Yesterday was fun. We had the Sunday of Orthodoxy liturgy and procession, with Fr. Dean and I wearing green vestments in honor of the St. Patrick’s Day parade, which started a little bit after we finished with church. This was the first time in five years that we have not had baptisms or other stuff on parade Sunday, so I went home, had a quick lunch, and walked from my house to a reviewing spot on Park Ave. with some friends. I had an interesting walk. Every block or two I would have an encounter where someone would greet me. These ranged from respectful “hello Father” comments from homeless people to happy “hey padre!” or things of that nature to drunken “forgive me father” exclamations by people having way too much fun (or thinking they were). Well, my presence at the parade was pretty much the most religious thing about it.
Like Mardi Gras, St. Patrick’s Day, and things associated with it, has largely lost its religious significance. The parade, aside from a float from the KofC and maybe a few others organizations, had nothing religious about it. It was largely an excuse to be with friends and drink beer. And I understand this – it was a great time, and no one wants to do Bible study at a parade. But we celebrate the saint for a reason, and there is nothing preventing us from reverencing the saint while also having fun. I talked to Fr. Timothy briefly about this this morning – we need to do something. St. Patrick is, after all, an Orthodox saint. I am thinking a Cathedral float in the parade next year depicting St. Patrick as he is shown in the icon as well as a reviewing area for Cathedral peeps. We could have literature on the saint to give to people as well as party together as a community, which we all love to do. It may not have much of an effect but at least we will be making a stand for the saint as well as having a good time while doing it.