Take courage Ebor, and walk more freely!
I have been thinking about this for a couple of weeks, and how to 'walk more freely' without causing upset. Other reasons that I have for not becoming EO might inadvertently offend. Some of the things I believe or think do not agree with the EO; if I did think in all things as the EO I would *be* EO, I think it follows logically.
Also, there's the idea of some things are 'subjective' and others are 'objective'. But that neither means that ALL things are subjective, nor that someone's personal experience is "wrong" because another felt something different. (It feels like I'm being incoherant to some degree, but it's difficult to phrase things when one feels like one is walking a tightrope in another's home and the crystal goblets, china and other fragibles are all around.
Context is everything. Had you written this in response to an Inquirer's question in the Convert Issues Forum, or in response to a prayer request in the Prayer Forum, (the two no-fly zones for debate) I would certainly have questioned your motives. But all I can see here is you stating where your conscience is and what your personal experiences are.
And the other context is that you have earned much trust by your balanced and thoughtful posts over the years. If anyone has a right to speak, it's you.
Thank you. That is very kind of you to write. (And what about my goofy and quirkly posts, one wonders
Personally, I think what you have to say about your experiences is important for we Orthodox Christians to hear.
I'll try then, but it feels like I should have a big sign on everyone "I'm not trying to upset anyone". or the like.
As I mentioned above, while others write that they felt or experienced in EO worship something that they did not in other cases, this is not the case with me. (this is one of the subjective parts). At the WR service, it was all familiar (including the hymnal
) with a couple of minor things different. At the Byzantine Liturgies there was beauty, yes, but while different not orders of magnitude 'better' or more 'worshipful' then the Anglican services that I have been a part of for over 30 years. I feel great peace and the presence of God in Anglican liturgies and prayers.
To be honest, some other EO services seemed to *me* to be chaotic. There were people moving all around, coming and going, entering the building and leaving it (I am not writing of the priest(s), deacon(s) etc, but the congregation.) One parishioner who had invited us to his parish had warned us that it would be like "a bus terminal" and I could see the comparison. Early one, someone (vested iirc) was going through some prayers/psalms in Slavonic (they were waiting for a bishop to arrive) at a machine-gun rattling pace while few seemed to be paying attention. I, by nature, am an introvert and the Anglican "decently and in order" liturgies is how I *can* worship; the thought of services like that, I'm very sorry, give me a headache and an impulse to get away from it.
I think that is enough for now (feeling rather neurotic at the moment).
No offense is meant to anyone or to EO.