I;m an inquirer, and attended my first DL semi-seriously today at Knyaz Vladimirskiy Sobor in St. Petersburg, Russia. I was the first regular Sunday service I've attended (have gone with my wife at Easter and Christmas once or twice, more as an observer). Beautiful service, much was confusing; my Russian is fairly good, but my Slavonic, not so much! Some questions:
I of course had seen this before, and am not put off by it, but am curious, what is the concept behind the nearly constant signing of the cross?
Why do people sometimes touch the ground after giving the sign of the cross, and sometimes not?
I guess overall, as there is much repetition in the liturgy, what is the theology behind this?
Is it normal for the congregation to have a fairly informal attitude, i.e., wandering about, in and out, (1 even answered her cell phone waiting to venerate the cross, which I'm sure is not too kosher...)?
Overall, the experience was entirely positive. There is a lot of beautiful mystery and devotion. The standing for 2 1/2 hrs is tough, but no tougher than Calvary!