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tykesma
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« on: June 04, 2012, 07:36:06 PM »

     I'm new here and have studied different denominations over the years searching for the truth which has led me to recently begin looking into Orthodox Christianity. 
     
     I am curious about what the services consist of, I looked up my nearest congregation which is about 15 minutes away and Sunday worship services listed are:

Orthros/Matins:  9:30 a.m.
Divine Liturgy:  10:30 a.m.

Can you explain to me what these are and if people such as myself (a baptized Episcopalian) would be welcomed?

I suspect one is similar to a communion service?


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« Reply #1 on: June 04, 2012, 07:44:37 PM »

Orthros is the morning service. Lots of readings from Psalms, prayer, a Gospel reading related to the Resurrection, and chant.

After this is the Divine Liturgy. It is a full service with litanies, hymns, the Epistle, the Gospel and Holy Communion. Although you won't be able to take Communion without Orthodox chrismation, you probably can take antidoron, which is blessed bread not consecrated as Communion.

The services may seem long if you're used to shorter services. I think you'll get used to it, though.  Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2012, 07:59:41 PM »

yep, Orthros usually ranges from 45 min to an hour, while DL usually ranges from an hour and a half to 2 (sometimes longer).
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« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2012, 12:21:00 AM »

yep, Orthros usually ranges from 45 min to an hour, while DL usually ranges from an hour and a half to 2 (sometimes longer).

Orthros only 45 minutes?  Only if you excise a lot or it's chanted in the quick Russian style.  For us, it goes an hour and 15 minutes, assuming we start on time, and we have to, unfortunately, cut out an exapostelarion or a few of the Ainoi which is something I really hate to do.
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« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2012, 05:22:20 AM »

Don't worry about going to Orthros/Matins your first visit. You're welcome to, of course. It just might be a lot to sit/stand through if you're not used to long services. The Divine Liturgy is the highlight of Sunday morning.

And Russian chant isn't quick. Everyone else just drags it out too long.  Wink
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« Reply #5 on: June 05, 2012, 05:27:56 AM »

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Orthros only 45 minutes?

It is if only the eirmoi of odes 1-8 are chanted and where only Ode 9 is chanted in full.
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« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2012, 08:24:21 AM »

It is if only the eirmoi of odes 1-8 are chanted and where only Ode 9 is chanted in full.

Orthros still takes 1h30 on a Sunday when we do that  Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2012, 08:51:18 AM »

Dear tykesma,

I'm sure you would be welcome.  As Biro said, the only time you will not participate is when the faithful receive Holy Communion. Not every Orthodox person prepares to receive every Sunday, so do not be afraid you will be the only one. 

Since you mentioned Orthros, I'm guessing this is a Greek parish. Some Churches conduct services primarily in English, others are mixed. 

If you are planning to attend Orthros, you can visit this website for Greek/English translations of almost every service by date: http://ematins.org/matins.htm.  Don't be surprised if there are few people at the early service, they will show up later. 

There will probably be a Divine Liturgy book in the pews for you to follow along as well. 

Let us know if you visit and what you experienced. 

love, elephant
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« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2012, 11:51:54 AM »

Hello Tykesma,
Since you're Episcopalian, you might try to find a Western Rite Orthodox Church around somewhere. It would appear a bit more familiar to you (and probably contain more than a few Episcopalian or Anglican converts too).

However, if there isn't one around, I think you'd be welcome at any Orthodox Church.

PP
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tykesma
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« Reply #9 on: June 05, 2012, 07:07:05 PM »

Thank you everyone, I appreciate the welcome and tips! 
I am trying first to get familiar with everything.  I am reading Timothy Ware's book but
it is a little over my head.  I ordered the rainbow series by V. Rev. Thomas Hopko
and am hoping they will be a little more comprehensive for a beginner Smiley
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« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2012, 03:16:00 AM »

I ordered the rainbow series by V. Rev. Thomas Hopko
and am hoping they will be a little more comprehensive for a beginner Smiley
That's a good choice.
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« Reply #11 on: June 06, 2012, 07:11:09 PM »

While the Liturgy at our Greek parish is about 60/40 English,  Orthos is more Greek than English. It may be hard to follow along in a Matins booklet, if the Parish provides the booklets. If you notice the places where the Priest speaks in the Matins booklet, this can help you follow along. When you first enter the church, in the Narthex, there are usually candles for purchase to light in the candle "sand box". These are usually the slender taper style candles and our parish requests a dollar for each of these candle. Visitors who do not venerate the Icon nearby the sand boxes, often still light a candle. Also, remember the smoke from the incense can be heavy at times during the services at times.
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