I ... nearly... visited my first Orthodox Divine Liturgy on the weekend. Something came up and I had to cancel Saturday Morning Dormition. I had been there the night before for Vespers, which was very ritualized (the priest came out the royal doors twice, I think to bless the congregation and the icons with incense - ching ching ching!), and signs of the cross were done in triplicate - a LOT! Don't forget to bow, too...
The only parts which I knew rightaway was the Kyrie Eleison (the only Greek part remnant in the rite of St. Gregory/ Traditional Latin Mass). After the service, I talked to one couple behind me who told me it was OK (for a non-Orthodox) to become part of the lineup to be blessed with oil that had been brought back from the Tomb of the Holy Sepulchre. In fact, the oil originated from this couple, who had donated it to the priest. The priests were blessing the forehead and the lips of people had just finished venerating the Dormition Epitaph, and for those who wanted, you could have taken home a Q-Tip with the holy oil on it. The Our Father was done in English in the service, but the rest was almost entirely Greek.
The one gentleman told me about his trips to St. Catherine's, and told me stories about Justinian and Mt. Athos, and pointed out a Theotokos with Child icon that Bartholemeos had brought to the church about ten years ago. It's not far from the secondary altar dedicated to the True Cross.
There's a ritualized way to bow, cross yourself and venerate an icon that wasn't even uniform across the congregation, although some of them came close to a web description I had read. I did my best but didn't feel alone that some were doing it in a more ritualized way than others.
Greek Chant is really different compared to the Slavonic/Ukrainian variant I had been exposed to, and I'll have to spend a bit more time with it to get used to it. I got the impression that something wasn't completely natural about the bass line in the choir/chant - it's not that a machine is doing it, but it looked like the bass singer was being filtered somehow through some equipment that deepens the effect.
There was plenty of unsanctified bread (Lamb/prosphoron) passed around to parishoners (and this visitor) after the service on the way out.
As I said, I missed out on the Divine Liturgy, although Vespers and DL share a lot in common - including MANY Kyrie Eleison's... so for now, this will be my example of how the Greeks do things.
The parish - St. Nicholas of Scarborough - has a practice for every feast of having a liturgy of pre-sanctified gifts two hours before the Divine Liturgy, so in effect there are two communion services on the major feast days, one for children and for those who work after 9AM, and a Divine Liturgy those who can make it for 9AM. They did this for the Transfiguration as well as the Dormition.
I'll be spending time with both a very traditional Eastern Catholic liturgy (the all-wood and no-nails St. Elias church in Brampton) and will try to make it to a Slavonic example from the Orthodox side of the aisle over the next few weeks. St. Elias adheres to the Julian Calendar and honours the Dormition on the 28th, so that's going to be my next stop if I can help it. Frankly, I'm not sure when I'll be in a Greek setting again but I was very happy to have been there at least for Dormition Vespers.