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Author Topic: to converts who were active in their former church...  (Read 2039 times) Average Rating: 0
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Tallitot
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« on: June 25, 2004, 04:32:49 PM »

Any converts who were active as Layreaders or Lay Eucharistic Ministers or other forms of worship assistence, how did you feel about giving that role up when you became Orthodox? How did you deal with it?
As much as I believe that Orthodox worship is liturgically the bomb, if (like myself) you aren't gifted w/ musical talent, there isn't  much of a role for you.
I think I would find it hard to just sit in a pew....especially when there are no pews! Cheesy
Comments? Huh
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Elisha
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« Reply #1 on: June 25, 2004, 04:39:03 PM »

You can always (if you are a male) be an altar server, help with things like the candelstand and such if you are a female (and can't sing).

There's a couple at the parish I grew up in where the husband was this former orthodox Presbetyrian minister (whatever that means) - [edited to add that I forgot to finish my sentence and to say that the husband, the former minister, is just a lay parishoner in that (Antiochian) Orthodox parish.  But then, it appears you guys figured it out].
« Last Edit: June 25, 2004, 06:07:41 PM by Elisha » Logged
Ebor
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« Reply #2 on: June 25, 2004, 05:08:45 PM »

The Orthodox Presbyterians are a subset of the Presbyterian church, see here:
http://www.opc.org/

Ebor
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« Reply #3 on: June 25, 2004, 05:18:40 PM »

Huh what to the presbyterians have to do with those who were formally active in their church, liturgically, and converted to Orthodoxy? Lol did I miss something?
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« Reply #4 on: June 25, 2004, 05:19:33 PM »

lol..never mind I see it was in reponse to Elisha's "whatever that means". Hehehe sorry.
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« Reply #5 on: June 26, 2004, 10:24:02 AM »

The role for you is to participate fully in the liturgy as a member of the laity.  The Orthodox liturgy, as you probably know, involves (or *should* do) the laity throughout the liturgy, prayerfully chanting the responses, becoming enveloped in the liturgy, truly participating in it with as much of your person as you can bring to bear.  Singing talent has little to do with it.  You should try to find a parish that has congregational singing, and sing along with everyone else and participate in the liturgy.  That would be my advice.
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« Reply #6 on: June 26, 2004, 11:32:11 AM »

musical talent has nothing to do with it.  it may have been the case in high-society Russia that only the good singers sang, and everyone else shut up, but that's not the case here, nor will that EVER fly in America.

my priest likes to tell the story of how at seminary, you were either an altar server or in the choir, dependent on whether you wanted to (or could) sing.  there's also Readers, who don't have to sing.  furthermore, the liturgical responses are supposed to be said (or sung) by EVERYONE.  i know that the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese (www.acrod.org) is very much into congregational participation.... not just the choir.

also, you can just say the responses to yourself, while the choir leads.  (technically, that's the role of the choir, to lead the congregation in the responses.....)  Bottom line: don't despair!
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« Reply #7 on: June 27, 2004, 01:09:45 AM »

Well, I tell you, funny things happen . . .

It's like beer.  The brewer works really hard to get the conditions right for the yeast.   The yeast does all the real work.  If the brewer doesn't clean one humble little piece of equipment or gets the PH of the water too far off, or doesn't cook the wort long enough, or pitches the yeat at too high a tmperature, the beer comes out not quite right.  The cleaning and sanitizing is the most important part of brewing.  Without it, all the equipment will be tainted by outside materials which will destroy the beer (sometimes the beer will get really nasty stringy jelly things floating in it and a rank smell).  I kind of think of the life of a church as the same thing.  Prayer is like the cleaning and sanitizing step.  A church can have a great choir, preaching, an in-house iconographer and a giant church, but if the church doesn't have prayer . . . well, I *hope* it won't get really nasty stringy jelly things floating in it and a rank smell.  

My wife and I were Byzantine Catholic.  The priest heard my wife singing and asked her to join the choir.  (This is actually a strange story in and of itself as my wife couldn't sing very well until  . . . that's another story).  The choir didn't like this much (they had a weird, closed group, but that's another, much less interesting story).  At any rate, she was there for a while and, when a new priest came and the old choir director moved, he asked her to be choir director.  Because of a multiplicity of issues I won't get into, we decided that we should become Orthodox.  

So, for some reason, we went to the local Serbian Orthodox church.  Most of it was in Slavonic or Serbian and we both promised ourselves that we were not going to get involved except to be good parishoners.  Things happened, we got asked to do some things that we didn't really want to do (and we did them because we wanted to be good parishoners), and, the next thing you know, my wife is directing the choir again.  She really didn't want to, but that's the way it went.

You don't have to be up front either.  You could end up being the treasurer (don't do it! it's the most dangerous job in the world!) or the teacher of a class or cooking food for special dinners.  It could be that it's your prayers that are needed!  After all, it's the prayerful people that keep our churches running.

St. Nicholai of Ochrid and  Zica said, "Singers, it is not your singing that matters but the Lord who listens."

So be patient.  If you are open to serve, God will use you in the ways He has planned.  Of course you may not *want* to do what he has planned, but that's another issue.
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« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2004, 11:47:34 AM »

Quote
(This is actually a strange story in and of itself as my wife couldn't sing very well until  . . . that's another story)

I always enjoyed yours and your wife's singing.
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cizinec
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« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2004, 08:56:58 AM »

You may not know this, but my wife had a hearing problem before we got married.   She couldn't figure out why she could play some orchestral pieces but was having difficulties hearing some parts.  She was tested and found she could only hear certain frequencies, but had problems with some frequencies, especially the ones the human voice uses.  

In Dallas, when she started singing at church, her hearing actually improved and she can now hear frequencies she could not hear before.
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