*yawn* Evidently not enough if your post below is anything to go by.
I'm sorry, that broken record woke me up.
Yes, empty ritual is meaningless. Ah i see, it's okay to fill our lives with ritual, so long as it is meaninful?
Perhaps instead of pointing out what you believe to be empty ritual... I purposely didn't specify empty or meaninful because it's a false dichotomy as far as this is concerned.
Then you apparently either don't understand "ritual" or "meaning". Plenty of rituals are commanded, even in the New Testament, and even by our Lord. I'll expand on this more at the appropriate point in your response.
...in another denomination, you perhaps go about having it removed from your own I don't have a denomination, i don't go to a church building or belong to one.
I see. You're a homeless person complaining about how we rich folk don't really need fancy plumbing. Or roofs. Or food that doesn't come from a dumpster.
I'm sure you could. It's a good way of justifying what you do.
(I could point out many examples of empty ritual in whichever denomination you choose- Sunday church going to start with)?
i wouldn't say "justifying". I would say "pointing out a simple fact of being human". Rituals exist, not because God needs them, but because humans do. Rituals are a simple fact of human existence, and every healthy person has hundreds they go through each day- from brushing teeth at regular intervals and on. And even teeth brushing can be done to the honor of God.
Or do you have a habit of going to other people's houses and complaining that the under-the-roll method of toilet paper hanging is more sanitary than the over-the-roll method? No, that would be equally as mind-numbingly tedious as discussing robe colours, tones, crossing yourself and how many times you should sit and stand during a service!
If you don't wish to discuss these things (or at the very least to find out why
we do them, as opposed to labeling everything that seems odd "ritual", in this context a useless and judgmental word) then why post on an Orthodox web-site at all? If the only reason you are here is to judge us for discussing these things (oh no! People who are interested in Church Singing are discussing TONES! And look at those nasty music majors discussing SCALES! And how dare a guitarist discuss STRINGS!) then you might as well be coming to our house and commenting on our toilet paper roll hanging method. I hereby promote you to Chief Toilet-paper Roll Inspector Fountain Pen (abbreviated CTPRI), and as such you shall be known from here-on out (by me, anyway)!
And, of course, empty ritual is meaningless- not ritual in general. Just like in the OT the ritualistic sacrifice without obedience to go along with it meant nothing but done with obedience was something God honored, Yes, and now the old has gone and the new has come.
And with the new has come new ritual- the Eucharist (commanded by our Lord in every Gospel but St John's, explained thoroughly in St John's Gospel, commanded again by St Paul), Baptism (commanded by our Lord, called the "new circumcision" by St Paul, etc), ordination (started by our Lord with the Apostles, done by the Apostles in the book of Acts, instructions given by St Paul), Church attendance (St Paul, traditionally, or the author of the Hebrews since tradition is a mean stupid-head who smells), and so on and so forth.
...the sign of the cross or lighting a candle or the hundred of Orthodox rituals when done in the proper spirit can mean infinitely more than any number of low-church "Jesus is my co-pilot" acoustic guitar sing-alongs. *yawn* Misfire.
Well, let's see what we can infer by your comments so far- no ritual, Low Church, check (to the point of being No Church, as you have indicated previously in this comment). "Jesus is my co-pilot" theology, what naturally follows "absolutely no rituals, x
(another ritual) is far
more important" thinking, check. I'm sorry, do your sing-alongs have electric
guitar? Wow, so your (insert whatever non-church meeting group [assuming you have one, and aren't just a "worshiping the Lord in the privacy of my own home" non-church person, which I would hope you are not, because the Bible says absolutely nothing about that and commands Church attendance] gathering is called here) has finally moved in to the 1990s- how progressive. Oooh, or maybe you do drum circles! Seriously, its all nice that you take our reductio ad absurdums of your hyper-low-church (henceforth known as no-Church) philosophy as somehow missing the mark of whatever you consider yourself to be, but saying things like "I am not a Protestant/I have never been to an acoustic guitar sing-along/etc" is not winning points in an argument when all you use are Protestant acoustic sing-along cliche's. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, floats on water like a duck, and flies like a duck, I am hardly going to think it is anything other than a duck, no matter how much it insists that it is, indeed, an ardvaark.
Likewise, helping addicts and teaching abstinence-only sex ed to our high-school students means jack squat if not done to honor God. Then do it and honour God.
Ooooh, snappy. You so win. Oh, wait, helping addicts and teaching abstinence only sex ed are rituals. And the only ways you can help addicts and teach abstinence-only sex ed are by teaching rituals (prayer, cold-showers, etc). Hmmmm, you just kind of proved my point entirely. No, nevermind. I win.
Ah, who cares.
Score keeping is SooooooOOOOO ritualistic
EDIT: A few words added to develop and clarify a point