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Author Topic: Pews again? I hope not.  (Read 4839 times) Average Rating: 0
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« Reply #45 on: June 24, 2011, 07:58:45 AM »

It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.
I would rather be without pews myself, but alas, that's not my situation.

As for children, I've seen (and heard) too many of them fall off pews while climbing around or standing to get a better view. The noise of the fall and the wailing that follows is far more disruptive than a bit of quiet wandering.
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« Reply #46 on: June 24, 2011, 10:01:13 AM »

It could Seinfeld joke if he were Orthodox Christian.  What the deeeeeaaaal with pews?
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« Reply #47 on: June 24, 2011, 10:06:46 AM »

Newly departed arrives at the pearly gates....

St. Peter strokes his beard while checking his new iPad.....'Hmmmm........'

Newly departed......"What's wrong here?"

St. Peter.....still stroking his beard......'Hmmmm.......'

Newly departed......" Is something amiss here? Didn't I love my neighbor, visit the sick and those in prison, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, attend Liturgy and receive Communion regularly, give all of my possessions to those in need? Heck, I even grew a beard and bowed a lot...."

St. Peter:  "It says here that at your parish there were PEWS....and an.....Organ! .....You know what that means! No soup for you!"


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« Reply #48 on: June 24, 2011, 10:07:02 AM »


As for children, I've seen (and heard) too many of them fall off pews while climbing around or standing to get a better view. The noise of the fall and the wailing that follows is far more disruptive than a bit of quiet wandering.
I don't mean to be snarky, but disruptive children will be disruptive, pews or not. We have pews at my church, and the children climb on them. The parents put them in the aisle areas and they run around screaming. I don't really think the pews are causing their behavior.

As for us adults, I have CFS so I'm quite thankful for the pews, admittedly. But I would still be a EO catechumen, even if there weren't any pews.  Wink We do a lot of standing anyway, so just I wear my most comfortable shoes to church, grin, and bear it!


ETA: Podkarpatska, lol!  Cheesy
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« Reply #49 on: June 24, 2011, 10:07:40 AM »

It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.
I would rather be without pews myself, but alas, that's not my situation.

As for children, I've seen (and heard) too many of them fall off pews while climbing around or standing to get a better view. The noise of the fall and the wailing that follows is far more disruptive than a bit of quiet wandering.

Yes.  I've had to leave the liturgy to go and get ice from the church kitchen for kids who have fallen and hit their heads on pews because they were squiggling or running around.  Pews are not kid friendly.
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« Reply #50 on: June 24, 2011, 10:09:08 AM »

No soup for you!"


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I loved that episode!
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« Reply #51 on: June 24, 2011, 10:26:05 AM »

I am against doing away with all pews/seats. Just do away with all those not against the side and back walls.
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« Reply #52 on: June 24, 2011, 10:32:22 AM »

I'd have pews covering the floor, walls & ceiling if it were up to me. By the end of the summer, I hope to be finished with an organ made out of old pew wood, both to have an organ, as well as to make room for newer, bigger and preferably more comfortable pews.
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« Reply #53 on: June 24, 2011, 10:36:36 AM »

Pews are a vile heresy easily the equal of Arianism, Gnosticism, and the book about talking Salamanders.  Unfortunately, sitting on the floor looks a little komisch so we'll have to endure them for the time being...
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« Reply #54 on: June 24, 2011, 10:43:08 AM »

It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.
I would rather be without pews myself, but alas, that's not my situation.

As for children, I've seen (and heard) too many of them fall off pews while climbing around or standing to get a better view. The noise of the fall and the wailing that follows is far more disruptive than a bit of quiet wandering.

I'm sorry, but what?!  Where are the parents in all this?  Why are children standing on pews and climbing around?  This is not a fault of the pews, but of people who let their children run wild during liturgy.  And don't give me some sanctimonious claptrap about letting kids explore.  You're in church.  Part of being in church is standing still.  This is in every single prayerbook I've ever seen that has a section on decorum and proper behavior inside the temple.  I grew up in a church with pews.  I was taught from an early age to shut up, stand still (or sit or kneel if the service calls for it).  I did not have toys.  I did not have little bags of Cheerios.  I was expected to listen to the service and when I acted up, as is part of being a 4 year old, my mother took me outside the nave into the vestibule until I calmed down. 

Unsupervised "quiet wandering" is ridiculous. 
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« Reply #55 on: June 24, 2011, 11:16:07 AM »

It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.
I would rather be without pews myself, but alas, that's not my situation.

As for children, I've seen (and heard) too many of them fall off pews while climbing around or standing to get a better view. The noise of the fall and the wailing that follows is far more disruptive than a bit of quiet wandering.

I'm sorry, but what?!  Where are the parents in all this?  Why are children standing on pews and climbing around?  This is not a fault of the pews, but of people who let their children run wild during liturgy.  And don't give me some sanctimonious claptrap about letting kids explore.  You're in church.  Part of being in church is standing still.  This is in every single prayerbook I've ever seen that has a section on decorum and proper behavior inside the temple.  I grew up in a church with pews.  I was taught from an early age to shut up, stand still (or sit or kneel if the service calls for it).  I did not have toys.  I did not have little bags of Cheerios.  I was expected to listen to the service and when I acted up, as is part of being a 4 year old, my mother took me outside the nave into the vestibule until I calmed down. 

Unsupervised "quiet wandering" is ridiculous. 
I fully agree that parents must teach their children to behave properly in church and elsewhere. However, kids being kids will do unexpected things from time to time. Accidents do happen in the blink of an eye even when a parent is only a step away. That is what I was referring to - to the reality not to the ideal. I was raised as you were, and so were my children.

And certainly the "quiet wandering" does not mean unsupervised "feel free to go wherever you like" roaming. I've seen plenty of adults wandering during a service - usually they know the difference between when it is and when it isn't appropriate. This is what children can and should learn.
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« Reply #56 on: June 24, 2011, 11:17:52 AM »

I'm sorry, but what?!  Where are the parents in all this?  Why are children standing on pews and climbing around?  This is not a fault of the pews, but of people who let their children run wild during liturgy.  And don't give me some sanctimonious claptrap about letting kids explore.  You're in church.  Part of being in church is standing still.  This is in every single prayerbook I've ever seen that has a section on decorum and proper behavior inside the temple.  I grew up in a church with pews.  I was taught from an early age to shut up, stand still (or sit or kneel if the service calls for it).  I did not have toys.  I did not have little bags of Cheerios.  I was expected to listen to the service and when I acted up, as is part of being a 4 year old, my mother took me outside the nave into the vestibule until I calmed down. 

Unsupervised "quiet wandering" is ridiculous. 

Thank you, and AMEN!
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« Reply #57 on: June 24, 2011, 11:18:51 AM »

I rather like pews. I don't care for all the milling about that goes on during Liturgy when they are absent. I'm also big on personal space, and don't care for how people crowd about when left free to roam. I like how people stay in neat orderly rows. It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.

It may be heretical of me, but I simply am not comfortable in parishes that are pew-less. I grew up with them, and I like them. It's what I'm accustomed to.

Heretic!

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And proud of it!  Tongue
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« Reply #58 on: June 24, 2011, 11:19:27 AM »

It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.
I would rather be without pews myself, but alas, that's not my situation.

As for children, I've seen (and heard) too many of them fall off pews while climbing around or standing to get a better view. The noise of the fall and the wailing that follows is far more disruptive than a bit of quiet wandering.

I'm sorry, but what?!  Where are the parents in all this?  Why are children standing on pews and climbing around?  This is not a fault of the pews, but of people who let their children run wild during liturgy.  And don't give me some sanctimonious claptrap about letting kids explore.  You're in church.  Part of being in church is standing still.  This is in every single prayerbook I've ever seen that has a section on decorum and proper behavior inside the temple.  I grew up in a church with pews.  I was taught from an early age to shut up, stand still (or sit or kneel if the service calls for it).  I did not have toys.  I did not have little bags of Cheerios.  I was expected to listen to the service and when I acted up, as is part of being a 4 year old, my mother took me outside the nave into the vestibule until I calmed down. 

Unsupervised "quiet wandering" is ridiculous. 

You see Schultz, there was this thing back long long ago when you and I were young that was called "Discipline".  This antiquated historical notion taught that children wold have to learn to behave when they were young so that someday they would grow up and become productive members of society.  Nowadays we modern folk, enlightened that we are, have learned that "the D-word" stifles a child's self-esteem which makes them feel bad.  Perhaps some of your current personal problems, like holding down a job, contributing to society, and staying out of prison can be attributed to the draconian upbringing you were given - an upbringing devoid of cheerio cups, proper exploration, and the more-than-occasional temper tantrum (which is actually a sign of creativity).  If you had been given a proper upbringing perhaps now you would hold an honourable position in life like artist, bureaucrat, or baby-daddy.  Sad.  Such potential lost.
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« Reply #59 on: June 24, 2011, 11:30:55 AM »

Oh no!!! Call the churchlady!....We gave our kid's cheerio cups when they were little. Now what I am I to do? Like Ophelia, shall I get me to a monastery?  Wink Wink Wink

Kids are lightening quick, no matter how hard you try. I remember one Sunday when my daughter was about two, she wandered away from us in the pew following communion. When we spotted her, she was standing by her grandpa who was the priest at the amvon as he was reading the announcements. He looked down, smiled at her, told her to sit still until he was finished. My wife was as embarrassed as could be, but everyone thought it was just cute.
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« Reply #60 on: June 24, 2011, 11:41:35 AM »

I rather like pews. I don't care for all the milling about that goes on during Liturgy when they are absent. I'm also big on personal space, and don't care for how people crowd about when left free to roam. I like how people stay in neat orderly rows. It also seems to contain children better than letting them roam free during Liturgy.

It may be heretical of me, but I simply am not comfortable in parishes that are pew-less. I grew up with them, and I like them. It's what I'm accustomed to.

I'm kinda in between on this. I agree with you that I like the order the pews create but i don't like seeing a teen with bangs in his eyes all slumped in a pew with headphones in his ears (has happened.) I actually like the RC practice of kneelers but with out the bottom bit. Like rows of rails to stand in and you could hang on the the railing while standing and still have space for prostrations, etc.
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« Reply #61 on: June 28, 2011, 11:42:01 AM »

You just have so much more room without pews.
I concur. Bowing is greatly restricted and prostrations are right out. I would be in favor of using them for firewood.

When I went to a Parish that had pews I stood in the back.

Keep in mind that in some Parishes people have had pews all of their life. Many are now older and would have a very hard time standing. If pews would be taken out they would be left in a bad situation and maybe leave for someplace else.

It's  not worth dividing the congregation.
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« Reply #62 on: June 28, 2011, 03:18:56 PM »

Personally, I would compromise...if people want benches to sit on, then that's OK, but I wish churches would also leave some open floorspace so you can stand without being a rebel.

Btw, what do people think about the places in the Liturgy when the priest says "Orthoi! Arise!" Does that indicate that in ancient times, there was seating?
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« Reply #63 on: June 28, 2011, 09:28:38 PM »

The traditional solution would be to have chairs or benches along the walls, so those who can stand will have space.
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« Reply #64 on: June 28, 2011, 09:39:32 PM »

Btw, what do people think about the places in the Liturgy when the priest says "Orthoi! Arise!" Does that indicate that in ancient times, there was seating?

I have often wondered this.

Of course, there is also "stomen kalos, stomen meta fovou" / "let us stand well, let us stand with fear".
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« Reply #65 on: June 28, 2011, 09:45:20 PM »

We are usually already standing when he says "Orthoi!" I feel really silly every time he says it.

"Let us stand well, let us stand in awe," makes more sense, since it's talking about posture and bearing. But saying "Stand?" Hmm? Pews or sitting on the ground? Wink
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« Reply #66 on: June 28, 2011, 10:30:08 PM »

I have a very painful knee injury (both knees) that require me to avoid, as much as possible, going from a standing to sitting position and vice versa (I have little pain if I'm standing, a lot when I walk, go down stairs, or shift from a standing to sitting position).

Anyway, I had put off going to an Orthodox church for a long time, because I didn't know which ones had standing room only and no chairs along the wall, or standing room only WITH chairs along the wall, or pews.

The way things worked out, I found a church that has pews, but no one uses them except the elderly and me (sometimes). I need the pews to hold onto while standing, because even though I have less pain while standing, sometimes my knee buckles and I need to grab something. I feel self-conscious bringing a cane, so the pews work out fine for that. I can't kneel at all, and though the church has kneelers, I have not seen anyone use them.

I could probably do the stand-sit-stand thing if I took some of my prescription strength 600 mg ibuprofen before heading off to church, but with the havoc that stuff wreaks on the liver I try to avoid it as much as possible. Pews to hold onto are safer!
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« Reply #67 on: June 29, 2011, 01:01:15 AM »

So, did anyone hear of the bearded lady who sat in the pew to play the organ while wearing a head covering and smoking a cigar?
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« Reply #68 on: June 29, 2011, 01:25:03 AM »

So, did anyone hear of the bearded lady who sat in the pew to play the organ while wearing a head covering and smoking a cigar?

No, please tell us about it and cite sources. Smiley

I heard that there was a bearded lady in France.
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« Reply #69 on: June 29, 2011, 01:26:50 AM »

I have a very painful knee injury (both knees) that require me to avoid, as much as possible, going from a standing to sitting position and vice versa (I have little pain if I'm standing, a lot when I walk, go down stairs, or shift from a standing to sitting position).

Anyway, I had put off going to an Orthodox church for a long time, because I didn't know which ones had standing room only and no chairs along the wall, or standing room only WITH chairs along the wall, or pews.

The way things worked out, I found a church that has pews, but no one uses them except the elderly and me (sometimes). I need the pews to hold onto while standing, because even though I have less pain while standing, sometimes my knee buckles and I need to grab something. I feel self-conscious bringing a cane, so the pews work out fine for that. I can't kneel at all, and though the church has kneelers, I have not seen anyone use them.

I could probably do the stand-sit-stand thing if I took some of my prescription strength 600 mg ibuprofen before heading off to church, but with the havoc that stuff wreaks on the liver I try to avoid it as much as possible. Pews to hold onto are safer!

I walked into a pew several times, bumped my knee, and hurt it.
Pews are not something I like.
Since I sing in the choir, I need not worry about going into pews.
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« Reply #70 on: June 30, 2011, 10:41:51 PM »

I wouldn't know, seeing as I'm in the altar most services, helping wrangle altar boys.  And trying not to strangle them with the censer for horsing around.
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« Reply #71 on: July 01, 2011, 06:36:27 PM »

I wouldn't know, seeing as I'm in the altar most services, helping wrangle altar boys.  And trying not to strangle them with the censer for horsing around.

We have a kid who serves at the Alter as a condition of his probation....  He's thrilled to be there and by golly we love having  him.
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« Reply #72 on: July 01, 2011, 06:58:24 PM »

What's he on probation for, if that's not to personal.
Great that you have a new altar server.
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« Reply #73 on: July 02, 2011, 11:28:44 AM »

I don't really like pews, but I can cope with a church that has them.

My problem is that when churches have pews (or rows of chairs), sometimes visiting Orthodox appear to think they have something to prove in being the only ones standing the whole time.  That's fine if they do it in the back or to the side.  But it's REALLY annoying when such a person is standing front and center, and they won't even sit for the homily, even if there is plenty of chairs and the person is standing right in front of an empty chair.  It blocks the view of everyone behind them, and it gets really frustrating to have someone's backside in your face every time you need a sit-down!
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« Reply #74 on: July 02, 2011, 01:39:48 PM »

I had an interesting experience, due to a leg/knee injury I have....if I remain standing, I'm painfree. But if I sit after standing a while, it hurts like %#$%$! So even though there were parts in the DL where you sit, I remained standing, even though I figured it would make me look like I didn't know what I was doing! I just knew if I finally sat down after an hour of standing, my knee would scream out in pain and might even buckle.
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« Reply #75 on: July 02, 2011, 04:11:57 PM »


I could probably do the stand-sit-stand thing if I took some of my prescription strength 600 mg ibuprofen before heading off to church, but with the havoc that stuff wreaks on the liver I try to avoid it as much as possible. Pews to hold onto are safer!

For heaven's sake, take it before church! If you're going to church once a week, it's not like it's going to kill you! Wink
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« Reply #76 on: July 02, 2011, 04:38:14 PM »


I could probably do the stand-sit-stand thing if I took some of my prescription strength 600 mg ibuprofen before heading off to church, but with the havoc that stuff wreaks on the liver I try to avoid it as much as possible. Pews to hold onto are safer!

For heaven's sake, take it before church! If you're going to church once a week, it's not like it's going to kill you! Wink

I think ibuprofen is one of those things you shouldn't take on an empty stomach.
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« Reply #77 on: July 02, 2011, 04:41:01 PM »


I could probably do the stand-sit-stand thing if I took some of my prescription strength 600 mg ibuprofen before heading off to church, but with the havoc that stuff wreaks on the liver I try to avoid it as much as possible. Pews to hold onto are safer!

For heaven's sake, take it before church! If you're going to church once a week, it's not like it's going to kill you! Wink

I think ibuprofen is one of those things you shouldn't take on an empty stomach.
Indeed!
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« Reply #78 on: July 02, 2011, 06:13:45 PM »

I had an interesting experience, due to a leg/knee injury I have....if I remain standing, I'm painfree. But if I sit after standing a while, it hurts like %#$%$! So even though there were parts in the DL where you sit, I remained standing, even though I figured it would make me look like I didn't know what I was doing! I just knew if I finally sat down after an hour of standing, my knee would scream out in pain and might even buckle.

I have the same problem, so I will bend my knees slightly to get them limber and then sit down without too much pain.
Since I am in the choir, I can always go over to the Kleenex box and grab one, then I do not draw attention to myself.
And then, come back and sit down.

Yes, pews are a problem.
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« Reply #79 on: July 02, 2011, 08:45:04 PM »


I think ibuprofen is one of those things you shouldn't take on an empty stomach.

Depends on the person. Me, I've got an iron stomach and have no issues with it. Xenia is still an inquirer, in any case.
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« Reply #80 on: July 02, 2011, 08:54:07 PM »

My parish has a compromise between pews and nothing. Chairs! They hook together so rows stay together, but for Lenten services, all but a few on the edge are stacked in a back corner, and people have room for prostrations.

I'm choir, so I'm standing anyway. The only time I get to sit down is the sermon and announcements at the end of Liturgy.
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« Reply #81 on: July 03, 2011, 01:59:14 AM »

My parish has chairs as well, which most of us only use during the homily, and it works it quite well. We also have couches in the back for the elderly and parents with infants.

I was curious, does anyone know when pews started being used widely in the West and where it originated from?
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« Reply #82 on: July 03, 2011, 03:40:18 PM »

Btw, what do people think about the places in the Liturgy when the priest says "Orthoi! Arise!" Does that indicate that in ancient times, there was seating?

The fact that we have particular sections of the services called "kathismata" (sittings) is evidence that people would sit during parts of the services. People would sit when they were receiving instruction (i.e. when they were passively listening rather than actively participating in prayer - Bible readings, the sermon, etc.) or simply due to ill-health, fatigue, etc. You would, however, have sat on the floor. Think mosque.

However, I don't think "arise" suggests sitting was the norm. This is particularly evident in the Liturgy of St. Mark, where almost every prayer is preceded by the Deacon saying "stand up for prayer" - you wouldn't have opportunity to sit down between each call to "stand up". Before the Trisagion, for example, you have:

D. Stand up for prayer.
P. Peace be with you all.
C. And with thy spirit.
D. Stand up for prayer.
C. Lord, have mercy.

The fact that this petition is so frequent probably means the congregation were encouraged to stand rather than indicating that people sat through the services (except for those parts of the services which were 'passive').
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« Reply #83 on: July 03, 2011, 04:27:42 PM »

I think the way I'm going to solve the knee problem is to become one of the folks who stand for the entire Liturgy in the back, right behind the last pew. That way if my knee does start to buckle, I'll have something to grab onto.

And YES, ibuprofen is bad on an empty stomach, which is why I haven't done it.
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« Reply #84 on: July 03, 2011, 07:53:28 PM »

Since my parish has had pews for a while, I doubt they'll change, but if they did go to a 'pews only at the back and sides' formation, I guess I'd learn to live with it... I just wonder what we'd do with the pews we already have (if we took them out). Give them to another church, or a school, or stack them together and make a model Noah's Ark for the kids?  Grin
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« Reply #85 on: July 03, 2011, 08:47:20 PM »

I think the way I'm going to solve the knee problem is to become one of the folks who stand for the entire Liturgy in the back, right behind the last pew. That way if my knee does start to buckle, I'll have something to grab onto.

And YES, ibuprofen is bad on an empty stomach, which is why I haven't done it.

Ibuprofen is also bad for the liver, which is why I avoid it.
Mexican and Thai food have lots of capsicum which is supposed to help with joints and arthritis.
I just had some hot Thai food yesterday and today. Yum.
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« Reply #86 on: July 03, 2011, 08:50:01 PM »

All the parishes that are close to my house have pews, except the ROCOR parishes and the OCA cathedral.
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« Reply #87 on: July 03, 2011, 09:36:40 PM »

I think the way I'm going to solve the knee problem is to become one of the folks who stand for the entire Liturgy in the back, right behind the last pew. That way if my knee does start to buckle, I'll have something to grab onto.

And YES, ibuprofen is bad on an empty stomach, which is why I haven't done it.

Ibuprofen is also bad for the liver, which is why I avoid it.
Mexican and Thai food have lots of capsicum which is supposed to help with joints and arthritis.
I just had some hot Thai food yesterday and today. Yum.


There is a Thai place near me, I might need to check that out!
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« Reply #88 on: July 04, 2011, 12:58:37 AM »

Make a model Noah's Ark for the kids?  Grin


Bloody Brilliant!  Wink
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