A Travellerspoint blog

ECUMENICAL WORSHIP Aboard the Silver Whisper

May 15, 2022

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
The Lord is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Let us pray. O God of unchangeable power and light: Look favorably on all that you have made. By the effectual working of your providence, carry out in tranquility the plan of salvation. Let the whole world see and know that things which were cast down are being raised up, and things which had grown old are being made new, and that all things are being brought to their perfection through your Son Jesus; who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Psalm 100

Be joyful in the Lord, all you lands
Serve the Lord with gladness and come before his presence with a psalm.

Know this: the Lord himself is God
He himself has made us, and we are his;
we are his people and the sheep of his pasture.

Enter his gates with thanksgiving; go into his courts with praise;
Give thanks to him and call upon his name.

For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting;
And his faithfulness endures from age to age.

A Reading from the Gospel of Luke

On the way to Jerusalem Jesus was going through the region between Samaria and Galilee. As he entered a village, ten lepers approached him. Keeping their distance, they called out, saying, ‘Jesus, Master, have mercy on us!’ When he saw them, he said to them, ‘Go and show yourselves to the priests.’ And as they went, they were made clean. Then one of them, when he saw that he was healed, turned back, praising God with a loud voice. He prostrated himself at Jesus’ feet and thanked him. And he was a Samaritan. Then Jesus asked, ‘Were not ten made clean? But the other nine, where are they? Was none of them found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Get up and go on your way; your faith has made you well.’ (17:11-19)

A Reflection The Reverend Hope H. Eakins

“The other nine, where are they?” asks Jesus. Were not ten made clean? And only one has remembered to say thank you? The other nine, where are they? Well, sorry, Lord, but we are the other nine and we are right here in the Show Lounge on the Silver Whisper. And like those lepers, we too often forget to give thanks to you for the blessings that are ours.

The right word IS forget. It’s not that we are ingrates, entitled people, unappreciative folks. It’s just that we forget to express our appreciation. It’s not that we aren’t thankful for our life and loves, our health and education and the privilege of travel. It’s just that we get busy and forget to say thanks.

We can understand the nine lepers, for we are like them. Healed of the disease that separated them from all that they loved, they ran out in joy to hug and laugh and rejoice. They weren’t unthankful to Jesus; they just forgot to tell him so.

They forgot and we forget. This is why Muslims send a muezzin out onto a minaret five times a day to call people to kneel down and humble themselves and worship. This is why church spires rise everywhere from Bordeaux to Reykjavik, pointing to the source of our blessings. This is why Christians say grace before they eat. Our forgetfulness is why God spoke to Moses from Mt. Sinai and gave us the commandment to keep holy the Lord’s Day, to set aside a time every week to remember how blessed we are, to remember that we have so much while so many have so little.

One reason why we forget to give thanks is because we forget to name our blessings and we forget to celebrate them. Here is one that happened in our midst, a little miracle this past Eastertide. Do you recall it? For three days, on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Easter Sunday, Roman Catholics and Protestants worshipped together here in this space, claiming that, showing that, our God is bigger than our sectarian divisions. We shared Holy Communion here, receiving bread and wine consecrated by men – AND A WOMAN – at this very altar. We came together to celebrate life, new life, life sprung from death, and we gave thanks, Catholics and Protestants, even Christians and Jews, one people praising one God.

Can you fail to see this as a miracle when you look at the divisions in the world around us, when you see the horrible and sinful war that is separating the people of Ukraine? Our union, our hope is surely a sign of ultimate union and hope for all people, and surely we need to remember it and give thanks.

I think that perhaps the best souvenir (which means a remembrance) we could take home from this World Cruise would be a new practice of thanksgiving, a new pattern of naming our blessings, a regular time for appreciation. Perhaps it could be at the beginning of every day before you get out of bed, or at the beginning of every golf game, or as you walk to the mail box or walk the dog; perhaps you could keep a notebook and name the things that bring you joy and delight. Perhaps you could write something or draw something for which you give thanks and put the papers into a jar and become aware of how many blessings are yours.

Once the leper in the Gospel story returned to give his thanks, Jesus tells him: “Get up and go your way.” Once you have given thanks, go on your way rejoicing and living and loving.

So we can go OUR way home from this incredible journey to continue our lives taking for granted all that has happened to us. Or we can fall on our knees and say “Thank you, God” for all the blessings we have. And if we do that, we shall go on our way made whole, filled with humility and with profound gratitude and joy.

SOLO: The Lord’s Prayer, sung in Ukrainian Dmitri Aldukov

The Prayers

Let us give thanks to God for all the gifts so freely bestowed upon us.

For the beauty and wonder of your creation, in earth and sky and sea.
We thank you, Lord.

For the privilege of travel, for the staff and crew of the Silver Whisper, for friends old and new,
We thank you, Lord.

For the wonder of life, and for the mystery of love,
We thank you, Lord.

For your promise that the whole world is in your hands, bringing the hope of peace for the people of Ukraine,
We thank you, Lord.

For our daily food and drink, our homes and families, and our friends,
We thank you, Lord.

For minds to think, and hearts to love, and hands to serve,
We thank you, Lord.

For setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts, and for accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.
We thank you, Lord.

For the disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone.
We thank you, Lord.

For health and strength to work, and leisure to rest and play,
We thank you, Lord.

For the brave and courageous, who are patient in suffering and faithful in adversity,
We thank you, Lord.

For all valiant seekers after truth, liberty, and justice,
We thank you, Lord.

For all who have died and for your promise that they are in your everlasting arms,
We thank you, Lord.

Above all, we give you thanks for Christ Jesus, our Lord. Grant us the gift of your Spirit, that we may know him and make him known; and give thanks to you in all things. Amen.

Summing up all our petitions and all our thanksgivings, we pray in the words Jesus taught us

Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name
Thy Kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us
And lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil
For thine is the Kingdom and the power and the glory
forever and ever. Amen.

The Blessing

May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing through the power of the Holy Spirit, and may the blessing of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit be among us and remain with us always. Amen.

Officiants: The Reverend Hope H. Eakins and The Reverend William J. Eakins
Music: Alex Manev Soloist: Dmitri Aldukov
Altar Guild & Usher: Andrea Ryan

Posted by HopeEakins 05:39 Comments (1)



snow 26 °F


All we wanted to do was to go from the charming little town of Seydisfjord to Eglosstodir, a mere 15 miles away. But it took an hour to climb the mountain, driving up into a cloud where we couldn’t see anything but white (you will recognize the photos) and then switching back and forth down the other side. We were going to Vök baths, floating pools of geothermally heated water floating in a lake. It is COLD in Iceland, and the lake was 33 degrees; the pools were 88 degrees, 91 degrees, and 95 degrees! Getting from one to another in a wet bathing suit was quite a challenge, but the real bravery came in those who jumped (VERY briefly) into the lake. (Yay, Bruce!) And the reward? Cold beer or champagne at the outdoor bar.

Posted by HopeEakins 10:56 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)


The capital of the north

snow 30 °F


For seven hours we were surrounded by volcanic energy: vast lava fields, bubbling hot mud pools, hissing fumaroles; "lunar" landscapes with pseudo-craters, and boiling springs. Waterfalls tumble down mountains into sweeping valleys. We are a long way from Connecticut.

Posted by HopeEakins 10:32 Archived in Iceland Comments (1)


We have left the pool and the Pina Coladas behind!

snow 31 °F


Well, it's getting colder! So we bundle up with long underwear, clothing layers, scarves, hats, and gloves and explore this astounding landscape around Ísafjörður The snow falls sideways here; it makes clicking noises when it lands because it is formed in little balls (like tiny hail), not flakes. The land is covered in ICE not snow. The fjords are loooong; the natural setting looks black and white, but the structures are painted bright bright colors. In a little cluster of three well-preservedhouses, all circa-1780, The Maritime Museum holds relics of a harsh lifestyle. After looking at a fire pit and pots and a narrow bed, we were served typical Icelandic refreshments, including schnapps, dried fish and preserved shark which smells so bad we weren't even tempted to taste it. Next we drove along a narrow coastal road to Bolungarvik, and its Holskirkja Church where a young Icelander sang bar ballads about biting someone. The guide "translated" this as "searching for meaning in life."

Then to some grass-roofed fishermen's huts along the rocky shore and some fish drying sheds. And finally to the Tungudalur Valley waterfall to drink pure Icelandic water. It was cold!

Posted by HopeEakins 10:02 Archived in Iceland Comments (1)


With celebrations!

overcast 34 °F

1aa.jpg1ss.jpg1dd.jpg61871170-d293-11ec-ae59-dbce2405ce9d.jpg1hh.jpg1jj.jpg1kk.jpg1ff.jpg1gg.jpg1zz.jpg63a70b40-d293-11ec-ae59-dbce2405ce9d.jpg1xx.jpgWhat an exciting sight: our son Bruce Adams walking up the gangway to join us! Bruce had been in Reykjavik for a day getting to know the city plan and the menus and the sights to see – and even a little bit of Iceland’s complex and unfamiliar language, and now he has arrived. So we had tea and then a drink and then went out to The Foodcellar and enjoyed the very best of Icelandic food and drink and service. The city is friendly and interesting; its people are helpful and intelligent and seem to speak perfect English. One unusual feature is the boreholes that dot the landscape and have hot steam escaping from them. No charge for hot water here – everyone is hooked up to the geothermal heat underground.

On Wednesday we started our explorations at Perlan, a mammoth structure, once a water storage facility now an interactive museum. We watched the northern lights emerge in a planetarium, saw puffins do puffin things, learned how glaciers form and decay, walked in an ice cave, and learned about snyrting and what happens if you snyrt. Then to Hallgrímkirkja, a huge Lutheran Church with a soaring tower and a magnificant organ that was being played while we were there. (And its pews flip over to face either way. ) Lunch was at Apotec, the former state pharmacy and a fine restaurant that served us a “table lunch” of plaice, ling, and salmon – all fresh and excellent.

Finally, we celebrated our 26th wedding anniversary at La Dame on the ship, with Bruce and Claire and Will Cupples, friends who gave us gifts including the hair band Hope is wearing and needs desperately since she hasn’t had a haircut since Christmas. (photo won't upload)

So we tucked in after a full day – and had a full night as well as we sailed northward toward the Arctic Circle. We have never encountered such rough seas. The Atlantic Ocean is roiling and snow is flying and the ship is rocking and we know why they call it ICEland.

Posted by HopeEakins 18:49 Archived in Iceland Comments (0)

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