Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ash Wednesday

I went to The Church of the Good Shepherd tonight with Harmony for Ash Wednesday observance; it was my first experience attending this sacred ritual. I had been to that church before (Chachi's kids all had their first communions there) and my friends often accompany me to services at Wilshire Boulevard Temple. I figured with all that was going on at home, it couldn't hurt to add some outside-my-usual-spirituality to the day.
The house was packed; by the time the priest was ready to anoint parishioners with the ashes, it was standing-room-only.
The service was lovely...the only thing that struck me as strange was when the priest added some comments as to how the parishioners should conduct themselves at prayer; to "not be like the hypocrites at synagogues" by "standing and showing off their praying" and "not be like the hypocrites at synagogues" by " donating alms for personal attention" and "standing in synagogue to pray in front of others" (like we weren't standing at intervals there.) Harm shot me a perplexed, embarrassed look as the priest was saying these things, as she had never heard a priest ever say anything derogatory against any other house of worship. I thought it off-putting (I'd never heard any clergy publicly admonish another religion at a service either) but shrugged it off. I really don't believe that he meant to offend anybody.
She received her ashes, and later, her communion wafer (I received a blessing.) Everyone was so friendly, and the singing was very nice.

After the services, Harm took me to dinner at her favorite sushi restaurant, Hamasaku on Santa Monica Boulevard. I have rarely in my life had anything as close to perfection as the food served here (Mr. Chow's chef's menu & the steak at Dan Tana's are right up there!) They specialize in special sushi rolls served cone-style (reminiscent of Puck, only not crispy)...the "Fox" roll (unbelievable hot crab), "Charlize Theron Tacos" (spicy tuna w/jalapenoooooh) and "Tyler" roll (spicy tuna with diced apple & mango) amazed, and Harm had an Ahi salad that she would of allowed me to photograph had I remembered my camera. The restaurant has little table signs to reserve seats for their highly-celebrated clientele; on any given night one could find Enrique, Lindsay, Mary-Kate or Ashley, Cameron, Drew, Justin, blah blah blah etc...sitting at one of the darkly lit tables. The owner is "Mr. Host-extraordinaire", making everyone feel like an old friend. Of course he was very warm to us, as Harm is a regular there (my first time.)

She then took me to pick up Ben at his youth group meeting (who I had dropped off earlier) and we went to Diddy Riese to pick up a cookie for Allie and him. Gary was sleeping on the big chair (he has since gone to bed.) Ben and I are now watching Top Design on Bravo.
Long day.


suzi finer said...

Sent from Holly Dye;
My beloved Suzi,
After reading your blog tonight, I felt compelled to share that Harm’s priest was speaking from the Ash Wednesday 2007 lectionary (that quotes the New Testament—a departure from the Torah). This is regarding the how to pray thing. Odd you mentioned it, because I had some issues with the same text tonight! We do share one mind (the three of us), again!!
Love you and thinking of you (and your ever-enduring family),

suzi finer said...

Hey Holly...Thanks; I guess that must be why we never read that sequel,(like we won't go see Beverly Hills Cop 3)...we better just stick with the old testament, where I haven't really had any personally offending phrases brought up in my prescense.
Dinner with Harm at Hamasaku to celebrate Donna's birthday in March (save the date: 3/22!)