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Author Topic: Greek or Antiochian Church  (Read 5175 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: January 30, 2010, 09:06:39 PM »

I might have the opportunity to attend either a vespers service or a DL in city that has a Greek and Antiochian OC.   They are also across the street from each other.  I am very interested in the OC but wife is not, she is head strong RC.  What would you recommend?  Thanks, Caleb
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« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2010, 09:11:14 PM »

I might have the opportunity to attend either a vespers service or a DL in city that has a Greek and Antiochian OC.   They are also across the street from each other.  I am very interested in the OC but wife is not, she is head strong RC.  What would you recommend?  Thanks, Caleb

An Antiochian parish is more likely to use English. Both Greek and Antiochian churches in the States often do not use Byzantine chant during the Divine Liturgy, but I think Byzantine chant is the norm for Vespers and Matins. Otherwise it's pretty much the same thing.
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« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2010, 09:58:18 PM »


An Antiochian parish is more likely to use English.

QFT
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« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2010, 10:00:13 PM »

QFT

Quantum Field Theory?...
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« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2010, 10:01:14 PM »

"Quoted for truth"
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« Reply #5 on: January 31, 2010, 12:01:38 AM »

Thanks, for the info.  I personally wouldn't mind attending either one, but this will be my wifes first experience with the Orthodox Church and I think the Antiochian Church might have a lot of culture to it since it was founded in the 40s by orthodox christians of Arabic descent.  This isn't bad by any means, I was just wondering what might be easier for my wife to observe? My wife comes from the a strong hispanic background of the RCC.  Maybe I will email the priest and ask him. 
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« Reply #6 on: January 31, 2010, 12:09:13 AM »

I think the Antiochian Church might have a lot of culture to it since it was founded in the 40s by orthodox christians of Arabic descent. 
Not to nitpick, but the Church of Antioch was founded by Peter in the book of Acts Smiley

(Unless you're referring to the Antiochian Archdiocese of NA.)
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« Reply #7 on: January 31, 2010, 01:19:34 AM »

Thanks, for the info.  I personally wouldn't mind attending either one, but this will be my wifes first experience with the Orthodox Church and I think the Antiochian Church might have a lot of culture to it since it was founded in the 40s by orthodox christians of Arabic descent. 

It really depends on what sort of Antiochian parish you're going to. Yes, the jurisdiction was founded by Arabs but many parishes today are made up of a decent percentage of converts. There are 5 Antiochian parishes in my area and 3 of them are mostly non-Arab converts with non-Arab priests. I'm not sure what you mean by "culture"- everyone has culture. I assume you mean some ethnically specific culture, in which case, Greek parishes tend to be very, very "cultural". You might want to check out the Antiochian parish first.
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« Reply #8 on: January 31, 2010, 02:00:32 AM »

Thanks, for the info.  I personally wouldn't mind attending either one, but this will be my wifes first experience with the Orthodox Church and I think the Antiochian Church might have a lot of culture to it since it was founded in the 40s by orthodox christians of Arabic descent.  This isn't bad by any means, I was just wondering what might be easier for my wife to observe? My wife comes from the a strong hispanic background of the RCC.  Maybe I will email the priest and ask him. 

If it is founded in the 40s, chances are that it is Americanized and English, except maybe in Detroit. Where are you?
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« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2010, 08:55:41 AM »

If I were you I'd choose the Antiochian parish,,,,the Greek parish will probably be an ethnic club and you will hear more about Greece than Christ...the Antiochians have their problems especially with the Bishops or more specifically Met.Phillip but they do welcome converts and you wont have to invent a greek relative just to make sure people will speak to you......
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« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2010, 10:09:10 AM »

If I were you I'd choose the Antiochian parish,,,,the Greek parish will probably be an ethnic club and you will hear more about Greece than Christ...the Antiochians have their problems especially with the Bishops or more specifically Met.Phillip but they do welcome converts and you wont have to invent a greek relative just to make sure people will speak to you......

Doesn't sound like the Greek Orthodox Church that I attend.
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« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2010, 11:32:59 AM »

If I were you I'd choose the Antiochian parish,,,,the Greek parish will probably be an ethnic club and you will hear more about Greece than Christ...the Antiochians have their problems especially with the Bishops or more specifically Met.Phillip but they do welcome converts and you wont have to invent a greek relative just to make sure people will speak to you......

Doesn't sound like the Greek Orthodox Church that I attend.

reminds me of a few I've been to...
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« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2010, 11:59:03 AM »

Since I have never been to either one of these churches I am not partial by any means, and the culture does not bother me one bit.  Like I mentioned before I wouldn't mind attending both of them but that is not feasible so I have to choose between them.  I was just wondering which one might more beneficial for my wife that knows nothing about the Orthodox Church.  One more thing these churches are in El Paso, TX. Thanks, for all the info so far.  Caleb
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« Reply #13 on: January 31, 2010, 12:08:52 PM »

I might have the opportunity to attend either a vespers service or a DL in city that has a Greek and Antiochian OC.   They are also across the street from each other.  I am very interested in the OC but wife is not, she is head strong RC.  What would you recommend?  Thanks, Caleb

If you are ever out in Eastern Texas, you might check out the Western Rite Orthodox for your head strong RC.
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« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2010, 01:40:32 PM »

If I were you I'd choose the Antiochian parish,,,,the Greek parish will probably be an ethnic club and you will hear more about Greece than Christ...the Antiochians have their problems especially with the Bishops or more specifically Met.Phillip but they do welcome converts and you wont have to invent a greek relative just to make sure people will speak to you......

Doesn't sound like the Greek Orthodox Church that I attend.

reminds me of a few I've been to...

You Chicagoans get a different experience of the GOA than most do, except maybe in NYC and Boston.

If I were you I'd choose the Antiochian parish,,,,the Greek parish will probably be an ethnic club and you will hear more about Greece than Christ...the Antiochians have their problems especially with the Bishops or more specifically Met.Phillip but they do welcome converts and you wont have to invent a greek relative just to make sure people will speak to you......

Doesn't sound like
(a) the parish I'm assigned to now,
(b) the parish I grew up in,
(c) the parish I was assigned to in New England...

I know some GOA parishes aren't particularly welcoming, but don't throw out the whole crop for 1 bad plant.
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« Reply #15 on: January 31, 2010, 01:49:22 PM »

One more thing these churches are in El Paso, TX. Thanks, for all the info so far.  Caleb 

St. Nicholas GOA (describes itself as "multi-ethnic") http://www.stnicholas.tx.goarch.org/page1.html
St. George AOA looks like a beautiful edifice.  I can't get a good look at St. Nicholas (either on their site, or on Google Maps).

IMO, you'll be fine in either place.  They both seem to be getting non-original-ethnic-types (many of whom were not Orthodox when they were children), so that itself should be welcoming also (in addition to whatever factors brought those people to Orthodoxy).
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2010, 05:21:34 PM »

Doesn't sound like the Greek Orthodox Church that I attend.

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« Reply #17 on: February 01, 2010, 01:10:03 AM »

Well, God willing I will be able to attend my first OC service this Sunday at the Antiochian Church.  I sure hope it works out.  Thanks, Caleb
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« Reply #18 on: February 01, 2010, 01:33:35 AM »

If I were you I'd choose the Antiochian parish,,,,the Greek parish will probably be an ethnic club and you will hear more about Greece than Christ...the Antiochians have their problems especially with the Bishops or more specifically Met.Phillip but they do welcome converts and you wont have to invent a greek relative just to make sure people will speak to you......

Doesn't sound like the Greek Orthodox Church that I attend.

Nor the one I belonged to in Atlanta. In fact the GOA Cathedral in Atlanta is probably one of the most spiritually vibrant and Christ centered parishes I've ever belonged to.

While the parish had it's fair share of Greek cultural activities (Greek school, Hellenic dance, etc.) it also had an entire host of spiritual activities to balance it. The Sunday School curriculum was Christ centered and strong, there were plenty of educational opportunities for Adults to learn about the faith, Bible studies were prevelant as well as multiple services to attend during the week.

So while there may be parish's out there that are "ethnic ghettos," I would not paint the entire GOA with such a broad brush. As the old saying goes, "one bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch."
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« Reply #19 on: February 01, 2010, 01:35:52 PM »

I know the Greeks often get the rap for being unwelcoming and all, and I'm sure that some people have experienced this. However, I have never experienced this kind of treatment in any Orthodox Church - Greek, Russian, Antiochian, Serbian or whatever. As a matter of fact, the first Divine Liturgy I attended was at a small Greek Orthodox parish, and it was painfully obvious that I was some sort of non-Greek Protestant infiltrator. They couldn't have been warmer or more welcoming. Most of the service was in English, we were invited to stay for Sunday School and coffee hour, people stayed afterward for hours to answer my questions, we were invited to come to a Wednesday night Bible study. They seemed genuinely interested and thrilled to have inquiring visitors.
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« Reply #20 on: February 01, 2010, 02:58:38 PM »

There is also a difference (at least, among the Greeks) in mindset.  Generally, parishes in the eastern U.S. are more "ethnic" than parishes in the western U.S.

When I decided to turn East, I had two choices:  a small Antiochian parish, and a large Greek one, buth in the same city.  I tried the large Greek one and never looked back.  It's cosmopolitan, more than half the membership is non-Greek (a smattering of MIddle Eastern and East European families, and a plethora of converts), and, with the exception of a few stock liturgical phrases in Greek and other languages of Orthodox countries, worship is entirely in English.  I was always welcome there, and they reacily recognized my singing skills; I served as a cantor till my hearing and sense of tonality failed me.
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« Reply #21 on: February 01, 2010, 03:43:35 PM »

If you can, attend both and decide from there (just my 2c, & not to counter other advice given).
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« Reply #22 on: February 01, 2010, 03:51:32 PM »

Given the chance, I would suggest attending services at both. 
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« Reply #23 on: February 01, 2010, 03:59:45 PM »

Given the chance, I would suggest attending services at both. 
If you can, attend both and decide from there (just my 2c, & not to counter other advice given).

I wish I could but both churches are about a 3 hour drive and its just not feasible.  I will attend one and then try another a little time down the road. Caleb
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« Reply #24 on: February 05, 2010, 05:05:52 PM »

Well I am still undecided, I have corresponded through email with both churches and I have recieved more cordial responses from the Greek OC, but I know that does not mean much.  Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  I am guessing I should pick one.........................
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« Reply #25 on: February 05, 2010, 05:30:50 PM »

I might have the opportunity to attend either a vespers service or a DL in city that has a Greek and Antiochian OC.   They are also across the street from each other.  I am very interested in the OC but wife is not, she is head strong RC.  What would you recommend?  Thanks, Caleb
I personally would recommend the Greek Orthodox Church, if both you and your wife are Catholics. I found the people very friendly and cordial at the various Greek Orthodox Churches that I have attended. I am sorry to say that this was definitely not true for the local Antioch Church where the priest flatly yelled at me as being a heretic. 
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« Reply #26 on: February 05, 2010, 05:49:46 PM »

I personally would recommend the Greek Orthodox Church, if both you and your wife are Catholics. I found the people very friendly and cordial at the various Greek Orthodox Churches that I have attended. I am sorry to say that this was definitely not true for the local Antioch Church where the priest flatly yelled at me as being a heretic. 
[/quote]

Dear to Christ, Stanley 123,

As an Antiochian Orthodox Christian please accept my own apology that an Antiochian priest would treat you in such a manner. I would recommend that you let the bishop[ of his diocese know of his treatment of you so it may be remedied in an appropriate manner. My local Antiochian Pastor would never have done that and I am personally shocked that you were treated in that manner.

Thomas
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« Reply #27 on: February 06, 2010, 12:03:46 AM »

I personally would recommend the Greek Orthodox Church, if both you and your wife are Catholics. I found the people very friendly and cordial at the various Greek Orthodox Churches that I have attended. I am sorry to say that this was definitely not true for the local Antioch Church where the priest flatly yelled at me as being a heretic. 
Dear to Christ, Stanley 123,

As an Antiochian Orthodox Christian please accept my own apology that an Antiochian priest would treat you in such a manner. I would recommend that you let the bishop[ of his diocese know of his treatment of you so it may be remedied in an appropriate manner. My local Antiochian Pastor would never have done that and I am personally shocked that you were treated in that manner.

Thomas
OK. Thank you kindly for this.
I was only at this one Antioch Chuirch, so maybe it was not the typical situation, or maybe someone was having a bad day.
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« Reply #28 on: February 08, 2010, 07:57:24 AM »

I might have the opportunity to attend either a vespers service or a DL in city that has a Greek and Antiochian OC.   They are also across the street from each other.  I am very interested in the OC but wife is not, she is head strong RC.  What would you recommend?  Thanks, Caleb
I personally would recommend the Greek Orthodox Church, if both you and your wife are Catholics. I found the people very friendly and cordial at the various Greek Orthodox Churches that I have attended. I am sorry to say that this was definitely not true for the local Antioch Church where the priest flatly yelled at me as being a heretic. 
Yes, this is most unfortuante. Our parish priest was originally a Catholic priest of Rome and every once in a while when recalling his formation there, it is always positively. When stating differences in theology between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic churches his tone is always firm but never disparaging. In our area, Scranton, Pa. (USA) RC diocese priests and Orthodox priests have an annual luncheon aimed at reproachment, of course nothing changes but good will is experienced.
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« Reply #29 on: February 08, 2010, 02:35:11 PM »

Well, I decided to go to the Greek OC.  It was a small parish, there was probably seating for 80 people but there was only about 15 people there.  The priest was nice, and the DL was great to experience.  The parrishoners though were not overly welcoming.  I thought that most OC welcomed children?  Our child was by no means disruptive but just slighty excitable (as you would expect from any 15 month old).  My wife ended up leaving in the middle of the DL because of a couple unhappy looks from a couple parrishoners.  My wife wasn't to excited to be there anyway so with the events that took place and the unwelcome atmosphere I decided not to go to coffee hour.  Its to bad that this was the atmosphere, but it happens.

Oh well.  I will  try the Ukranian OC mission before to long.  I have been conversing with that priest for awhile now and I know that this mission has a lot of converts. One thing that I did notice about the this OC was that many people showed up late and left early.   They seemed to come and go as they pleased.  Overall I was glad that I was able to go, but I would more than likely never go back. 

caleb
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« Reply #30 on: February 08, 2010, 02:59:37 PM »

This whole thing about a "welcoming atmosphere" is incomprehensible tome. From your description I don't see anything hostile in that particular church. Orthodox folks will never be as "welcoming" as the Evangelicals, if that's what one expects. They just don't behave that way-holding hands etc.
I would say keep going and you'll get to know the people better, and you'll probably realize that your initial perception wasn't totally accurate.
For the record, i'd been attending on and off, an American  orthodox church for years-about four, before anybody said anything more than "hi" to me. And that was an American who spoke my language. What should have I made out of the experience? I didn't fall into the social group hey were trying to reach. probably. Yet, I've kept attending to the present day.
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« Reply #31 on: February 08, 2010, 03:59:35 PM »

If I were you I'd choose the Antiochian parish,,,,the Greek parish will probably be an ethnic club and you will hear more about Greece than Christ...the Antiochians have their problems especially with the Bishops or more specifically Met.Phillip but they do welcome converts and you wont have to invent a greek relative just to make sure people will speak to you......

Doesn't sound like the Greek Orthodox Church that I attend.

I can say the same as ArnI. My parish is a GOA parish, but some parishioners, including my wife and myself, are not ethnic Greeks. The priest is also not an ethnic Greek, even though he is absolutely fluent in the Greek language (graduated from the Holy Cross Greek Orthodox seminary). We aren't an ethnic club at all.
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« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2010, 04:08:23 PM »

This whole thing about a "welcoming atmosphere" is incomprehensible to me.

When Americans go to a church, they are shopping.
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« Reply #33 on: February 08, 2010, 04:19:04 PM »

Then, perhaps, expectations should also chance.
Although becoming friendlier wouldn't hurt anybody, either.
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« Reply #34 on: February 08, 2010, 04:39:31 PM »

The OC was by no means hostile and I did not expect a Evangelical welcoming party for us either.  I may be totally wrong in my assumption but I beleive you can tell when there is tension in a room, and it did appear there was tension in the room because of our child.  I hold no grudges, nothing against this church.  I have a high respect for the Orthodox Church no matter what jurisdiction.  My original post may have sounded like I was being harsh against this Church but that was not the case.

I had the opportunity to attend either one of these churches and in my original post I was asking for guidance in which one I should attend.  I have responded with my experience.  Which is my only experience so far, but I hope there are more.  More than likely I will not go here again because it is a 3 hour drive and the Ukranian OC mission is only 2 hours, this is my reason for making that statement.  May I kindly remind you that not all Americans are the same. By the way I was not church shopping..................... Caleb
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« Reply #35 on: February 08, 2010, 05:00:30 PM »

The parrishoners though were not overly welcoming.  I thought that most OC welcomed children?  Our child was by no means disruptive but just slighty excitable (as you would expect from any 15 month old).  My wife ended up leaving in the middle of the DL because of a couple unhappy looks from a couple parrishoners. 

Of course, I wasn't there, so take this with a large pillar of salt, but this doesn't sound unwelcoming at all. A couple of unhappy looks from parishioners about an excitable small child? That's it?
It seems to be quite common practice to take children out when they become a little disruptive. And some people are more or less bothered by small children and the noise they make.
Nothing out of the ordinary, and not a horrible unwelcoming experience at all, it seems to me. Of course, as I said, I wasn't there.
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« Reply #36 on: February 08, 2010, 06:05:37 PM »

This whole thing about a "welcoming atmosphere" is incomprehensible tome. From your description I don't see anything hostile in that particular church. Orthodox folks will never be as "welcoming" as the Evangelicals, if that's what one expects.
As a Roman visiting an Orthodox Church, I would disagree. It really is a nice touch, when the priest says he is glad you have visited his Church. And after the liturgy, in the hall, when people in the congregation take time to talk with you and to offer to explain to you the various icons in the Church, knowing that you are a Roman, it just leaves a good impression of Greek Orthodoxy and the Greek Orthodox people.
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« Reply #37 on: February 08, 2010, 07:44:59 PM »

The parrishoners though were not overly welcoming.  I thought that most OC welcomed children?  Our child was by no means disruptive but just slighty excitable (as you would expect from any 15 month old).  My wife ended up leaving in the middle of the DL because of a couple unhappy looks from a couple parrishoners. 

Of course, I wasn't there, so take this with a large pillar of salt, but this doesn't sound unwelcoming at all. A couple of unhappy looks from parishioners about an excitable small child? That's it?
It seems to be quite common practice to take children out when they become a little disruptive. And some people are more or less bothered by small children and the noise they make.
Nothing out of the ordinary, and not a horrible unwelcoming experience at all, it seems to me. Of course, as I said, I wasn't there.

This was my first experience at a OC DL so maybe this was just the way it is, or maybe not, either way it does not matter and I am not soured.  What does matter is that I enjoyed being there during the DL. My longtime prayers were answered in that I was able to make it to a DL.  One question though.  Is it common for parrishoners to come in late or leave when they desire? 
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« Reply #38 on: February 08, 2010, 11:29:02 PM »

Unfortunately, yes.  There are sermons from the first century decrying this very thing, so it's been with us a long time.
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« Reply #39 on: February 08, 2010, 11:35:10 PM »

My only suggestion is next time GO TO COFFEE HOUR.

That is when you get to know people and REALLY get the pulse on the parish.

Glad you went, and I look forward to hearing your impressions of the Ukrainian parish. Smiley
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« Reply #40 on: February 08, 2010, 11:40:05 PM »

The parrishoners though were not overly welcoming.  I thought that most OC welcomed children?  Our child was by no means disruptive but just slighty excitable (as you would expect from any 15 month old).  My wife ended up leaving in the middle of the DL because of a couple unhappy looks from a couple parrishoners. 

Of course, I wasn't there, so take this with a large pillar of salt, but this doesn't sound unwelcoming at all. A couple of unhappy looks from parishioners about an excitable small child? That's it?
It seems to be quite common practice to take children out when they become a little disruptive. And some people are more or less bothered by small children and the noise they make.
Nothing out of the ordinary, and not a horrible unwelcoming experience at all, it seems to me. Of course, as I said, I wasn't there.

This was my first experience at a OC DL so maybe this was just the way it is, or maybe not, either way it does not matter and I am not soured.  What does matter is that I enjoyed being there during the DL. My longtime prayers were answered in that I was able to make it to a DL.  One question though.  Is it common for parrishoners to come in late or leave when they desire? 

Short answer: yes.  

Long answer: yes and I have heard every Orthodox priest that celebrated a DL that I've attended for any length of time preach on how this is a sin.

This habit is one of the reasons my wife has a big problem with going to Liturgy with me.  At my home parish it's not so much of an issue (it happens, but the late-comers always stay in the back) but it has soured her on attending the OCA cathedral in DC, for one.  I grew up (Roman Catholic) in a family that was never late for church (even with five kids) and we always stayed until the last hymn was finished.  It truly boggles my mind when people are always coming in late at the same time week in and week out and even moreso when they blame their kids for their tardiness.  I'm not referring to a family that may be late here and there or even at different times across the span of a month, but the people who always come in after the Great Entrance or (worse yet) after the Epiclesis.  I know this is one of those things that I should avoid noticing or even commenting on, but it's hard not to notice it happening.

Again, I'm referring to habitual tardiness and not simply hitting unexpected traffic or having an unexpected "infant accident" just before leaving the house.  
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« Reply #41 on: February 09, 2010, 02:28:25 AM »

Greek time. Russian time. Ukrainian time. Whatever time. That's the answer.
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« Reply #42 on: February 09, 2010, 02:54:51 AM »

In 2003, I showed up at a GOA Church in Richmond, VA during Communion.   Embarrassed  For some strange reason, I thought Church started at 10:30 AM ... not even close.

Recently, I attended a Divine Liturgy in Annapolis, MD which I thought started at 9:30 AM due to the presence of the Metropolis Dance Festival and I entered just as the Creed was being recited.   Embarrassed  Turns out that the Liturgy started at 9:00 AM with the permission of the Metropolitan to facilitate the Dance Competition Finals.  I commented to the man behind the candle stand that next year's Liturgy would probably start at 8:00 AM just as in Greece.   laugh

Moral of the story is while it is ideal to attend services as early as possible (weather permitting for those of us under 30" of snow); there are situations beyond one's control which makes it tolerable to attend Church late ... even embarrassingly late per the cited examples.
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« Reply #43 on: February 09, 2010, 03:03:42 AM »

Why should one be bothered about someone's being late for church? I don't notice it most of the times.
I'm only bothered and amused by laymen wearing long and obvious prayer-ropes.
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« Reply #44 on: February 09, 2010, 07:23:32 AM »

It's water under the bridge at this time, but I would have suggested attending the Antiochian Vespers. This for the simple reason that Vespers is typically a simpler, shorter service (an hour or slightly less) and therefore would be less likely to overwhelm your wife. In addition, my experience is that people who attend Vespers tend to be more open in spirit and would possibly have been more welcoming to you both.

Just my two denarii..
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