Sunday, September 25, 2011

37th time to the Orthodox Church ~ Simply Worship.

photo of a girl praying in church by Peter Grima, used under the creative commons license.

This will be the third week in a row that I attended Vespers. In the past, there was usually a two or even three week interval between visits (or, more accurately, attendance, since I am way past just visiting). Now, this has been very helpful, not having such a long gap in between Saturday nights as it pertains to Worship. Usually, when I feel I have been away for some time, it takes some getting used to, "getting back into the swing of things." But, by going every week, I am better able to "enter in" Worship. Now, I know that sounds like the philosophy of a Charismatic, but, there it is.

So it was easier this week, with feelings of less distraction, just to enter into Worship. I was better able to pay attention to the words as they were chanted and say,"Amen" within my heart. Also, last nights homily by Father Gary was about how Wisdom and Righteousness go hand in hand. This worked out well since the readings chanted last night were from Proverbs and the Wisdom of Solomon. Fr Gary tied that into the life of St Sergious of Radonezh who exemplified both Wisdom and Righteousness and whose feast was celebrated that day.

I like Father Gary's Homily's. Now I don't know if they are different on Sunday's but his Saturday night Vesper homilies are short and to the point. This is in great contrast to my protestant experience where the sermon is the center of Worship. Everything builds to that point. Hymns are sung, Scripture is read, all to support the message of the Sermon. Now while that can be a good thing and help people on their spiritual journey, I much prefer the Orthodox emphasis on Sacraments and the time tested lectionary which is older than Protestant churches have even been around.

So I will, hopefully, continue going to Vespers every week.

The next step is to drop out of my protestant church and start going Sunday Mornings.

St. Sergious, pray for me to that end!


  1. Do you foresee making this change any time soon? How will it impact your family? My husband and I went to two different churches for awhile, and we didn't feel too comfortable with it. I know it works for some people, but it was hard for us. We made a switch (actually, went back to a church we had left) so that we could attend as a family again.

  2. Marianne,
    The reason I am dragging my feet is because Karen has no interest in Orthodoxy and is a happy protestant. But I am convinced that the claims the Eastern Orthodox Church makes about itself being the Original Church is correct. I also think much of protestant theology is you can see my dilemma.I don't think I will go to hell if I stay a protestant but I am having a hard time embracing my current church when I believe I should be somewhere else....Lord, have Mercy!

    Did you go to two different denominations with totally different theology? Or was it other reasons you went to different churches?

  3. As far as impacting the family, I would still go to mid week things with my son but Sunday mornings I would be at the EO church. My wife only goes to Sunday morning service and we have no evening service we could attend together. We used to but that is no more....

  4. you can see why I am moving slowly....I don't want a wedge between us...

  5. I suspect that not attending services together will actually be less problematic than trying to live an orthodox lifestyle at home. Two examples come to mind: Kissing your icons, and fasting--especially the Nativity fast. I am not your spiritual father, so I have no advice to give on this, but I find the big things (like ecclesiology, and I suspect that attending different services can be written off psychologically as "ecclesiology") are less difficult to accommodate than the "little" things because the "little" things are not little at all, but rather they manifest a radically different understanding of what it means to be a Christian.

  6. Han,
    I suspect you are right. Although I imagine my wife will be rather accommodating when it comes to fasting. She will cook anything I want, really....kissing Icons and bowing before them, well that'll be a different story!

    You are right about the totally different approach towards God. For example, Evangelicals and Orthodox have two different meanings when they say "Salvation". So, if someone asks me, "Are you saved"?, I can say, "That is my hope." For my protestant crowd, that means a lack of true faith. For the Orthodox, it represents reality.