It took a lot of work. We checked our gear. We bought provisions. Months in advance, we booked the campsite (after much research, of course). Even before that, we had to consult with family to compare calendars. It took a lot of work, but we managed to take a vacation.
The moments that stand out to me are small–the smell of the air while standing in front of a waterfall, hearing my children’s voices babbling like the river as they explore surrounding woods, watching a stone skip seven times across the creek–but they are beautiful shared moments, profound and treasured.
Making those beautiful shared moments took a lot of work, and it’s the same with liturgy.
Perhaps we made the prosphora and delivered it the day before. Perhaps we’re on duty for the meal afterwards, and so were up late preparing food. Perhaps we had to work an extra shift in order to take a Sunday off.
Then we get up, get dressed, gather our children, and drive (sometimes a long way) to stand in front of God as the Body of Christ.
It may seem a little strange to think that we should look on a liturgy the same way we should think about preparing for a vacation–but both experiences share labor in the expectation of something transcendent. You go on vacation expecting renewal, fond memories, something you will treasure and enjoy. We should all come to liturgy with that hope for joy and refreshment.
So come, and come with the expectation that your hard work will reveal itself in small, beautiful, treasured, transformative moments.