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Author Topic: The Liturgical Effectiveness of Pews  (Read 434 times) Average Rating: 0
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Irish Hermit
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« on: July 27, 2011, 07:34:25 PM »

A Call for Liturgical Renewal
The Liturgical Effectiveness of Pews


http://www.pravmir.com/article_558.html

1) Pews teach the lay people to stay in their place, which is to passively watch what's going on up front, where the clergy perform the Liturgy on their behalf.

5) If children must be brought into the Church, at least they can play under the pews, where they won't be distracted by the ceremonies going on up front. Do kids understand all that anyway?

7) Thanks to pews, on the weekdays of Lent we no longer have to endure those humiliating prostrations. Other [Christian groups] don't do that kind of thing in church, not even the Catholics. Why should we?
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HabteSelassie
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« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2011, 07:50:57 PM »

Greetings in that Divine and Most Precious Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!

I agree with some of the sentiments of that article, surely pews are an added part of particularly American Orthodox worship.  In Ethiopia pews were quite foreign until relatively recent times.  However, I think they are not entirely useless or distracting in the Orthodox Liturgy, so long as we don't use them in the Catholic sense.  When I walk into a Catholic parish, even just at a regular, non-liturgical moment, all the people are there are either sitting with their heads bowed or prostrate on their knees.  When I walk into an Orthodox Church, even with pews the folks are always standing in prayer.  So even while we have pews, we do not necessarily "abuse the privilege" and if anything, they have become quite useful for the elderly and ill parishioners to take a momentary rest during the Service.  Folks who pray sitting down in this condition speak volumes as to their piety, faith, and sincerity of worship. 

as to the point #1, all jokes aside I actually agree with (aside from the Priest commentary) as the pews do demarcate a place to stand and worship, where as a big open Church sort of forces people to feel like standing anywhere in particular and yet nowhere at all.

the #5 does also have its advantages, honestly 3-6 year old children can't be expected to stand attentively for three hours of service, the pews do indeed give them a place to lie down or to play quietly why the parents and breathe easy and pray.  Also, I would say that it allows for the kids to stay in the Sanctuary rather then be scuttled out elsewhere or even worse have the parents only show up just on time for Communion to avoid having their kids in the Church.  Even if our kids just sleep during the Liturgy, they are sleeping in the most Graceful and Serene place where the Spirit is bound to grow on them.

As to the #7, during Holy Week at my parish we stack up all the pews in the back and open up the floor for prostrations Wink

stay blessed,
habte selassie
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sainthieu
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2011, 08:05:05 PM »

Give me the wide open spaces.
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Justin Kissel
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2011, 08:18:11 PM »

5) If children must be brought into the Church, at least they can play under the pews, where they won't be distracted by the ceremonies going on up front. Do kids understand all that anyway?

As a parent of young children (then around ages 1-4) I found pews very helpful. I had very well behaved kids out of Church, but get them inside a service and they wanted to get into everything. I guess it was just such a different experience than normal life that they couldn't control their curiosity. Anyway, I'm glad we had pews to help keep them at least in one general area.

Wait, another pew thread?  Grin
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stavros_388
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« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2011, 08:20:50 PM »

Pews = good for bringing my baby to church, and good for my lower back injury. Thank God for pews.
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« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2011, 08:35:26 PM »

I've come to the conclusion, that I just prefer pews/chairs along the outside walls if possible. This allows people who need to sit places to sit, and it also maintains the traditional, functional state of the nave.

I could go on and on about pews, but I think the issue has been so exhausted on here that it'd be troublesome for me to go in depth again.
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arimethea
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« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2011, 11:35:04 PM »

There is no need to start a new thread on pews so I am locking this thread. This article was already presented in one of the previous pew threads, go find it there.

Arimethea
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