OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 27, 2014, 11:07:52 PM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: I want to visit an Orthodox Church  (Read 1266 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Ai
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: Inquirer
Posts: 43


« on: July 19, 2010, 12:33:03 AM »

I have become curious about Orthodox Christianity lately and want to research it some more. Someone once told me that in order to experience it, dont read. Rather, attend divine liturgy. I do have some questions though. I hope this does not sound shallow of me but I came across Orthodoxy through the beautiful icons and especially the Byzantine/Orthodox chants that are so moving. I think I fell in love with the chants and I REALLY do hope (and pray) to hear more of them.

I have contacted a Greek Parish in another city and the secretary recommended me I visit a local one that is nearby (which is also a Greek Orthodox Church). Apparently, the priest at the church in my city was ordained in the church I contacted. The secretary told me that the parish was most likely 2nd or 3rd generation Greeks (I am not of Greek descent and I speak no Greek). There is another one in my city which she told me of, but it was mostly an ethnic Greek parish. So everything that goes on there, will be in Greek. This lady was so kind too  Smiley

I have contacted the nearby parish before and told me they allow visitors and it's okay that I dont speak Greek. I wanted to go to divine liturgy today, which was Sunday but I thought it would be rude to just barge in unannounced without letting the priest know that I was going to visit. Should I ask to speak to the priest to let him know that Im going to visit? I have been reading all I can about proper etiquette in an Orthodox church. I hope I remember it all.

What is an Orthodox service like? Is it like the usual sermons in other churches where they preach, lecture, and have the choir singing once in a while?

I know that I am not allowed to take Holy Communion, but would I be allowed to partake in the Antidoron?

Also, what is Orthros? It seems they have these on weekday feast days at night. Does that mean they do them daily? They have Orthros before divine liturgy in the morning.

Thanks
Logged
Justin Kissel
Formerly Asteriktos
Protospatharios
****************
Online Online

Faith: Agnostic
Posts: 29,535



« Reply #1 on: July 19, 2010, 06:32:11 AM »

Ai,

Quote
I wanted to go to divine liturgy today, which was Sunday but I thought it would be rude to just barge in unannounced without letting the priest know that I was going to visit. Should I ask to speak to the priest to let him know that Im going to visit? I have been reading all I can about proper etiquette in an Orthodox church. I hope I remember it all.

First, I wouldn’t worry too much about remembering everything. It’ll come in time J Regarding calling, unless you are an Orthodox Christian planning on asking to receive communion, it’s not really necessary. Of course, there is nothing wrong with calling him if you want to. Some people might even find it a bit more comfortable if they feel like they’ve already talked to someone at the Church. But I wouldn’t avoid going if you didn’t happen to talk to anyone at the parish.

Quote
What is an Orthodox service like? Is it like the usual sermons in other churches where they preach, lecture, and have the choir singing once in a while?

Well… there are all the basic parts you might expect, though they tend to be different than what you‘d find in some other groups. For example, there might be singing, but they aren’t going to say “Open up your hymnals to page 254”.  The sermon can vary radically from parish to parish, so it’s hard to say much about that. There is a good bit of give and take between the priest/deacon and the choir/people. There is usually some people crossing themselves, bowing, etc. going on. A good general principle is, follow what you see happening around you. For example, they’re going to cross themselves when the Trinity is mentioned, so feel free to do the same.

Quote
I know that I am not allowed to take Holy Communion, but would I be allowed to partake in the Antidoron?

That would probably vary from parish to parish. When I’m visiting a parish I’ve never been to before, I use a “wait and see” attitude. Sometimes people will offer some antidoron, or when you venerate the cross at the end some will be offered to you. Sometimes not. If you plan on going more than once, you could always ask the priest about it.

Quote
Also, what is Orthros? It seems they have these on weekday feast days at night. Does that mean they do them daily? They have Orthros before divine liturgy in the morning.

If you google Orthros or Matins you should get some good articles on it… I don’t think I could really explain what it is very well (hopefully someone more interested in liturgics will…)
Logged
Robert W
Self-appointed forum herald
Elder
*****
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Finland
Posts: 469


Love is no feeling


« Reply #2 on: July 19, 2010, 07:28:19 AM »

Welcome to the forum Ai!

Just go, don't worry too much about proper behaviour. Don't worry about being different. If people notice that you don't do the sign of the cross whenever anyone else does they will realize you are new to all this. Perhaps this will even lead to interesting discussions with people wanting to teach you.  Grin
Logged
jsenner
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: Serbian
Posts: 10



WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2010, 08:42:34 AM »

My attitude about visiting an Orthodox Church for the first time was not very timid... more like this;  "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force." Mt 11:12. It seemed to work very well.  Smiley

Jeremiah
Logged
Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
Warned
Taxiarches
**********
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA
Posts: 6,691



« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2010, 10:14:05 AM »

Hi Ai and welcome to the forum. It would a very good thing if you could show up at the beginning of the Orthros (Matins) or Hours service that immediately precedes Divine Liturgy. Actually, the Sunday services start at the Great Vespers the night before (our ecclesiastical day starts at sunset), and the Great Vespers plus the Orthros or Hours services are a prelude to the Divine Liturgy. Nonetheless, there would be no problem if you only go the Divine Liturgy--you really should get there before it starts as one of the most important part of this service happens at its very beginning when the priest proclaims "Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto ages of ages!" This proclamation ushers in the Kingdom and we are no longer living in the World at that particular date. (I recommend that you read Father Alexander Schmemann's For the Life of the World: Sacraments and Orthodoxy).

As for a more general introduction to Orthodox services, the following essay is wonderful: 12 Things I Wish I’d Known…First Visit to an Orthodox Church by Frederica Mathewes-Greene (at http://www.frederica.com/12-things/. On this site, she has other very interesting and useful essays; please check them out. Of course, the standard introductory book remains The Orthodox Church by Timothy Ware (now Metropolitan Kallistos Ware).
Logged

Michal: "SC, love you in this thread."
Ai
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Jurisdiction: Inquirer
Posts: 43


« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2010, 09:10:30 PM »

Hi everyone!

Thank you for the warm welcomes and for the advice. I guess the only way to truly see it is if I go there myself.  Grin
Logged
Tags: visit 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.047 seconds with 32 queries.