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Author Topic: Finally attending 1st Orthodox Divine Liturgy  (Read 1948 times) Average Rating: 0
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Carole
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« on: April 12, 2007, 11:08:31 AM »

On Sunday my family will be attending our first ever Orthodox Divine Liturgy.  It is a small parish so there's likely nothing we can do to avoid standing out and being noticed as visitors, so at this point I'm hoping to just avoid doing anything incredibly stupid or unintentionally rude.

I'm assuming that our typical "going to church" clothing will be acceptable.  My husband always wears dress slacks, long sleeved shirt and tie and my daughter and I always wear long-ish (well below the knee) skirts and long sleeved blouses.  I tend to wear sneakers with my skirts due to knee and back problems.  That should be OK, right?

Our "plan of action" is to just try to be unobtrusive and simply observe what is going on around us. 

Again, that should be OK, right?

Any suggestions?  Comments?  Tidbits of sage advice from those who have "been there" and "done that?"
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Carole
falafel333
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« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2007, 11:11:40 AM »

It might be a good idea to contact the parish priest and meet him before hand, get to know him a little and let him know that you'd be interested in attending the liturgy. He should be able to inform you about any other tidbits...
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TinaG
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« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2007, 12:38:52 PM »

Many blessings to you and your family Clare.  I have no real words of wisdom, just some personal recollections that you might be able to relate to. When I went to my first Divine Liturgy 15 years ago, I was scared, nervous, excited and wondering what I was doing there.  The Sunday before I'd just renewed my membership in my childhood ELCA (Lutheran) church and the next Sunday I was in a strange Orthodox church fumbling through a service book.  I felt so hypocritical because I'd just stood seven days before to reconfirm myself in Lutheran beliefs.  I'd felt there was something more out there, but I'd been going back to church with my mom and just thought that was what she'd like.   Maybe I was just looking for something new and different from my childhood, but from that first Divine Liturgy I just knew it was the right place for me and I never left.  I still remember the smell of the incense.

So, there's no way of getting around attending that very first Divine Liturgy, but it's not nearly as bad as all those dreams you have where you're in a strange place dressed only in your underclothes (or maybe nothing at all) and everyone is staring at you.   Just remember that a good portion of those folks might have been converts only a few months or years before you and they can certainly sympathize with your feelings.  If they turn and stare or look at you when you enter, don't be paranoid - everyone is just curious and happy to see new faces.  They'll be all over you with antidoron, coffee and friendly questions right after Liturgy, so I hope that doesn't feel a little overwhelming.   

I still get excited and curious when we have visitors, but I have to remember not to preach too much, just take visitors at their own pace.   It's good practice for all of us Orthodox to not smother our visitor's flame of inquiry with pamphlets, books, and pushy or overly personal questions.  Give them some room to get comfortable with everything and don't just assume that since they've walked through the door they're automatically going to convert and be your newest parishioners.
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On the spiritual path somewhere between the Simpsons and St. Theophan the Recluse, but I still can't see the Springfield city limits sign yet.
Carole
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« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2007, 12:42:22 PM »

Thank you, Tina! 

Our first Roman Catholic Mass was a bit nerve wracking.  Our first Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy was a bit nerve wracking.  I'm figuring our first Orthodox Divine Liturgy will be as well.  I'm starting to get used to it. Cheesy  I'm really looking forward to it, though!
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Carole
TinaG
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« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2007, 01:14:31 PM »

 
Our first Roman Catholic Mass was a bit nerve wracking.  Our first Byzantine Catholic Divine Liturgy was a bit nerve wracking.  I'm figuring our first Orthodox Divine Liturgy will be as well.  I'm starting to get used to it. Cheesy  I'm really looking forward to it, though!

Y'all must be adrenaline junkies!.  I wish you well on what may be your last "first" Liturgy.
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On the spiritual path somewhere between the Simpsons and St. Theophan the Recluse, but I still can't see the Springfield city limits sign yet.
Carole
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« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2007, 05:02:32 PM »

Y'all must be adrenaline junkies!.  I wish you well on what may be your last "first" Liturgy.

Hey!  I never thought of that.  Spiritual adrenaline junkies.  Cheesy  Thank you very much.
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Carole
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« Reply #6 on: March 01, 2011, 04:52:36 PM »

Y'all must be adrenaline junkies!.  I wish you well on what may be your last "first" Liturgy.

Hey!  I never thought of that.  Spiritual adrenaline junkies.  Cheesy  Thank you very much.

You might tuck a scarf in your hand bag. In many Orthodox churches women cover their heads.

I'd also say: Allow yourself to be teachable, to be a beginner. Let others give to you. Your turn will come to give back, God willing. As long as we remain beginners, the opportunities to grow in faith are boundless. As soon as we become experts, it's all over. The opposite of faith isn't doubt; it is certainty.
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