Byzconsin: What I Miss on a Sunday Morning

Y’all are gonna think I’m crazy, but I have to say, I miss the hour plus drive we used to take to get to the Monastery back in California. Really, really miss it. Seriously.We are now down the road from the monastery like I wanted to be for years but Sunday mornings are just not the same without that drive. 

I was thinking about why this is and this is my conclusion:

Getting a houseful of kids ready for church is a chore, a big one. By the time we walk out the door to head to Liturgy every one is a bit frantic and grumpy. We can minimize the Sunday morning chaos by being proactive and getting shoes ready, clothes laid out, food prepared for potluck, and kids showered the night before, but with twelve people to get out the door, it’s gonna be a bit chaotic no matter what.

At least one young child will take off their shoes and misplace them. A diaper will need to be changed right as we are leaving. A clothing mishap will occur (a spill, the wrong sized piece of clothing, a stained shirt, etc.) The diaper bag is often forgotten and gets packed at the last second. Someone feels sick; one child is fighting with another one (or two or three); the dog has created some sort of mess to be cleaned. You name it, it could happen, especially on a Sunday.

Did I ever tell y’all the time I baked prosphora (communion bread) and woke up to it scattered all over the living room floor in pieces and crumbs? The dog and two boys were to blame for that incident.

Anyway, Sunday mornings are a little chaotic no matter what and I miss the drive because it gave us time to calm down, let go of the frustrations, chill out and relax for the hour plus drive. It was easier to arrive at church composed and in the right frame of mind.

Most Sundays we drove without music playing. The drive was fairly quiet across the vast desert. Sometimes I would read a book out loud to Manny, and the kids would just talk to each other or enjoy the drive. Sunday morning drives were relatively peaceful.

It’s been about six years since the monks moved and we would make that long drive to church. I didn’t know at the time the significance of the weekly ritual. I do now as I am still after six years missing that part of a Sunday morning.

Ah well, you can’t have everything! I do think I need to figure out how to get to church in a better frame of mind. And not just for me but the whole family. Starting our morning earlier might help. We might also need to cruise around the corn fields for awhile before we go to church! 


  1. I can believe that! We are currently 10 minutes away from our parish and there is just not enough time to transition from frantically getting ready to peacefully participating in liturgy. We are gaining another 15 minutes in our commute soon that I’m hoping will help a little bit with this.

  2. I’m right there with you. We had a forty minute drive when we converted to Orthodoxy in Indiana. I’m sure the long drives helped the process.

  3. I feel the opposite way. We used to make the long drive to Newberry Springs regularly. While I loved going to the monastery, I found the long drive through the desert there and back tiring. To this day, some of my kids associate the Byzantine rite with being tired, hot and hungry! Some of the kids hated spending so much time in the car Everyone was usually wasted on Monday and it was harder as the kids got older and had jobs and more schoolwork. It’s much easier now that we don’t have to get up super early and only live 15 minutes from Divine Liturgy.

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