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Author Topic: Most wonderful Pascha of my life!!  (Read 1765 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dan Lauffer
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« on: April 20, 2003, 04:04:34 PM »

Friends,

I'm stunned by what the Holy Spirit is doing in our parish. Not only are we growing numerically but we are reclaiming our Orthodox heritage. This Holy Week and Pascha have brought a life long dream to fruition.

My entire adult life has been a movement toward traditional apostolic Christianity. For years I've dreamed of worshipping in a Church without pews. I preached on the merits of worshipping without pews for several years before I left the Protestant minister. My appeals with met with either stunned silence or mockery.

Yet, this dream has come true in our parish.

At Vespers last Wednesday Father had all of the pews removed. The Holy Spirit moved upon the people and they all clamoured for Father to keep it that way. He said with tongue in cheek, "since you have twisted my arm I'll do it." This Easter Sunday we had some pews placed around the Church but there were far more open spaces than regimented. The processions were much more fulsome. People were actually able to move about during liturgy. Greetings were given, not by everyone, but by many when they are prescribed in the liturgy. Father's sermon was full of joy as he went about talking mainly with children.

This was the greatest Easter Sunday of my life!!

Christ is Risen!!

Dan Lauffer
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Robert
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« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2003, 04:26:50 PM »

Glad to hear you had a nice Pascha, Don.
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Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2003, 05:50:22 PM »

BTW

Father said that there were pews for all who needed them but not for all who might want them and added that sitting in pews when not physically necessary was "fanny worship".  Man, I love our Church!!

Dan Lauffer Grin
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« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2003, 08:27:10 PM »

I am somewhat envious.

When we outgrew our storefront, we bought a former Protestant church. It has pews and, man, are they in the way! It's even difficult to turn and follow the processions.

I have nothing against pews for the elderly, the infirm, the pregnant, etc., but the rest of us don't need 'em.

Too many people like them, however; so, I think we are stuck with them.

Anyway, congrats, Dan! Grin
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« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2003, 09:23:15 PM »

Wish I could say the same for ourselves here.  That's good news to hear, Danny boy.  Enjoy your spiritual oasis.

In IC XC
Samer
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Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2003, 10:07:41 PM »

Sam and Linus,

Are your priests approachable?  Priests tend to have more influence that Protestant pastors.  Perhaps if your priests are open to it they can begin an educational program going for your members.  That's how Father Loya did it in our parish.  He had a series of training sessions following Wednesday vespers about Orthodox liturgy.  Sadly, I was not able to attend because of my teaching schedule.  The next thing I knew most of the pews were gone.  

I think this is only the beginning.  The people were free to move about.  Who knows, maybe we will begin to "greet each other with a holy kiss"?

Dan Lauffer

BTW Why don't you bring your priests up to visit Father Loya and our Church.  Perhaps you will find that at least some Eastern Catholics have more in common with the Orthodox than you surmised and you may get some inspiration for what to do in bringing back authentic Orthodox Liturgy to your Church.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2003, 10:10:55 PM by Dan Lauffer » Logged
TonyS
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« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2003, 11:19:26 PM »


At Vespers last Wednesday Father had all of the pews removed. The Holy Spirit moved upon the people and they all clamoured for Father to keep it that way. He said with tongue in cheek, "since you have twisted my arm I'll do it." This Easter Sunday we had some pews placed around the Church but there were far more open spaces than regimented. The processions were much more fulsome. People were actually able to move about during liturgy. Greetings were given, not by everyone, but by many when they are prescribed in the liturgy. Father's sermon was full of joy as he went about talking mainly with children.

Dan Lauffer  

Dear Dan,

I am pleased for you that you had such a nice celebration.  I am curious about the pews situation in your parish since your parish is almost brand new.  Why was it built with pews to begin with?  I mean Fr. Tom was there all throughout the process as far as I know.  I remember before the place was built hearing about how it would not have pews then I saw the pictures of the pews and was very dissapointed.  I even asked you about the pews in another forum once.  I mean to put them in just to remove them later seems problematic.

Tony
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Dan Lauffer
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« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2003, 11:17:33 PM »

Tony,

"I mean to put them in just to remove them later seems problematic."

I agree.  But besides timing, which is an important part of wisdom, I don't know why they were purchased and then removed.  At least they were never bolted down and hence were easily removed when the time was full. Perhaps Father knew that teaching and timing were very important to such a successful change.  I do know that he took some heat when he refused to put in kneelers in the new building.

Dan Lauffer
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SamB
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« Reply #8 on: April 22, 2003, 12:26:16 AM »

Dan, it's a little complicated.

We Melkites, like many other communities (including freshly arrived and Arabic-speaking Antiochian Orthodox immigrants), haven't our own church to begin with.  According to one of our priests who now lives in the U.S. but who spent a good deal of time in Montreal, our situation always was and will in all likelyhood remain unsatisfactory.  Getting a church of our own is priority number one.

In IC XC
Samer
« Last Edit: April 22, 2003, 02:24:06 PM by SamB » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: April 22, 2003, 09:42:26 AM »

Congratulations, Dan. You had a beautiful church to begin with (it looked OCA with the pews), and now, with far fewer pews, it seems to rival SS. Cyril and Methodius in Cary, NC as the most Orthodox-oriented Ruthenian Catholic church in the US. (The winner might be Holy Resurrection Monastery in California's Mojave Desert but I've never been there - or to your church.) Rare birds indeed, AFAIK.
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