Antiochian Priest Chronicles His Year In Conciliar Press Book, Aidan's Song
Conciliar Press has released a new book written by Antiochian priest Fr. Aidan Wilcoxson of Cedar Park, Texas. Titled Aidan's Song, the book recounts the many moments of a parish priest's life, large and small, all experienced within the rhythm of the Church year. The journal entries delight, encourage and inspire. As Bishop BASIL writes on the jacket, "After a few pages priests will find themselves singing along and lay readers will be humming this really great tune. Enjoy! I did!"
From Aidan's Song:
Sunday, November 19: Prophet Obadiah
This morning I’m out among the trees behind the building. The sun hasn’t come up yet, and it’s pretty cold—even with a T-shirt, my clergy shirt, my cassock, and a sweater. I’m going through my sermon, and the sky starts to glow orange like a fire on a crisp morning. Out in the tall grass, a deer breaks cover and bounds off into the trees. But after a few minutes, the deer walks back out towards me. It’s a doe, and she’s got her neck stretched out, and she’s looking straight at me. I can see her brown eyes. I go through the sermon again, and she stays right there, listening. After I’m done, she wheels, her white tail flashes, and she leaps—once, twice, three times—back into the trees.
Orthros was bright and clear. At the end of the Praises, RJ came forward to be chrismated. She is a strong and honest young woman, and when it came time for the tonsure, as I was clipping some hair from her forehead, I caught sight of her eyes—brown eyes, as it happens—and it was as if I were back out among the trees face to face with the doe.
We started the liturgy. The service moved with a natural speed and organic rhythm, and when it came time for the homily, as I looked out across the nave, face after face held the same attentiveness, expectancy, and grace that I had already witnessed twice that morning.
"O Heavenly King, O Comforter, the Spirit of Truth, who art in all places and fillest all things . . ."
Wednesday, December 6: Nicholas the Wonderworker
Last night we had Great Vespers for St. Nicholas, and this morning we had Orthros and Divine Liturgy. The service last night was deeply festive, and the services this morning were filled with a sharp joy.
I love the feasts that fall on weekdays. And I’m glad we do the full services. Not just because it’s liturgically proper, but because it’s so very subversive. On a Tuesday night, ten of us get together and pray for an hour while the rest of the world does Really Important Things. On a Wednesday morning, twenty-four of us get together and pray for another four hours while the rest of the world continues to rush around and do Really Important Things. But what we are doing is making a beautiful, direct, and quiet statement: This—this right here—is what is Really Important. This is the one thing needful. This is the transforming heart of the world.
Of course, that’s the same thing we do on Sunday morning, but the world still allows that it is all right—perhaps even useful, in some ways—to be religious on Sunday morning. But being religious on a Tuesday night and Wednesday morning is a face-on challenge to the rulers of this age.