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Author Topic: My first visit, somewhat disappointed.  (Read 4560 times) Average Rating: 0
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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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“There is your brother, naked, crying, and you stand there confused over the choice of an attractive floor covering.”

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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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Do not be cast down over the struggle - the Lord loves a brave warrior. The Lord loves the soul that is valiant.

-St Silouan the athonite
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