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Author Topic: Practicing Orthodox  (Read 1028 times) Average Rating: 0
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Ignatius II
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« on: October 11, 2010, 05:24:35 PM »

As a Catholic there is a term "Practicing Catholic" that is used to describe those individuals who faithfully follow the precepts of the Church, i.e.- attend Mass every Sunday and Holy Day, fast on all days designated by the Church, go to confession at a minimum of once a year, etc.  Unfortunately, the actual number of Practicing Catholics is very low. I would guess less than 20%.  There are an assortment of Holiday Catholics and regular attendees who don't necessarily practice the rest. In the Orthodox faith do you you find this to be about the same?
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Alveus Lacuna
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2010, 06:30:17 PM »

My official answer would be "yep."

But to be fair, keep in mind there are as many cafeteria Protestants of various stripes - i.e. Lutherans in Scandinavia and Germany, Anglicans in Britain. The American South is the same way. It's all "cultural Christianity." Everybody is 'saved' or 'born-again', but few attend church weekly or pray daily. On the major holidays ("HOLY DAYS!?!?") of Easter and Christmas in the low-church sects, they inevitably preach to the congregation like they would at an evangelism rally, because they know most of the people there never come and they don't consider them to be Christians, or at least good ones. Unfortunately, they usually still were preaching the "pray this prayer right now" spiel, which most of those people had already done, so it was to little effect.

Anyway, whenever I consider these things, I am finding that the best place to look is in the mirror. Pray for me.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 06:31:31 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
Vlad
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2010, 08:26:58 PM »

I agree my Church is usually full on Sundays and Holy Days but Christmas and Easter there isn't even enough room for everyone. People have to stand along the walls and the middle aisle. It should be that way every Sunday.
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MyMapleStory
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2010, 10:06:04 PM »

IN any sort of group you are bound to have those sort of people who are less serious.
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Gamliel
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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2010, 11:15:18 PM »

One time I was conversing with someone I did not know, and it was brought up that I belonged to Orthodoxy.  The person asked, "Oh, are you a practicing Orthodox?"  I replied, "No, I've had it down for some time." Smiley
« Last Edit: October 11, 2010, 11:15:43 PM by Gamliel » Logged
Heorhij
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2010, 12:59:23 AM »

As far as I know - no. An Orthodox is an Orthodox is an Orthodox. Very long time ago, when people were jumping all the time because the Earth crust was still way too hot, there was a custom that those who missed three Divine Liturgies in a row without a valid excuse were deemed excommunicated from the Orthodox Church. However, the Earth crust has chilled somewhat and this custom is forgotten or at least never observed in sanity.
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sainthieu
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« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2010, 02:32:00 AM »

My church is pretty gung-ho in practicing Orthodoxy; only about 25% more people show up on Pascha than on a regular Sunday, and many of those are non-Orthodox guests who have been invited to share the joy. As for practicing; give me another 30 years. After that, I intend to go professional.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2010, 03:31:24 AM »

Certainly there are. A practicing Orthodox is any Orthodox who is trying. A non-practicing Orthodox is someone who says they're Orthodox but doesn't try. A confused person is someone who isn't aware of this very simple fact.  Smiley
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peteprint
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2010, 05:45:59 PM »

What I have found interesting as a recent convert is how people come in late for the liturgy.  I do know that what others do is not my concern and that I should focus on my own behavior.  I am not judging the other members of my parish, it is just something that I find very different from my Protestant upbringing.

Our liturgy starts at 10:30 a.m. and I am usually there by 10:15.  when I enter the church there are about a dozen people already there.  From the time the liturgy begins at 10:30 until the Great Entrance, the number of people increases to about 125-150.  The vast majority arrive after the homily is given, or just before; in other words, after the service has been going on for about 30-45 minutes.  Prior to that, the number in attendance only grows from the initial dozen to maybe 30-40.  People trickle in throughout the service.

I realize the variables involved, such as traffic and the like, some however religiously arrive after the gospel reading or the homily, week after week.  I often wonder if it is because they are not planning to commune or are mainly there for the luncheon that occurs afterwards.  In my parish only about 8-10 people commune each week out of the 125 or so there.  My priest encourages frequent communion, but told me that most of the parishioners come from a background where it was not common.  A lady I know at the parish told me that when she was growing up back east, at the church she attended, most only took communion once a year.

I take communion primarily during the weekday feasts because only about 5-10 people show up.  As a recent convert I feel uncomfortable communing on Sunday in front of long term parishioners that never go forward accept at Easter or some other time.  ( I don't want to "rock the boat" or seem like an "uppity" convert).  In the nearly one year that I have been attending I have seen people that are there every Sunday (and on time) who I have never seen commune.

As I stated, I am not criticizing my fellow parishioners, something that I would never have a right to do, I just find it interesting considering my prior religious background where everyone showed up on time if at all possible.  People were embarrassed to enter the church late.  Is this common in most Orthodox churches?  Is it more common in some jurisdictions than in others, or common in the "old country"?

As an aside, the lady that I am a friend with says that coming in late was not the practice in the Orthodox church she grew up in back in Pennsylvania.

In Christ,

Peter
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Punch
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« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2010, 09:32:22 PM »

Certainly there are. A practicing Orthodox is any Orthodox who is trying. A non-practicing Orthodox is someone who says they're Orthodox but doesn't try. A confused person is someone who isn't aware of this very simple fact.  Smiley

That is pretty much how I see it, even though another thread has left me wondering.
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« Reply #10 on: October 30, 2010, 11:05:43 PM »

What I have found interesting as a recent convert is how people come in late for the liturgy.  I do know that what others do is not my concern and that I should focus on my own behavior.  I am not judging the other members of my parish, it is just something that I find very different from my Protestant upbringing.

Our liturgy starts at 10:30 a.m. and I am usually there by 10:15.  when I enter the church there are about a dozen people already there.  From the time the liturgy begins at 10:30 until the Great Entrance, the number of people increases to about 125-150.  The vast majority arrive after the homily is given, or just before; in other words, after the service has been going on for about 30-45 minutes.  Prior to that, the number in attendance only grows from the initial dozen to maybe 30-40.  People trickle in throughout the service.

I realize the variables involved, such as traffic and the like, some however religiously arrive after the gospel reading or the homily, week after week.  I often wonder if it is because they are not planning to commune or are mainly there for the luncheon that occurs afterwards.  In my parish only about 8-10 people commune each week out of the 125 or so there.  My priest encourages frequent communion, but told me that most of the parishioners come from a background where it was not common.  A lady I know at the parish told me that when she was growing up back east, at the church she attended, most only took communion once a year.

I take communion primarily during the weekday feasts because only about 5-10 people show up.  As a recent convert I feel uncomfortable communing on Sunday in front of long term parishioners that never go forward accept at Easter or some other time.  ( I don't want to "rock the boat" or seem like an "uppity" convert).  In the nearly one year that I have been attending I have seen people that are there every Sunday (and on time) who I have never seen commune.

As I stated, I am not criticizing my fellow parishioners, something that I would never have a right to do, I just find it interesting considering my prior religious background where everyone showed up on time if at all possible.  People were embarrassed to enter the church late.  Is this common in most Orthodox churches?  Is it more common in some jurisdictions than in others, or common in the "old country"?

As an aside, the lady that I am a friend with says that coming in late was not the practice in the Orthodox church she grew up in back in Pennsylvania.

In Christ,

Peter

When you take into consideration the Orthros as well as the Liturgy it comes to a 3 hour service with no intermission. Once someone decides that they or their children are not able or willing to come at the start of the Orthros it becomes very easy to mentally make the decision to arrive at any hour.

Then you have the issue of why they are coming anyhow. Some are coming for the social aspect as you mentioned. Some for communion. Some to hear the gospel or sermon.

In my experience attendance increases or decreases based on participation. If the laity are singing hymns, prayers, creed, have some role in the service ie passing trays, distributing candles, welcoming parishioners, taking attendance for statistics or even just standing at a specified office they are much more likely to come on time to fulfill their obligation. Even an individual commitment to follow along in the service book makes a big difference.

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