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Moderated Forums => Faith Issues => Topic started by: Shiny on February 19, 2013, 09:50:41 AM

Title: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Shiny on February 19, 2013, 09:50:41 AM
Anything different?

Would like to go to an OCA parish as well, but out of my vicinity too.

Commuting has become bit of a problem for me to my WRO parish and the closest parish is about 10 minutes away but its a Greek Orthodox one.

I would like to be a part of community that is more of my age group.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Putnik Namernik on February 19, 2013, 12:22:43 PM
First of all greetings.

This is my first post on this forum and hopefully it will be a useful one.  I am member of the Serbian Orthodox Church in Canada and have gone to few different diocesan parishes (ROCOR and GOA)...anyway, from my understanding there are few "minor" differences. The first one would be the calendar (Serbian church follows Julian calendar), language of service (some service in English some only in Serbian/Slavonic)...everything else should be more or less the same...if there are any particular questions, ask and I will try to answer to the best of my knowledge.

Cheers!
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Asteriktos on February 19, 2013, 01:55:38 PM
I've only been to a Serbian parish once for liturgy, but fwiw didn't notice anything extremely different. :)

Welcome to the forum Putnik!
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Cyrillic on February 19, 2013, 01:58:32 PM
Anything different?

Well, I guess you'll see a lot of Serbs.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Alveus Lacuna on February 19, 2013, 02:41:18 PM
You'll notice a fully stocked bar in the parish hall and old ladies smoking cigarettes as the children run around their table.

Short skirts, no headcoverings, lots about Kosovo in the homily, etc.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: choy on February 19, 2013, 03:16:37 PM
If you like hockey, you get to see Milan Lucic in the local Serbian Orthodox church in my area.  Possibly during the offseason only.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Putnik Namernik on February 19, 2013, 03:31:05 PM
I've only been to a Serbian parish once for liturgy, but fwiw didn't notice anything extremely different. :)

Welcome to the forum Putnik!

Thanks.  "Our" differences for some are small for other enormous....it all depends on personal experience.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Joseph Hazen on February 19, 2013, 08:59:42 PM
Depends. I go to a Serbian parish, but none of what the others have said you would find (except the fully stocked bar in the hall).

We have few ethnic Serbs, a lot of converts and a good bit from along the spectrum of age. Our liturgy is in English, our Icons are labeled in English, but we do have a few bits of the Liturgy in Slavonic. As far as I know nobody smokes. We do pray especially for Kosovo during the Great Entrance, but I don't think Father has ever mentioned it in the homily.

But I have heard of other parishes where that's not the case. It can depend, on the West Coast at least, at how much the priest is following the influence of Bishop Maxim, who is very supportive of the type of parish St. Vlad's encourages (from what I hear).

If you're near us you can stand by my wife and I on Sunday if you like lol. The only other parish in town is a Greek one, but there aren't any WRO around for hours so I doubt you're near us.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: yeshuaisiam on February 19, 2013, 09:05:18 PM
The food during fellowship (especially if full of Serbs) will be different and unique.    If you have any children, expect cheek pinching.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: biro on February 19, 2013, 09:12:28 PM
Anything different?

Well, I guess you'll see a lot of Serbs.


Ding!  :)

Got there ahead of me.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Putnik Namernik on March 05, 2013, 11:34:50 PM
Anything different?

Would like to go to an OCA parish as well, but out of my vicinity too.

Commuting has become bit of a problem for me to my WRO parish and the closest parish is about 10 minutes away but its a Greek Orthodox one.

I would like to be a part of community that is more of my age group.

So, did you survive dealing with Serbs?  ;D  What are your impressions?  I was always wondering how Serbs were perceived by non-Serbs (not counting political issues)...more along the lines if something makes them stand out besides the good looks offcourse.  :D  I would also appreciate the comments from anybody who has ever gone to a "Serbian" parish-gathering and what was the overall feeling...
Thanks!
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: That person on March 06, 2013, 12:02:36 AM
You'll notice a fully stocked bar in the parish hall and old ladies smoking cigarettes as the children run around their table.

Short skirts, no headcoverings, lots about Kosovo in the homily, etc.
Well I'm sold.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Shiny on May 07, 2013, 07:00:46 PM
Going to a Serbian parish this weekend.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Putnik Namernik on May 07, 2013, 09:54:00 PM
I am sure you will survive.  ;D SOC will be celebrating St. Basil of Ostrog so I am guessing there will be plenty of people, perhaps even some Slava celebrators...
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Shanghaiski on May 07, 2013, 10:59:07 PM
Hopefully there will be cevapi, ajvar, and kaimak at coffee hour, as well as lots of pork and plum brandy.

Liturgy should be in a mix of Serbian and Slavonic. Chant should be Byzantine. Iconography should be traditional. Calendar will be Old. There should be bearded men in leather jackets and old women wearing kerchiefs. There may be very few, if any communicants. You may witness "Lazy Susan Communion."
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: JoeS2 on May 08, 2013, 08:01:36 PM
Hopefully there will be cevapi, ajvar, and kaimak at coffee hour, as well as lots of pork and plum brandy.

Liturgy should be in a mix of Serbian and Slavonic. Chant should be Byzantine. Iconography should be traditional. Calendar will be Old. There should be bearded men in leather jackets and old women wearing kerchiefs. There may be very few, if any communicants. You may witness "Lazy Susan Communion."

 You may witness "Lazy Susan Communion."  What is this?????
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Shanghaiski on May 08, 2013, 09:40:40 PM
Hopefully there will be cevapi, ajvar, and kaimak at coffee hour, as well as lots of pork and plum brandy.

Liturgy should be in a mix of Serbian and Slavonic. Chant should be Byzantine. Iconography should be traditional. Calendar will be Old. There should be bearded men in leather jackets and old women wearing kerchiefs. There may be very few, if any communicants. You may witness "Lazy Susan Communion."

 You may witness "Lazy Susan Communion."  What is this?????


When the priest comes out with the chalice and says, "With the fear of God, with faith and with love draw near," and then turns around and goes back into the altar without anyone communing--usually because no one has gone to confession, so there are no communicants, according to the rule of that parish or diocese.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: mike on May 09, 2013, 06:51:14 AM
When I was in Bulgaria I remember seeing even stranger practice: priest went out with the Gifts, returned and communed the people in the end of the Liturgy.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: LBK on May 09, 2013, 08:02:50 AM
When I was in Bulgaria I remember seeing even stranger practice: priest went out with the Gifts, returned and communed the people in the end of the Liturgy.

I've seen this happen quite often during major feasts where large numbers of people will be communing. It's done to make sure that people stay to the end of the DL, and not disappear straight after they have communed. Irregular, but it happens.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Punch on May 09, 2013, 09:31:35 AM
When the priest comes out with the chalice and says, "With the fear of God, with faith and with love draw near," and then turns around and goes back into the altar without anyone communing--usually because no one has gone to confession, so there are no communicants, according to the rule of that parish or diocese.

LOL!  I saw that the first time that I attended a Serbian Church.  I was still a member of an Antiochian Church where everyone lined up like cattle to a trough (at that time), even though they had not confessed or fasted since Holy Week a year ago (if then).  I was going to get up to get in line that morning and lo and behold, no line, and the priest just walked out with the chalice, spun around and went back in. I kind of WTF'd one of the members after service and I was told that they only communed four times a year, and this was not one of the times.

Things have changed a lot in both parishes.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Carl Kraeff (Second Chance) on May 09, 2013, 10:19:27 AM
When the priest comes out with the chalice and says, "With the fear of God, with faith and with love draw near," and then turns around and goes back into the altar without anyone communing--usually because no one has gone to confession, so there are no communicants, according to the rule of that parish or diocese.

LOL!  I saw that the first time that I attended a Serbian Church.  I was still a member of an Antiochian Church where everyone lined up like cattle to a trough (at that time), even though they had not confessed or fasted since Holy Week a year ago (if then).  I was going to get up to get in line that morning and lo and behold, no line, and the priest just walked out with the chalice, spun around and went back in. I kind of WTF'd one of the members after service and I was told that they only communed four times a year, and this was not one of the times.

Things have changed a lot in both parishes.


I have attended a couple of Antiochian parishes and both required "a recent confession and fasting" as pre-requirement for communion.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: augustin717 on May 09, 2013, 10:24:01 AM
When the priest comes out with the chalice and says, "With the fear of God, with faith and with love draw near," and then turns around and goes back into the altar without anyone communing--usually because no one has gone to confession, so there are no communicants, according to the rule of that parish or diocese.

LOL!  I saw that the first time that I attended a Serbian Church.  I was still a member of an Antiochian Church where everyone lined up like cattle to a trough (at that time), even though they had not confessed or fasted since Holy Week a year ago (if then).  I was going to get up to get in line that morning and lo and behold, no line, and the priest just walked out with the chalice, spun around and went back in. I kind of WTF'd one of the members after service and I was told that they only communed four times a year, and this was not one of the times.

Things have changed a lot in both parishes.


I have attended a couple of Antiochian parishes and both required "a recent confession and fasting" as pre-requirement for communion.
Where the ethnic Arabs predominate numerically it's not the case in AFAIK. And I think it's a good thing, overall.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Fotina02 on May 09, 2013, 10:48:02 AM
When the priest comes out with the chalice and says, "With the fear of God, with faith and with love draw near," and then turns around and goes back into the altar without anyone communing--usually because no one has gone to confession, so there are no communicants, according to the rule of that parish or diocese.

LOL!  I saw that the first time that I attended a Serbian Church.  I was still a member of an Antiochian Church where everyone lined up like cattle to a trough (at that time), even though they had not confessed or fasted since Holy Week a year ago (if then).  I was going to get up to get in line that morning and lo and behold, no line, and the priest just walked out with the chalice, spun around and went back in. I kind of WTF'd one of the members after service and I was told that they only communed four times a year, and this was not one of the times.

Things have changed a lot in both parishes.


I have attended a couple of Antiochian parishes and both required "a recent confession and fasting" as pre-requirement for communion.
Where the ethnic Arabs predominate numerically it's not the case in AFAIK. And I think it's a good thing, overall.

Yet an Antiochian Metropolitan had this wonderful article on proper preparation for receiving.

Met. Saba (Esber) on Preparing for Communion
http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2011/10/met-saba-esber-on-preparing-for.html
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Punch on May 09, 2013, 10:49:16 AM
I have attended a couple of Antiochian parishes and both required "a recent confession and fasting" as pre-requirement for communion.

Define "require" and "recent".  Things have improved considerably at this particular parish.  They are at least told that this is the expectation.  
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Punch on May 09, 2013, 10:55:10 AM

Yet an Antiochian Metropolitan had this wonderful article on proper preparation for receiving.

Met. Saba (Esber) on Preparing for Communion
http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2011/10/met-saba-esber-on-preparing-for.html

The issue is enforcement (as I am finding out while performing a Root Cause at work).  You can have all the wonderful teaching and writing that you want, but the enforcement indicates what is REALLY acceptable.  I would like to see a balance between the "I told you, but you can do whatever you want" attitude of the one parish here (in the name of Love, of course), and the draconian "I am the guardian of the chalice and you shall not pass unless you look starved to death and have come through the Inquisition" attitude of the other, where very few commune.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: LizaSymonenko on May 09, 2013, 11:07:09 AM

I've been to a number of Serbian parishes...and I found them to be very nice and inviting.

The Liturgy was in Church Slavonic, with a bit of Serbian thrown in here and there.  The sermon was in Serbian.
I could follow the Church Slavonic, but, was lost with the Serbian.

I noticed people putting paper money behind icons - especially on the tetrapod.  I've never seen that anywhere else.

Otherwise, it was just another Sunday Liturgy.  Nothing unusual....all was great!!!
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: LBK on May 09, 2013, 11:12:49 AM

I noticed people putting paper money behind icons - especially on the tetrapod.  I've never seen that anywhere else.


They also slide banknotes and coins under the white cloths the bride and groom stand on during the wedding ceremony ....
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: LizaSymonenko on May 09, 2013, 11:15:49 AM

Now THAT I have seen done at Ukrainian weddings....so, the couple would be prosperous...right?
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: LBK on May 09, 2013, 11:24:56 AM

Now THAT I have seen done at Ukrainian weddings....so, the couple would be prosperous...right?

Right. Greeks have similar customs of "blessing with silver", but they can't leave coins under the wedding cloth, because Greeks don't use them.  :D
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Agabus on May 09, 2013, 11:26:51 AM

I noticed people putting paper money behind icons - especially on the tetrapod.  I've never seen that anywhere else.


That’s one of the things I find interesting about religions that are often (rightly or wrongly) tied to ethnicity — the various ethnic branches have their own weird variants and customs that even lifelong members of the religion who aren’t part of the tribe in question don’t know about.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Fotina02 on May 09, 2013, 11:28:27 AM

Yet an Antiochian Metropolitan had this wonderful article on proper preparation for receiving.

Met. Saba (Esber) on Preparing for Communion
http://araborthodoxy.blogspot.com/2011/10/met-saba-esber-on-preparing-for.html

The issue is enforcement (as I am finding out while performing a Root Cause at work).  You can have all the wonderful teaching and writing that you want, but the enforcement indicates what is REALLY acceptable.  I would like to see a balance between the "I told you, but you can do whatever you want" attitude of the one parish here (in the name of Love, of course), and the draconian "I am the guardian of the chalice and you shall not pass unless you look starved to death and have come through the Inquisition" attitude of the other, where very few commune.

Guidelines help, (enforcement seems too harsh for the faith of a total voluntary Lord and Savior), but what is REALLY acceptable only God sees in the communicant's heart.
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Sinful Hypocrite on May 09, 2013, 08:31:47 PM
God  :D
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Shiny on May 10, 2013, 11:07:44 PM
So looks like an ACROD parish may be closer. They are on the old calendar too right?
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Dominika on May 11, 2013, 07:46:32 AM
When the priest comes out with the chalice and says, "With the fear of God, with faith and with love draw near," and then turns around and goes back into the altar without anyone communing--usually because no one has gone to confession, so there are no communicants, according to the rule of that parish or diocese.

I would say it depends on the Serbian parish. Serbia is relatively small country, but full of variety. For example, some members of my family go regularly to the Holy Communion. And in some parishes confession is required prior to the Liturgy, and in some not (but it's minority) and in such cases it depends on your confessor. But I think things are slowly changing. And for some greatest celebrations (Holy Week, Pascha, Nativity, Slava) vast majority commune.

When I was in Bulgaria I remember seeing even stranger practice: priest went out with the Gifts, returned and communed the people in the end of the Liturgy.

I've seen this happen quite often during major feasts where large numbers of people will be communing. It's done to make sure that people stay to the end of the DL, and not disappear straight after they have communed. Irregular, but it happens.

I know about some Serbian parishes doing such things (even beyond great celebrations). Once it happened to me in Polish parish, it was feast of st. Elias and it was on Friday so there was few people and nobody to confession so my priest communed me after kissing the cross in the end.

I noticed people putting paper money behind icons - especially on the tetrapod.  I've never seen that anywhere else.

Yes, that's true. Sometimes so much money is put on the icon, that it's difficult to kiss it (first picture, taken by me in monastery Studenica), so lots of icons (or tetrapods) have hole to put money into it (second picture taken by me in st. Sava temple in Belgrade)
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: podkarpatska on May 11, 2013, 12:45:23 PM
So looks like an ACROD parish may be closer. They are on the old calendar too right?

It depends on which one..
Title: Re: What should I expect to see at a Serbian Orthodox Church?
Post by: Shiny on May 11, 2013, 12:57:11 PM
So looks like an ACROD parish may be closer. They are on the old calendar too right?

It depends on which one..
This one:
St. Nicholas Church
http://acrod.org/directories/parishview?parish=0021