Author Topic: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)  (Read 957 times)

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Offline Ortho_cat

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Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« on: March 09, 2011, 06:05:49 PM »
As many of you may or may not know, this is my first time experiencing lent. After liturgy last Sunday, our priest mentioned off-handedly that services next week (the first week of lent) would be "challenging". Of course, I thought he meant that services would be longer than usual, perhaps 2 to 3 hours. I thought, "Ya, I can probably handle that, no problem". Little did I expect to find myself completely sore from nearly head to toe after attending my first lenten service last night!

The service was the Great Compline and Great Canon, combined. It only lasted for about an hour and a half, but during that time we probably did nearly 100 prostrations, and around 50 metanoia's. When we first came into the room, I found it to be unusually cold. Little did I realize that the reason for that was to prevent us from sweating! I literally was breathing hard after the first "round", and found myself being uncharacteristically silent during the chanting, no doubt so I could catch my breath for the next round.

Fortunately as I went on, I seemed to refine my technique for the prostrations so that I expended less energy doing them (at first, I would take a knee, and then the other, and get up in the same fashion). After observing the older woman in front of me (who was no doubt nearly twice my age) effortlessly springing up and down from the floor like a jack-rabbit, I decided to mimic her technique, and I am very thankful that she taught me this (unbeknownst to her), as she very well may have saved my life!  :laugh:

Nevertheless, I woke up today, feeling like I had just gone to the gym the day before and performed an hour's worth of bench pressing and squats. I guess the morale of the story here is, never underestimate an Orthodox priest's warning, especially during lent!  :laugh:
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 06:06:45 PM by Ortho_cat »

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 10:47:28 PM »
 ;D

I can so relate.

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Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 10:57:45 PM »
My back was killing me so I just did super slow and super deep bows (That loosened me enough to do the prostrations during the St Ephraim's prayer and at the end. I am relating this because there may be other fat, out of condition and old brothers and sisters out there)

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 11:02:05 PM »
My back was killing me so I just did super slow and super deep bows (That loosened me enough to do the prostrations during the St Ephraim's prayer and at the end. I am relating this because there may be other fat, out of condition and old brothers and sisters out there)

Hmm that is interesting, I was under the impression that all orthodox were of the most superior physical condition...  ;D

Offline TinaG

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2011, 12:01:30 AM »
Orthodox pilates.

I have to say that I am finding it almost impossible to kneel anymore.  My knees aren't in bad shape at all, but at 49 it's just too darn painful.  I've wondered if priests shouldn't have knee pads on.  In fact, don't the Old Believers use a type of prayer mat just for the sake of their knees?
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 11:15:53 AM »
Orthodox pilates.

I have to say that I am finding it almost impossible to kneel anymore.  My knees aren't in bad shape at all, but at 49 it's just too darn painful.  I've wondered if priests shouldn't have knee pads on.  In fact, don't the Old Believers use a type of prayer mat just for the sake of their knees?

I read awhile ago on an Old Believer/Ritualist site that it was for their hands--due to a theological conviction not to dirty their hands in prayer.
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Offline TinaG

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 12:41:11 PM »
Orthodox pilates.

I have to say that I am finding it almost impossible to kneel anymore.  My knees aren't in bad shape at all, but at 49 it's just too darn painful.  I've wondered if priests shouldn't have knee pads on.  In fact, don't the Old Believers use a type of prayer mat just for the sake of their knees?

I read awhile ago on an Old Believer/Ritualist site that it was for their hands--due to a theological conviction not to dirty their hands in prayer.


Ahh, that's it.  I had a hard time with the idea that Old Believer's would find kneeling too painful.  Old Believers might be the super athletes of Orthodoxy.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 02:28:39 PM »
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 02:30:01 PM »
Orthodox pilates.

I have to say that I am finding it almost impossible to kneel anymore.  My knees aren't in bad shape at all, but at 49 it's just too darn painful.  I've wondered if priests shouldn't have knee pads on.  In fact, don't the Old Believers use a type of prayer mat just for the sake of their knees?

Hard to kneel at 49? What's up?
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Offline TinaG

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 02:40:26 PM »
Orthodox pilates.

I have to say that I am finding it almost impossible to kneel anymore.  My knees aren't in bad shape at all, but at 49 it's just too darn painful.  I've wondered if priests shouldn't have knee pads on.  In fact, don't the Old Believers use a type of prayer mat just for the sake of their knees?

Hard to kneel at 49? What's up?

You almost make it sound like you don't think 49 is old.  I like that!  No idea on why they hurt.  I've got a torn meniscus from martial arts but that's not the painful area, just the kneecaps.
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Offline orthonorm

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 02:57:42 PM »
Orthodox pilates.

I have to say that I am finding it almost impossible to kneel anymore.  My knees aren't in bad shape at all, but at 49 it's just too darn painful.  I've wondered if priests shouldn't have knee pads on.  In fact, don't the Old Believers use a type of prayer mat just for the sake of their knees?

Hard to kneel at 49? What's up?

You almost make it sound like you don't think 49 is old.  I like that!  No idea on why they hurt.  I've got a torn meniscus from martial arts but that's not the painful area, just the kneecaps.


My knees have been through the mill from sport (catching in baseball, wrestling, snow sports). I barely have any meniscus in the right one any more. A little joint mobility work daily might help you out (not "stretching), get the synovial fluid going. Basically gentle circles and movements with your joints. Nothing extreme.

Can be of help. Seen old Romanian ladies doing it daily and they were doing back breaking work and hitting their knees and foreheads pretty hard.

And being thin helps a lot. When I destroyed my right knee playing hockey and acting like an ... I was about 195 (I'm 6'). Athletic, not fat. Didn't really have problem till years later. Starting having clicking, catching, and wobbly feeling in the knee. Destroyed my meniscus and stretched my ACL. Opted out of the surgical route and dropped weight to 175 and did some light mobility work. Made a huge difference.

FWIW.


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Offline Rufus

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 09:21:17 PM »
I'm condemned to spending these head-banging, knee-wrecking, back-breaking services standing in a pew.

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 01:12:58 AM »
I'm condemned to spending these head-banging, knee-wrecking, back-breaking services standing in a pew.

step out into the aisle! ;)

Offline Ortho_cat

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Re: Wow, just wow... (a lenten story)
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 01:13:27 AM »
So which service is usually the most intense?