Oil Lamps


On my Facebook page the other day, I wrote about the beauty of the Orthodox Vespers service.  If my opinion matters, I do believe that the Vespers is the most beautiful of all of the Orthodox Liturgies that I have the honor of serving.  There is something about standing in the center of the church, in almost complete darkness, praying “let my prayers arise as incense.”

Hanging in front of all of the Icons in the Church are lamps, ours are not oil lamps, but they are lit and illumine the faces of the Icons.  Standing there in the darkness, with the flicker of the flame and the illumined faces staring back at you, puts you in the mind of prayer.  All of the distractions of the world seem to melt away in that darkness.

Sure the lamps should be oil, and perhaps I am lazy, but candles seem to work better for us.  I think part of the issue is we do not heat the Church during the week and, believe it or not, oil will get solid in the cold.  We have a bottle of oil, the oil blessed at the Unction Service on Holy Wednesday that always gets solid this time of year so I can only imagine how the oil lamps would fair.

However, in my house, in my Icon corner, I have an oil lamp that burns most of the time.  The oil lamp is a constant reminder that we have to be ready to receive the bridegroom when he comes, just as the wise virgins in Scripture were ready.  Preparedness is the theme of this season of Advent, preparing for the coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in the Flesh.  Keeping the lamps of our hearts and minds trimmed until He comes is what will keep us on the path toward Theosis.

Is your lamp lit?


1 Comment

  1. “Sure the lamps should be oil, and perhaps I am lazy, but candles seem to work better for us.” I’m lazy too, but oil lamps are so warm and climatic 🙂

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