This fresco of the Nativity of Christ is on the wall at church, where I was blessed to attend Matins this morning. It was dark at the beginning of the service, with only a few candles burning. I held a candle to light The Six Psalms as I was chanting. As the service progressed, and light came through windows, this icon and others were revealed more clearly.
Our Flower Lady had brought buckets of white, red, and pink poinsettias, and garlands of berried branches to adorn the church. The chandelier was strung with fir branches and ribbons. Altar cloths are bright satin red.
I wanted to take pictures to capture the beauty, but then I realized that the impression is not only visual–the sensory input is part of it, through the sights I describe, the sounds of the hymns, the smells of incense and beeswax. But what really makes it worth passing on can’t be carried over to mine or anyone’s next moment, and that is the presence of God.