empty church to fetch something and feeling like that icons are watching you.
3. Teachers expecting you to know all the answers in church school.
4. Your dad’s seminarian friends telling you stories about you as a baby at seminary.
5. Being the last ones to leave coffee hour every week.
6. Being dragged to parishioner’s houses for dinner.
7. Having to be extra well behaved in church because all eyes are on you.
8. Explaining to people that it’s perfectly acceptable that your dad is a priest and that no, that doesn’t automatically make you “super holy.”
9. Performing random tasks like setting up candles or finding the service books.
10. Parishioners asking you questions about things going on the church that you have absolutely no idea how to answer.
11. Your dad somehow turns everything into a Bible lesson.
12. “Borrowing” things (tables, pots, pans, office supplies, etc.) from the church.
13. Inviting everyone from the church to major life events.
14. Other Orthodox people assuming you’re going to be a priest or priest wife.
15. Cassocks hanging in the coat closet.
16. Driving long distances to go to confession since you can’t go to your dad.
17. Wondering what your dad is going to wear to public events.
18. Going to Every. Single. Service.
19. And never being able to go anywhere for Christmas or Pascha because your dad has to serve.
But being a PK is actually the best thing ever and you really do love your dad.
by Emma Solak | Nov 23, 2015 | Student Reflection
What it usually means: To eat not at all, sparingly, or only particular foods
What it means to Orthodox people: Checking the calendar before deciding what to have for lunch
What it usually means: Picking something to “give up” before Easter
What it means to Orthodox people: PB&J sandwiches for 40 days
What it usually means: A monotonous repeated sound
What it means to Orthodox people: The most beautiful song of voices joining together in prayer
What it usually means: A 60 minute measurement of time
What it means to Orthodox people: A relatively short church service
What it usually means: For a long time
What it means to Orthodox people: Hooray! Congratulations!
What it usually means: Egg hunts and chocolate bunnies
What it means to Orthodox people: The feast of feasts. Also, having to explain why you’re celebrating Easter a month later than everyone. Church in the middle of the night. And food, lots of food.
What it usually means: A long skirt perfect for summer or the beach
What it means to Orthodox people: What you wear to a monastery
by A Guest Author | Nov 9, 2015 | Student Reflection
1. You stay up until midnight anxiously waiting for registration to open.
2. And when it does, you’re the first to register.
3. Then you’re confirmation email comes, and you’re like…
4. But now it’s time to fundraise!
5. And when you reach your fundraising goal…
6. You suddenly realize Real Break isn’t for another four months.
7. After Christmas you get a Real Break newsletter, and you can’t contain yourself.
8. Finally… Real Break Eve comes around and it feels like Christmas.
9. But then you board your plane, say bye to Mom and Dad, and realize you’re on your own.
10. When you get to your layover, you can’t wait to meet your group.
11. By the time you land, you’re already best friends.
12. And you spend the week praying, serving, and growing together.
13. As the end of the week approaches, you realize you are a whole new person and are so thankful for your experience.
14. But you hate the idea of having to leave your new best friends.
15. For weeks after you trip, you dream about your time on Real Break.
16. And every night you thank God for the experience of a lifetime.
17. Until, next year, when you register again.
Alexandra Abboud is a junior at Miami University in Ohio studying social work. She serves as the Real Break Student Leader on the Student Leadership Board. You can read her full bio here.
by Emma Solak | Nov 2, 2015 | Student Reflection
1. When your goodnight texts say “sleep with the angels.”
2. When you go to Chipotle for dinner because it’s Lent.
3. When you have the same favorite Psalm.
4. When you have to hide you’re dating because you’re on the same staff at camp.
5. When you pick out baby names together from the Synaxarion.
6. When you buy each other patron saint icons as birthday presents.
7. When you write each other’s names on the prayer list.
8. When you get butterflies during the kiss of peace.
9. When you take twice as long to pick out your Sunday outfit for church because you’re going to their parent’s home parish.