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Author Topic: My first visit, somewhat disappointed.  (Read 4552 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: October 31, 2010, 09:02:08 PM »

Hello all,
I attended an Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church today (here in Denver) for the first time and I must say my expectations were probably too high.

Since I want to now give my life back to the Lord, I decided that I wanted to find the origins of Christianity which led me to Orthodoxy. I've been reading plenty of articles regarding the faith and I agree with it to the fullest, it just seems not only logical but natural to me.

The more I read about Orthodox Church the more I was excited about it's worshipping which involved music. I was happy to see Jesus treated as someone who is "sacred" (for lack of a better term) and awed at the beauty of Orthodox worship.

However I attended my first High Mass this morning and I came away with feeling like an alien.  Considering my evangelical/Protestant background, I was confused on what was going on and could not even follow the book they had regarding prayers (which skipped around the pages alot). I felt that the priest and his assistant (I assume that's his title) genuinely worshipped the Lord however I myself am struggling to worship and I wonder if that is due to my lack of how to wroship properly in the Orthodox Church.

I was dissapointed by the lack of music, which I thought there was going to be. I don't know I guess I had this image in my head of what it was supposed to be like, but I was confused, uncertain and lost at the end of the Liturgy.
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« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2010, 09:07:53 PM »

When you say music, do you mean that there wasn't a choir? How small is the parish? This wasn't a western-rite was it? (I say this because you mentioned the term 'high mass') Also, was the liturgy done in english primarily?
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« Reply #2 on: October 31, 2010, 09:11:34 PM »

Yes no choir was involved, and yes it was a Western-Rite and the liturgy was done in English, all of it. Am I not getting the correct interpretation of Orthodoxy?
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« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2010, 09:14:03 PM »

Yes no choir was involved, and yes it was a Western-Rite and the liturgy was done in English, all of it. Am I not getting the correct interpretation of Orthodoxy?

There's nothing wrong with that, just know that Western Rite liturgies are very rare. Most Orthodox liturgies, in English or not, are sung.
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« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2010, 09:16:34 PM »

The parish this morning had about 10 or less show up in attendance, sorry forgot to mention that.

I have nothing against the Chruch itself, I'm not sure I feel at home yet.

http://www.staugustinedenver.org/
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« Reply #5 on: October 31, 2010, 09:16:44 PM »

Hello all,
I attended an Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church today (here in Denver) for the first time and I must say my expectations were probably too high.

Since I want to now give my life back to the Lord, I decided that I wanted to find the origins of Christianity which led me to Orthodoxy. I've been reading plenty of articles regarding the faith and I agree with it to the fullest, it just seems not only logical but natural to me.

The more I read about Orthodox Church the more I was excited about it's worshipping which involved music. I was happy to see Jesus treated as someone who is "sacred" (for lack of a better term) and awed at the beauty of Orthodox worship.

Indeed, music seems natural to the worship of the heavenly tabernacle.

Quote
However I attended my first High Mass this morning and I came away with feeling like an alien.

This is not unusual for people's first time.

Quote
Considering my evangelical/Protestant background, I was confused on what was going on and could not even follow the book they had regarding prayers (which skipped around the pages alot).

Skipped around a lot... usually the Liturgy is practically identical every week, so I am surprised that this was the case. Obviously studying the content and structure of the Liturgy is a good thing, but sometimes it's best to just put down the book and worship.

Quote
I felt that the priest and his assistant (I assume that's his title)

deacon? Wink

Quote
genuinely worshipped the Lord however I myself am struggling to worship and I wonder if that is due to my lack of how to wroship properly in the Orthodox Church.

Worship is a continual learning process. Those of us who have been Orthodox our whole lives are still learning how to worship better.

Quote
I was dissapointed by the lack of music, which I thought there was going to be. I don't know I guess I had this image in my head of what it was supposed to be like, but I was confused, uncertain and lost at the end of the Liturgy.

Traditionally, the entire Liturgy is chanted or sung. As for confusion, again, that is common for first visits. I personally know people who hated their fist visit to the Liturgy, but are now Orthodox.

Maybe you could share with us some of the things you had trouble with...we'll help Smiley Smiley
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« Reply #6 on: October 31, 2010, 09:20:13 PM »

Now that you mention that it's Western Rite--well, maybe that explains some things. I've never been to a WR Liturgy, but I'll check it out. Do you have any parishes near you that do the traditional Divine Liturgy?
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« Reply #7 on: October 31, 2010, 09:22:29 PM »

Well, the western-rite churches are usually mission type and many of them are quite new and still in their infancy. Are you interested in western-rite orthodoxy specifically, or are you open to investigating eastern orthodox churches using byzantine rite? If you aren't partial either way, I would attend a byzantine liturgy and see if you like that better (assuming you have one in your area).
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« Reply #8 on: October 31, 2010, 09:24:57 PM »

Thanks Rufus,
I do not know how to go about researching a traditional Divine Liturgy in sofar as finding a parish that does that. Can you point me in the direction to a site that has locations of such parishes?

I guess my confusion relies in the practice of worship itself, I didn't have much of a guidline to follow. (Like when to do the sign of the cross for example). What is the significance of kneeling? Is it to bow in front of the Lord?

I guess I wanted to be moved spiritually but did not feel it today. Maybe my heart and head aren't where they are supposed to be at.

As far as it skipping, there was a book other Orthodox members were using that I can't remember the name of it(you can find it behind a bench), but they would be on page 10 and skip to a later part of the book and sometimes back. It was all so confusing to me.
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2010, 09:28:13 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2010, 09:31:50 PM »

Can you point me in the direction to a site that has locations of such parishes?

This seems to work:
http://www.scoba.us/directory.html
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2010, 09:33:02 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

Thank you so very much for the link. However OCA, Russian, Greek...what do I choose??
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2010, 09:33:40 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

LOL an Orthodox parish named after St. Augustine.
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« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2010, 09:36:07 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

Thank you so very much for the link. However OCA, Russian, Greek...what do I choose??


The OCA, Greek Archdiocese and the Antiochian Archdiocese will almost certainly have a large part, if not the entire liturgy in English.

And to give you fair warning. If you thought the Western Rite liturgy was foreign wait till you see Byzantine Divine Liturgy. My advice to you would be forget trying to follow along in a liturgy book. Just relax, absorb what's going on and participate as much as you feel comfortable.  Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: October 31, 2010, 09:41:28 PM »

I guess my confusion relies in the practice of worship itself, I didn't have much of a guidline to follow. (Like when to do the sign of the cross for example).

You usually cross yourself whenever someone says, "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," and whenever you hear anything like "Blessed is God," "Glory to God," etc. Beyond that, there's no hard-and-fast rule for when to cross yourself.

Quote
What is the significance of kneeling? Is it to bow in front of the Lord?

Must be a Western Rite thing--Orthodox traditionally never kneel on Sundays, because it is the Day of Resurrection. On other days, bowing and kneeling is a common expression of worship; kneeling is especially associated with humility and contrition for one's sins.
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« Reply #15 on: October 31, 2010, 09:43:50 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

Thank you so very much for the link. However OCA, Russian, Greek...what do I choose??


The OCA, Greek Archdiocese and the Antiochian Archdiocese will almost certainly have a large part, if not the entire liturgy in English.

And to give you fair warning. If you thought the Western Rite liturgy was foreign wait till you see Byzantine Divine Liturgy. My advice to you would be forget trying to follow along in a liturgy book. Just relax, absorb what's going on and participate as much as you feel comfortable.  Smiley

After all, a big part of the meaning of the Liturgy has been to convey the Gospel to the masses, who, throughout most of history, were illiterate. Not to mention that Old World churches don't have pews, just an open space where everyone stands. So, following along in a book is really a modern intrusion into the Divine Liturgy.
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« Reply #16 on: October 31, 2010, 09:46:00 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

LOL an Orthodox parish named after St. Augustine.

That also confused me as well considering the history of St. Augustine himself.


Paisius ~ So is there a more traditional one that has Liturgies in Latin, or whatever the traditional language used was?

Rufus ~ If I was to attend a Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, what is the difference between that Liturgy and one done on Sunday?
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« Reply #17 on: October 31, 2010, 09:49:07 PM »

Rufus ~ If I was to attend a Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, what is the difference between that Liturgy and one done on Sunday?

It will be a little shorter and less fancy, but the content will be the same.
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« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2010, 09:53:38 PM »

Rufus ~ If I was to attend a Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, what is the difference between that Liturgy and one done on Sunday?

It will be a little shorter and less fancy, but the content will be the same.

I see, so don't expect music?

How come the church I went to you didn't see people kissing the icons like I have been reading on other Orthodox churches? Is that because it is a Western-Rite church?
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« Reply #19 on: October 31, 2010, 09:59:56 PM »

Rufus ~ If I was to attend a Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, what is the difference between that Liturgy and one done on Sunday?

It will be a little shorter and less fancy, but the content will be the same.

I see, so don't expect music?

How come the church I went to you didn't see people kissing the icons like I have been reading on other Orthodox churches? Is that because it is a Western-Rite church?

While the Western Rite Mass has versions that can be either sung or spoken, the Divine Liturgy of Eastern Rite churches must be sung. Now, the quality and fanciness of the singing will depend on the ability and size of the choir and/or chanters.

As to the icons, Western Rite Orthodoxy tends toward statuary instead of icons. The two rites are very different, owing to their different histories and different cultural contexts.
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« Reply #20 on: October 31, 2010, 10:01:44 PM »

Paisius ~ So is there a more traditional one that has Liturgies in Latin, or whatever the traditional language used was?


The Greek parishes will have part of the liturgy in Greek. The amount of Greek can vary greatly depending on the parish. If you visit a ROCA (Russian Orthodox Church Abroad) parish a large part of the liturgy, if not all of it, may be in Old Church Slavonic. There is a Romanian parish in Denver that's part of the Romanian Episcopate of the OCA. Often their liturgies are served entirely in Romanian.

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« Reply #21 on: October 31, 2010, 10:12:35 PM »

Rufus ~ If I was to attend a Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, what is the difference between that Liturgy and one done on Sunday?

It will be a little shorter and less fancy, but the content will be the same.

I see, so don't expect music?

How come the church I went to you didn't see people kissing the icons like I have been reading on other Orthodox churches? Is that because it is a Western-Rite church?

You will see all those things in tradtional Orthodox churches. As for Western Rite, as I do more research on it, the more it seems like a knock-off of the old Roman Mass. Ironic that the point of it was to help missionize, yet the new visitor doesn't like it.
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« Reply #22 on: October 31, 2010, 10:15:45 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

LOL an Orthodox parish named after St. Augustine.
Huh St. Augustine is a Saint in the Orthodox Church. Why shouldn't a church be named after him?

In Christ,
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« Reply #23 on: October 31, 2010, 10:16:24 PM »

Rufus ~ If I was to attend a Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, what is the difference between that Liturgy and one done on Sunday?

It will be a little shorter and less fancy, but the content will be the same.

I see, so don't expect music?

How come the church I went to you didn't see people kissing the icons like I have been reading on other Orthodox churches? Is that because it is a Western-Rite church?

You will see all those things in tradtional Orthodox churches. As for Western Rite, as I do more research on it, the more it seems like a knock-off of the old Roman Mass. Ironic that the point of it was to help missionize, yet the new visitor doesn't like it.

It missionizes a certain niche- traditionalist RC's, high church Anglicans and Lutherans. Outside of that, its appeal is probably limited.
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« Reply #24 on: October 31, 2010, 10:23:54 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

LOL an Orthodox parish named after St. Augustine.
Huh St. Augustine is a Saint in the Orthodox Church. Why shouldn't a church be named after him?

In Christ,
Andrew

Yes, I just got a chuckle out of it because they might as well have a horn on the roof blaring "We're Western Rite."
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« Reply #25 on: October 31, 2010, 10:42:52 PM »

I guess my confusion relies in the practice of worship itself, I didn't have much of a guidline to follow. (Like when to do the sign of the cross for example).

You usually cross yourself whenever someone says, "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," and whenever you hear anything like "Blessed is God," "Glory to God," etc. Beyond that, there's no hard-and-fast rule for when to cross yourself.

Quote
What is the significance of kneeling? Is it to bow in front of the Lord?

Must be a Western Rite thing--Orthodox traditionally never kneel on Sundays, because it is the Day of Resurrection. On other days, bowing and kneeling is a common expression of worship; kneeling is especially associated with humility and contrition for one's sins.

It's not WRO. I've been to WRO DL where they do not kneel on Sunday, and plenty of Eastern rite who do (especially Romanians, just ask Augustine, who is VERY Eastern rite).  Btw, all the WRO I've been to had a sung DL. Btw, there is/was at least another WRO Church in Denver, St. Mark IIRC.
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« Reply #26 on: October 31, 2010, 10:43:35 PM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

LOL an Orthodox parish named after St. Augustine.
Huh St. Augustine is a Saint in the Orthodox Church. Why shouldn't a church be named after him?

In Christ,
Andrew

Yes, I just got a chuckle out of it because they might as well have a horn on the roof blaring "We're Western Rite."

Ah I understand now. I know there was a Greek Bishop named Agoustinos, and their may be a church in Greece named after him. But I suppose having St. Augustine as their patron would probably scream Western Rite, at least here in the States.

In Christ,
Andrew
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« Reply #27 on: October 31, 2010, 10:43:57 PM »

The OCA parish will probably have the most amount of English in it's service, and if it's anything like the OCA parish I am now attending the service will probably be almost ENTIRELY sung.  Greek parishes can go either way, depending on how large the mix is between ethnic Greek and convert, expect anywhere from 25%-75% of the Liturgy to be in Greek, maybe a choir, but at the very least a chanter or two.  

It looks like both the Antiochian parishes in Denver are Western Rite (a rarity for any city), one following the Rite of St Gregory (the Roman Rite, which you just attended) and the other following the Rite of St Tikhon (an Orthodox version of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer, called St Mark's).  Interesting that Denver has not one but two Western Rite parishes, as they're something of a rarity.

Given the choice, you might want to attend the OCA parish as your main go-to Church for now, but be sure to check out your local Greek Churches at some point once you get a better grounding in the liturgical "dance" and Orthodox basics.
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« Reply #28 on: October 31, 2010, 10:58:40 PM »

I guess my confusion relies in the practice of worship itself, I didn't have much of a guidline to follow. (Like when to do the sign of the cross for example).

You usually cross yourself whenever someone says, "Father, Son, and Holy Spirit," and whenever you hear anything like "Blessed is God," "Glory to God," etc. Beyond that, there's no hard-and-fast rule for when to cross yourself.

Quote
What is the significance of kneeling? Is it to bow in front of the Lord?

Must be a Western Rite thing--Orthodox traditionally never kneel on Sundays, because it is the Day of Resurrection. On other days, bowing and kneeling is a common expression of worship; kneeling is especially associated with humility and contrition for one's sins.

It's not WRO. I've been to WRO DL where they do not kneel on Sunday, and plenty of Eastern rite who do (especially Romanians, just ask Augustine, who is VERY Eastern rite).  Btw, all the WRO I've been to had a sung DL. Btw, there is/was at least another WRO Church in Denver, St. Mark IIRC.

Ahh thank you. I actually come from a "kneeling" church, but I've always associated kneeling more with the West, so I made a false assumption.
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« Reply #29 on: November 01, 2010, 05:38:49 AM »

This site might be of interest to you. It looks like there's about a dozen parishes within driving distance of Denver. I would guess that St. Augustine is the only western rite parish (though I'm not positive).

LOL an Orthodox parish named after St. Augustine.

Ya, classic right?
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« Reply #30 on: November 01, 2010, 05:42:35 AM »

Rufus ~ If I was to attend a Divine Liturgy on Wednesday, what is the difference between that Liturgy and one done on Sunday?

It will be a little shorter and less fancy, but the content will be the same.

Most likely they will not have a sermon if it is a mid-week service.  Also, the choir does not typically sing during mid week liturgies. At least that is my experience.
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« Reply #31 on: November 01, 2010, 05:44:48 AM »


Given the choice, you might want to attend the OCA parish as your main go-to Church for now, but be sure to check out your local Greek Churches at some point once you get a better grounding in the liturgical "dance" and Orthodox basics.

I would also suggest checking out the OCA parish next given what you described to us that you are looking for.
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« Reply #32 on: November 01, 2010, 11:32:11 AM »

Welcome to the forum and may the Lord bless your spiritual journey!

I recommend a couple of things. First check out Saint Herman of Alaska (OCA) Church in Littleton. Here is their site http://www.sthermanoca.org/?action=home. Please notice the schedule of services and the Thursday night inquirers class. Second, please read this short essay that has been quite useful for many newbies: "12 Things I Wish I’d Known…First Visit to an Orthodox Church" at http://www.frederica.com/12-things/.
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« Reply #33 on: November 01, 2010, 01:01:20 PM »

I'm sorry you did not enjoy your visit. I hope you do try again.   Smiley   angel
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« Reply #34 on: November 02, 2010, 09:40:48 PM »

Yes, do try again.  I didn't like liturgy the first time or two I went.  It does take some getting used to.  I  visited a WR parish early on too and also wasn't much impressed.  Definitely try every parish within reasonable distance...then keep going back to the one/s you like.\

edited to add:  if you can listen to part or all of a liturgy before you go it might help you to be a bit more familiar with the service.  I bought St. Vlad's DL CD and listened to it a lot when I first started going.  I I think it really helped me feel a bit more comfortable since I was coming from a Charismatic backgroun and didn't know anything about the liturgy. 

Ancient Faith radio online has lots of selections playing all day now too.

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« Reply #35 on: November 02, 2010, 09:52:50 PM »

Hello all,
I attended an Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church today (here in Denver) for the first time and I must say my expectations were probably too high.

Since I want to now give my life back to the Lord, I decided that I wanted to find the origins of Christianity which led me to Orthodoxy. I've been reading plenty of articles regarding the faith and I agree with it to the fullest, it just seems not only logical but natural to me.

The more I read about Orthodox Church the more I was excited about it's worshipping which involved music. I was happy to see Jesus treated as someone who is "sacred" (for lack of a better term) and awed at the beauty of Orthodox worship.

However I attended my first High Mass this morning and I came away with feeling like an alien.  Considering my evangelical/Protestant background, I was confused on what was going on and could not even follow the book they had regarding prayers (which skipped around the pages alot). I felt that the priest and his assistant (I assume that's his title) genuinely worshipped the Lord however I myself am struggling to worship and I wonder if that is due to my lack of how to wroship properly in the Orthodox Church.

I was dissapointed by the lack of music, which I thought there was going to be. I don't know I guess I had this image in my head of what it was supposed to be like, but I was confused, uncertain and lost at the end of the Liturgy.

Greetings in that Divine and Most precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

The flavors and rhythms of Orthodox worship indeed take a life-time to adjust, don't feel so discouraged!  Did you honestly expect to walk into your first Mass and perfectly fit right in like a glove? Don't fret such things, if you feel the reverberation of Orthodoxy resonated within your Heart, then continue in this Faith as best you are able.  Attend services with no expectations other then to offer God the best worship you can, and feel no way about anything else.  Indeed, sometimes part of the Orthodox experience is to feel alienated, but do not fret, God will always offer a reconciliation to the sincere seeker who humbly knocks at the gates.
Next time you attend a service, leave the Mass book at home and simply stand there and experience the prayers, their sight and sound and feelings, experience them without expectations or interpretations, just as the raw life, stand in prayer burning like the candles, and surely in His Sacramental Time God will visit you. Remember above else, that there is seldom opportunities for instant gratification in the Orthodox Church, the purpose of Our Mother the Church is to teach us to operate within the economy of God's Time, and not our own, and this in and of itself is a frighteningly humbling experience sometimes.

And if you after more services still do not "feel it", then church hop other Orthodox congregations until you do "feel it"


stay blessed,
habte selassie
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« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2010, 10:29:46 PM »

Achronos,

from my personal visiting experience, the Western Rite liturgy has much less music, although the one I attended did have a lot of more recent (medieval) hymns thrown in. The Eastern Rite is the one with ALL the bells and whistles. I can appreciate the WR, since I love the ancient Gregorian liturgy, but the ER is where my heart is. Also, when I first visited an ER church, I didn't really like it or understand it at all. It gets better. I am Orthodox now and I still haven't memorized it all since I'm a slow learner, but it is the most amazing thing in the world. My advice is to listen to as many of the songs and prayers as possible and put your heart into them. I grew up Roman Catholic, and wasn't taught that all the repetition and prayers were for me to actually participate with my whole heart!   laugh

May God bless you!
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« Reply #37 on: November 04, 2010, 12:05:09 AM »

Achronos,WELCOME TO THE CONVERT ISSUES FORUM

St. Mark's is one of the more active WRO in the Antiichian  Orthodox Church, having a internet presence and very active parish life. You may wish to visit their website at http://www.westernorthodox.com/stmark/

i would recommend you attend both eastern & western rites of the Orthodox Church if you have the opportunity to do so.

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« Reply #38 on: November 04, 2010, 10:17:08 AM »

I live quite close to Denver, and can tell you that there are several Eastern Orthodox Churches, instead of Western Rite, in Denver.  you probably went to St. Augustine's or St. Mark's.  there definatly not my favorite and not an example of mainstream Orthodoxy (being Western rite, and all).  

this is opne of my personal favorites, Assumption Cathedral:
http://www.assumptioncathedral.org/

and, there is Holy Transfiguration of Christ Cathedral.  though smaller than most "cathedral"'s, it belongs to the OCA, so it's ALL IN ENGLISH.
www.transfigcathedral.org/

this is my favorite Church in denver, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside Russia (ROCOR).  it's called All Saints of Russia".
http://rocordenver.org/



of course, if you are ever in my home town (Pueblo), you would be more than welcome at my Church, St. Michael's Orthodox Church.  we are OCA, so our liturgy, for the most part, is entirely English.
http://www.orthodoxpueblo.org/
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« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2010, 12:09:03 PM »

I'd say if you've got a number of Orthodox parishes in your area, visit them all.

If you want to be Geek Orthodox, you can follow this handy crazy convert schema:

If the total number or parishes is between 12 and 40, visit each three times.
If the total number is between 3 and 12, visit each 12 times.
If the total number is between 1-3, visit each 40 times.

(Yeah, I just happened to think of it, so it may be stupid.)
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« Reply #40 on: November 04, 2010, 12:34:36 PM »

I'd say if you've got a number of Orthodox parishes in your area, visit them all.

If you want to be Geek Orthodox, you can follow this handy crazy convert schema:

If the total number or parishes is between 12 and 40, visit each three times.
If the total number is between 3 and 12, visit each 12 times.
If the total number is between 1-3, visit each 40 times.

(Yeah, I just happened to think of it, so it may be stupid.)

It would take, like, 3 years to finish all the visits. lol.
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« Reply #41 on: November 04, 2010, 12:55:44 PM »

I'd say if you've got a number of Orthodox parishes in your area, visit them all.

If you want to be Geek Orthodox, you can follow this handy crazy convert schema:

If the total number or parishes is between 12 and 40, visit each three times.
If the total number is between 3 and 12, visit each 12 times.
If the total number is between 1-3, visit each 40 times.

(Yeah, I just happened to think of it, so it may be stupid.)

It would take, like, 3 years to finish all the visits. lol.

Well, three years was the standard time in the catechumenate for the early Church. ;-)
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« Reply #42 on: November 04, 2010, 02:16:54 PM »

I'd say if you've got a number of Orthodox parishes in your area, visit them all.

If you want to be Geek Orthodox, you can follow this handy crazy convert schema:

If the total number or parishes is between 12 and 40, visit each three times.
If the total number is between 3 and 12, visit each 12 times.
If the total number is between 1-3, visit each 40 times.

(Yeah, I just happened to think of it, so it may be stupid.)

It would take, like, 3 years to finish all the visits. lol.

Well, three years was the standard time in the catechumenate for the early Church. ;-)

Depending on who you read.. Wink Grin
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« Reply #43 on: November 04, 2010, 03:07:13 PM »

I'd say if you've got a number of Orthodox parishes in your area, visit them all.

If you want to be Geek Orthodox, you can follow this handy crazy convert schema:

If the total number or parishes is between 12 and 40, visit each three times.
If the total number is between 3 and 12, visit each 12 times.
If the total number is between 1-3, visit each 40 times.

(Yeah, I just happened to think of it, so it may be stupid.)

So the minimum is 36, the maximum 144... There's too much variance in there.
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« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2010, 06:14:53 PM »

I want to thank everyone for participating and in helping me. I attended the Assumption Cathedral here in Denver and loved every minute of it. It was exactly what I was looking for and I felt right at home. I want to thank Trevor for pointing it out to me, I am grateful to you brother.

Now is it common in the Greek Orthodox Church that an organ is used along with sung liturgry?
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« Reply #45 on: November 14, 2010, 06:22:52 PM »

I want to thank everyone for participating and in helping me. I attended the Assumption Cathedral here in Denver and loved every minute of it. It was exactly what I was looking for and I felt right at home. I want to thank Trevor for pointing it out to me, I am grateful to you brother.

Now is it common in the Greek Orthodox Church that an organ is used along with sung liturgry?

It's not uncommon

Glad you stuck with it and enjoyed this past visit.
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« Reply #46 on: November 14, 2010, 06:46:07 PM »

Hi Achronos!

I think you were perhaps a bit "let down" because anything you're likely to read about liturgy is from an Eastern perspective, referencing the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, so if you read something and felt, "Yes! This is what I want!" then you won't find it in the Western Rite.  Each rite has it's own symbolism, music, choreography, architecture, customs, pieties and traditions.  One rite will typically resonate more one person, than another.  It all depends on what you're "looking for."

I attend a WR parish and we've had several people say after the liturgy, "That's not what I read about in the books!"  Anyway, yeah, you're probably looking for an Eastern Church if you want to experience what you've read online and in books.  Hope you find a home!
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« Reply #47 on: November 14, 2010, 06:52:24 PM »

I want to thank everyone for participating and in helping me. I attended the Assumption Cathedral here in Denver and loved every minute of it. It was exactly what I was looking for and I felt right at home. I want to thank Trevor for pointing it out to me, I am grateful to you brother.

Now is it common in the Greek Orthodox Church that an organ is used along with sung liturgry?

you are most welcome!  it's a great honor to be able to help you out in this way!
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« Reply #48 on: November 14, 2010, 07:10:53 PM »

I want to thank everyone for participating and in helping me. I attended the Assumption Cathedral here in Denver and loved every minute of it. It was exactly what I was looking for and I felt right at home. I want to thank Trevor for pointing it out to me, I am grateful to you brother.

Now is it common in the Greek Orthodox Church that an organ is used along with sung liturgry?

Traditionally, only the human voice is used. What percentage of churches in the US have organs I do not know.
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« Reply #49 on: November 14, 2010, 07:38:40 PM »

Hello all,
I attended an Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church today (here in Denver) for the first time and I must say my expectations were probably too high.

Since I want to now give my life back to the Lord, I decided that I wanted to find the origins of Christianity which led me to Orthodoxy. I've been reading plenty of articles regarding the faith and I agree with it to the fullest, it just seems not only logical but natural to me.

The more I read about Orthodox Church the more I was excited about it's worshipping which involved music. I was happy to see Jesus treated as someone who is "sacred" (for lack of a better term) and awed at the beauty of Orthodox worship.

However I attended my first High Mass this morning and I came away with feeling like an alien.  Considering my evangelical/Protestant background, I was confused on what was going on and could not even follow the book they had regarding prayers (which skipped around the pages alot). I felt that the priest and his assistant (I assume that's his title) genuinely worshipped the Lord however I myself am struggling to worship and I wonder if that is due to my lack of how to wroship properly in the Orthodox Church.

I was dissapointed by the lack of music, which I thought there was going to be. I don't know I guess I had this image in my head of what it was supposed to be like, but I was confused, uncertain and lost at the end of the Liturgy.

I want to thank everyone for participating and in helping me. I attended the Assumption Cathedral here in Denver and loved every minute of it. It was exactly what I was looking for and I felt right at home. I want to thank Trevor for pointing it out to me, I am grateful to you brother.

Now is it common in the Greek Orthodox Church that an organ is used along with sung liturgry?




1.   Music could be deceptive.  Melody is targeting our physiological perception and without correct perception of meaning it may lead into lust pleasure .
2.   quality of music depending on choir skill
3.   manner depending on ethnic tradition or choosed melody.
4.   English translation couldbe an issue….. big one. And you need to work hard on it
5.   when I teach about public pray service I split whole in majoer important parts and group, explain each and connect them. So if any one “get lost in translation” still may find way to dill with .
6.   No musical instrument common for orthodox
7.   “artistic melody” depending on parish


Experienced orthodox priest would have not problem to serve with in most tradition even with “zero” language skill of this region. Service be came part of his core and he despite melody or language barer.
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« Reply #50 on: November 14, 2010, 09:44:49 PM »

Dear Achronos,

Please keep attending Orthodox parishes until you find the one you are most comfortable in.  The Orthodox faith is worth it, believe me.  I am a recent convert and it does take awhile to adapt to Orthodox worship.

Remember, the important thing is the theology, what Orthodox Christians believe.  That is why I became Orthodox.  Each parish will be a little (or a lot) different, depending on jurisdiction, the individual priest, the size of the congregation, the ethnicity, etc.  Keep looking until you find the parish you believe is best for you.  Just don't give up.

Becoming Orthodox is a wonderful thing.  Hang in there, it is where we are all meant to be.
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« Reply #51 on: November 14, 2010, 09:48:36 PM »

Dear Achronos,

I apologize for not seeing your post regarding the Assumption Cathedral.  That is wonderful that you found what you were looking for there!
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« Reply #52 on: November 15, 2010, 08:31:58 PM »

Dear Achronos, I am overjoyed that you love Assumption!  perhapse I will see you there for pan-Orthodox vespers this Lent!

one thing you should note is that the beloved cathedral is in a quite unusual shape, and it's not usual for Orthodox Churches.



also, Assumption is an absolutly WONDERFUL example of Christian byzantine art!  it doesn't have the traditional iconostasis, though.


just wanted to point this out.  it is indeed a jewel in Colorado Orthodoxy!

also, if you ever go to Colorado springs, there is an OCA Church called Holy Theophany.  the priest, Father Anthony Karbo, is one of the most interesting men I've ever met!!!  I highly encourage you to visit there if you ever are in the Springs.

as I said before, you'd alwayse be most welcome at St. Michael's Church if your ever down here in Pueblo!
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« Reply #53 on: November 15, 2010, 10:12:21 PM »

I'm glad you've found a Greek Orthodox Church that you feel at home at. But just know that eventually, the liturgy will not seem as exotic. Some weeks will be boring. Sometimes, rituals will be done poorly.

What really matters is your own heart. If your own heart is pure, you'll be able to worship, whether its a good service or not, with good music or not, eastern rite or western rite.
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« Reply #54 on: December 14, 2010, 08:22:22 AM »

Upon my reflection recently I have had some sort of a desire to attend St. Augustine's again. I enjoy the Western Rite archeticture more and the Gregorian Chant is probably my favorite. I love the Cathedral no doubt about it, but I was curious can you jump back and forth between the different jurisdictions or do you just have to stay at just one?
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« Reply #55 on: December 14, 2010, 09:30:49 AM »

Upon my reflection recently I have had some sort of a desire to attend St. Augustine's again. I enjoy the Western Rite archeticture more and the Gregorian Chant is probably my favorite. I love the Cathedral no doubt about it, but I was curious can you jump back and forth between the different jurisdictions or do you just have to stay at just one?

Is St. Augustine's under the same Bishop as the Cathedral you've been visiting? If they're close by, chances are they might be.
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« Reply #56 on: December 14, 2010, 10:25:16 AM »

Upon my reflection recently I have had some sort of a desire to attend St. Augustine's again. I enjoy the Western Rite archeticture more and the Gregorian Chant is probably my favorite. I love the Cathedral no doubt about it, but I was curious can you jump back and forth between the different jurisdictions or do you just have to stay at just one?

Is St. Augustine's under the same Bishop as the Cathedral you've been visiting? If they're close by, chances are they might be.

I don't think so, as the GOA does not currently have any Western Rite parishes. I think St Augustine's is under the AOCNA and thus under Metropolitan Phillip with His Grace Bishop Basil as the Bishop responsible for the Vicarate. The AOCNA Western Rite parishes however usually are handled by the local bishop, I think in Colorado that would be Bishop Basil of DOWOMA.

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« Reply #57 on: December 14, 2010, 11:41:08 AM »

Dear Achronos:

The best advice, noted above, is to visit as many churches as possible and narrow it down from there. Once you've settled on a preferred church, you usually join there and stick with it to develop relationships and participate in the communal life of the church. You can't be an Orthodox Christian all by yourself; you're a member of a family.

As far as the Eastern liturgy is concerned: the church has a cycle of fixed feasts that occur on the same date each year and moveable feasts, that are scheduled according to a lunar calendar, and vary. In addition, the choir chants the liturgy based on 8 "tones", or patterns of notes, starting with Tone 1 at the beginning of the liturgical year, September 1, and incrementing the next 7 weeks to Tone 8. Then, the pattern starts again and continues all year. So, liturgically, there are wheels within wheels. Some songs are sung on weeks 1-4 and some through weeks 5 - 8. A certain combination of chants may come around once every 10 years or twice in a lifetime. (My priest was thrilled last year to encounter a certain chant combination that he'd always wished for--after 12 years!) It requires several books of rubrics to sort this all out. So there is something slightly tentative about the service because the choir vacillates between singing the well-known works and flying by the seat of their pants. Obviously, the longer the chanters have been together, and the more musical knowledge they have, the better. (They didn't invent the word, byzantine, for nothing.)

I've been in the church for 6 years, and I'm only just beginning to understand what's going on. If you get the little red prayer book, you can read the words of the liturgy and see the main shape of the liturgy. It may help to make it understandable. That is what is always said. Anything else is in hopnor of a Saint, special occasion, or Feast.
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« Reply #58 on: December 14, 2010, 04:26:10 PM »

Upon my reflection recently I have had some sort of a desire to attend St. Augustine's again. I enjoy the Western Rite archeticture more and the Gregorian Chant is probably my favorite. I love the Cathedral no doubt about it, but I was curious can you jump back and forth between the different jurisdictions or do you just have to stay at just one?

Is St. Augustine's under the same Bishop as the Cathedral you've been visiting? If they're close by, chances are they might be.

No that Cathedral is Greek Orthodox.

My main concern in becoming an Antiochian Orthodox is Metropolitian Phillip, he's becoming a pope!
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« Reply #59 on: December 14, 2010, 04:41:52 PM »

Upon my reflection recently I have had some sort of a desire to attend St. Augustine's again. I enjoy the Western Rite archeticture more and the Gregorian Chant is probably my favorite. I love the Cathedral no doubt about it, but I was curious can you jump back and forth between the different jurisdictions or do you just have to stay at just one?

Is St. Augustine's under the same Bishop as the Cathedral you've been visiting? If they're close by, chances are they might be.

No that Cathedral is Greek Orthodox.

My main concern in becoming an Antiochian Orthodox is Metropolitian Phillip, he's becoming a pope!

You can always visit from time to time, and when you visit after being received into Orthodoxy you can even commune.  Metropolitan Philip's papal pretensions have no effect on intercommunion between the jurisdictions for the lay-person (and the day they do he will no longer be Orthodox).
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« Reply #60 on: December 14, 2010, 05:07:04 PM »

Hello all,
I attended an Antiochian Orthodox Christian Church today (here in Denver) for the first time and I must say my expectations were probably too high.

Since I want to now give my life back to the Lord, I decided that I wanted to find the origins of Christianity which led me to Orthodoxy. I've been reading plenty of articles regarding the faith and I agree with it to the fullest, it just seems not only logical but natural to me.

The more I read about Orthodox Church the more I was excited about it's worshipping which involved music. I was happy to see Jesus treated as someone who is "sacred" (for lack of a better term) and awed at the beauty of Orthodox worship.

However I attended my first High Mass this morning and I came away with feeling like an alien.  Considering my evangelical/Protestant background, I was confused on what was going on and could not even follow the book they had regarding prayers (which skipped around the pages alot). I felt that the priest and his assistant (I assume that's his title) genuinely worshipped the Lord however I myself am struggling to worship and I wonder if that is due to my lack of how to wroship properly in the Orthodox Church.

I was dissapointed by the lack of music, which I thought there was going to be. I don't know I guess I had this image in my head of what it was supposed to be like, but I was confused, uncertain and lost at the end of the Liturgy.

Achronos,

I think the music is Gregorian chant, or similar, as in early Christianity. Also, in some churches in eastern Christianity, I think there are cymbals, bells, and/or drums, in case you were disappointed about musical instrument. I enjoy ringing the bells at the beginning of the service, and sometimes it happens during the service.

Regarding the book, you may be able to find someone at coffee hour who next time can help you through it in the service.

God Bless

Merry XMas
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« Reply #61 on: December 14, 2010, 06:07:49 PM »

Upon my reflection recently I have had some sort of a desire to attend St. Augustine's again. I enjoy the Western Rite archeticture more and the Gregorian Chant is probably my favorite. I love the Cathedral no doubt about it, but I was curious can you jump back and forth between the different jurisdictions or do you just have to stay at just one?

Is St. Augustine's under the same Bishop as the Cathedral you've been visiting? If they're close by, chances are they might be.

No that Cathedral is Greek Orthodox.

My main concern in becoming an Antiochian Orthodox is Metropolitian Phillip, he's becoming a pope!

I think that you'll find that these issues such as these rarely manifest themselves at the parish level.
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« Reply #62 on: December 14, 2010, 06:53:15 PM »

My main concern in becoming an Antiochian Orthodox is Metropolitian Phillip, he's becoming a pope!

(The following is just my opinion and in no way represents anything close to pastoral guidance, especially as I am not ordained.)

In my eyes, I think it would be very dangerous to choose a parish based on who the ruling hierarch is. In the case of Antioch, there are clearly some profound issues with how they administer their Archdiocese and deal with certain matters of a worldly nature. That said, such issues are not unique to Antioch, and can be found in other jurisdictions to some extent or another. Similarly each bishop is different, and just because we stand him in the middle of the church, dress him like the East Roman Emperor, and tell him to live forever (to paraphrase Metropolitan Jonah), does not mean that we are required to agree with the bishop on all things.

For this reason, my priest recommends that catechumens shy away from Church politics until well after their reception. It is a distraction at the very least, and at the worst can jade someone so badly that they leave the Church. The Church is perfect, the people who are her members decidedly less so. The Church is a hospital for sinners...her clergy and hierarchs and other people in power are no different; they deserve our prayers.

My advice to you, as unsolicited as it may be, is the following. Find the closest canonical Orthodox parish to you. Go there. Pray. When it is time to be received into the Ark of Salvation, be received. When the demons come, fight with all you have. Attend that parish as often as you can, and only leave it when you have a good reason to.

Metropolitan Philip will not be around forever. The Archdiocese should not be abandoned because of the failings of one person.
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« Reply #63 on: December 14, 2010, 08:33:01 PM »

Quote
In addition, the choir chants the liturgy based on 8 "tones", or patterns of notes, starting with Tone 1 at the beginning of the liturgical year, September 1, and incrementing the next 7 weeks to Tone 8. Then, the pattern starts again and continues all year. So, liturgically, there are wheels within wheels. Some songs are sung on weeks 1-4 and some through weeks 5 - 8.
It starts at Easter, not on Sept. 1.
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« Reply #64 on: December 14, 2010, 08:36:19 PM »

Quote
In addition, the choir chants the liturgy based on 8 "tones", or patterns of notes, starting with Tone 1 at the beginning of the liturgical year, September 1, and incrementing the next 7 weeks to Tone 8. Then, the pattern starts again and continues all year. So, liturgically, there are wheels within wheels. Some songs are sung on weeks 1-4 and some through weeks 5 - 8.
It starts at Easter, not on Sept. 1.

Is this true for both rites? I always thought it was September 1st as well.
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« Reply #65 on: December 14, 2010, 08:52:11 PM »

Quote
In addition, the choir chants the liturgy based on 8 "tones", or patterns of notes, starting with Tone 1 at the beginning of the liturgical year, September 1, and incrementing the next 7 weeks to Tone 8. Then, the pattern starts again and continues all year. So, liturgically, there are wheels within wheels. Some songs are sung on weeks 1-4 and some through weeks 5 - 8.
It starts at Easter, not on Sept. 1.

Is this true for both rites? I always thought it was September 1st as well.

Greek, Antiochian, and other traditions that use Byzantine chanting begin the cycle on Easter. Slavic practice may be different, I don't know.
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« Reply #66 on: December 14, 2010, 09:13:38 PM »

Well, color me confused. My preist in the Antiochian Church said it started September 1.
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« Reply #67 on: December 14, 2010, 09:15:20 PM »

Well, color me confused. My preist in the Antiochian Church said it started September 1.

Oh well.
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« Reply #68 on: December 15, 2010, 12:54:00 AM »

No, it starts on Easter, then the whole Bright Week the mode changes every day, so that on Thomas' Sunday you start with the first mode.
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« Reply #69 on: December 15, 2010, 02:40:47 AM »

Back to the OP:

No matter how the services are structured, it takes a few years of participation to understand the tones.  Unless you're a music man!  Besides the music, Did you notice the dynamic (relationship) in the choir at the places you've been?
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« Reply #70 on: December 15, 2010, 01:25:02 PM »

C'mmon, the Russians have choral music, not modal music, so it's not such complicated.
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« Reply #71 on: December 16, 2010, 01:43:50 AM »

I am a music man LOL. But I like a close intimate small affair in Church, it makes it more personal in my opinion. I just think the Cathedral I am attending is much too large for me to get the spiritual 'food' that I need.

I have expressed to my Antiochian priest to become a catechumen. Wish me luck!
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« Reply #72 on: December 16, 2010, 12:32:45 PM »

God bless you Achronos!
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« Reply #73 on: December 16, 2010, 12:39:32 PM »

God bless you Achronos!

Thank you again for conversing and sharing your story with me Sleeper! It was very inspirational  Smiley
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« Reply #74 on: December 16, 2010, 12:59:11 PM »

Glad to hear it!  I hope you'll continue to post around here as you journey through the catechism process.  I'd love to hear your thoughts!
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« Reply #75 on: December 16, 2010, 01:30:26 PM »

Quote
In addition, the choir chants the liturgy based on 8 "tones", or patterns of notes, starting with Tone 1 at the beginning of the liturgical year, September 1, and incrementing the next 7 weeks to Tone 8. Then, the pattern starts again and continues all year. So, liturgically, there are wheels within wheels. Some songs are sung on weeks 1-4 and some through weeks 5 - 8.
It starts at Easter, not on Sept. 1.

Is this true for both rites? I always thought it was September 1st as well.

I'm OCA and it starts on Pascha.  I've never heard of it starting Sept 1st - so that's new info. for me.

Greek, Antiochian, and other traditions that use Byzantine chanting begin the cycle on Easter. Slavic practice may be different, I don't know.
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« Reply #76 on: June 10, 2012, 04:51:30 PM »

What a whirlwind of two years since I made my first thread. I'd like to express my sincere thankfulness on every poster that this board has had. Each one of you had either largely or slightly influenced my beliefs, thoughts, feelings, emotions, etc. To address each one individually would be disingenuous to all the people that I would probably miss on my list. I would like to also apologize to everyone that I may have offended and/or created tension. I'm not the brightest person and I hope my ignorance on many issues has not caused any of you to resent me. I'd like to bury the hatchet with all. I guess being baptized kind of changed the outlook here.

Initially I posted about attending St. Augustine's, which I did eventually return to after a long sabbatical at a Greek Orthodox Church. My reasons are few but namely I did not feel an exact "kinship" (for lack of a better word) with the community. That's not a negative on anyone in particular and it's more of me as a person. I did not quite blend in as well that I would have like to and after about a year in that parish I still felt very alienated. Some parts did felt like an ethnic club and I couldn't embrace many parishioners who adopted nominalism. In fact in our small Bible Study group we'd have about 5 regulars on average but we have alot of members. It was very distracting for me during the Liturgy seeing alot of people come in only for the Eucharist and then only to leave shortly after. I know I shouldn't worry about what other people do, but it was affecting my relationship with God. That isn't to say my current parish is perfect, but this is where I exactly need to be. I hope God understands and forgives me for my weakness.

And again I really do appreciate everyone here. Eventhough I may strongly disagree on certain things people say or their values ( Grin), I have become a better person by dialoguing with you lot. My only hope is I can keep doing better as a Christian, I still have a long way to go.
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« Reply #77 on: June 10, 2012, 05:01:53 PM »

Achronos, do you have a link to your parish website?
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« Reply #78 on: June 10, 2012, 05:33:28 PM »

Achronos, do you have a link to your parish website?
Sure: http://www.staugustinedenver.org/
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« Reply #79 on: June 10, 2012, 05:38:41 PM »

Achronos, do you have a link to your parish website?
Sure: http://www.staugustinedenver.org/

Thata's a beautiful church Smiley

I'd love to attend a western rite liturgy once.
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