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Author Topic: Proper Post Communion Behavior  (Read 7167 times) Average Rating: 0
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Cowboy
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« on: February 06, 2008, 04:25:48 PM »

Growing up in an Orthodox Church in the ACROD jurisdiction, we were taught that after receiving Holy Communion we were to avoid making eye contact with anyone and immediately return head down to our seats and say the post-communion prayers.

In my present parish (OCA) the start of communion is like a signal to many that the Divine Liturgy is over. The doors separating the church from the foyer and parish hall are opened, parishioners who have just partaken of the Body and Blood of Christ almost immediately start conversations with all whom they pass, many of whom have not yet partaken. Many head for the door to get a jump on coffee hour, have a cigarette outside, get a drink from the water fountain or simply congregate in small groups in the church, foyer and hall to start the coffee hour gabbing. Some do return for the last few minutes of the DL, mainly to hear the announcements. We usually have about 150 communicants each Sunday, so the noise/distraction level is quite high for those of us who return to our places to say the post communion prayers.

Many of us have complained to our priest, even formally through the parish council, but Father is reluctant to offend anyone.

Am I out of line in my expectations that the time of Communion should be THE most reverent time of the Liturgy?

Cowboy
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« Reply #1 on: February 06, 2008, 04:30:50 PM »

Wow.  People are doing this before the dismissal?  I thought I had it bad when people get loud AFTER the dismissal prayer while we some of us stay and sing a paraliturgical hymn (usually Marian in nature) led by the cantor.

I can't imagine how annoying this must be for you.  Although I grew up RC and not Orthodox, I was always taught to stand in place until the final hymn is over with.  I don't think you're in the slightest bit in the wrong expecting people to, at the very least, be quiet during communion.

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« Reply #2 on: February 06, 2008, 04:36:45 PM »

That surely doesn't happen in our ACROD or our Greek parishes here, Cowboy.
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« Reply #3 on: February 06, 2008, 04:44:19 PM »

We don't have that problem in our parish either.
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« Reply #4 on: February 06, 2008, 04:54:01 PM »

Growing up in an Orthodox Church in the ACROD jurisdiction, we were taught that after receiving Holy Communion we were to avoid making eye contact with anyone and immediately return head down to our seats and say the post-communion prayers.

In my present parish (OCA) the start of communion is like a signal to many that the Divine Liturgy is over. The doors separating the church from the foyer and parish hall are opened, parishioners who have just partaken of the Body and Blood of Christ almost immediately start conversations with all whom they pass, many of whom have not yet partaken. Many head for the door to get a jump on coffee hour, have a cigarette outside, get a drink from the water fountain or simply congregate in small groups in the church, foyer and hall to start the coffee hour gabbing. Some do return for the last few minutes of the DL, mainly to hear the announcements. We usually have about 150 communicants each Sunday, so the noise/distraction level is quite high for those of us who return to our places to say the post communion prayers.

Many of us have complained to our priest, even formally through the parish council, but Father is reluctant to offend anyone.

Am I out of line in my expectations that the time of Communion should be THE most reverent time of the Liturgy?

Cowboy

We have some of the same problems at our parish.  Until recently, we had a problem with people chattering while they were in line to venerate the cross, at the same time the post-communion prayers were being chanted.  Father put an end to that by no longer bringing the cross out to be venerated until after the prayers are finished.  We still see a number of people leave immediately after communion, though.
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« Reply #5 on: February 06, 2008, 04:58:13 PM »

Well as long as you don't  have to suffer the fearful wrath that is the rugby team of yayades (grandmothers) rushing to get the prosforon at the end, they will take people down twice their size!
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« Reply #6 on: February 06, 2008, 05:09:33 PM »

The best thing you can do Cowboy is to lead by example, and if anyone tries to engage you in conversation just tell them quickly that you felt it was disrespectful and disruptive (in a nice way), but that you'd love to talk with them after Liturgy.  Are there any other parishioners that you could approach and see if they'd be willing as a group to talk over this issue again privately with your priest? 

Or you could try the venerable "sssshhhh-ing" technique.  Not a single "shssh".  The proper way to use this technique must be with be quick, staccato multiple "shssh's".  If you don't know how to do that ask an elderly parishioner or a mother of young children. 

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« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2008, 05:10:05 PM »

Cowboy,

Does your church have a reader who reads the Communion Prayers out loud for all to follow? Maybe that would help.
In our parish we take Holy Communion and return to our places. The doors remain closed. I have been in ethnic parishes (Greek and Antiochian) that have big male ushers stand in front of the doors to make sure they remain closed.
The priest finishes the Divine Liturgy and the reader begins the prayers of thanksgiving. Then the priest makes the announcements once the prayers are finished. At that point everyone lines up for the final blessing with the priest and they  leave the church in an orderly fashion for coffee hour.

Perhaps just changing the order of how things are done at the end and enlisting the help of several big male parishioners to block the doors might solve the problem.  Wink
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« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2008, 05:13:44 PM »

Hi Tamara,

We follow the same protocol as you. The main problem is DURING Communion. The place quiets down once the post-communion prayers are being chanted by a member of our choir.

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« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2008, 05:15:30 PM »

Oh, and I forgot to say that it is two big male parishioners who open the doors in the first place.

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« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2008, 05:16:23 PM »

That surely doesn't happen in our ACROD or our Greek parishes here, Cowboy.

Cowboy didn't say it happened in his ACROD parish.  He said the discombobulation happened in his OCA parish.
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« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2008, 05:18:18 PM »

Growing up in an Orthodox Church in the ACROD jurisdiction, we were taught that after receiving Holy Communion we were to avoid making eye contact with anyone and immediately return head down to our seats and say the post-communion prayers.

In my present parish (OCA) the start of communion is like a signal to many that the Divine Liturgy is over. The doors separating the church from the foyer and parish hall are opened, parishioners who have just partaken of the Body and Blood of Christ almost immediately start conversations with all whom they pass, many of whom have not yet partaken. Many head for the door to get a jump on coffee hour, have a cigarette outside, get a drink from the water fountain or simply congregate in small groups in the church, foyer and hall to start the coffee hour gabbing. Some do return for the last few minutes of the DL, mainly to hear the announcements. We usually have about 150 communicants each Sunday, so the noise/distraction level is quite high for those of us who return to our places to say the post communion prayers.

Many of us have complained to our priest, even formally through the parish council, but Father is reluctant to offend anyone.

Am I out of line in my expectations that the time of Communion should be THE most reverent time of the Liturgy?

Cowboy

Of course you are very much right!

I have never heard of such disregard for the Holiness...the solem awe of communing.

In my experience people are kneeling down and requests fro intervention of oure sins is being chanted by the deacons and priests. It is a very holy time. It is not uncommon to hera people crying behind all the chanting. It is quite chilling to me.

Also nobody is allowed to leave the sanctuary until after benediction and benediction is not done until after the sermons and announcements are completed. So after benedicton the deacon chants "Go in Peace".

People who commune DO NOT smoke nor chit chat with people. BUt move about steadily and quietly after service using facial gestures of greeting and the like. We do have chit chats; they are the ones that have not communed and usually never do.

I am sorry that your parish has not been relegated into a venerable frame of mind after taking communion. The awe and fear seems to not be there for some people.

Many who are converts to Orthodoxy need time, teaching and good examples like yourself. Your father must want the people to fear God. But he will have a hard time if 'he' fears the people.

Keep up your good way.

Others are benefiting from you who have not said anything to you and may never say anything to you about your good way.



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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2008, 05:24:13 PM »

This doesn't happen at two of the OCA parishes in my town (one is just like an ROCOR church and another is very conservative), but it does at the Greek one. Heck, 3/4 of the congregation shows up at Communion itself. And if that wasn't bad enough, they hop right in the communion line and talk to one another on the way up to receive the mysteries. People also talk in the back and in the pews rather loudly, leaning over pews to kiss each other with lips that just touched Christ himself. This is very frustrating for someone who is trying to concentrate on the liturgy and is why I tend to go to the OCA churches.
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« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2008, 05:39:11 PM »

For us benediction is very important step in the liturgy.

It is the blessing or invocation as is in most cases I beleive. It also carries a in our tradition a strong element (a remembering) of the Holy Spirit descending on the Church as it did during the Apostles time.

So to leave church right after you commune and not get benediction in our tradition is the same as the church being established by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ but not having the Holy Spirit descend.

Christ said "wait" for the comforter the promise from the Father. We maintain this teaching as an element of the benediction..the last blessing over us from the priest.

I always thought that this was about the same for all. Even some protestant groups.
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« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2008, 05:41:48 PM »

It is a problem where I am. I think it varies by parish not jurisdiction.  I take the lead by example route
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« Reply #15 on: February 06, 2008, 05:44:08 PM »

It is a problem where I am. I think it varies by parish not jurisdiction.  I take the lead by example route

I go with the "I can chant louder than you can talk" route. Wink
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2008, 05:59:10 PM »

So to leave church right after you commune and not get benediction in our tradition is the same as the church being established by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Christ but not having the Holy Spirit descend.

Christ said "wait" for the comforter the promise from the Father. We maintain this teaching as an element of the benediction..the last blessing over us from the priest.

I always thought that this was about the same for all. Even some protestant groups.

How can you say that you have not received the Holy Spirit yet when you have received communion?   Huh
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« Reply #17 on: February 06, 2008, 06:55:11 PM »

How can you say that you have not received the Holy Spirit yet when you have received communion?   Huh

You are vastly outside any aspect of what I am talking about.

In our tradition the Liturgy celebrates the birth, life, scorging, crucifixtion, death, resurrection and accention of Christ with benediction serving as the grace of the Holy Spirit upon the Church in memorial and reverence and in affirmation since the Holy Spirit is actually already with us and upon us.

Of course the Holy Spirit is present in the actual communion we partake. I am talking about the movement of the liturgy.

The benediction is the affirmation the seal of salavation and love for His people.

You may never understand what I am trying to explain since it is a little complex and I may not be wording myself that well.

But I ask how can anyone leave the Church disregarding the benediction?

I beleive those who do that are in need of instruction.

Maybe it is good or no problem to some people maybe even some priests that people just leave out right after communion. I will not judge that.

But I will not stand behind this abrupt behavior.
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« Reply #18 on: February 06, 2008, 09:46:07 PM »

Cowboy didn't say it happened in his ACROD parish.  He said the discombobulation happened in his OCA parish.

These two are my wife's and MY jurisdiction, respectively   - I don't comment outside my experience.
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« Reply #19 on: February 06, 2008, 10:44:36 PM »

Hi Tamara,

We follow the same protocol as you. The main problem is DURING Communion. The place quiets down once the post-communion prayers are being chanted by a member of our choir.

Cowboy

Does the choir sing hymns or does a chanter sing during Holy Communion? In one Antiochian parish, there was a lull in singing when the choir came down for Holy Communion and sometimes there would be more chitchat during that time. So the priest then had the Arabic chanters chant when the choir came down.

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« Reply #20 on: February 07, 2008, 12:58:54 AM »

Oh please, I can beat all your stories. 

A couple of years ago, I was visiting the church of one of my cousin's.  I had just taken Communion when a lady came up to me and asked me for my name and phone number because she had a relative she wanted to fix me up with.  I still had the Body of Christ in my mouth.

I just swallowed and told her I wasn't interested.  I didn't know what else to do.  The lady probably didn't know any better.  I think most people don't.
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« Reply #21 on: February 07, 2008, 01:43:30 AM »

I go with the "I can chant louder than you can talk" route. Wink
That's actually the path we took in my parish once we made a rule of having a chanter read the Prayers of Thanksgiving after Communion. Wink

Our general reasoning is essentially this:  How can we receive the King of Glory in the Fount of Immortality and NOT stick around for a few minutes afterward to thank Him for giving Himself to be our Food?
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« Reply #22 on: February 07, 2008, 03:24:17 AM »

Does the choir sing hymns or does a chanter sing during Holy Communion? In one Antiochian parish, there was a lull in singing when the choir came down for Holy Communion and sometimes there would be more chitchat during that time. So the priest then had the Arabic chanters chant when the choir came down.



Doesn't always work.  Our main "talking" is usually more on the dismissal/blessing - not so much during Communion.  Often the reading of prayers/singing doesn't hush up the people as well as we'd like.  The priest has even stopped and shushed everyone and they still talk - just quieter.  My priest has threated to just go stand in the Narthex during the service to get people to go back into the Nave and be quiet.  He has yet to follow through though.  Since we have 4 priests, they could easily take turns though.
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« Reply #23 on: February 07, 2008, 10:02:01 AM »

Our parish has resolved this successfully by having the subdeacon (myself)  do what subdeacons are supposed to do maintain peace in the house of God.  After communing I walk thru the nave and assist children in folding their arms in preparation for communion, sorting out non-orthodox from orthodox going to the cup, and reminding others in general not to speak---it is amazing what  a person in vestmenst does in policing the nave and keeping the awe and reverence to focus rather than chit chat and gossip.  It worked in our parish perhaps others would do well to start resurrecting the historic duties of the subdeacons.

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« Reply #24 on: February 07, 2008, 12:15:53 PM »

It worked in our parish perhaps others would do well to start resurrecting the historic duties of the subdeacons.

Thomas

Wait a minute there, Subdeacon...are you implying that keeping at least one eye towards the Tradition of the Church is a good thing? Who'd a thunk it!

 Wink
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« Reply #25 on: February 07, 2008, 12:20:34 PM »

Our parish has resolved this successfully by having the subdeacon (myself)  do what subdeacons are supposed to do maintain peace in the house of God.  After communing I walk thru the nave and assist children in folding their arms in preparation for communion, sorting out non-orthodox from orthodox going to the cup, and reminding others in general not to speak---it is amazing what  a person in vestmenst does in policing the nave and keeping the awe and reverence to focus rather than chit chat and gossip.  It worked in our parish perhaps others would do well to start resurrecting the historic duties of the subdeacons.

Thomas

I like that!  The Holy Order of Enforcers.  Religious Police just nicer.   I think you'd have to have an extra subdeacon or two, if you have a big church or if one of the subdeacons is helping with Communion.  The key to success with all of the practices mentioned so far; however, is the full support of your Priest.   
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« Reply #26 on: February 07, 2008, 01:31:33 PM »

Cowboy,

The priest could approach this problem as an educator while his lower clergy can enforce. Educating the laity about how to conduct themselves during Holy Communion is a part of his role as priest and no one would have a right to object to it.
As Thomas has mentioned, a sub-deacon can keep things calm and he could also instruct the two gentleman who generally open the doors during communion to keep them closed.
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« Reply #27 on: February 07, 2008, 02:58:32 PM »

I like that!  The Holy Order of Enforcers.  Religious Police just nicer.   I think you'd have to have an extra subdeacon or two, if you have a big church or if one of the subdeacons is helping with Communion.  The key to success with all of the practices mentioned so far; however, is the full support of your Priest.   

Tina, do you think we can get our subdeacon to do that?
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« Reply #28 on: February 07, 2008, 02:58:42 PM »

Doesn't always work.  Our main "talking" is usually more on the dismissal/blessing - not so much during Communion.  Often the reading of prayers/singing doesn't hush up the people as well as we'd like.  The priest has even stopped and shushed everyone and they still talk - just quieter.  My priest has threated to just go stand in the Narthex during the service to get people to go back into the Nave and be quiet.  He has yet to follow through though. 

Sadly, this is the case in our parish, too.  No one stays to do the communion prayers and even when a reader does say them, the people continue to ignore them. OUr priest has shushed the people a few times, but it is no longer effective in any way.  I've even tried chanting "O pure Virgin" to try to get people to maybe be quiet and listen but to no avail.  Even if the priest were to withold venerating the cross until the communion prayers were read, I believe most people would leave just to get coffee and forget about it.  ANd around and around we go.  I don't know what a good solution would be to all of this.  
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« Reply #29 on: February 07, 2008, 03:03:00 PM »

Tina, do you think we can get our subdeacon to do that?

We could if you advanced in the minor clergy ranks Veniamin!
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« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2008, 03:14:31 PM »

We could if you advanced in the minor clergy ranks Veniamin!

Ha, just tell Father Leo you think we need a tonsured Brute Squad to keep everyone from vanishing from church. Wink
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« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2008, 04:07:32 PM »

Does the choir sing hymns or does a chanter sing during Holy Communion? In one Antiochian parish, there was a lull in singing when the choir came down for Holy Communion and sometimes there would be more chitchat during that time. So the priest then had the Arabic chanters chant when the choir came down.



Hi Tamara,

Our choir has about 30 members and they come down from the choir loft 10 at a time so that 20 are always singing throughout Communion. There is never a lull in singing (or in talking).

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« Reply #32 on: February 07, 2008, 04:45:06 PM »

Hi Tamara,

Our choir has about 30 members and they come down from the choir loft 10 at a time so that 20 are always singing throughout Communion. There is never a lull in singing (or in talking).

Cowboy

Wow Cowboy, you have a tough crowd.  Undecided My old parish was similar to this one. We had many immigrants from the middle east who had never been catechized properly. They also viewed the communion line as a place to shake hands with old friends and have little chats with one another. Many would head out the door immediately after communing so they could have a cup of coffee.
When a new priest arrived he slowly began to educate them about the sacredness of communing. It has taken six years but
holy communion time at this parish is now a very orderly event. He doesn't have any lower clergy or ushers to help him. But two young chanters have helped with their beautiful singing during that time.
Do you think your priest feels awkward about gently spending time re-educating or perhaps educating his people about the meaning of communing and why it is important to stay in the parish and quietly thank God for His gifts?
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« Reply #33 on: February 07, 2008, 05:04:19 PM »

Sadly, this is the case in our parish, too.  No one stays to do the communion prayers and even when a reader does say them, the people continue to ignore them. OUr priest has shushed the people a few times, but it is no longer effective in any way.  I've even tried chanting "O pure Virgin" to try to get people to maybe be quiet and listen but to no avail.  Even if the priest were to withold venerating the cross until the communion prayers were read, I believe most people would leave just to get coffee and forget about it.  ANd around and around we go.  I don't know what a good solution would be to all of this.  

Lord have mercy.

I pray that this gets resolved soon.

I remember one Sunday in a parish I was visiting the priest stopped the liturgy.

He did a series of prayers very quietly and then abruptly closed the vail. The vail never re-opened.

I believe the remainder of the service was finished on the Alter with comunion going to the clergy only since the liturgy must be completed. I am assuming that part.

He did this due to some loud voices from the congregation (I was told) which has been on-going for a few Sundays prior. I was told it was the same people each time.

The priest emerged with his deacons from behind the vail about 30 minutes later and made a long speech regarding humility and the holiness of the Sancturary. People were mortified. You could hear a pin drop. All faces were stunned...eye popping shocked the whole time.

I do not know if his actions were correct but it caused the people to fully adhere.

Even when the "service" was over people sort of mulled around..."puppy-dog-eyed" so to speak. People did not want to talk or eat or drink coffee. They just went outside and strolled around talking softly in small groups, found their way to cars and went home.

I am not sure but I hope it worked.
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« Reply #34 on: February 07, 2008, 05:14:24 PM »

Wow Cowboy, you have a tough crowd.  Undecided My old parish was similar to this one. We had many immigrants from the middle east who had never been catechized properly. They also viewed the communion line as a place to shake hands with old friends and have little chats with one another. Many would head out the door immediately after communing so they could have a cup of coffee.
When a new priest arrived he slowly began to educate them about the sacredness of communing. It has taken six years but
holy communion time at this parish is now a very orderly event. He doesn't have any lower clergy or ushers to help him. But two young chanters have helped with their beautiful singing during that time.
Do you think your priest feels awkward about gently spending time re-educating or perhaps educating his people about the meaning of communing and why it is important to stay in the parish and quietly thank God for His gifts?

Educating the parisheners is the key I absolutely agree.

It may require various (forced) house visits so that people feel that the priest is working with them exclusively for their benefit. People like to feel catered to. And of course this would not be a cherade since that is the priests objective anyway to cater to and serve.

This may fair out better and quicker than adressing the whole congregation at once. In such a manner people tend to get that "he ain't talking to me" mindset because "I don't do dat".

Its always somebody else it seems.
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« Reply #35 on: February 07, 2008, 05:18:23 PM »

I remember one Sunday in a parish I was visiting the priest stopped the liturgy.

He did a series of prayers very quietly and then abruptly closed the vail. The vail never re-opened.

I believe the remainder of the service was finished on the Alter with comunion going to the clergy only since the liturgy must be completed. I am assuming that part.

He did this due to some loud voices from the congregation (I was told) which has been on-going for a few Sundays prior. I was told it was the same people each time.

The priest emerged with his deacons from behind the vail about 30 minutes later and made a long speech regarding humility and the holiness of the Sancturary. People were mortified. You could hear a pin drop. All faces were stunned...eye popping shocked the whole time.

I do not know if his actions were correct but it caused the people to fully adhere.

Even when the "service" was over people sort of mulled around..."puppy-dog-eyed" so to speak. People did not want to talk or eat or drink coffee. They just went outside and strolled around talking softly in small groups, found their way to cars and went home.

WOW! I'd love to see what effect that priest could have on the inappropriate outfits some teenagers and young adults show up with on any given Sunday.  I wonder if the two talkers got the message or thought the priest must have been mad at someone else.  People often don't recognize themselves as the problem - it's someone else who was talking.
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« Reply #36 on: February 07, 2008, 06:14:40 PM »

WOW! I'd love to see what effect that priest could have on the inappropriate outfits some teenagers and young adults show up with on any given Sunday.  I wonder if the two talkers got the message or thought the priest must have been mad at someone else.  People often don't recognize themselves as the problem - it's someone else who was talking.

I am under the impression that this was a long on-going problem with much more complex implications. It was also a group talking not two people.

I think the action was severe.

I do not know what the background was that caused the action.

I have not been back to this parish since
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« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2008, 09:30:07 AM »

Our Parish has always used the post communion ptrayers following communion before the announcements are given out and the Cross venerated.  In our parish , the subdeacon reads the prayers as father and our Deacon are busy  consuming and finalizing the  remainder of the communion. The people are quiet during that portion of the service as they  also do some of the prayers in unison.  We have done it for the 10+ years the parish has existed from an early mission  on---indeed I am always surprised when I visit other parishes  and see that it is not done in most. It goes top show that if properly taught and practices the rush to coffee does not have to occur.  It may also help that coffee is not available until after the service (no cups, sugar, creamer etc) and never before service, The  coffee hour team goes there during announcements to  finalize the coffee hour. I have heard comments about this from visitors but the parish is used to the practice and it works for us.

It works because our Priest has educated us and put that teaching into an enforced practice that everyone clearly understands.

Thomas
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« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2008, 11:16:41 AM »

Hi Thomas,

Our church follows the same protocol as yours' . The problem is happening DURING Communion. Most Sunday's the Priest's wife turns from receiving Communion and immediately start hugging and kissing people (and talking) in the front row, before she even gets to the antedoron a few steps away. This sets the tone for everyone else. It is almost to the point that those like myself who partake and then return to our places without shaking hands, hugging, kissing or talking are looked at as anti-social and perhaps even holier-than-thou. It is a sad situation. A group of us are going to talk to Father again and see if he will devote a sermon to proper behavior during Communion. Failing this, it will become a topic for the next Parish council meeting in a few weeks.

Cowboy
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« Reply #39 on: April 02, 2008, 11:32:21 AM »

I wonder if the priest could call upon the Parish Council members or other lackeys Smiley to help him instill good behavior during and after Communion.  I have always thought that locking the outside doors at a certain point (the consecration, or "catechumens depart", or something) was a good idea, with someone standing by to unlock in case of fire of course.  That would keep people from coming in as well as keep people from leaving.  Even if that means 3/4 of the congregation is locked out, the priest has every right to deny them communion if they weren't there to hear the Gospel reading and the sermon, and you can keep them locked until the last prayer is said, even if it's ten minutes after Liturgy is over.  And the lackeys not guarding the doors can rove around and shush the rude people running their mouths.
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« Reply #40 on: April 02, 2008, 01:37:04 PM »

I wonder if the priest could call upon the Parish Council members or other lackeys Smiley to help him instill good behavior during and after Communion.  I have always thought that locking the outside doors at a certain point (the consecration, or "catechumens depart", or something) was a good idea, with someone standing by to unlock in case of fire of course.  That would keep people from coming in as well as keep people from leaving.  Even if that means 3/4 of the congregation is locked out, the priest has every right to deny them communion if they weren't there to hear the Gospel reading and the sermon, and you can keep them locked until the last prayer is said, even if it's ten minutes after Liturgy is over.  And the lackeys not guarding the doors can rove around and shush the rude people running their mouths.

Man! You're ruthless.  A few problems though. You'd probably be locking out the women with their young children, and the cigarette smokers on the other side of the doors would trample anyone in their way to get out and light up.  That's the biggest pet peave I've got.  Smoking on the front steps of the church 3 minutes after receiving Communion is to me the tackiest and most disrespectful thing I've ever seen.  Looks like all those old movies when couples have to smoke a cigarette in bed post-romance.    Didn't someone post a story here a while back about a priest that came out during Liturgy to confront the smokers on the front steps?
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« Reply #41 on: April 02, 2008, 01:45:37 PM »

I wonder if the priest could call upon the Parish Council members or other lackeys Smiley to help him instill good behavior during and after Communion.  I have always thought that locking the outside doors at a certain point (the consecration, or "catechumens depart", or something) was a good idea, with someone standing by to unlock in case of fire of course.  That would keep people from coming in as well as keep people from leaving.  Even if that means 3/4 of the congregation is locked out, the priest has every right to deny them communion if they weren't there to hear the Gospel reading and the sermon, and you can keep them locked until the last prayer is said, even if it's ten minutes after Liturgy is over.  And the lackeys not guarding the doors can rove around and shush the rude people running their mouths.

I don't think the Antiochian Orthodox tradition is to lock people out because they are late. Yes, being late is not right but harsh treatment has never been employed by any of the Bishops or priests I have known as a way to change behavior. Both my bishop and father-confessor were born in the middle east. Over the years I have watched them use gentle and loving ways of discipline to change behavior. Their success rate is high and the losses have been minimal. My father-confessor's parish has a high immigrant population from the middle east. Many of them were never properly catechized when they lived over there so he has been very patient with them. He has used sermons and tried to be an example for them to change their rude behavior. After six years things have changed quite dramatically. Divine Liturgy is now very peaceful. There is no chattering as before. Most folks are there before the Gospel reading and many of these parishioners have encouraged friends and other extended family members to join because of the respectful and loving treatment they received from the priest.

I want to add that harsh treatment doesn't seem to be working for the Bishop of Alaska. In fact, his treatment of the average clergyman and layman is one of the reasons so many have left and the ones that are still there are trying to get rid of him.

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« Reply #42 on: April 02, 2008, 03:22:34 PM »

That's the biggest pet peave I've got.  Smoking on the front steps of the church 3 minutes after receiving Communion is to me the tackiest and most disrespectful thing I've ever seen. 

I agree.

But we must pray for each other.

The smokers are in need of special prayer for many obvious reasons.

Good fervent prayer will help to solve this problem in a kind way. The clergy must also be clear as to the proper behavior from each person especially with regards to respect of the church grounds.
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« Reply #43 on: April 03, 2008, 11:30:15 AM »

I don't think the Antiochian Orthodox tradition is to lock people out because they are late.

Sure it is... in the early Church they used to throw out the catechumens and bar the doors before the Creed.  That's pretty hardcore.   Wink

Anyway, I usually see this happen in very big churches (and I have never been to an Antiochian church bigger than maybe thirty people, I swear) and I know at least one of those big churches has resorted to tactics like this to keep people coming from outside from disturbing Liturgy.

Quote
Yes, being late is not right but harsh treatment has never been employed by any of the Bishops or priests I have known as a way to change behavior. Both my bishop and father-confessor were born in the middle east. Over the years I have watched them use gentle and loving ways of discipline to change behavior. Their success rate is high and the losses have been minimal. My father-confessor's parish has a high immigrant population from the middle east. Many of them were never properly catechized when they lived over there so he has been very patient with them. He has used sermons and tried to be an example for them to change their rude behavior. After six years things have changed quite dramatically. Divine Liturgy is now very peaceful. There is no chattering as before. Most folks are there before the Gospel reading and many of these parishioners have encouraged friends and other extended family members to join because of the respectful and loving treatment they received from the priest.

That sounds nice.  Would you mind sharing some of these gentle tactics? 

Quote
I want to add that harsh treatment doesn't seem to be working for the Bishop of Alaska. In fact, his treatment of the average clergyman and layman is one of the reasons so many have left and the ones that are still there are trying to get rid of him.

If I have understood the online gossip sites correctly, it seems the bishop in that diocese has been ruling it like a feudal lord, abusing everyone who questions his authority.  There's no question in my mind that Bishop NIKOLAI is gon' git it from the synod, but I don't think what I've brought up even remotely compares to what he did there.  I'm not talking about excommunicating people because their baby's legal name isn't a saint's name, I'm just interested in keeping the Communion distribution peaceful for the people who want to partake in peace.   The priest has a duty to protect the chalice and pretty much anything he can do to preserve the peace is okay by me.
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« Reply #44 on: April 03, 2008, 11:45:06 AM »

Man! You're ruthless.

Hehe, thanks.   Grin

Quote
A few problems though. You'd probably be locking out the women with their young children,

That's a good point and I'll admit I didn't think of that, since that is a pretty good reason to go outside.  However, I'm a big fan of cry rooms for when the baby is very upset and can't calm down right away.  Parishes that big usually have sound systems, so they can pipe in the audio so that the liturgy can still be heard but Mom is free to quiet or change her baby without being embarrassed by the screaming.  If a parish has a cry room before it has to resort to barring the doors, the moms with babies wouldn't be caught in the dragnet.

Quote
and the cigarette smokers on the other side of the doors would trample anyone in their way to get out and light up.  That's the biggest pet peave I've got.  Smoking on the front steps of the church 3 minutes after receiving Communion is to me the tackiest and most disrespectful thing I've ever seen.  Looks like all those old movies when couples have to smoke a cigarette in bed post-romance.    Didn't someone post a story here a while back about a priest that came out during Liturgy to confront the smokers on the front steps?

 Cheesy  Well, I must admit that my heart doesn't exactly go out to smokers, but if it's really that bad, maybe the altar boys can hand out nicotine patches with the antidoron.   Wink
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