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Author Topic: Finally attended an Orthodox service...  (Read 1130 times) Average Rating: 0
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Timon
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« on: August 10, 2011, 07:00:24 PM »

Cant believe I just now got around to it.  Ive been studying for months and asking so many questions on here, yet I had never been!  It was a Supplication of the Theotokos service.  I will be going to the DL at the same place on Monday.  Only problem was that it was mostly in Greek, so I coundnt understand. Ha! Im going to check out an OCA church too, so hopefully I will be able to follow along better there!

I loved it though.  Certainly refreshing!  I didnt know it was normal to kiss the priests hand.  When I was introduced to the priest by some very welcoming members, I just reached out to shake is hand while he tried to bless me.  It was slightly awkward, but we talked for a while and ended up emailing back and forth where he recommended some reading and answered a couple questions about the service. 

I did kiss his hand at the end of the service while he was holding the cross for everyone to venerate.  I didnt know it was normal, but saw everyone doing it so I did too in an attempt to not be disrespectful.  Then, I started to worry myself by saying "What if they werent kissing his hand?? What if it just looked like they were?? What if I freaked the priest out by kissing his hand when it wasnt appropriate?? Ha.  Did I make a mistake?  Or am I just worrying myself?

Anyways, it was great and I cant wait to go back!
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« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2011, 12:03:38 AM »

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When I was introduced to the priest by some very welcoming members, I just reached out to shake is hand while he tried to bless me.  It was slightly awkward

LOL! You aren't the first person to do that as I have as well when I was inquiring.

Quote
I did kiss his hand at the end of the service while he was holding the cross for everyone to venerate.  I didnt know it was normal, but saw everyone doing it so I did too in an attempt to not be disrespectful.  Then, I started to worry myself by saying "What if they werent kissing his hand?? What if it just looked like they were?? What if I freaked the priest out by kissing his hand when it wasnt appropriate?? Ha.  Did I make a mistake?  Or am I just worrying myself?

You're just worrying a bit too much. It seems like the place you went to was a very welcoming church. If they know you aren't Orthodox then making small mistakes and having slightly awkward moments is not a big deal. I think nearly every person in the conversion process has those moments. It's fine. Have a good laugh at yourself and just watch what everyone else does. Also, don't be shy with questions. As a catachumen, I usually find something to ask my priest about every week or two. (I.e., "Ok, father, why do we do this during the service?")
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« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2011, 12:05:15 AM »

Don't worry about it Smiley 
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« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2011, 12:18:15 AM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.
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« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2011, 12:26:50 AM »

Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

That's got to be the best breach of protocol possible.
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« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2011, 12:40:28 AM »

Anyways, it was great and I cant wait to go back!

I'm happy that you had a wonderful first experience at an Orthodox parish. I hope you continue to have more wonderful experiences that will hopefully lead you to be a part of the One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church.

Also, semi-off topic/semi-on topic, this thread is a great source of comedy, at least for me while currently half asleep.

Nicholas.
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« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2011, 12:46:25 AM »

Yeah, when I walked into one of the largest cathedrals in Russia to meet with a priest from a very respected family of clergy and gave Fr. Andrey a nice handshake, I got some looks, too.  laugh

It's wonderful that you had such a fulfilling experience. No one is judging you negatively in the church for what you dont know, I'm sure. Where are you located, out of curiosity?
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« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2011, 01:08:08 AM »


I did kiss his hand at the end of the service while he was holding the cross for everyone to venerate.  I didnt know it was normal, but saw everyone doing it so I did too in an attempt to not be disrespectful.  Then, I started to worry myself by saying "What if they werent kissing his hand?? What if it just looked like they were?? What if I freaked the priest out by kissing his hand when it wasnt appropriate?? Ha.  Did I make a mistake?  Or am I just worrying myself?


I don't think anyone has outright said it yet, but yes, they were kissing his hand.  So you didn't make a huge breach of protocol! Glad you enjoyed the service.  Monday's Divine Liturgy will be a festal liturgy, for the Dormition of the Theotokos (assuming it's a new calendar church). 
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« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2011, 01:29:27 AM »

Cant believe I just now got around to it.  Ive been studying for months and asking so many questions on here, yet I had never been!  It was a Supplication of the Theotokos service.  I will be going to the DL at the same place on Monday.  Only problem was that it was mostly in Greek, so I coundnt understand. Ha! Im going to check out an OCA church too, so hopefully I will be able to follow along better there!

I loved it though.  Certainly refreshing!  I didnt know it was normal to kiss the priests hand.  When I was introduced to the priest by some very welcoming members, I just reached out to shake is hand while he tried to bless me.  It was slightly awkward, but we talked for a while and ended up emailing back and forth where he recommended some reading and answered a couple questions about the service. 

I did kiss his hand at the end of the service while he was holding the cross for everyone to venerate.  I didnt know it was normal, but saw everyone doing it so I did too in an attempt to not be disrespectful.  Then, I started to worry myself by saying "What if they werent kissing his hand?? What if it just looked like they were?? What if I freaked the priest out by kissing his hand when it wasnt appropriate?? Ha.  Did I make a mistake?  Or am I just worrying myself?

Anyways, it was great and I cant wait to go back!

Are your Liturgy books in Greek and English?  I do not know Greek, but there are a couple parts where our priest launches into Greek.  In that case I just try to follow along in English.
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« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2011, 08:06:23 AM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

Oh boy....Smiley    You know, I have to remember that myself!

One problem I have is that our parish says the Nicene Creed in English, and I have it memorized only in Latin (when I was a Traditional RC I was taught all the prayers in Latin, not English). I know the Lord's Prayer in Englsh only because its such a widely known and said prayer in America, by all types of Christians.

Anyway, I have to read the Nicene Creed, I can't do it from memory or else I end up saying it in Latin while everyone is saying it in English. I suppose I could mentally translate from the Latin to English but then I'd be a few seconds behind everyone else.  Cheesy
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« Reply #10 on: August 11, 2011, 09:29:41 AM »

It's wonderful that you had such a fulfilling experience. No one is judging you negatively in the church for what you dont know, I'm sure. Where are you located, out of curiosity?

I've had the experience of some priests (and even a bishop) extending their hand for a handshake so I simultaneously try to kiss their hand and shake it. It's awkward but nobody cares.
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« Reply #11 on: August 11, 2011, 09:50:39 AM »

Talking about beach of protocol, I was so happy to see my priest back from a trip that I just gave him a great big hug--this at coffee hour in front of everybody.
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« Reply #12 on: August 11, 2011, 09:59:25 AM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.
Hahaha
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« Reply #13 on: August 11, 2011, 10:00:26 AM »

I think that the converts have breached protocol at least a few times! Don't sweat it! I'm sure the priest won't. Re: the kissing the hand and the cross, don't worry too much about it. I made the same mistake and while he looked amused at the moment, I brought it up the next week and the priest didn't even remember that I had hesistated. It seems like such a big thing to us, but we're learning. We'll make a few mistakes here and there.

And plus, if you get to know a priest well, you can talk about the kissing of the hand. My husband is white bread American and he is not used to that custom at all. The Greeks kiss not only the priest, but each other ALL the time, so he's constantly surprised by the Greek women coming up to him and planting kisses on his cheek.

My priest assured him that it was okay for him not to kiss his hand if he wasn't comfortable with it yet. He's working on it.


And being so used to the Catholic Apostles Creed, I have definitely been this close to saying "and the Son" more times than I can count!  Shocked

I'm glad you enjoyed it and hope you will return to the Orthodox Church for many more.
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« Reply #14 on: August 11, 2011, 11:17:43 AM »


I loved it though.  Certainly refreshing!  I didnt know it was normal to kiss the priests hand.  When I was introduced to the priest by some very welcoming members, I just reached out to shake is hand while he tried to bless me.  It was slightly awkward, but we talked for a while and ended up emailing back and forth where he recommended some reading and answered a couple questions about the service. 



Just follow what is going on in the local church and don't worry about whether you make a mistake.  Wisdom comes with experience.

Usually in our parish, at the end of the liturgy, we go up to kiss the cross and sometimes we also kiss the priest on the mouth/cheek.  (He is a native son of Ukraine and also rather elderly, and we view him almost as another grandfather to us.  We are usually in the line behind his own toddler grandchildren and they usually get picked up to kiss the cross and to give him a hug after liturgy.  Our church is really like a big family, which is great for us, being strangers in this city.)  At other times, meeting him elsewhere, it is not unusual simply to greet with a good, firm handshake. 

When we were visiting a monastery, the custom there was clearly to kiss the cross and then the priest's hand, so that's what we did.
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2011, 12:26:28 PM »

I remember the first time I went to a liturgy. When it was my turn to venerate the cross I was unsure what to do so I just stood there in front of the priest for a few seconds. He had to raise the cross up in front of me before I got the idea.  Cheesy

Anyway, I am happy that you had a good experience  Smiley   
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« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2011, 12:28:51 PM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

Oh I can just imagine the thoughts of the priest. "Oh no, we are being infiltrated by papists" Wink
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« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2011, 12:41:09 PM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

Oh I can just imagine the thoughts of the priest. "Oh no, we are being infiltrated by papists" Wink

Even better, a few weeks back, I attended an RC wedding mass, and a small group of people stumbled through all of "For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever, Amen." Many turned heads. I have yet to see this in an OC.
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« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2011, 12:43:27 PM »

And now I realize that we've semi-hijacked this thread with church blooper stories. Sorry.

Above all else, congrats again, and it's really good that you reached out to the priest so early. This is the most important tie to establish, IMO, as it can stop us from floating around churches indiscriminately, never really digging in too deep. Please let us know how it all progresses.
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« Reply #19 on: August 11, 2011, 01:49:10 PM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

Oh I can just imagine the thoughts of the priest. "Oh no, we are being infiltrated by papists" Wink


Nah, he was probably delighted that they were returning to the One True Church.

 Wink
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« Reply #20 on: August 11, 2011, 02:05:06 PM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

The first few times I went to an Orthodox liturgy, I almost said that part. I'd say "And-" but then I'd stop myself. Now, I make a point of picking up the card that has the Creed on it, even though I know it by now. It just helps.   Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: August 11, 2011, 05:10:49 PM »

Thanks for the encouragement everyone! I am looking forward to attending again!

I laughed when I read this...

Quote
I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

I am going to try extra hard not to make that mistake. It shouldnt be a problem since I come from a tradition that doesnt even know what the creed is! Honestly, I dont even have it memorized....
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« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2011, 05:11:36 PM »

and when i say i laughed... i meant i laughed WITH you, not AT you! im sure ill do plenty more stupid things on my journey....
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2011, 03:51:45 PM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

The first few times I went to an Orthodox liturgy, I almost said that part. I'd say "And-" but then I'd stop myself. Now, I make a point of picking up the card that has the Creed on it, even though I know it by now. It just helps.   Smiley


 :laugh:I thought I was the only one picking up the laminated card for that same reason!
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2011, 05:56:19 PM »

Enjoy.

Just do not do what I did.

I was attending a Divine Liturgy, and it was not my first time as I had been attending for at least three months.
Anyhow, during the Nicene Creed, where the people pray, "and in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father" I inserted rather loudly, "and the Son" while everyone else was taking a breath. Boy, was my face red, and the priest looked at me with a puzzled expression.

The first few times I went to an Orthodox liturgy, I almost said that part. I'd say "And-" but then I'd stop myself. Now, I make a point of picking up the card that has the Creed on it, even though I know it by now. It just helps.   Smiley


 :laugh:I thought I was the only one picking up the laminated card for that same reason!

I use the laminated card or service book as I visit different churches in the area occasionally. Each one has a slightly different rendition of the Nicene Creed. There is the Narthex Press edition, the Holy Cross edition, the OCA version, and two Antiochian version (one with spake in it). Romanians and Serbians also have their own translations.
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