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Divine Liturgy Today

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  • oruaseht
    So today we finally had the opportunity to visit an Orthodox Church for Liturgy. While in Moose Jaw for my Grandma s 80th Birthday celebration, our family
    Message 1 of 6 , Aug 23, 2009
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      So today we finally had the opportunity to visit an Orthodox Church for Liturgy. While in Moose Jaw for my Grandma's 80th Birthday celebration, our family attended Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (http://www.orthodoxmoosejaw.org/), a parish of the OCA. This was my second Orthodox Liturgy and my wife's first, as well as a first for our 19 month old daughter. Attending Liturgy with a toddler is always an exciting/tiring experience to say the least!

      I asked my wife what she thought of the experience on the drive home. We chatted about things for over an hour. I have been studying Orthodoxy for around 4 years or so, so I was somewhat familiar with St. John Chrysostom's Liturgy. However, my wife commented on how crazy everything seemed as there were so many different things happening simultaneously!

      The parish is quite small, and there were around 13 people in attendance today, including us. So it was very intimate. We enjoyed the incense, icons and decor of the church, as it was quite beautiful. The liturgy was a blur to us though as trying to keep a toddler quiet takes a lot of energy. A younger family came in who also had a small child, so that made us feel a bit more comfortable.

      The Lutheran Divine Service has some common elements with the Orthodox service, so we were able to participate in a few instances, once we figured out the tones being used. They did have printed copies of the Liturgy, with sheet music, but I found it easier to just stand in the Liturgy and take it all in, rather than trying to flip through pages and get lost along the way.

      The service today was intriguing. It had a feeling of Holiness and "other worldly-ness" yet at the same time a very human, conversational feel. The only other place I have experienced this was at a Jewish Synagogue service I attended in University. The Father's homily had this kind of feel, Divine discussion about the Kingdom of God, yet in a very personable flavor. My wife said it was "very high church, yet down to earth at the same time."

      On the other side, we found the service to be quite long, drawn out and very repetitive. But, in all fairness, we were also at our wits end keeping our little girl entertained for almost 2 hours! :) If we were to attend a few more times, I'm sure we would be able to appreciate it more and get more accustomed to Orthodox Liturgy. We had a wonderful time all in all and the people were very welcoming. The parish has done a great job in being very welcoming to the community, and being very accessible by having their church doors open to the public daily, doing mass mailings to the community and by renovating the parish, including a meditative garden that engages the public as they pass by. I tried to encourage the Father about their efforts and how Orthodoxy is poised to help many people find the fullness of the Christian Church. I look forward to our next visit!
    • randall hay
      You ve already discovered a sort of asceticism in Orthodoxy....or rather I should say, perhaps, you ve found a podvig, meaning a challenging spiritual task
      Message 2 of 6 , Aug 23, 2009
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        You've already discovered a sort of asceticism in Orthodoxy....or rather I should say, perhaps, you've found a "podvig," meaning a challenging spiritual task which one approaches with serious commitment as part of one's life in Christ: handling a toddler in a two-hour service.

        It would be a lot easier to shuffle them out Protestant-style, of course...but God does not call parents to remove their children from worshiping Him. God wants us to do precisely opposite. But of course you know this....I'm just thinking out loud. What a state it is when people bring their children to church, and then prevent them from worshiping God.

        Once a toddler is used to the services he'll find lots of stuff to do. Venerating icons is a biggee....our granddaughter goes around venerating icons all over the building. Kids also love doing full prostrations like those we do in Lent and other penitential times. The parish may have holy water in the nave, particularly if Slavic in orientation, and getting a cup to drink is another thing little ones look forward to. Our two-year-old is getting to where she insists on lighting candles every service. Of course receiving Communion is a big deal; but even before they're baptized/chrismated they can get in line at the end of the service to pick up a piece of blessed bread to eat.

        Orthodox are used to kids being in services, so don't feel any pressure or anxiety. They tend to wander around; that's OK. They are more Christian than we are. People move around a lot more in general in our services. On rare occasions there may be someone who frowns; but if they do it's either because they have gas, or need to go to confession. For every one frowner there are a hundred people smiling inside when they see your toddler in church worshiping God.

        Our Russian-style parish has everybody cluster around the back of the nave for certain parts of Matins services. One time our granddaughter was weaving around the priest and deacon as they were doing the service, looking around, sometimes gazing up at a parishioner. That made my wife nervous, and afterward she apologized to a nun who was there. "Don't apologize," she said, surprised at my wife's statement. "She was a little angel."

        That remark sums up how people see your child wandering around the nave among the saints, angels and faithful.

        Realistically these little angels make it impossible to concentrate at times or hear a sermon, and are generally more exhausting than prostrations, standing for hours or fasting. But what a blessing when you see 'em receiving the body and blood of Christ!

        They also may grasp actions of piety quite quickly, because it's so natural and real to them. Our little one knew when to make the sign of the cross when she was one, though way too uncoordinated to actually do it....one time I neglected to do that when praying "Glory to the Father" and she looked up at me with a distinct look of reproach in her eyes. Another time during home devotions she didn't see me venerate an icon, and about a prayer and a half into our routine I felt her little hand shoving me forward toward the icon shelf. (Little old Russian ladies have this same no-nonsense flair for helping you along....in fact that's probably how they got started as kids.)

        Prayers for many more Moosejaw blessings--

        R.





        ________________________________
        From: oruaseht <oruaseht@...>
        To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 9:51:38 PM
        Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Divine Liturgy Today


        So today we finally had the opportunity to visit an Orthodox Church for Liturgy. While in Moose Jaw for my Grandma's 80th Birthday celebration, our family attended Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (http://www.orthodox moosejaw. org/), a parish of the OCA. This was my second Orthodox Liturgy and my wife's first, as well as a first for our 19 month old daughter. Attending Liturgy with a toddler is always an exciting/tiring experience to say the least!

        I asked my wife what she thought of the experience on the drive home. We chatted about things for over an hour. I have been studying Orthodoxy for around 4 years or so, so I was somewhat familiar with St. John Chrysostom's Liturgy. However, my wife commented on how crazy everything seemed as there were so many different things happening simultaneously!

        The parish is quite small, and there were around 13 people in attendance today, including us. So it was very intimate. We enjoyed the incense, icons and decor of the church, as it was quite beautiful. The liturgy was a blur to us though as trying to keep a toddler quiet takes a lot of energy. A younger family came in who also had a small child, so that made us feel a bit more comfortable.

        The Lutheran Divine Service has some common elements with the Orthodox service, so we were able to participate in a few instances, once we figured out the tones being used. They did have printed copies of the Liturgy, with sheet music, but I found it easier to just stand in the Liturgy and take it all in, rather than trying to flip through pages and get lost along the way.

        The service today was intriguing. It had a feeling of Holiness and "other worldly-ness" yet at the same time a very human, conversational feel. The only other place I have experienced this was at a Jewish Synagogue service I attended in University. The Father's homily had this kind of feel, Divine discussion about the Kingdom of God, yet in a very personable flavor. My wife said it was "very high church, yet down to earth at the same time."

        On the other side, we found the service to be quite long, drawn out and very repetitive. But, in all fairness, we were also at our wits end keeping our little girl entertained for almost 2 hours! :) If we were to attend a few more times, I'm sure we would be able to appreciate it more and get more accustomed to Orthodox Liturgy. We had a wonderful time all in all and the people were very welcoming. The parish has done a great job in being very welcoming to the community, and being very accessible by having their church doors open to the public daily, doing mass mailings to the community and by renovating the parish, including a meditative garden that engages the public as they pass by. I tried to encourage the Father about their efforts and how Orthodoxy is poised to help many people find the fullness of the Christian Church. I look forward to our next visit!




        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Christopher Orr
        I feel for you with the toddler. I have an almost 12 month old. He s very good overall, but sometime a kid just has to crawl and burn off some energy. My
        Message 3 of 6 , Aug 24, 2009
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          I feel for you with the toddler. I have an almost 12 month old. He's very
          good overall, but sometime a kid just has to crawl and burn off some
          energy. My GOA priest has often said that kids love church - just in small
          doses. So, don't feel as if you need to keep her still the whole time.
          Feel free to take her out and come back in. My priest said he used to walk
          around the block with his kids and then come back into the service. It's
          probably harder in a small parish, but it's very common in Orthodox churches
          for people to be moving around during the service. So, feel free to take
          your daughter around to the icons, to the candles, etc. If you aren't
          supposed to be moving around at a given point (e.g., Small and Great
          Entrances, during the Creed, Lord's Prayer, the Anaphora) someone will let
          you know.

          Christopher



          On Sun, Aug 23, 2009 at 9:51 PM, oruaseht <oruaseht@...> wrote:

          >
          >
          > So today we finally had the opportunity to visit an Orthodox Church for
          > Liturgy. While in Moose Jaw for my Grandma's 80th Birthday celebration, our
          > family attended Holy Trinity Orthodox Church (
          > http://www.orthodoxmoosejaw.org/), a parish of the OCA. This was my second
          > Orthodox Liturgy and my wife's first, as well as a first for our 19 month
          > old daughter. Attending Liturgy with a toddler is always an exciting/tiring
          > experience to say the least!
          >
          > I asked my wife what she thought of the experience on the drive home. We
          > chatted about things for over an hour. I have been studying Orthodoxy for
          > around 4 years or so, so I was somewhat familiar with St. John Chrysostom's
          > Liturgy. However, my wife commented on how crazy everything seemed as there
          > were so many different things happening simultaneously!
          >
          > The parish is quite small, and there were around 13 people in attendance
          > today, including us. So it was very intimate. We enjoyed the incense, icons
          > and decor of the church, as it was quite beautiful. The liturgy was a blur
          > to us though as trying to keep a toddler quiet takes a lot of energy. A
          > younger family came in who also had a small child, so that made us feel a
          > bit more comfortable.
          >
          > The Lutheran Divine Service has some common elements with the Orthodox
          > service, so we were able to participate in a few instances, once we figured
          > out the tones being used. They did have printed copies of the Liturgy, with
          > sheet music, but I found it easier to just stand in the Liturgy and take it
          > all in, rather than trying to flip through pages and get lost along the way.
          >
          > The service today was intriguing. It had a feeling of Holiness and "other
          > worldly-ness" yet at the same time a very human, conversational feel. The
          > only other place I have experienced this was at a Jewish Synagogue service I
          > attended in University. The Father's homily had this kind of feel, Divine
          > discussion about the Kingdom of God, yet in a very personable flavor. My
          > wife said it was "very high church, yet down to earth at the same time."
          >
          > On the other side, we found the service to be quite long, drawn out and
          > very repetitive. But, in all fairness, we were also at our wits end keeping
          > our little girl entertained for almost 2 hours! :) If we were to attend a
          > few more times, I'm sure we would be able to appreciate it more and get more
          > accustomed to Orthodox Liturgy. We had a wonderful time all in all and the
          > people were very welcoming. The parish has done a great job in being very
          > welcoming to the community, and being very accessible by having their church
          > doors open to the public daily, doing mass mailings to the community and by
          > renovating the parish, including a meditative garden that engages the public
          > as they pass by. I tried to encourage the Father about their efforts and how
          > Orthodoxy is poised to help many people find the fullness of the Christian
          > Church. I look forward to our next visit!
          >
          >
          >


          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • Fr John W Fenton
          Oruaseht wrote: However, my wife commented on how crazy everything seemed as there were so many different things happening simultaneously! Many things
          Message 4 of 6 , Aug 24, 2009
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            Oruaseht wrote:



            However, my wife commented on how crazy everything seemed as there were so
            many different things happening simultaneously!



            Many things happening at once used to be the norm in Christian worship-East
            and West. Apparently the Reformation changed this in protestant churches. (I
            have no hard data for this, simply anecdotal evidence.) It appears that the
            notion that worship is an educational event rather than the heavenly liturgy
            was instrumental in this change. When worship is primarily education,
            everyone must be (sit) still in order to learn. I could say more, but need
            to get back to my class.



            Asking your prayers, the unworthy priest,





            Fr. John W. Fenton

            <http://holyincarnation.org/> Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church

            Location: 1385 Goddard Rd, Lincoln Park MI 48146

            Mail: 8941 Quandt Ave, Allen Park MI 48101

            313.282.6153

            http://holyincarnation.org

            frfenton@...





            From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
            [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of oruaseht
            Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 9:52 PM
            To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
            Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Divine Liturgy Today





            So today we finally had the opportunity to visit an Orthodox Church for
            Liturgy. While in Moose Jaw for my Grandma's 80th Birthday celebration, our
            family attended Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
            (http://www.orthodoxmoosejaw.org/), a parish of the OCA. This was my second
            Orthodox Liturgy and my wife's first, as well as a first for our 19 month
            old daughter. Attending Liturgy with a toddler is always an exciting/tiring
            experience to say the least!

            I asked my wife what she thought of the experience on the drive home. We
            chatted about things for over an hour. I have been studying Orthodoxy for
            around 4 years or so, so I was somewhat familiar with St. John Chrysostom's
            Liturgy. However, my wife commented on how crazy everything seemed as there
            were so many different things happening simultaneously!

            The parish is quite small, and there were around 13 people in attendance
            today, including us. So it was very intimate. We enjoyed the incense, icons
            and decor of the church, as it was quite beautiful. The liturgy was a blur
            to us though as trying to keep a toddler quiet takes a lot of energy. A
            younger family came in who also had a small child, so that made us feel a
            bit more comfortable.

            The Lutheran Divine Service has some common elements with the Orthodox
            service, so we were able to participate in a few instances, once we figured
            out the tones being used. They did have printed copies of the Liturgy, with
            sheet music, but I found it easier to just stand in the Liturgy and take it
            all in, rather than trying to flip through pages and get lost along the way.

            The service today was intriguing. It had a feeling of Holiness and "other
            worldly-ness" yet at the same time a very human, conversational feel. The
            only other place I have experienced this was at a Jewish Synagogue service I
            attended in University. The Father's homily had this kind of feel, Divine
            discussion about the Kingdom of God, yet in a very personable flavor. My
            wife said it was "very high church, yet down to earth at the same time."

            On the other side, we found the service to be quite long, drawn out and very
            repetitive. But, in all fairness, we were also at our wits end keeping our
            little girl entertained for almost 2 hours! :) If we were to attend a few
            more times, I'm sure we would be able to appreciate it more and get more
            accustomed to Orthodox Liturgy. We had a wonderful time all in all and the
            people were very welcoming. The parish has done a great job in being very
            welcoming to the community, and being very accessible by having their church
            doors open to the public daily, doing mass mailings to the community and by
            renovating the parish, including a meditative garden that engages the public
            as they pass by. I tried to encourage the Father about their efforts and how
            Orthodoxy is poised to help many people find the fullness of the Christian
            Church. I look forward to our next visit!





            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • oruaseht
            This is an excellent point. When you study what is happening in Heaven in Revelation, tons of things are going on at the same time. Looking at worship as an
            Message 5 of 6 , Aug 24, 2009
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              This is an excellent point. When you study what is happening in Heaven in Revelation, tons of things are going on at the same time. Looking at worship as an experience of Heaven rather than a lecture hall with a talking head is probably the first step in over coming how strange it seems to us.


              --- In LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com, "Fr John W Fenton" <frfenton@...> wrote:
              >
              > Oruaseht wrote:
              >
              >
              >
              > However, my wife commented on how crazy everything seemed as there were so
              > many different things happening simultaneously!
              >
              >
              >
              > Many things happening at once used to be the norm in Christian worship-East
              > and West. Apparently the Reformation changed this in protestant churches. (I
              > have no hard data for this, simply anecdotal evidence.) It appears that the
              > notion that worship is an educational event rather than the heavenly liturgy
              > was instrumental in this change. When worship is primarily education,
              > everyone must be (sit) still in order to learn. I could say more, but need
              > to get back to my class.
              >
              >
              >
              > Asking your prayers, the unworthy priest,
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > Fr. John W. Fenton
              >
              > <http://holyincarnation.org/> Holy Incarnation Orthodox Church
              >
              > Location: 1385 Goddard Rd, Lincoln Park MI 48146
              >
              > Mail: 8941 Quandt Ave, Allen Park MI 48101
              >
              > 313.282.6153
              >
              > http://holyincarnation.org
              >
              > frfenton@...
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > From: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
              > [mailto:LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of oruaseht
              > Sent: Sunday, August 23, 2009 9:52 PM
              > To: LutheransLookingEast@yahoogroups.com
              > Subject: [LutheransLookingEast] Divine Liturgy Today
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > So today we finally had the opportunity to visit an Orthodox Church for
              > Liturgy. While in Moose Jaw for my Grandma's 80th Birthday celebration, our
              > family attended Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
              > (http://www.orthodoxmoosejaw.org/), a parish of the OCA. This was my second
              > Orthodox Liturgy and my wife's first, as well as a first for our 19 month
              > old daughter. Attending Liturgy with a toddler is always an exciting/tiring
              > experience to say the least!
              >
              > I asked my wife what she thought of the experience on the drive home. We
              > chatted about things for over an hour. I have been studying Orthodoxy for
              > around 4 years or so, so I was somewhat familiar with St. John Chrysostom's
              > Liturgy. However, my wife commented on how crazy everything seemed as there
              > were so many different things happening simultaneously!
              >
              > The parish is quite small, and there were around 13 people in attendance
              > today, including us. So it was very intimate. We enjoyed the incense, icons
              > and decor of the church, as it was quite beautiful. The liturgy was a blur
              > to us though as trying to keep a toddler quiet takes a lot of energy. A
              > younger family came in who also had a small child, so that made us feel a
              > bit more comfortable.
              >
              > The Lutheran Divine Service has some common elements with the Orthodox
              > service, so we were able to participate in a few instances, once we figured
              > out the tones being used. They did have printed copies of the Liturgy, with
              > sheet music, but I found it easier to just stand in the Liturgy and take it
              > all in, rather than trying to flip through pages and get lost along the way.
              >
              > The service today was intriguing. It had a feeling of Holiness and "other
              > worldly-ness" yet at the same time a very human, conversational feel. The
              > only other place I have experienced this was at a Jewish Synagogue service I
              > attended in University. The Father's homily had this kind of feel, Divine
              > discussion about the Kingdom of God, yet in a very personable flavor. My
              > wife said it was "very high church, yet down to earth at the same time."
              >
              > On the other side, we found the service to be quite long, drawn out and very
              > repetitive. But, in all fairness, we were also at our wits end keeping our
              > little girl entertained for almost 2 hours! :) If we were to attend a few
              > more times, I'm sure we would be able to appreciate it more and get more
              > accustomed to Orthodox Liturgy. We had a wonderful time all in all and the
              > people were very welcoming. The parish has done a great job in being very
              > welcoming to the community, and being very accessible by having their church
              > doors open to the public daily, doing mass mailings to the community and by
              > renovating the parish, including a meditative garden that engages the public
              > as they pass by. I tried to encourage the Father about their efforts and how
              > Orthodoxy is poised to help many people find the fullness of the Christian
              > Church. I look forward to our next visit!
              >
              >
              >
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
            • Rosemarie Lieffring
              Looking at worship as an experience of Heaven rather than a lecture hall with a talking head... You are killin me! I am trying to get the last bit of work
              Message 6 of 6 , Aug 24, 2009
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                "Looking at worship as an experience of Heaven rather than a lecture hall
                with a talking head..."

                You are killin' me! I am trying to get the last bit of work done so I can
                go home for the night but I am laughing so hard I can hardly finish! :)
                What great imagery! -----R


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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