Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Precious Forerunner helps the Neokoros

The Precious Forerunner helps the Neokoros (amateur translation)
Once, there lived a neokoros [keeper of the church, i.e. layperson who helps clean the church], who had very much reverence, much piety, and much fear of God. He was from those that we want to be keepers and helpers in Church. The Church was built in honor of the Precious Forerunner. The neokoros would ring the Church bells—there were three or four bells—and he would ring them with his two hands. However, he had suffered some trauma to his left hand and he couldn’t ring the bells with just one hand. Because of these he was very distressed. The great feast day came and he couldn’t ring them sweetly, rhythmically, as normally, but first the one, then the other, [never together or in patterns as on Mount Athos].
Therefore, what else could he do? So he went to the Precious Forerunner and said to him:
-“Listen to me, O Saint! This is your Church, you saw my hand, I can’t with just one hand. Well come here.”
He took him by the hand—and the Precious Forerunner descended from his icon!—and took him outside to the bell tower.
“Well now show me how I should ring the bells!”
The Precious Forerunner therefore made slip knots with the cords and placed one on one foot, one on the other, and one on his hand, and the other one on his elbow. And he showed him how to ring the bells in a fervent manner.
“Thank you very much” the neokoros said to the Saint!
And he rang the bells as he was shown by the Precious Forerunner!

(from ΕΜΠΕΙΡΙΕΣ ΚΑΤΑ ΤΗΝ ΘΕΙΑ ΛΕΙΤΟΥΡΓΙΑ [Experiences During the Divine Liturgy] (in Greek) by Fr. Stephanos K. Anagnostopoulos; amateur translation of text from:

Through the prayers of our Holy Fathers, Lord Jesus Christ our God, have mercy on us and save us! Amen!

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