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Author Topic: Attending my first Orthodox service?  (Read 6426 times) Average Rating: 0
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Liz
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« on: October 05, 2009, 06:33:33 PM »

I've searched for this topic, and for information on this topic, without finding it.

I am not Orthodox, but I feel very strongly that I would like to know more about Orthodox worship. I'd be very glad if you could put yourselves in my position for a minute and think how I should act in church, and what things I might experience.

I am really the most ignorant person you could imagine, so a very simple account of Orthodox worship (I think I will go to the Sunday service), would help. Of course, I would not try to participate in the Communion itself. But I don't even know what is the polite thing to do when you enter an Orthodox church. Could you give me this very basic information? I know this all sounds very pragmatic but I do feel worried about it all, so tell me:

Do I just walk into the church and sit down?
What do I do to start the service? We usually pray and then sit quietly - would that be ok?
Must I cross myself (I am dyslexic and don't find these movements easy)?
Should I join in with the words the rest of the congregation says?
What do I do after the service? Is it rude to stay? Should I mention that I am there because my partner is Orthodox, or is that rude?
How do the Orthodox share the sign of the peace, and should I join in?

I would like to know not only the answers to these questions, but also how any parts of the service might work for someone like me.

God bless,

Liz

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« Reply #1 on: October 05, 2009, 07:02:19 PM »

Do whatever  you see them do. If you know your own Anglican liturgy, then you might see certain common points of contact, but then again, you're not Anglo-Catholic, so there may not be alot of common reference points. The liturgy may be a bit longer than what you are use to, but you should be able to sense certain common signs.

Uhm, do you know if the parish you are going to is in English or not? Because that may help as well......even if it's only half in English. I know when I first visited I just went first before I called to let them know I was visiting.  I think I was suppose to call first.......but uhm, I didn't do that. Everyone is different. At first someone stood next to me and showed me how to follow the service through the book, and eventually I stopped using the book.....well for most things. ....and I just did whatever I saw them do. When they stood, I stood, and when they sat, I sat.

But I know that other visiters really do like people greeting them and helping them along with the service.....so it really all depends on what type of person you are......for we all have different preferences as far as "do I want to be greeted by the people there or do I just want to be left alone"? Everyone is different. But if you keep visiting, then eventually people will greet you, and talk to you, and they will want to get to know you.......etc.

I can't really tell you exactly how the service is going to be like for I've visited alot of different Orthodox churches across America, and I know that they can be very fluid. Alot of people think our liturgy is regid.......but that sterotype is far from being true.......we have alot of different flavors. I'v been to some that were 4 to 5 hours long and I've been to some that were an hour or 2 long........so......you know......I can't really tell you, what it will be like for you.








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« Reply #2 on: October 05, 2009, 07:08:41 PM »

Here's a great article by Frederica Matthewes-Green, entitled "12 Things I wish I'd known" about one's first visit to an Orthodox church service. http://www.frederica.com/12-things/

But I'm a bit puzzled that your friend doesn't tell you everything. If I'd be dating a man, I'd sort of expect him to tell me these things, or I'd ask him a million questions...If he is a serious Orthodox Christian, he would be delighted to share these things with you!!
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« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2009, 07:29:59 PM »

Liz,

It very much depends on the particular congregation you visit.

In many traditional Orthodox congregations, the Divine Liturgy is celebrated right after the Matins, without any break, so those who visit for the first time are surprised, thinking: did we arrive late? In fact, it's quite OK, just walk in and stand (or sit, if they have pews), and don't worry about anything.

I some very traditional Orthodox congregations they do not have pews at all, and people just stand all the time. In other, they have pews or chairs, and the people sit - but when it's time to stand up or to kneel, the priest will always signal to the people.

Regardless of the particular congregation, it is always a good idea to phone or e-mail the priest and ask him for directions or advice.

Most importantly - don't fear anything! They will not eat you, and, hopefully, they will not even bite. If they do (I mean, if some jackass will tell you that you are doing this or that wrong) - then it's their fault, their lack of sensitivity - and not yours.

May the Lord be with you on that first visit to the Orthodox service, and always.

--G.

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« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2009, 08:00:03 PM »

Of course, I would not try to participate in the Communion itself.

Good, this is the only big no-no.  I totally understand your nervousness (I am a recent convert), but try to relax.

Quote

But I don't even know what is the polite thing to do when you enter an Orthodox church. Could you give me this very basic information? I know this all sounds very pragmatic but I do feel worried about it all, so tell me:

Do I just walk into the church and sit down?


If you are lucky, you can sit down.  Many Orthodox Churches, especially Russian-based ones, have no pews.  Please note that even in these churches there are chairs, but mostly old people sit in them.   We often cross ourselves when we go into the church and see the altar.

Quote
What do I do to start the service? We usually pray and then sit quietly - would that be ok?

If you can get a Divine Liturgy book, you can follow along (although we often skip parts).  If the language
seems a little old, the reason why is the Liturgy (of St. John Chrystostom) is from the 6th century!

Quote
Must I cross myself (I am dyslexic and don't find these movements easy)?

No, crossing is optional, but many people do it.  In fact, many bow after the sign of the cross, some even touch the floor.  By the way, your dyslexia may help you here.  We cross from right to left, the opposite of the western traditions.  But don't feel obligated to do it.

Quote
Should I join in with the words the rest of the congregation says?
Sure.  In my church, the words are sung (chanted).  Feel free to sing along with the choir.


Quote
What do I do after the service? Is it rude to stay? Should I mention that I am there because my partner is Orthodox, or is that rude?

At the end of the service, we venerate (kiss) a cross that the priest holds.  You don't have to do it, and the priest is likely to be delighted if you just say "hi" and explain that you came with your boyfriend.

Quote
How do the Orthodox share the sign of the peace, and should I join in?

There is not sign of the peace, as in the west.  People will often greet each other after (or even during) liturgy with a kiss (or in the Russian tradition, three kisses), but this is not part of the liturgy.


Quote
I would like to know not only the answers to these questions, but also how any parts of the service might work for someone like me.

God bless,

Liz


Sensing is a part of the service.  What is sensing?  They put insense in a metal container on a (metal spring) and swing it.  This releases the fragrance.  Different churches have different traditions here.  In my church, we bow as the senser is swung towards us.    But basically just do what everyone is doing around you.

The insense represent (in part) our prayers to God.  (Look up Malichi 1:11 if sensing makes you nervous).  Most of all, Orthodox worship is very sensual--we worship with all five senses--lifting them up and thanking God for them.

Relax and soak in the beauty of Orthodox worship. 


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« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2009, 08:12:03 PM »

I've searched for this topic, and for information on this topic, without finding it.

I am not Orthodox, but I feel very strongly that I would like to know more about Orthodox worship. I'd be very glad if you could put yourselves in my position for a minute and think how I should act in church, and what things I might experience.

I am really the most ignorant person you could imagine, so a very simple account of Orthodox worship (I think I will go to the Sunday service), would help. Of course, I would not try to participate in the Communion itself. But I don't even know what is the polite thing to do when you enter an Orthodox church. Could you give me this very basic information? I know this all sounds very pragmatic but I do feel worried about it all, so tell me:

Do I just walk into the church and sit down?
What do I do to start the service? We usually pray and then sit quietly - would that be ok?
Must I cross myself (I am dyslexic and don't find these movements easy)?
Should I join in with the words the rest of the congregation says?
What do I do after the service? Is it rude to stay? Should I mention that I am there because my partner is Orthodox, or is that rude?
How do the Orthodox share the sign of the peace, and should I join in?

I would like to know not only the answers to these questions, but also how any parts of the service might work for someone like me.

God bless,

Liz



My dear Liz, you're so sweet for asking these questions!

First, don't worry. Nothing is expected of you.

When you enter the church, there may be a candle stand there or someone selling candles. If you want to (you don't have to) you can purchase a candle and light it in the candle stand. (The cost is usually just enough to cover the cost of the candle.)

Other than that, just find a place you would feel comfortable sitting/standing, and you can just observe. If you see others crossing themselves and you want to, you are more than welcome to but not required.

All you have to do is sit/stand there respectfully (which I know you will do), watch and listen. There is no "sign of peace", so you don't have to worry about that.

I wouldn't worry about trying to follow along with the Liturgy too much the first time. Just relax, try to take it all in, and enjoy! Smiley

As far as dress, I would recommend wearing a skirt that goes to/below the knee and nothing sleeveless in terms of tops. (Although I don't imagine you'd wear too many sleeveless shirts this time of year anyway!) As far as shoes, wear something comfortable, as even if they have pews, you may be standing for a long period of time. If you're going to a Russian parish, it may be a good idea to bring a scarf to wear on your head, as many Russian parish's are pretty traditional about this. (The Greeks, not so much. But that's another discussion for another time. Wink )

The woman on the Left is wearing an acceptable head scarf. The one on the Right is not. Wink



If people don't talk to you before/during Liturgy, don't be offended, as the service is a time for prayer, and people really don't talk then. Be sure to go to coffee hour afterwards, as that is when people really open up and become friendly. (Not to mention, there's a high probability of awesome food being available!) Coffee hour is also a great time to introduce yourself to the priest, and yes, feel free to tell people that you are there because your partner is Orthodox. They will be very happy to see that you are interested in learning about the Orthodox faith.

To get a better idea as to what you're in for, I would reccomend viewing some of the video clips here:

http://www.youtube.com/user/StGsOrthodoxChurch#play/uploads/0/FKO9o_kX1as

They are from a Carpatho-Russian parish in Taylor, Pennsylvania, and can sort of give you an idea of what to expect.

Also, if you want to, you can review the text of the Divine Liturgy here:

http://www.ocf.org/OrthodoxPage/liturgy/liturgy.html

Fr. Tom Pistolis does a commentary on the Liturgy, explaining what it is, and how it works. You can view it here:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2143885517726441208&ei=0orKSsuZNYrOqAL_5eG5Dw&q=the+divine+liturgy+of+st.+john+chrysostom&hl=en#

I hope this helps!

God bless you!

In XC,

Maureen
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« Reply #6 on: October 05, 2009, 11:51:42 PM »

Hmm. Just based on your questions, it's pretty clear that this is going to be a totally new experience for you. And I'm not sure there is any way to prepare you for it.

Rather than trying to answer you questions in specific terms, I'll just emphasize 2 things:
1) Orthodox laity are much less regulated or uniform than you will see in Protestant churches. While there will be a few times that you see everyone doing the same thing at once for you to copy if you wish, most of the time if you choose to copy the actions (standing, kneeling, crossing yourself) of the person on your right, you'll be out of synch with the person on your left. Therefore, your choice, in terms of whether you copy someone, whether you cross yourself, when you you choose to sit down, whether you join in the singing (say, for example, they do the Creed in English) is entirely up to you. If you never cross yourself (or cross yourself in the Western manner) people will realize you are not Orthodox, but that's it.

2) While I don't know if this is true in places like Greece or Moscow, Orthodox in Western countries are well aware that our worship is not what visitors are used to. The parish will have had clueless non-Orthodox show up before (please don't take that the wrong way, as a convert from low-church Protestantism, I was even more clueless on my first visit to an Orthodox Church than you will be). Unless you do something obviously ridiculous (desecrate an icon, try to eat the candles, speak loudly over the prayers) no one is going to be offended or suprised.

While typing I though of a 3rd thing--somebody already mentioned that in many parishes the official time for liturgy to 'start' is really just a continuation from an earlier service. As a Russian Church in England, the odds are very high there will be no pews, just a wide open space about which people move fairly freely. These things are related--if you find yourself walking in in the middle of something, don't worry about it. If you start off standing in one place and then you notice something you want to see better, feel free to move.

And one specific answer
Quote
What do I do after the service? Is it rude to stay? Should I mention that I am there because my partner is Orthodox, or is that rude?
leave or stay, as with everything else, it's up to you. If you want to mention your partner, go right ahead--it's not rude.
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« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2009, 02:08:47 AM »

Hello, Liz! I'm so happy to see that you are planning on attending a Divine Liturgy in the near future!  Don't worry, there isn't a secret handshake or anything to get in the door. Wink  Come as you are, and be ready to be greeted by a myriad of new and interesting sights, sounds and smells! Smiley After service, in the entrance area (the narthex in greek) the altar boys usually have baskets of "blessed bread" or antidoron which everyone is welcome to help themselves to.  Be warned, many people fast before liturgy, so the bread goes rather quickly! If you're lucky they might also be serving Koliva, which I can best describe as "sweet wheat", which is freely handed out after service also. You don't have to worry about crossing yourself, kneeling, venerating icons, lighting candles, etc. Orthodox in general are respectful of individualistic expression of piety. Again, there is nothing wrong with being a passive observer. (It took me quite a few services I felt comfortable participating in the service in any form.)
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« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2009, 02:23:37 AM »

If you're going to a Russian parish, it may be a good idea to bring a scarf to wear on your head, as many Russian parish's are pretty traditional about this.



You might feel uncomfortable if all the other women are covering their heads, but also it might be that none of them are.  Just take one with you in case and look around when you get there.
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« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2009, 02:45:24 AM »

Excellent example, Alveus!  Kiss Wink
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« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2009, 03:16:24 AM »

As a non-Orthodox who attended a DivLit recently, my only piece of advice is--

Be respectful. It's not hard, really. Like someone else said, as long as you are not being completely assinine, no one is going to be upset. Also, be honest. I told the members I was a Protestant before DivLit started and they were patient with me. One woman next to me even explained things as they were happening.

If you don't want to look too conspicuous, then stay near the back of the sanctuary. (though apparently many of the congregation were more sheepish than me and stood behind me... meaning lots of empty chairs between us and the iconostasis).
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« Reply #11 on: October 06, 2009, 10:25:53 AM »

Wear comfortable shoes! Wink
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« Reply #12 on: October 06, 2009, 11:09:01 AM »

From the Onion Dome
"Twitter Feed from an Orthodox N00b
August, 2009
Just got here - this guy is chanting something but there's nobody else here
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

No wait - I heard somebody from behind the wall at the front say some stuff after the Lord's prayer
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Here comes somebody! old couple - they fiddle with some bread on a platter and light some candles
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

The old lady came over and hissed at me and told me to put my phone away - I moved over on the opposite side of a pillar where she can't see me
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

It's 9:30 - the service is supposed to start now but there's almost nobody here and that chanting guy is still going on - maybe I got the time wrong?
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Looking around some - people are kissing a lot of stuff - pictures on the wall, pictures on little tables
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Something is happening - a curtain at the front has opened - there's a guy in a gold robe standing with his back to us
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Now another guy in gold came out of a little door and is standing by the doorway - oops, here we go
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

He keeps chanting stuff and the choir keeps going Lord have mercy - very repetitive
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Now the choir is taking over! Singing something from the psalms it sounds like
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Sorry, got distracted - there was a kerfuffle with the old lady and a hot babe apparently about how the babe was dressed
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Now the guys in gold are coming out the door holding a golden book - lots of little kids leading the way - cute
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Now the choir sings come let us worship - what have we been doing until now? something tells me this is going to be a long service
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

More stuff from the choir followed by more lord have mercys - it has a certain rhythm but it's hard to dance to
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Guy in black came out of the little door and read from the NT, sandwiched by some elaborate back and forthing with the choir and one of the guys in gold
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

This little girl keeps running back and forth from her parents to a woman in the choir who picks her up and puts her back down again
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

People still coming in
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

More reading from the NT by a guy in gold, then another guy in gold came out and preached a very short sermon
Posted 3 hours ago from mobile phone

Something about pigs running into the water being a symbol of baptism
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

No wait it was rowing across the water to the other side that was a symbol of baptism - I forget what the pigs were a symbol of
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

More lord have mercys - these people must really need a lot of mercy lol
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Standing on this marble floor really hurts my feet - I don't know how the old ladies do it
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Some of these pictures are very strange - there's one of an old man feeding a bear and one of an old guy carrying a little model of a church - maybe he's an architect
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

People keep milling around - hey now people are queuing up for something
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Here comes the guy in gold with a gold cup and a spoon
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Weird - he's spoonfeeding something from the cup into people's mouths
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Oh wait I'll bet that's communion
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

How nice - somebody came over and gave me a piece of bread
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Boring bread though
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

And another piece of bread
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

And another
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

My mouth is getting dry
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Oops there goes the cup
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

I'll bet this is the end - sounds like the end
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Nope, there's more - this part will be the end though
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Egad now there's another end
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Okay, that was the end
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Now everybody is going up to kiss a cross the guy in gold is holding
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

And the chant guy has started up again - the whole service has been the meat in a chant guy sandwich
Posted 2 hours ago from mobile phone

Now I'm being dragged downstairs
Posted 1 hour ago from mobile phone

Ah, food! what a spread!
Posted 1 hour ago from mobile phone

Back again - the old lady came over to talk and I had to put the phone away - apparently I was holding my fork wrong
Posted 45 minutes ago from mobile phone

Well think I'll go home now - interesting experience - I'll have to blog about it
Posted 45 minutes ago from mobile phone"

This report was filed by your intrepid Onion Dome editor.

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« Reply #13 on: October 06, 2009, 11:18:46 AM »


That was funny!

I can see that being an interpretation from an "outsider". 

Amazing how the individual realized the readings were from either the Psalms or the Gospel, though.

...it was believable until the fork incident.  I can't see the old babtsia caring about how one holds a fork.
 Wink

Liz, don't worry about it too much.

Just dress modestly, wear comfy shoes, bring the headcovering (you may not need it, though).
Smile at folks...that makes them feel at ease, and you.

Most of all don't "freak" out.  That will only cause stress and you won't be able to focus or absorb what's around you.

Just stand back and watch.  You will be amazed.

God bless you!

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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2009, 03:47:21 PM »

Thanks very much for all the advice, everyone!  Smiley

I'll let you know how it goes.
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« Reply #15 on: October 06, 2009, 04:22:38 PM »

I've searched for this topic, and for information on this topic, without finding it.

I am not Orthodox, but I feel very strongly that I would like to know more about Orthodox worship. I'd be very glad if you could put yourselves in my position for a minute and think how I should act in church, and what things I might experience.

I am really the most ignorant person you could imagine, so a very simple account of Orthodox worship (I think I will go to the Sunday service), would help. Of course, I would not try to participate in the Communion itself. But I don't even know what is the polite thing to do when you enter an Orthodox church. Could you give me this very basic information? I know this all sounds very pragmatic but I do feel worried about it all, so tell me:

Do I just walk into the church and sit down?
What do I do to start the service? We usually pray and then sit quietly - would that be ok?
Must I cross myself (I am dyslexic and don't find these movements easy)?
Should I join in with the words the rest of the congregation says?
What do I do after the service? Is it rude to stay? Should I mention that I am there because my partner is Orthodox, or is that rude?
How do the Orthodox share the sign of the peace, and should I join in?

I would like to know not only the answers to these questions, but also how any parts of the service might work for someone like me.

God bless,

Liz



I have a page on my blog that addresses these questions, here:

http://centralpennsylvaniaorthodox.wordpress.com/for-visitors/

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« Reply #16 on: October 06, 2009, 04:25:22 PM »

Orthodox practice is a lot of see-do.. Simply do what the people around you are doing except for taking communion.

Dont walk in and sit down unless there are pews  Smiley

After the service eat the bagles and chat .

Please report back to us.. I bet you are gonna love it !
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« Reply #17 on: October 06, 2009, 04:42:30 PM »

try to eat the candles

Is there a story there?

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« Reply #18 on: October 06, 2009, 10:21:03 PM »

try to eat the candles

Is there a story there?



If hope so, that sounds hilarious!  Cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: October 07, 2009, 01:27:38 AM »

try to eat the candles

Is there a story there?



If hope so, that sounds hilarious!  Cheesy

Sorry, no story, just an active imagination on my part.
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« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2009, 08:40:56 PM »

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update this thread and thank you all so much for your advice. I went to the Orthodox service this morning with my partner and I am so grateful to all of you who helped me overcome my nerves and prepared me to understand more of what was going on!

I'm very grateful to you all, and of course I had you in my mind while I was there.

Many thanks,

Liz
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« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2009, 08:42:36 PM »

Hi everyone,

I just wanted to update this thread and thank you all so much for your advice. I went to the Orthodox service this morning with my partner and I am so grateful to all of you who helped me overcome my nerves and prepared me to understand more of what was going on!

I'm very grateful to you all, and of course I had you in my mind while I was there.

Many thanks,

Liz

Awesome!

So what did you think? How was it? Was it in English?
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« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2009, 08:54:25 PM »

It was mostly in English with some Slavonic. However, I could follow it (the sense if not always the words) because the language and the passages were very familiar (and I always find spoken language easier anyway).

I'm still trying to think about my reaction to the service.

In many ways it was wonderful. The choir was beautiful, particularly in the way that they all quietly communicated with each other during their singing - it wasn't choreographed at all. I also liked very much the way that people moved around during the service. And I thought there was a lovely sense of reverence in the room.

I found it harder to cope with the priest's delivery: he spoke (when he spoke) in a very odd monotone - is this done for some reason? And it was a little strange to find that - even though the priest ended by asking everyone to greet any strangers in the congregation, when I stood alone trying to catch someone's eye, and they all moved around and chatted, no-one spoke to me. But maybe I was dressed wrongly or something.

I think perhaps it was not right for me. I didn't feel the sense of God with us that I feel in my own church, although of course this may partly be because I'm not familiar with it. The interesting thing was that I did feel very much happier about icons, and about children sharing in the Eucharist.

The best thing, though, was hearing the service with my partner, and hearing him singing the Creed and the Lord's prayer. That was lovely.

So ... I am still thinking and going over the experience, but overall it was very positive!
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« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2009, 09:02:39 PM »

It was mostly in English with some Slavonic. However, I could follow it (the sense if not always the words) because the language and the passages were very familiar (and I always find spoken language easier anyway).

I'm still trying to think about my reaction to the service.

In many ways it was wonderful. The choir was beautiful, particularly in the way that they all quietly communicated with each other during their singing - it wasn't choreographed at all. I also liked very much the way that people moved around during the service. And I thought there was a lovely sense of reverence in the room.

I found it harder to cope with the priest's delivery: he spoke (when he spoke) in a very odd monotone - is this done for some reason? And it was a little strange to find that - even though the priest ended by asking everyone to greet any strangers in the congregation, when I stood alone trying to catch someone's eye, and they all moved around and chatted, no-one spoke to me. But maybe I was dressed wrongly or something.

I think perhaps it was not right for me. I didn't feel the sense of God with us that I feel in my own church, although of course this may partly be because I'm not familiar with it. The interesting thing was that I did feel very much happier about icons, and about children sharing in the Eucharist.

The best thing, though, was hearing the service with my partner, and hearing him singing the Creed and the Lord's prayer. That was lovely.

So ... I am still thinking and going over the experience, but overall it was very positive!

Very good! I'm glad to hear that part of the service was in English! (It's so nice when you can actually UNDERSTAND a service, isn't it? lol)

I'm not sure why the priest spoke in a monotone voice. That's not normal custom. Usually responses to the choir are chanted, and the sermon is delivered in a normal speaking tone.

I'm glad it was a positive experience for you! Hope you are able to go again sometime. Smiley
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« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2009, 09:08:11 PM »

It was mostly in English with some Slavonic. However, I could follow it (the sense if not always the words) because the language and the passages were very familiar (and I always find spoken language easier anyway).

I'm still trying to think about my reaction to the service.

In many ways it was wonderful. The choir was beautiful, particularly in the way that they all quietly communicated with each other during their singing - it wasn't choreographed at all. I also liked very much the way that people moved around during the service. And I thought there was a lovely sense of reverence in the room.

I found it harder to cope with the priest's delivery: he spoke (when he spoke) in a very odd monotone - is this done for some reason? And it was a little strange to find that - even though the priest ended by asking everyone to greet any strangers in the congregation, when I stood alone trying to catch someone's eye, and they all moved around and chatted, no-one spoke to me. But maybe I was dressed wrongly or something.

I think perhaps it was not right for me. I didn't feel the sense of God with us that I feel in my own church, although of course this may partly be because I'm not familiar with it. The interesting thing was that I did feel very much happier about icons, and about children sharing in the Eucharist.

The best thing, though, was hearing the service with my partner, and hearing him singing the Creed and the Lord's prayer. That was lovely.

So ... I am still thinking and going over the experience, but overall it was very positive!

Very good! I'm glad to hear that part of the service was in English! (It's so nice when you can actually UNDERSTAND a service, isn't it? lol)

I'm not sure why the priest spoke in a monotone voice. That's not normal custom. Usually responses to the choir are chanted, and the sermon is delivered in a normal speaking tone.

I'm glad it was a positive experience for you! Hope you are able to go again sometime. Smiley

Ah ... I guess it was just the way he spoke. I kind of suspected that it was, somehow. What a relief!
I'm pretty sure we will keep going together at least some of the time. It was wonderful to be able to share the service (and I hope that doesn't sound sentimental, but I have a horrible feeling it does!).

The singing was so lovely, it blurred seamlessly into the priest's chanting - beautiful. I can't tell if this was a very clever choir or if it's always like that!
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« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2009, 09:33:35 PM »

I didn't feel the sense of God with us that I feel in my own church, although of course this may partly be because I'm not familiar with it.

I think that the services are more geared toward reverence and awe of the mysterious God than the close companionship/personal relationship with the friendly God that most churches are pushing these days.  In my experience it is far easier for women to connect with the latter rather the former.  Unless women are raised Orthodox, it's pretty hard for them to get on board.
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« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2009, 09:43:02 PM »

I didn't feel the sense of God with us that I feel in my own church, although of course this may partly be because I'm not familiar with it.

I think that the services are more geared toward reverence and awe of the mysterious God than the close companionship/personal relationship with the friendly God that most churches are pushing these days.  In my experience it is far easier for women to connect with the latter rather the former.  Unless women are raised Orthodox, it's pretty hard for them to get on board.

Why so?
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« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2009, 10:57:38 PM »

Why so?

I thought that the statement was pretty self-contained.  What do you need clarification about?
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« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2009, 11:17:55 PM »

Ah ... I guess it was just the way he spoke. I kind of suspected that it was, somehow. What a relief!
I'm pretty sure we will keep going together at least some of the time. It was wonderful to be able to share the service (and I hope that doesn't sound sentimental, but I have a horrible feeling it does!).

The singing was so lovely, it blurred seamlessly into the priest's chanting - beautiful. I can't tell if this was a very clever choir or if it's always like that!

That is lovely, I'm glad that you are sharing in each other's faith. That can only result in good things. Smiley

And yes, your statement did sound sentimental, but that's perfectly alright!

The seamlessness of the choir and the priest chanting is a combination of the two. A clever choir will blend it that way, as it's supposed to have an ebb and flow to it. Smiley

I have to say, when a Liturgy is done well, Orthodox, Catholic, or Anglican, it is a beautiful site to behold! When it is done poorly, what a train wreck it can be! lol

Again, I'm glad you had a positive experience.
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« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2009, 11:35:13 PM »

I was happy to read that you visited an Orthodox church. 

The entire Divine Liturgy is filled with symbolism.  Below is the name of a book to take with you next time you attend a DL so you can understand the symbolism.  On the opposing page of the words to the liturgy, it describes what is happening at this point in the liturgy.  It also tells you where these words were taken from the Holy Bible.

The Divine Liturgy According to St. John Chrysostom with commentary and Biblical References by Theodore Bobosh (designed to help the laity participate in the liturgy which is the work of all God’s people).  It was published by Light and Life Publishing.  It is a very inexpensive book.  If you PM me with an address of where I could send it, I will happily mail you a copy of this useful book.   

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« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2009, 11:39:38 PM »


 And it was a little strange to find that - even though the priest ended by asking everyone to greet any strangers in the congregation, when I stood alone trying to catch someone's eye, and they all moved around and chatted, no-one spoke to me. But maybe I was dressed wrongly or something.


Sad I'm sorry to hear that, Liz. Were the greeters at least friendly to you when you entered the church?
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« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2009, 11:55:28 PM »

If this church was filled with “non-regulars” then they might not have known that you were a visitor.   Once I was visiting a friend’s church in Virginia.  A couple in front of me arrived late and did not sing or frequently crossing themselves. Goofy me assumed that they MUST be visitors.  I handed them my Divine Liturgy book and pointed to where we were in the liturgy.  My friend couldn’t stop snickering.  Later she told me that I handed the Parish Council President and his wife the Divine Liturgy book.....hehe
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« Reply #32 on: October 12, 2009, 12:02:29 AM »

If this church was filled with “non-regulars” then they might not have known that you were a visitor.   Once I was visiting a friend’s church in Virginia.  A couple in front of me arrived late and did not sing or frequently crossing themselves. Goofy me assumed that they MUST be visitors.  I handed them my Divine Liturgy book and pointed to where we were in the liturgy.  My friend couldn’t stop snickering.  Later she told me that I handed the Parish Council President and his wife the Divine Liturgy book.....hehe

 Cheesy too funny. I'm sure they appreciated your helpful spirit. We don't see enough of that today.  Most in our parish don't sing, which dissapoints me.  I try to make up for the rest, but one voice can only do so much...  Tongue
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« Reply #33 on: October 12, 2009, 05:14:12 PM »

I was happy to read that you visited an Orthodox church. 

The entire Divine Liturgy is filled with symbolism.  Below is the name of a book to take with you next time you attend a DL so you can understand the symbolism.  On the opposing page of the words to the liturgy, it describes what is happening at this point in the liturgy.  It also tells you where these words were taken from the Holy Bible.

The Divine Liturgy According to St. John Chrysostom with commentary and Biblical References by Theodore Bobosh (designed to help the laity participate in the liturgy which is the work of all God’s people).  It was published by Light and Life Publishing.  It is a very inexpensive book.  If you PM me with an address of where I could send it, I will happily mail you a copy of this useful book.   



Thanks, that is so kind of you! But I wouldn't worry, I was pretty familiar with the actual wording of the service, and postage tends to be a bit of a faff.
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« Reply #34 on: October 12, 2009, 05:18:29 PM »

Quote from: ms.hoorah link=topic=23743.msg364590#msg364
I was happy to read that you visited an Orthodox church. 

The entire Divine Liturgy is filled with symbolism.  Below is the name of a book to take with you next time you attend a DL so you can understand the symbolism.  On the opposing page of the words to the liturgy, it describes what is happening at this point in the liturgy.  It also tells you where these words were taken from the Holy Bible.

The Divine Liturgy According to St. John Chrysostom with commentary and Biblical References by Theodore Bobosh (designed to help the laity participate in the liturgy which is the work of all God’s people).  It was published by Light and Life Publishing.  It is a very inexpensive book.  If you PM me with an address of where I could send it, I will happily mail you a copy of this useful book.   



Thanks, that is so kind of you! But I wouldn't worry, I was pretty familiar with the actual wording of the service, and postage for books tends to be a bit of a faff.

Your story makes me realize how difficult it is to judge how/whether to greet people! Actually, I know now (my partner's just explained) that only about 1/4 of the parish go on any one week. He says they have to rent a special room at Christmas and Easter, to get everyone in, when they all come! The church meets in the parish hall of the Anglican church, so there isn't much space. So I guess it must be that much harder for them all to keep track of what was going on!

I didn't mean to suggest they were un-friendly, though - just that there wasn't the bustle of people saying hello to each other that you'd get in an Anglican church after service. But what can I judge after one visit, right?

I have to say, the experience is still very much with me still - I'm really glad I went. And you know I probably wouldn't have gone without you all to encourage me Smiley
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« Reply #35 on: October 12, 2009, 05:36:15 PM »

I have to say, the experience is still very much with me still - I'm really glad I went. And you know I probably wouldn't have gone without you all to encourage me Smiley


Aww, big hugs all around!! Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: October 12, 2009, 06:07:43 PM »

Why so?

I thought that the statement was pretty self-contained.  What do you need clarification about?

I meant, why do you think it is that these women you know connect with the 'personal relationship with the friendly God' more than 'reverence and awe of the mysterious God'? Is this something you've discussed with them?

I'm asking because I find it most surprising that there should be such a clear gender-split in attitudes.
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« Reply #37 on: October 12, 2009, 08:39:33 PM »

one of the funniest things after i first went to a GO service w/ my then-fiance, was our discussion of when you cross yourself! i wanted to know when, and he was like, oh, there's no rule, whenever you want, lol - that about broke my head...
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« Reply #38 on: October 12, 2009, 08:46:27 PM »

This quote is from "Facing East", by Frederica Mathewes-Green; a light hearted account about her journey to Orthodoxy:

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it's something that their wives- especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style- are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It's going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it's not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it's through with you you're going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It's going to demand, not death on the battle-field, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand."

She goes on to give examples of wives she knew who were brought kicking and screaming into the Church by their husbands. It's not a rule or "how it should be" by any means, just a general trend. 
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« Reply #39 on: October 13, 2009, 06:51:19 AM »

This quote is from "Facing East", by Frederica Mathewes-Green; a light hearted account about her journey to Orthodoxy:

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it's something that their wives- especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style- are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It's going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it's not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it's through with you you're going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It's going to demand, not death on the battle-field, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand."

She goes on to give examples of wives she knew who were brought kicking and screaming into the Church by their husbands. It's not a rule or "how it should be" by any means, just a general trend. 

Ah, I see. A bit of reverse psychology going on in her account there, then? I love how as soon as someone says, 'it's a guy (girl) thing, you wouldn't understand', you immediately start thinking, 'oh yeah?'.

I guess you'll often have one partner who's keener on some new experience before the other partner, even if it's the Church. I just don't think my gender is what's stopping me from feeling that the Orthodox Church is right for me, after all, there are plenty of women converts on the forum, as well as men.
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« Reply #40 on: October 13, 2009, 09:47:32 AM »

I love how as soon as someone says, 'it's a guy (girl) thing, you wouldn't understand', you immediately start thinking, 'oh yeah?'.

I do think that Orthodoxy has a tremendous appeal for men (generalizing madly here) and my husband was one of 'em. He was chrismated almost immediately while it took me a year longer for God to finally get through to me. However, I fell in love with the Divine Liturgy immediately - it was truly "my heart's true home" and I that I had always thought worship should be, and never was. Also the idea that something would be demanded of me was tremendously appealing. Although if I had had any idea of truly how much would be demanded, I would have run screaming into the woods!  Wink
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« Reply #41 on: October 13, 2009, 10:05:36 AM »

If the priest asked the congregation to greet visitors that's one thing.  Mostly if you speak in church, including greeting a visitor you'd get reprimanded by the grandmothers for speaking in church even if the service is over.  This is something we learned when we were 2 years old and pretty much a standard practice, while not followed by every congregation, it is still the norm.  Don't be offended if people didn't speak to you in the church.  Now if they didn't talk to you if you went to the hall for social hour don't be offended either.  Sometimes it takes people ANYWHERE a few times seeing you to warm up and don't be afraid to approach them first outside of the church proper to break the ice.  If the congregation has a lot of non-English as a first language members I've found sometimes they are a bit shy because they are nervous about their English abilities. Talk to them anyway, it helps them feel welcome just as much as it would help you feel welcome in this situation!
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« Reply #42 on: October 13, 2009, 11:43:53 AM »

This quote is from "Facing East", by Frederica Mathewes-Green; a light hearted account about her journey to Orthodoxy:

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it's something that their wives- especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style- are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It's going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it's not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it's through with you you're going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It's going to demand, not death on the battle-field, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand."

She goes on to give examples of wives she knew who were brought kicking and screaming into the Church by their husbands. It's not a rule or "how it should be" by any means, just a general trend. 

Ah, I see. A bit of reverse psychology going on in her account there, then? I love how as soon as someone says, 'it's a guy (girl) thing, you wouldn't understand', you immediately start thinking, 'oh yeah?'.

I guess you'll often have one partner who's keener on some new experience before the other partner, even if it's the Church. I just don't think my gender is what's stopping me from feeling that the Orthodox Church is right for me, after all, there are plenty of women converts on the forum, as well as men.

Perhaps you are just defending your own turf a bit ( Church of England)..That is perfectly understandable and actually a bit of a "guy thing"... I would do the same in reverse, I am sure.

I have learned that it is just best to be led by God. If you step out of your own way and just observe for a while it's amazing where you end up sometimes.

My new wife in Anglican and trying hard to become Orthodox for my sake but she is used to a whole different approach to religion and it is taking a while for her to get used to it...

BTW, Fredrica is very approachable. You may consider writing to her.
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« Reply #43 on: October 13, 2009, 12:32:37 PM »

This quote is from "Facing East", by Frederica Mathewes-Green; a light hearted account about her journey to Orthodoxy:

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it's something that their wives- especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style- are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It's going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it's not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it's through with you you're going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It's going to demand, not death on the battle-field, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand."

She goes on to give examples of wives she knew who were brought kicking and screaming into the Church by their husbands. It's not a rule or "how it should be" by any means, just a general trend. 

Ah, I see. A bit of reverse psychology going on in her account there, then? I love how as soon as someone says, 'it's a guy (girl) thing, you wouldn't understand', you immediately start thinking, 'oh yeah?'.

I guess you'll often have one partner who's keener on some new experience before the other partner, even if it's the Church. I just don't think my gender is what's stopping me from feeling that the Orthodox Church is right for me, after all, there are plenty of women converts on the forum, as well as men.

Perhaps you are just defending your own turf a bit ( Church of England)..That is perfectly understandable and actually a bit of a "guy thing"... I would do the same in reverse, I am sure.

I have learned that it is just best to be led by God. If you step out of your own way and just observe for a while it's amazing where you end up sometimes.

My new wife in Anglican and trying hard to become Orthodox for my sake but she is used to a whole different approach to religion and it is taking a while for her to get used to it...

BTW, Fredrica is very approachable. You may consider writing to her.

Oh, good luck to your wife then! Although I'm not trying to convert, it's nice to know of someone else in a somewhat similar situation  Smiley
Yes, I'm sure partly I'm just responding to something new and different.
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« Reply #44 on: October 13, 2009, 01:31:22 PM »

This quote is from "Facing East", by Frederica Mathewes-Green; a light hearted account about her journey to Orthodoxy:

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it's something that their wives- especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style- are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It's going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it's not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it's through with you you're going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It's going to demand, not death on the battle-field, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand."

She goes on to give examples of wives she knew who were brought kicking and screaming into the Church by their husbands. It's not a rule or "how it should be" by any means, just a general trend. 

Ah, I see. A bit of reverse psychology going on in her account there, then? I love how as soon as someone says, 'it's a guy (girl) thing, you wouldn't understand', you immediately start thinking, 'oh yeah?'.

I guess you'll often have one partner who's keener on some new experience before the other partner, even if it's the Church. I just don't think my gender is what's stopping me from feeling that the Orthodox Church is right for me, after all, there are plenty of women converts on the forum, as well as men.

Perhaps you are just defending your own turf a bit ( Church of England)..That is perfectly understandable and actually a bit of a "guy thing"... I would do the same in reverse, I am sure.

I have learned that it is just best to be led by God. If you step out of your own way and just observe for a while it's amazing where you end up sometimes.

My new wife in Anglican and trying hard to become Orthodox for my sake but she is used to a whole different approach to religion and it is taking a while for her to get used to it...

BTW, Fredrica is very approachable. You may consider writing to her.

Oh, good luck to your wife then! Although I'm not trying to convert, it's nice to know of someone else in a somewhat similar situation  Smiley
Yes, I'm sure partly I'm just responding to something new and different.

Her advantage is that the Priest in my parish and his family were Episcopal before they converted. They even know some people in common.
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« Reply #45 on: October 15, 2009, 03:16:17 PM »

This quote is from "Facing East", by Frederica Mathewes-Green; a light hearted account about her journey to Orthodoxy:

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it's something that their wives- especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style- are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It's going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it's not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it's through with you you're going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It's going to demand, not death on the battle-field, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand."

She goes on to give examples of wives she knew who were brought kicking and screaming into the Church by their husbands. It's not a rule or "how it should be" by any means, just a general trend. 

Ah, I see. A bit of reverse psychology going on in her account there, then? I love how as soon as someone says, 'it's a guy (girl) thing, you wouldn't understand', you immediately start thinking, 'oh yeah?'.

I guess you'll often have one partner who's keener on some new experience before the other partner, even if it's the Church. I just don't think my gender is what's stopping me from feeling that the Orthodox Church is right for me, after all, there are plenty of women converts on the forum, as well as men.

Perhaps you are just defending your own turf a bit ( Church of England)..That is perfectly understandable and actually a bit of a "guy thing"... I would do the same in reverse, I am sure.

I have learned that it is just best to be led by God. If you step out of your own way and just observe for a while it's amazing where you end up sometimes.

My new wife in Anglican and trying hard to become Orthodox for my sake but she is used to a whole different approach to religion and it is taking a while for her to get used to it...

BTW, Fredrica is very approachable. You may consider writing to her.

Oh, good luck to your wife then! Although I'm not trying to convert, it's nice to know of someone else in a somewhat similar situation  Smiley
Yes, I'm sure partly I'm just responding to something new and different.

Her advantage is that the Priest in my parish and his family were Episcopal before they converted. They even know some people in common.

Our priest is ex-Anglican too. It's one of the things that made me feel more comfortable going to the service.

I think quite a lot of people converted to Catholicism over the women priests issue in the Anglican Church, I guess some converted to Orthodoxy too.
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« Reply #46 on: October 15, 2009, 03:26:32 PM »

I think quite a lot of people converted to Catholicism over the women priests issue in the Anglican Church, I guess some converted to Orthodoxy too.

A good friend of mine's father had been ordained an Anglican priest for two days when him and his wife said "Nope, can't do it." and became Orthodox instead. While he was in seminary, her father and a group of his classmates were upset with some of the changes going on in the Anglican Church (female ordination, ordination or practicing homosexuals, etc.) and started to research the Early Church. They all left the Anglican faith 2 days after being ordained.

So my friend and her family have been Orthodox since she was 8 y/o.
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« Reply #47 on: October 15, 2009, 05:28:13 PM »

This quote is from "Facing East", by Frederica Mathewes-Green; a light hearted account about her journey to Orthodoxy:

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it's something that their wives- especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style- are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It's going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it's not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it's through with you you're going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It's going to demand, not death on the battle-field, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand."

She goes on to give examples of wives she knew who were brought kicking and screaming into the Church by their husbands. It's not a rule or "how it should be" by any means, just a general trend. 

Ah, I see. A bit of reverse psychology going on in her account there, then? I love how as soon as someone says, 'it's a guy (girl) thing, you wouldn't understand', you immediately start thinking, 'oh yeah?'.

I guess you'll often have one partner who's keener on some new experience before the other partner, even if it's the Church. I just don't think my gender is what's stopping me from feeling that the Orthodox Church is right for me, after all, there are plenty of women converts on the forum, as well as men.

You can find the audio here:


http://ancientfaith.com/podcasts/podup/frederica/men_and_the_church (Men and the Church)





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« Reply #48 on: October 17, 2009, 01:52:58 PM »

This quote is from "Facing East", by Frederica Mathewes-Green; a light hearted account about her journey to Orthodoxy:

"Something about Orthodoxy has immense appeal to men, and it's something that their wives- especially those used to worshiping in the softer evangelical style- are generally slower to get. The appeal of joining this vast, ancient, rock-solid communion must be something like the appeal of joining the marines. It's going to demand a hell of a lot out of you, and it's not going to cater to your individual whims, but when it's through with you you're going to be more than you ever knew you could be. It's going to demand, not death on the battle-field, but death to self in a million painful ways, and God is going to be sovereign. It's a guy thing. You wouldn't understand."

She goes on to give examples of wives she knew who were brought kicking and screaming into the Church by their husbands. It's not a rule or "how it should be" by any means, just a general trend. 

Ah, I see. A bit of reverse psychology going on in her account there, then? I love how as soon as someone says, 'it's a guy (girl) thing, you wouldn't understand', you immediately start thinking, 'oh yeah?'.

I guess you'll often have one partner who's keener on some new experience before the other partner, even if it's the Church. I just don't think my gender is what's stopping me from feeling that the Orthodox Church is right for me, after all, there are plenty of women converts on the forum, as well as men.

Perhaps you are just defending your own turf a bit ( Church of England)..That is perfectly understandable and actually a bit of a "guy thing"... I would do the same in reverse, I am sure.

I have learned that it is just best to be led by God. If you step out of your own way and just observe for a while it's amazing where you end up sometimes.

My new wife in Anglican and trying hard to become Orthodox for my sake but she is used to a whole different approach to religion and it is taking a while for her to get used to it...

BTW, Fredrica is very approachable. You may consider writing to her.

Oh, good luck to your wife then! Although I'm not trying to convert, it's nice to know of someone else in a somewhat similar situation  Smiley
Yes, I'm sure partly I'm just responding to something new and different.

Her advantage is that the Priest in my parish and his family were Episcopal before they converted. They even know some people in common.

Our priest is ex-Anglican too. It's one of the things that made me feel more comfortable going to the service.

I think quite a lot of people converted to Catholicism over the women priests issue in the Anglican Church, I guess some converted to Orthodoxy too.

About a year ago I had some communication with a Catholic Priest who was formerly an Episcopal Priest. They allowed him to switch even though he is married. He said they make special exceptions for Anglican Priests who are already married. He was really gung ho for the Pope as I recall.
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Your idea has been debunked 1000 times already.. Maybe 1001 will be the charm
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