The mood was appropriately solemn, the faithful quiet and orderly in their movements.
Fragrant myrrh filled the air. The encounters with the centers of attraction were quick, but the reactions were indelible. Some came away shaken and streaming tears. A few talked of a wave of peace and calm coming over them. Others described a sense of divine providence.
In uncertain times, people want something, anything, to believe in. The spiritually inclined often look to the heavens for answers, and when they get what they think is a sign, they embrace it wholeheartedly.
For the past 17 weeks, St. George's Orthodox Greek Catholic Church in Taylor has been hosting services centered on two icons of the Blessed Mother of the Theotokos. The faithful believe the icons seep myrrh, a heavily perfumed oil, for reasons St. George's officials are leaving unexplained.
The church has sought no publicity for the services, but each week, entirely through word of mouth, standing-room-only crowds are turning up to venerate the icons.