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Author Topic: To be late, or not to be at all?  (Read 1485 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: March 27, 2011, 07:29:58 AM »

Is it better to arrive on services late or is it better not to go at all when you can't be on time? If it's OK to be late how long is the limit? What do you think?
« Last Edit: March 27, 2011, 07:34:09 AM by Michał Kalina » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2011, 07:45:21 AM »


It's better to be late, than not come at all.

...it's never to late.

It's preferable you arrive before services start, but, the doors should always be open, and people should always be welcomed.

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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2011, 07:45:49 AM »

I believe the rule is that if you are not there for the Gospel reading, you can't commune. So I would say that's a pretty good time to be in church for. You can always just slip in the back if you arrive later. The local Antiochians have mastered it so many of them arrive just in time for Our Father, commune, and then leave.
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2011, 12:02:21 PM »

Is it better to arrive on services late or is it better not to go at all when you can't be on time? If it's OK to be late how long is the limit? What do you think?

Tis better to be late than not go at all, after all, you will still receive a blessing for being there. (And it's always edifying to get together with fellow parishioners for coffee hour. )

I've been told since I was a child that if I come after the Epistle and Gospel Reading not to go up for communion. This seems pretty consistent with what other posters have written.
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2011, 02:48:58 PM »

This morning I had such a question and chose to be late. The service was nice.
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2011, 03:32:32 PM »

As a priest, please let me suggest that anyone who is late come anyway. I know that whenever we have more people in the Church, it is such a blessing, such a joy.

Saying "I'm late, I better not come at all" will just tempt us to miss Church more often, whereas forcing ourselves to come late and deal with the socially uncomfortable feeling of some people looking at us as we fumble in late will help correct us.
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« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2011, 04:59:56 PM »

Quote
The local Antiochians have mastered it so many of them arrive just in time for Our Father, commune, and then leave.
Yes, yes, YES!!! How do they do that? I have attended antiochian parishes for years, in different states, and this is always the case. How do they time it so perfectly? It would be commendable if it weren't such a shame to begin with.
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« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2011, 05:16:02 PM »

When i use to take My Late Mother to Church if my brother or sisters had other Plans and they couldn't,We would arrive 1 or 2 hour early ,the church wasn't opened yet, I would start whining where to early ....She would tell me better early than late...Never disappoint the Host of the House by being late ......The strangest thing was no matter how early we arrived , 1 hour or 2 hours early ,some one would always arrive and open the church for us ..We never had to wait infront of the church or in the car........ Huh
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« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2011, 05:37:15 PM »

Quote
The local Antiochians have mastered it so many of them arrive just in time for Our Father, commune, and then leave.
Yes, yes, YES!!! How do they do that? I have attended antiochian parishes for years, in different states, and this is always the case. How do they time it so perfectly? It would be commendable if it weren't such a shame to begin with.
As a newcomer I am (kind of) in awe about the same thing. We try to show up right before the Divine Liturgy starts, and the time changes every week. Yet I see the same parishioners coming in at those different times, just before Communion! I have no idea how they time it!

I was thinking about this today as well...I think that it might be somewhat acceptable to come in late if one has children. Some of them become very noisy, so I notice that some of the parents will bring their children in AFTER the Gospel. I get that, but then it would be sad as a parent to miss the first half of the Divine Liturgy for several years.

Oh, but better late than never anyway. I never used to go to my RC if I was even 5 minutes late...so I would use that as an excuse not to attend Mass. Never again...
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« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2011, 05:43:38 PM »

We have a 3yr old and a 1yr old, and our priest has recommended to us that one of us come for the whole service, and the other with the kids not long before communion. It's also at a major Russian cathedral, so the Liturgy lasts, on a normal Sunday, let alone any significant one, at least 2.5 hours, and there's generally at least an hour post-communion.
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« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2011, 05:44:30 PM »

It's also at a major Russian cathedral, so the Liturgy lasts, on a normal Sunday, let alone any significant one, at least 2.5 hours, and there's generally at least an hour post-communion.

What do you do then?
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« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2011, 05:58:52 PM »

It's also at a major Russian cathedral, so the Liturgy lasts, on a normal Sunday, let alone any significant one, at least 2.5 hours, and there's generally at least an hour post-communion.

What do you do then?
We do what our priest told us to do, and switch Sundays: one of us come early alone, the other comes late with the kids. If it's a major Sunday, we try to do the whole thing with them.
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« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2011, 06:11:48 PM »

It's also at a major Russian cathedral, so the Liturgy lasts, on a normal Sunday, let alone any significant one, at least 2.5 hours, and there's generally at least an hour post-communion.

What do you do then?
We do what our priest told us to do, and switch Sundays: one of us come early alone, the other comes late with the kids. If it's a major Sunday, we try to do the whole thing with them.

God bless you! Two and a half hours for Liturgy!

Wow!

Sometimes I feel like we are so lazy in our faith over here. If our Liturgy was that long every Sunday, the people would riot! I could hear them protesting now:

"I have a football game to watch!"

"There's a sale going on at Macy's!"

"I need a nap!"

 laugh laugh laugh
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« Reply #13 on: March 27, 2011, 06:58:07 PM »

I guess that it is not all that unusual, but I tend to go against the flow on this one.  I lot depends on why you are late.  If there is a legitimate reason to be late, then it is better late then never.  If you are just too lazy, or if worshiping God is not that high on your priority that you can't be there on time, why bother.  I will concede that this attitude comes a lot from my German upbringing where tardiness is considered a character flaw.  Not to mention more than 30 years of gainful employment where tardiness is not tolerated.  I would think that I could show my God at least the same courtesy that I show my employer.  But, then again, I sit on enough disciplinary actions to understand that many ARE showing God the same courtesy they are showing their employer.  And for some reason, it is not getting any better.
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« Reply #14 on: March 27, 2011, 07:28:08 PM »

As a priest, please let me suggest that anyone who is late come anyway. I know that whenever we have more people in the Church, it is such a blessing, such a joy.

Saying "I'm late, I better not come at all" will just tempt us to miss Church more often, whereas forcing ourselves to come late and deal with the socially uncomfortable feeling of some people looking at us as we fumble in late will help correct us.

Quoting Scripture out of context, my father's answer, with a wink was always that the last shall be first! Wink
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2011, 07:43:35 PM »

True story:  When we first started attending, my husband and I had pretty much given up on Christianity.  In fact, my husband was agnostic at the time.  Anyway, I had read about Orthodoxy and decided to visit.  We liked it so much, we just kept coming back every week.  However, we were dithering on taking any next steps- even Inquirer's Classes next steps.  One Sunday we came late.  Late, late.  Like, so late it was way past the gospel reading late.  We walked into the Narthex.  I heard the choir, I saw through the doors and all the way down the aisle to what was going on up at the altar- and my feet would not go further.  It was just like that- right then that I knew.  Christ was there. 

So, yeah.  Come to liturgy late.
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« Reply #16 on: March 27, 2011, 09:43:06 PM »

We do what our priest told us to do, and switch Sundays: one of us come early alone, the other comes late with the kids. If it's a major Sunday, we try to do the whole thing with them.

My wife and I also had a priest give us permission to bring the kids a bit later, though it wasn't because of longer services so much as having trouble controlling them the entire time... normally they were quiet and kept to themselves, but for whatever reason, get them in that church and they'd be balls of energy and wanting to get into everything. We were hoping to build their ability to tolerate the hour and a half service slowly over time. I couldn't imagine a two and a half hour service! Smiley
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« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2011, 10:43:24 PM »

As a priest, please let me suggest that anyone who is late come anyway. I know that whenever we have more people in the Church, it is such a blessing, such a joy.

Saying "I'm late, I better not come at all" will just tempt us to miss Church more often, whereas forcing ourselves to come late and deal with the socially uncomfortable feeling of some people looking at us as we fumble in late will help correct us.
I agree. The rules on lateness are mainly for altar-servers, choir,etc. People should NOT be late, but this cannot be enforced.
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« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2011, 11:44:16 PM »

Is it better to arrive on services late or is it better not to go at all when you can't be on time? If it's OK to be late how long is the limit? What do you think?
I have it on good authority to come even if it is the eleventh hour.
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« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2011, 12:34:48 AM »

I guess that it is not all that unusual, but I tend to go against the flow on this one.  I lot depends on why you are late.  If there is a legitimate reason to be late, then it is better late then never.  If you are just too lazy, or if worshiping God is not that high on your priority that you can't be there on time, why bother.  I will concede that this attitude comes a lot from my German upbringing where tardiness is considered a character flaw.  Not to mention more than 30 years of gainful employment where tardiness is not tolerated.  I would think that I could show my God at least the same courtesy that I show my employer.  But, then again, I sit on enough disciplinary actions to understand that many ARE showing God the same courtesy they are showing their employer.  And for some reason, it is not getting any better.

Bingo! I've got some German heritage myself. I don't know why some Orthodox people have made habitual
lateness into a virtue of sorts. I can't expect they're as habitually late for work as they are for church or they would be fired.
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« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2011, 12:39:42 AM »

I guess that it is not all that unusual, but I tend to go against the flow on this one.  I lot depends on why you are late.  If there is a legitimate reason to be late, then it is better late then never.  If you are just too lazy, or if worshiping God is not that high on your priority that you can't be there on time, why bother.  I will concede that this attitude comes a lot from my German upbringing where tardiness is considered a character flaw.  Not to mention more than 30 years of gainful employment where tardiness is not tolerated.  I would think that I could show my God at least the same courtesy that I show my employer.  But, then again, I sit on enough disciplinary actions to understand that many ARE showing God the same courtesy they are showing their employer.  And for some reason, it is not getting any better.

Bingo! I've got some German heritage myself. I don't know why some Orthodox people have made habitual
lateness into a virtue of sorts. I can't expect they're as habitually late for work as they are for church or they would be fired.
You don't live in Russia. I don't believe I've ever seen anyone arrive on time for anything, be it a big dinner, a business appt., class (professors and students), etc.
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« Reply #21 on: April 10, 2011, 01:21:49 AM »

I guess that it is not all that unusual, but I tend to go against the flow on this one.  I lot depends on why you are late.  If there is a legitimate reason to be late, then it is better late then never.  If you are just too lazy, or if worshiping God is not that high on your priority that you can't be there on time, why bother.  I will concede that this attitude comes a lot from my German upbringing where tardiness is considered a character flaw.  Not to mention more than 30 years of gainful employment where tardiness is not tolerated.  I would think that I could show my God at least the same courtesy that I show my employer.  But, then again, I sit on enough disciplinary actions to understand that many ARE showing God the same courtesy they are showing their employer.  And for some reason, it is not getting any better.

Bingo! I've got some German heritage myself. I don't know why some Orthodox people have made habitual
lateness into a virtue of sorts. I can't expect they're as habitually late for work as they are for church or they would be fired.
Most don't bring their children to work.

I wasn't on time when I went to a German Lutheran church. To an Antiochian Orthodox one?  Surely you gest.

This is definitely where the Eastern in Eastern Orthodox come into play.  I've know Westerners living in the East who nearly come to a nervous breakdown over the issue. Patience isn't in their make up.

I suspect another issue is that at Church, where the ethos of the ethnicity is in full force due to the critical mass of Easteners contributes to the "problem."  The same people, working somewhere where everyone is America/Western, adjust accordingly.  Get a party together of fellow parisioners, and the same EST (Eastern Standard Time, and I don't mean the Atlantic coast) takes over as well.
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« Reply #22 on: April 10, 2011, 03:57:48 AM »

I'm just glad people come to church and its not for me to discern why they are late, I'm not the "why is the person late officer" when I'm at church.. I'm there to pray communally.  The only pet peeve I have is when the acolytes show up late, not even like little entrance late but like post Gospel late and still come up and serve.  And the thing is usually when the acolytes that show up in time to grab a candle to carry at the Great Entrance do in fact show up... there are usually four other servers there already so in essence they would have been just as good to stay out in the congregation and be on time to serve next week. 
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« Reply #23 on: April 11, 2011, 07:10:36 PM »

Many people aren't late, they just don't want to be there from the beginning. "What time is Communion?" is a typical question I've encountered in Greek churches. Of course, people should be welcomed and encouraged regardless of how late they arrive, but I don't think tardiness is always just a cute cultural trait. In many cases it has more to do with an incorrect understanding of the Liturgy and the Eucharist than a relaxed attitude to time.

The only thing I do wish priests would do with respect to late arrival is insist on people entering quietly and finding a place to sit/stand with as little commotion as possible. It's quite distracting when 20 people enter church half way through the anaphora and run around the church lighting candles and kissing every icon within reach.
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« Reply #24 on: April 12, 2011, 06:07:10 PM »

it depends on why you are late or why you dont come....
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