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Author Topic: Question regarding tardiness...  (Read 11054 times) Average Rating: 0
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Veronica
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« on: October 10, 2012, 04:15:38 PM »

Hello, I am hoping to get some insight as to how the Orthodox Church as more of a whole handles this issue... How late is too late in coming to liturgy?   Our priest at our small parish, who is a convert, is angry over the lateness of people to liturgy. He announced that since he had been applying grace to people's tardiness and they obviously couldn't handle grace, then he needed to apply the Law. The law in this case being that he hates it when people are late and so now if you come any time following "Blessed is the kingdom..." then you will be denied the Eucharist. This has been a particularly hard thing for parents of young children. Most people who have had young children understand that it is near miraculous for some to get out the door in a timely manner. The first week of its enforcement saw a young mom, who is expecting, whose husband was out of town, break down in tears over having to tell her children that they could not partake.
This does not seem Christian to me. Isn't the whole purpose of our coming together to receive the Gifts?
It just baffles me.
Really interested in feedback here. I know Orthodox Standard Time is a fairly normal thing, but I have never heard of someone applying such a heavy hand towards it.
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« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2012, 04:21:27 PM »

Time for wrist bands or hand stamps to be used at the doors.

IME, you better be there before the Gospel reading or no Eucharist with some exceptions.

If everyone falls into chronically being late, it will be pointed out and correction suggested.

When most show up "early", it is pointed out and with accompanying tones of gratitude.
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« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2012, 04:32:42 PM »

Perhaps he could have been a little more diplomatic, but every priest I know is frustrated by this kind of behavior.

"Technically" each and every member of the congregation should be present at the beginning of the service. It is only by leniency that anyone is even allowed to enter the Church once the services have begun. We shouldn't take advantage of this leniency, if it is at all possible.

FWIW, my mother and all the mothers of her generation managed to get themselves and their children to church on time every Sunday. And they had to dress up and wear girdles as well - and hats! What's changed for mothers today?
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« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2012, 04:33:07 PM »


"If anyone has arrived even at the eleventh hour, let them not fear on account of tardiness.
For the Master is gracious and receives the last even as the first; He gives rest to him that comes at the eleventh hour, just as to him who has labored from the first."  St. John Chrysostom

Denying the Eucharist to children because they are late?  Really!?

Adults are one thing, but, the kids can't get themselves there any sooner than the parents bring them.

« Last Edit: October 10, 2012, 04:34:15 PM by LizaSymonenko » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2012, 04:39:27 PM »

He probably would have communed the children if she had sent the older and in her humiliation carry the smaller one, but she was just so upset. It just seemed harsh and against having a forgiving spirit. FWIW she was there well before the Gospel, just after "Blessed is the Kingdom..."
What set off the waterworks was that before he started communing anyone he restated his position and honestly it only applied to one set of people that day, her family.

FWIW I have struggled for years as a former preacher's wife and now as the mother of 3 teenagers to get everyone ready. When you are only 2 people who are adults, there is no excuse for being late, but when you are dealing with the free will of 2-3 or more in some cases children, then it can get complicated. The only thing that saved us this week was that orthros ran slightly over.
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« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2012, 04:41:57 PM »

Adults are one thing, but, the kids can't get themselves there any sooner than the parents bring them.



Dollars to donuts, the Priest wasn't including the children.
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« Reply #6 on: October 10, 2012, 04:46:21 PM »

I can't read all those pink letters. It hurts the eyes.
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« Reply #7 on: October 10, 2012, 04:55:33 PM »

Veronica,

Try to think of this in terms of love. Imagine a husband that does not spend any time with his wife, does not want to hear her talk much, spends most of the time at work or with friends. In the weekend he arrives just in time for some quick sex and then leaves. And oh, does he have good explanations for that attitude! His wife talks too much, for too long! He does not understand what she says! She is always talking about things he thinks are silly. Is not sex the most intimate thing? Why can't he show his love by engaging only in the "essence" of marital love and having it done as quickly as possible? Why hear talk before? Why hear talk after?

Love is made of hundreds of non-essential things and people have forgotten love in our days. We have frivolous relations with each other and we end up having the same kind of frivolous relation with God. As the career-obsessed father would say " a peck on the cheek every morning, gifts at Christmas and support your material needs, isn't that enough?" It is a disease of love.

Also, unfortunately, our times and society has grown a devilish competence in abusing forgiveness as it were something we are entitled to. "God is love, He *has* to forgive me". Truth is, He does not have to. He owes us nothing. We are not entitled to His love or to salvation. He does give it to us, but to systematically abuse it is painfully ungrateful. And we all, myself included, are educated by our cultures to be ungrateful.

What the good father is doing is but a very faint symbol of what expects us all if keep responding to God's love as a licence to do whatever we want, sort of blackmailing God "I'll do this because I know you are love and you will have to accept whatever I do".

I've seen Liturgies that start 8:30, 9:30, 10:00 and even 11:00 am. In *all* of them there are people who arrive late and often for Eucharist only. The question is: do people allow themselves to keep this kind of systematic tardiness in their jobs? Does the money our companies pay us value more than the very Word and Body of Christ? Are they aware that sharing in the body of Christ is the most intimate relation with Him? Do they think that love is shown by this lack of respect for all that gos around the most intimate moment? Do they think that the kind of relationships they have in their lives can be loving ones applying this attitude to them?

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« Reply #8 on: October 10, 2012, 04:58:49 PM »

I can't read all those black letters. It hurts my eyes.
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« Reply #9 on: October 10, 2012, 05:05:11 PM »

Veronica,

Try to think of this in terms of love. Imagine a husband that does not spend any time with his wife, does not want to hear her talk much, spends most of the time at work or with friends. In the weekend he arrives just in time for some quick sex and then leaves. And oh, does he have good explanations for that attitude! His wife talks too much, for too long! He does not understand what she says! She is always talking about things he thinks are silly. Is not sex the most intimate thing? Why can't he show his love by engaging only in the "essence" of marital love and having it done as quickly as possible? Why hear talk before? Why hear talk after?



I can understand that, but that is not the case at our parish. She wants her children to be there. When it is both parents, they make it there early. This is a small parish and the people who come there, for the most part, are not just in it for a "quickie".
It just is hard to comprehend how being militant about this is going to help the situation. I fear that it will just turn some people away to parishes that do not tow such a line.
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« Reply #10 on: October 10, 2012, 05:13:09 PM »

Some priests live in a perfect world of their own creation. Thankfully, the ones who are good, prudent and wise pastors live in the real world and learn how to lead their congregations to the perfect world which awaits us with a good dose of love, charity, compassion and practicality.
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« Reply #11 on: October 10, 2012, 05:18:56 PM »

Some priests live in a perfect world of their own creation. Thankfully, the ones who are good, prudent and wise pastors live in the real world and learn how to lead their congregations to the perfect world which awaits us with a good dose of love, charity, compassion and practicality.

This is exactly what I was thinking. Smiley
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« Reply #12 on: October 10, 2012, 05:19:52 PM »

Are they not Veronica?

How come so many people around the world arrive late and for the Eucharist only and only in "our" case it is not about convenience? Are people driving over an hour to get there and getting trafic? Is it that hard to arrive 30, 40 minutes earlier?

Priests see that happening everywhere. *Every*where. And, as I said, regardless of the time Liturgy starts, each person thinking to be among the few who have "real" motives to arrive late. Let's consider the golden rule. Would *you* like to be treated that way? To have a weekly commitment with someone and the person *always* arrives late? Why treat God that way then? The priest may have committed a mistake regarding the children, but after he talked, talked and talked asking people not to do it, what else could he do? Why blame him for one harsh action after, I don't know, months or even years of harsh ignoring of his then sweet, loving callings?

That is precisely a summary of our lives in God. He is always calling us to mend our ways. But there will be one day when He will not call anymore. He will simply pull Himself from us, after we, for so long, rennounced the merciful callings. Let this be a lesson for greater things in our life in Christ.


Veronica,

Try to think of this in terms of love. Imagine a husband that does not spend any time with his wife, does not want to hear her talk much, spends most of the time at work or with friends. In the weekend he arrives just in time for some quick sex and then leaves. And oh, does he have good explanations for that attitude! His wife talks too much, for too long! He does not understand what she says! She is always talking about things he thinks are silly. Is not sex the most intimate thing? Why can't he show his love by engaging only in the "essence" of marital love and having it done as quickly as possible? Why hear talk before? Why hear talk after?



I can understand that, but that is not the case at our parish. She wants her children to be there. When it is both parents, they make it there early. This is a small parish and the people who come there, for the most part, are not just in it for a "quickie".
It just is hard to comprehend how being militant about this is going to help the situation. I fear that it will just turn some people away to parishes that do not tow such a line.


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« Reply #13 on: October 10, 2012, 05:20:40 PM »

Get a Greek or Ukrainian priest, problem solved.  Grin
He's used to late arrivals  Grin

Seriously though, if he feels he needs to address people's lateness, he should address them individually.  Perhaps he should tell people to go to confession if they are late, I don't know.  Or even just a casual pastoral discussion.  I agree it is a bit harsh.  Being a father of a young family, I know how hard it is to make it on time and I do care a lot about being there on time.
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« Reply #14 on: October 10, 2012, 05:24:06 PM »

Some priests live in a perfect world of their own creation. Thankfully, the ones who are good, prudent and wise pastors live in the real world and learn how to lead their congregations to the perfect world which awaits us with a good dose of love, charity, compassion and practicality.

Without pain you mean. Smiley Those who would never say anything like "hate your father and your mother" or do anything that you actually don't like.
May more congregants live in a perfect world where their parents or pastors would never be tough on them even if they do something wrong.  They dream they would never be called attention, never be reprimended, never be punished. They do not want a sheppard, who had to sometimes hit his sheep with the stick, they want someone who never confronts them. Unfortunately, these, are the ones who let the wolves in, that when they are not the wolves themselves.
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« Reply #15 on: October 10, 2012, 05:25:31 PM »

Some priests live in a perfect world of their own creation. Thankfully, the ones who are good, prudent and wise pastors live in the real world and learn how to lead their congregations to the perfect world which awaits us with a good dose of love, charity, compassion and practicality.

Without pain you mean. Smiley Those who would never say anything like "hate your father and your mother" or do anything that you actually don't like.
May more congregants live in a perfect world where their parents or pastors would never be tough on them even if they do something wrong.  They dream they would never be called attention, never be reprimended, never be punished. They do not want a sheppard, who had to sometimes hit his sheep with the stick, they want someone who never confronts them. Unfortunately, these, are the ones who let the wolves in, that when they are not the wolves themselves.


Fabio,

Can I get your take on this?

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« Reply #16 on: October 10, 2012, 05:49:55 PM »

Fabio,

Can I get your take on this?



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« Reply #17 on: October 10, 2012, 07:10:08 PM »

People who are going to be late will be late no matter what you do.

I suppose in an ideal world, I would approach these people privately and tell them how their late arrival is an interruption to worship. However, we are supposed to feel sorry especially for those families who have young children or who drive more than just a few minutes. Quite frankly, I don't buy it when it's a regular occurrence. Yes, we all have occasional days when an emergency delays us. However, even with young children people make it to work and school on time, parents pick up their kids from daycare on time (I don't know what it's like where you are, but around here, the "fine" for picking up your child late even by five minutes is insanely high - but I guarantee it happens only once.), people will arrive at a theatre or similar event on time (or risk not being seated until an "appropriate" time). Unfortunately we just let people get away with unnecessary tardiness when it comes to church services. Other than denying the Gifts, what recourse does the priest have? (I would hope he not deny the Gifts to young children who are at the mercy of their parents' bad habits.)

And no, Veronica, I don't agree that "the whole purpose of our coming together [is] to receive the Gifts". We come together to worship God and pursue salvation as Community. Those who arrive late are not fulfilling their role as members of that Community. Their lateness is an interruption and distraction to those who have already assembled. And what about all the services beyond the Divine Liturgy where the Gifts are not served? Don't they count?

I think it is appropriate that the priest voice his concerns - and even frustrations - publicly. It is a matter that affects the whole congregation. However, it should not remain solely the job of the priest. All members of the parish need to take responsibility. That may mean something like accepting as a parish the limit of lateness imposed by the priest, it may mean requiring latecomers to be seated (or find a place to stand) at the rear of the nave - reserve a couple of pews or corner for the late ones. Perhaps the ancient office of doorkeeper should be revived.

I know I have placed myself in what is likely an unpopular position. There I remain.
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« Reply #18 on: October 10, 2012, 07:23:28 PM »

I belong to a small Mission and usually am present for Orthros.  I noticed that at the beginning of Orthros that there are only a handful of people, and that by the time we take the Eucharist there are quite a few.  I only know this because after I take the Eucharist, I walk to the back and walk up the side aisle to get back to where I was.  I stand at the third row of chairs in our little mission.  I only have one person who I notice when he comes in late because he stands at the 2nd row of chairs.  I know he has reasons for being late, so I try just to keep facing forward toward the altar, priest, and cantors (if I want to double check where we are at).  Our priest does not say anything, so I do not know what he thinks.  As guess as long as he does not say anything, everything will go as it has been. Undecided
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« Reply #19 on: October 10, 2012, 07:39:03 PM »

You want my real take on that orthonorm? Get x-rated up in here.
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« Reply #20 on: October 10, 2012, 07:56:38 PM »

One appropriate question to ask would be "what do you mean by the start of the service?". In older usage, the Little Entrance marked the beginning of the Liturgy, as it was the entrance of the clergy into the church (the way Lutheran, Anglican, Catholic services still begin), so it's quite appropriate that most priests say "come before the Gospel" (though "come before the Trisagion" would perhaps be better) rather than "Blessed be the Kingdom".
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« Reply #21 on: October 10, 2012, 08:11:25 PM »

The guideline at my parish is the Gospel. If you miss the Gospel, you should not go forward for communion. Even if the tardiness is unintentional, a person is probably not prepared to commune after rushing in last-minute. Like the virgins with their lamps, if you're not ready for the Bridegroom when he comes, you miss it.

I don't know how strictly this rule is enforced though, as we tend to face the altar rather than the doors. (And this never applies to children who are victims of their parents' tardiness.)

Other traditions require confession before every communion, so if you don't come early you'll be turned away (usually discretely; kiss the chalice and move on). It varies, and in the end it's up to the priest.
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« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2012, 08:24:46 PM »

I believe the proper response is "I don't feel tardy..."  Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2012, 11:56:53 PM »

tell the family to try again next Sunday.......and this time set the clock 1/2 hr early.

if they are lucky they might get to Church in time to get a tast of Orthos.

Cant stand ppl who are late on a regular basis, and then complain.

Reason they are late is cause they try to leave the house JUST in time to get to the destination on time----dsnt always work.
 
Just set the darn clock 15min early, case solved. Jeeeesss
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« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2012, 12:36:18 AM »

Time for wrist bands or hand stamps to be used at the doors.

IME, you better be there before the Gospel reading or no Eucharist with some exceptions.

If everyone falls into chronically being late, it will be pointed out and correction suggested.

When most show up "early", it is pointed out and with accompanying tones of gratitude.

Gospel?Huh?

Years ago, when I attended a Pan-Orthodox Retreat of Serbians, Greeks, Antiochians, and OCAers, the panel of priests instructed us that we had better be there in time for the Epistle, or we should not partake of the Holy Gifts.

Furthermore, if one is nauseated, then one should not partake, no matter when one arrives.

However, this would be an ask your priest question, as good parish priests do realize that young children sometimes have difficulty waking up. It is unwise to wake up a child and then have them scream in terror as they are still asleep. No one in their right mind would bring such a child in that condition into the church. It would be totally disruptive.

Nevertheless, it is better late than never.

There was this new parish priest, newly married, with no children. He was very strict about promptness.
Well, when he had his first two children, both of those young ones had trouble waking up. His Presbytera would either come late or not at all. They tried putting them to bed early, but that did not work. They tried everything. When their precious children reached the magical age of four, this problem mysteriously disappeared.
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« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2012, 03:31:43 AM »

I can't read all those pink letters. It hurts the eyes.

right click on the post, click "select all". white on blue background.
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« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2012, 04:32:52 AM »

Veronica, my father was in the military and was gone a lot.  My mother managed to get us children up and to church on time.  One problem is that children are going to bed way too late.  We were in bed by 7pm and it was not all that hard to get us up and get us to church on time.  In fact, when he was home, Mom had to get us ready to go to church and to church by herself because Dad slept in on Sundays and didn't go to church.  Do these parents manage to get their children to school every day on time? 
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« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2012, 05:17:02 AM »

Our rule is by the Little Entrance. After that, you don't receive. Whether and how Father enforces this though is his business, that's just what he told me.

And ultimately, isn't that the point? He's told you all to be there by "Blessed is the Kingdom..." So be there by "Blessed is the Kingdom..." He's the priest and he's not telling you to do something harmful or immoral, so, sorry to sound harsh but, obey.

They have to draw lines, and someone is going to be on the 'wrong' side of that. That's the nature of lines. If a non-Orthodox were crying over not being able to receive Communion we would be sympathetic but ultimately, there are reasons for our rules.

(P.S. why is 'convert' a tag?)
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« Reply #28 on: October 11, 2012, 07:20:53 AM »

Also, I do know a priest that is very picky about people being there for the entire liturgy if they want to receive.  He thinks that if we are going to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord, the least we can do is to show Him enough respect to be on time for the liturgy.  He does have a point.  If you had an audience with the President or the king or queen of your country, would you be 20-30 mins late? 

Even God chastens us and He does it because we are His sons and daughters.  Love doesn't allow people to do whatever they want.  What happened to the virgins who had to go out looking for oil because they hadn't had their lamps filled and the Bridegroom came while they were gone?  They were shut out of the Kingdom.  I've had priests be very blunt with me when I've been doing something wrong and I have been grateful for it because in each case they were entirely correct. 
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« Reply #29 on: October 11, 2012, 08:08:45 AM »

Just to clarify I do agree with Katherine's observations- I was not encouraging, nor was I excusing tardiness. My point merely has to do with how a pastor deals with ensuring that a congregation understands and follows the 'rules'. As the old saying goes, there is more than one way to skin a cat and with honey one usually catches more flies than with vinegar. The priest is not called 'Vladyka' or 'Despota' - he is called 'Father' and far too many priests view themselves as the former rather than the latter when it comes to these matters. Like with any profession among human beings, the wearing of a cassock per se does not ensure that a priest will be afforded respect throughout his career - by virtue of his own conduct and his own choices he must earn it in order to retain it.
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« Reply #30 on: October 11, 2012, 08:12:42 AM »

That's definitely topic for me as I'm very often late for church services generally (I usually arrives after the first ekteny), although my parish is very close to me - about 15 minutes (even less than it, it depends on the rate of walking) by foot. I hear very rarely (a few times per year, although I attend Liturgies quite often) reading of the Hours and maybe once-twice per month "Blessed is the Kingdom". And it doesn't matter if I set the alarm clock 10 minutes earlier, because I always "have enough time". Many people from my parish also come late, but some of the live even outside the city, so I can understand them (well, our priests not so, but it's difficult for them to perceive who is late, so there is no problem with Communion; but if they notice somebody arrives after the Gospel, they wouldn't commune this person).  

For me the latest moment for arriving to church and participating in Communion is the little entrance - it's important to hear troparions and kontakion of the day. Certainly, if there is a serious reason, the things are different.
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« Reply #31 on: October 11, 2012, 08:47:18 AM »

"Blessed in the Kingdom" begins a Holy mystery, so I am trying to be there at that time.
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« Reply #32 on: October 11, 2012, 08:56:13 AM »

tell the family to try again next Sunday.......and this time set the clock 1/2 hr early.

if they are lucky they might get to Church in time to get a tast of Orthos.

Cant stand ppl who are late on a regular basis, and then complain.

Reason they are late is cause they try to leave the house JUST in time to get to the destination on time----dsnt always work.
 
Just set the darn clock 15min early, case solved. Jeeeesss

And people leaving right after communion. After all, we don't want to be in church too long, 30 minutes tops...

What if someone was 15 minutes late for work every day for no reason except laziness? They'd be fired. And yet people get all huffy when told to be to church on time, as if it's some great ascetic feat that even the Stylites dared not attempt, and a pastoral issue that requires a lot of prayer and handholding.

Be on time. It's not hard to do. Clocks are everywhere, and timeliness is expected in every other area of life.

(Yes, stuff happens sometimes. I'm speaking in general.)
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« Reply #33 on: October 11, 2012, 09:47:21 AM »

Quite frankly, I don't buy it when it's a regular occurrence. Yes, we all have occasional days when an emergency delays us. However, even with young children people make it to work and school on time, parents pick up their kids from daycare on time (I don't know what it's like where you are, but around here, the "fine" for picking up your child late even by five minutes is insanely high - but I guarantee it happens only once.), people will arrive at a theatre or similar event on time (or risk not being seated until an "appropriate" time). Unfortunately we just let people get away with unnecessary tardiness when it comes to church services. count?

Exactly. I was talking to a friend of mine who's a Presbytera about this just recently, and she made the same point. People with kids somehow manage to get to work on time, to get the kids to school and daycare on time, why not church?
And as I said before, my mom and her generation of mothers managed to get their kids to church on time - what's changed?
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« Reply #34 on: October 11, 2012, 09:56:28 AM »

Quite frankly, I don't buy it when it's a regular occurrence. Yes, we all have occasional days when an emergency delays us. However, even with young children people make it to work and school on time, parents pick up their kids from daycare on time (I don't know what it's like where you are, but around here, the "fine" for picking up your child late even by five minutes is insanely high - but I guarantee it happens only once.), people will arrive at a theatre or similar event on time (or risk not being seated until an "appropriate" time). Unfortunately we just let people get away with unnecessary tardiness when it comes to church services. count?

Exactly. I was talking to a friend of mine who's a Presbytera about this just recently, and she made the same point. People with kids somehow manage to get to work on time, to get the kids to school and daycare on time, why not church?
And as I said before, my mom and her generation of mothers managed to get their kids to church on time - what's changed?

We were NEVER late to Mass.  NEVER.  Five kids.  We were always there ten minutes early.  Period.  To this day, if I'm running late
(most likely for no good reason other than lethargy), I almost don't want to go at all because of the disruption I believe I'll cause due to my tardiness. 

My co-worker, from a family of ten, was also NEVER late to church growing up.

I'm sorry, but I do not buy the modern excuses.   Leave your house earlier.  If it's a habit, you're simply "doing it wrong." 

Again, the occasional delay is fine, but if you are constantly and consistently showing up halfway through the Anaphora, you've got some 'splainin' to do!
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« Reply #35 on: October 11, 2012, 09:56:44 AM »

Quite frankly, I don't buy it when it's a regular occurrence. Yes, we all have occasional days when an emergency delays us. However, even with young children people make it to work and school on time, parents pick up their kids from daycare on time (I don't know what it's like where you are, but around here, the "fine" for picking up your child late even by five minutes is insanely high - but I guarantee it happens only once.), people will arrive at a theatre or similar event on time (or risk not being seated until an "appropriate" time). Unfortunately we just let people get away with unnecessary tardiness when it comes to church services. count?

Exactly. I was talking to a friend of mine who's a Presbytera about this just recently, and she made the same point. People with kids somehow manage to get to work on time, to get the kids to school and daycare on time, why not church?
And as I said before, my mom and her generation of mothers managed to get their kids to church on time - what's changed?

Quite true..it is a question of priorities. There would always be folks awaiting at the Church doors an hour or so before the first service of the Sunday morning - even in the dead of winter. If the priest was 'late' opening up - look out for him - the babas would not be happy with him!
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« Reply #36 on: October 11, 2012, 09:57:22 AM »



FWIW, my mother and all the mothers of her generation managed to get themselves and their children to church on time every Sunday. And they had to dress up and wear girdles as well - and hats! What's changed for mothers today?


Wish this was Facebook so I could click "Like!"  Grin  General rule of thumb IMHO is, if you want something bad enough, you'll make it happen... though especially with kids, unplanned chaos can throw a monkey wrench into the works really easy, despite the best of planning and preparation.  But not every week.  (Gotta be careful here, in just over four weeks I'll have a one-hour commute to church every week, LOL, instead of the 5 minute drive I have now...!)
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« Reply #37 on: October 11, 2012, 10:08:09 AM »

There are some people who will always be late.  In one parish the woman lived 5 doors down from the church and she was never on time, the priest told her to show up on time or don't approach the chalice.  We've heard children say that the reason they are always late is due to the fact that they (children and parents) have to have a sit-down breakfast before coming to church.  These children want to be on time for services and Sunday school, but are at the mercy of their parents.  But, instead of a flat hard rule, the priest should be counseling people in confession to find out why they are constantly late and then, if necessary, apply a firm rule.
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« Reply #38 on: October 11, 2012, 10:17:12 AM »

There are some people who will always be late.  In one parish the woman lived 5 doors down from the church and she was never on time, the priest told her to show up on time or don't approach the chalice.  We've heard children say that the reason they are always late is due to the fact that they (children and parents) have to have a sit-down breakfast before coming to church.  These children want to be on time for services and Sunday school, but are at the mercy of their parents.  But, instead of a flat hard rule, the priest should be counseling people in confession to find out why they are constantly late and then, if necessary, apply a firm rule.

Exactly....
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« Reply #39 on: October 11, 2012, 10:19:59 AM »

There are some people who will always be late.  In one parish the woman lived 5 doors down from the church and she was never on time, the priest told her to show up on time or don't approach the chalice.  We've heard children say that the reason they are always late is due to the fact that they (children and parents) have to have a sit-down breakfast before coming to church.  These children want to be on time for services and Sunday school, but are at the mercy of their parents.  But, instead of a flat hard rule, the priest should be counseling people in confession to find out why they are constantly late and then, if necessary, apply a firm rule.
Are they allowed to commune if they have had breakfast?
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« Reply #40 on: October 11, 2012, 10:37:05 AM »

There are some people who will always be late.  In one parish the woman lived 5 doors down from the church and she was never on time, the priest told her to show up on time or don't approach the chalice.  We've heard children say that the reason they are always late is due to the fact that they (children and parents) have to have a sit-down breakfast before coming to church.  These children want to be on time for services and Sunday school, but are at the mercy of their parents.  But, instead of a flat hard rule, the priest should be counseling people in confession to find out why they are constantly late and then, if necessary, apply a firm rule.
Are they allowed to commune if they have had breakfast?
They shouldn't be (the adults at least). I agree with everyone else who's been saying that there's rarely a good excuse for being late. I'm one of those people that has to be everywhere early, admittedly, but if I can get two children (and to be honest now that my eldest is 10 he's much harder work than he was when I would have described him as small) to Church on time even though I have a 45+ minute drive to get there, then most people really should be able to manage it. Having said that I also agree with many of you in feeling that a more sensitive and personal approach would work better than a hard and fast blanket ban, but luckily I'm not the one who has to make the decision. And I certainly wouldn't agree with barring the children.

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« Reply #41 on: October 11, 2012, 10:45:32 AM »

We were NEVER late to Mass.  NEVER.  Five kids.  We were always there ten minutes early.  Period.  To this day, if I'm running late
(most likely for no good reason other than lethargy), I almost don't want to go at all because of the disruption I believe I'll cause due to my tardiness. 

My co-worker, from a family of ten, was also NEVER late to church growing up.

I'm sorry, but I do not buy the modern excuses.   Leave your house earlier.  If it's a habit, you're simply "doing it wrong." 

Again, the occasional delay is fine, but if you are constantly and consistently showing up halfway through the Anaphora, you've got some 'splainin' to do!

Same here. Arriving to church late (not to mention skipping altogether) was just not an option in my house growing up. Three little kids, a mother who worked late shifts at the hospital. Still arrived before 9:30AM (and 6:30PM for the night service) every Sunday. It's not that hard, if it's important enough.
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« Reply #42 on: October 11, 2012, 10:48:05 AM »

That's definitely topic for me as I'm very often late for church services generally (I usually arrives after the first ekteny), although my parish is very close to me - about 15 minutes (even less than it, it depends on the rate of walking) by foot. I hear very rarely (a few times per year, although I attend Liturgies quite often) reading of the Hours and maybe once-twice per month "Blessed is the Kingdom". And it doesn't matter if I set the alarm clock 10 minutes earlier, because I always "have enough time". Many people from my parish also come late, but some of the live even outside the city, so I can understand them (well, our priests not so, but it's difficult for them to perceive who is late, so there is no problem with Communion; but if they notice somebody arrives after the Gospel, they wouldn't commune this person).  

For me the latest moment for arriving to church and participating in Communion is the little entrance - it's important to hear troparions and kontakion of the day. Certainly, if there is a serious reason, the things are different.

Try settin the clock 20min early insted of 10. dont know but it might work?!
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« Reply #43 on: October 11, 2012, 10:50:34 AM »

Quite frankly, I don't buy it when it's a regular occurrence. Yes, we all have occasional days when an emergency delays us. However, even with young children people make it to work and school on time, parents pick up their kids from daycare on time (I don't know what it's like where you are, but around here, the "fine" for picking up your child late even by five minutes is insanely high - but I guarantee it happens only once.), people will arrive at a theatre or similar event on time (or risk not being seated until an "appropriate" time). Unfortunately we just let people get away with unnecessary tardiness when it comes to church services. count?

Exactly. I was talking to a friend of mine who's a Presbytera about this just recently, and she made the same point. People with kids somehow manage to get to work on time, to get the kids to school and daycare on time, why not church?
And as I said before, my mom and her generation of mothers managed to get their kids to church on time - what's changed?

Cause they dnt get paid (monetarily) to get to church on time. thats the only diff.
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« Reply #44 on: October 11, 2012, 11:44:25 AM »

Quite frankly, I don't buy it when it's a regular occurrence. Yes, we all have occasional days when an emergency delays us. However, even with young children people make it to work and school on time, parents pick up their kids from daycare on time (I don't know what it's like where you are, but around here, the "fine" for picking up your child late even by five minutes is insanely high - but I guarantee it happens only once.), people will arrive at a theatre or similar event on time (or risk not being seated until an "appropriate" time). Unfortunately we just let people get away with unnecessary tardiness when it comes to church services. count?

Exactly. I was talking to a friend of mine who's a Presbytera about this just recently, and she made the same point. People with kids somehow manage to get to work on time, to get the kids to school and daycare on time, why not church?
And as I said before, my mom and her generation of mothers managed to get their kids to church on time - what's changed?

Cause they dnt get paid (monetarily) to get to church on time. thats the only diff.

I think it is not money - in times past we used to rightly fear God's anger. Today we fear our peers, our children, our bosses, our self-esteem. You name it, but God is down on the list - even for the faithful I fear.
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« Reply #45 on: October 11, 2012, 12:51:05 PM »

There are some people who will always be late.  In one parish the woman lived 5 doors down from the church and she was never on time, the priest told her to show up on time or don't approach the chalice.  We've heard children say that the reason they are always late is due to the fact that they (children and parents) have to have a sit-down breakfast before coming to church.  These children want to be on time for services and Sunday school, but are at the mercy of their parents.  But, instead of a flat hard rule, the priest should be counseling people in confession to find out why they are constantly late and then, if necessary, apply a firm rule.
Are they allowed to commune if they have had breakfast?

To the best of my knowledge, they don't approach the chalice.  The only people, that I know Father has refused communion, are non-Orthodox.
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« Reply #46 on: October 11, 2012, 01:45:17 PM »


Is everyone really so easily distracted by someone coming in late?  I'm honestly amazed by all these negative comments.

I try to arrive well before the beginning of Divine Liturgy, however, to be honest it doesn't really bother me when folks come in late.  Better late than never.

With everyone constantly milling about, venerating icons, lighting candles, etc....I don't notice the late comers.  I have more important things to focus on, such as my own sinful nature.
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« Reply #47 on: October 11, 2012, 02:06:17 PM »

With everyone constantly milling about, venerating icons, lighting candles, etc....

I too don't mind latecomers, provided they come in as quietly as possible. As you say, better late than never. The milling about, however, drives me nuts, whether they came on time or not. Many people seem to laud it as if it's some kind of wonderful feature of Orthodoxy. It isn't. If there's a candle stand and icons at the back of the church near the entrance so that they can venerate/light a candle when they come in without being noticed, fine. If not, they can wait until the end of the service, or at least until appropriate times, such as during the Communion of the clergy when people are moving around anyway in order to line up to receive.

I think all Orthodox parishes should take a lead from the Old Believers:
Quote
Likewise, even motion is discouraged during certain parts of the services. Entrance or exit or even fixing of candles is not expected during the reading of the beginning prayers (Heavenly King throughCome, let us Worship) or during the reading of the Six Psalms in Matins, or during the reading or recitation of the Creed, or during the reading of the Gospel. Even apart from these more solemn parts of the services, Old Rite Orthodox do not wander around the church in order to venerate icons or to light candles. While the warden or “altar boys” may fill the oil lamps or replace candles, the other faithful who enter the church after the beginning of services do not wander through the church, but find a place to stand and enter with as little disruption as possible. If one entering the late would like a candle lit, they may ask the warden to place to place a candle at an icon in front of the church. Once one has found a place to stand, it is general practice to stay at that place unless one must leave the church because of sickness or some other need. Otherwise it is not common to walk in and out of the church. Source
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« Reply #48 on: October 11, 2012, 03:04:27 PM »


Is everyone really so easily distracted by someone coming in late?  I'm honestly amazed by all these negative comments.

I try to arrive well before the beginning of Divine Liturgy, however, to be honest it doesn't really bother me when folks come in late.  Better late than never.

With everyone constantly milling about, venerating icons, lighting candles, etc....I don't notice the late comers.  I have more important things to focus on, such as my own sinful nature.

The presence of pews makes latecomers rather distracting. Everyone has to sit in their favorite seat, people shifting around and walking loudly in their heels, people tossing their keys on the wooden pews...

Then there's the boisterous greetings in the nave (yes, during the Liturgy), people talking loudly in the narthex for the whole first part of the liturgy, everything echoing besides... there's a lot to be distracted by. Thank God it settles down by the Cherubic Hymn.

I can't tune it all out, personally, and no one should have to. It's just not that difficult to arrive on time and be quiet in the church.
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« Reply #49 on: October 11, 2012, 03:22:19 PM »


The above distractions are not due to the individuals coming in late, but, them being inconsiderate. 

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« Reply #50 on: October 11, 2012, 03:39:16 PM »


The above distractions are not due to the individuals coming in late, but, them being inconsiderate. 



And I would posit that consistent tardiness is inconsiderate.
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« Reply #51 on: October 11, 2012, 03:44:13 PM »


The above distractions are not due to the individuals coming in late, but, them being inconsiderate. 



And I would posit that consistent tardiness is inconsiderate.



Yes! (now, what did I do with my "applause" smiley?)
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« Reply #52 on: October 11, 2012, 03:45:56 PM »

One of the biggest things that bothered me in the Greek parish I was going to were so many people only showing up for the Eucharist and then leaving directly after.
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« Reply #53 on: October 11, 2012, 03:48:54 PM »

One of the biggest things that bothered me in the Greek parish I was going to were so many people only showing up for the Eucharist and then leaving directly after.

I think if you asked a Greek priest which question he hated the most in the world it would be "Pater, what time is Communion?"
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« Reply #54 on: October 11, 2012, 03:51:35 PM »

One of the biggest things that bothered me in the Greek parish I was going to were so many people only showing up for the Eucharist and then leaving directly after.

I think if you asked a Greek priest which question he hated the most in the world it would be "Pater, what time is Communion?"
LOL
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« Reply #55 on: October 11, 2012, 04:50:43 PM »

One of the biggest things that bothered me in the Greek parish I was going to were so many people only showing up for the Eucharist and then leaving directly after.

It's about time you showed up here, Achronos!  Grin

What you said reminded me of an Unsourced Orthodox Anecdote about the departed Patriarch Pavle of Serbia, may God give him rest and us the benefit of his prayers.

He was communing people at a church in America. He did this with such prayer. When he happened to see people leave right afterward, he stopped the distribution and said something like, "Forgive me, but in my opinion these people have sinned against God."

It's almost as bad as people leaving right after the first "Christ is risen!" on Pascha night.

Of course, some people have legitimate reasons, but many I've seen at Pascha leaving I never see again and my heart aches for them. They dont know what they're missing--not just what spiritual benefit and joy they could have by staying for the service, but also by actually attending church regularly and making the Church a bigger part of their lives.
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« Reply #56 on: October 11, 2012, 05:03:11 PM »

One of the biggest things that bothered me in the Greek parish I was going to were so many people only showing up for the Eucharist and then leaving directly after.

Ha,
i used to think that was the norm when i was a kid in a large NYC Church.
Go to church squirm through 2hrs of liturgy receive Communion get adidero, and out the door.
At a much smaller church now everyone sits and waits for the end of liturgy and lines up again to get adideron from the priests hand on the way out.

I thnk it was the size of the NY church- you were just another faceless person, and no one ever said anything.
here at the small church-im sure the priest would say something to you if you left right after receiving.

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« Reply #57 on: October 11, 2012, 05:48:01 PM »

Right now, I am working a graveyard shift on Saturday night/Sunday morning.  I've been doing it since August and I have yet to be late to a service.  I get off at 7am, have an hour walk home, and still manage to get dressed and get to church on time.  Hopefully, I will be getting off graveyards in the next month or so (yes!). It will be great to actually get a night's sleep before going to liturgy on Sunday again.
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« Reply #58 on: October 11, 2012, 05:49:38 PM »

I thnk it was the size of the NY church- you were just another faceless person, and no one ever said anything.
here at the small church-im sure the priest would say something to you if you left right after receiving.

In larger churches, especially in cities where there are other Orthodox churches nearby and people don't necessarily attend the same parish every Sunday, it becomes near enough impossible for the priest to keep track of who he should or shouldn't give Communion. You won't notice who came in when, or who normally leaves early, and you can't interrogate every person the chalice. The best you can do in most cases is to make a general announcement just before Communion.
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« Reply #59 on: October 11, 2012, 08:03:37 PM »

I thnk it was the size of the NY church- you were just another faceless person, and no one ever said anything.
here at the small church-im sure the priest would say something to you if you left right after receiving.

In larger churches, especially in cities where there are other Orthodox churches nearby and people don't necessarily attend the same parish every Sunday, it becomes near enough impossible for the priest to keep track of who he should or shouldn't give Communion. You won't notice who came in when, or who normally leaves early, and you can't interrogate every person the chalice. The best you can do in most cases is to make a general announcement just before Communion.

yes, thats exactly how it was. one sunday at St. Demetrious the next at St. Catherin, next St, hrisovalani. i can go on and on.
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« Reply #60 on: October 11, 2012, 08:09:18 PM »


The above distractions are not due to the individuals coming in late, but, them being inconsiderate. 



Liza I am with you on this one. It's a cultural thing. Obviously a lot of folks from the OW don't sweat this issue and I grew up outside the time obsessed world of the American white middle / working class.

Being late to the DL, I don't care. That's the Priest's business.

Just don't show up late to a movie.

The latter is disruptive in itself the former isn't at least not to me.
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« Reply #61 on: October 11, 2012, 08:42:17 PM »

It's a cultural thing. Obviously a lot of folks from the OW don't sweat this issue and I grew up outside the time obsessed world of the American white middle / working class.

I don't know about other parishes, but at my parish most of the people who roll into church late are native born and successful businesspeople, who would not be caught dead walking into a business meeting 20 minutes late and make a racket while doing it.

If you just stepped off the proverbial boat from Lebanon, I may be able to accept it's cultural. If you're a third-generation American who runs a business and are well aware of the concept of time, you should know better. The latter describes most members of my parish, and appealing to culture in these cases is weak.

God bless my priest; he tries his best, but some people just don't care.
« Last Edit: October 11, 2012, 08:45:19 PM by age234 » Logged
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« Reply #62 on: October 11, 2012, 09:50:35 PM »

Our parish priest wrote an entire article about this issue in the monthly bulletin. The rule is that if someone doesn't get to church in time for the Gospel, they shouldn't receive Communion. That's what he wrote to the parishioners and told us to make it a New Year's Resolution. I know that this has been a problem for quite sometime, but I really don't know how it would work in practice. Maybe some people will show up earlier and others won't. My family always showed up to services ten minutes before they started at church when my sister and I were kids. I still go as early as I can so as not to cause a disruption for the people already there.

In Bulgaria, my old country, people come and go during liturgy. Most people will light their candles, venerate a few icons, and stand for a good portion of time. There are others that will stay there for the entirety of the liturgy and receive Communion. In general, though, the latter are probably few and far between because they should have gone to Vespers/Vigil the night before.
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« Reply #63 on: October 12, 2012, 10:57:43 AM »

It may be a cultural thing, but almost without exception, every priest I know or have talked to, is bothered by habitual latecomers.
They may have various approaches to the problem - some more diplomatic, some more strict, while some have given up and just put up with it.

If you can make it on time to work or school or other events without a problem, then it is disrespectful to show up late regularly to church. We all know stuff happens - but Sunday after Sunday is disrespectful to the worship service, to the priest and to our fellow worshippers.
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« Reply #64 on: October 12, 2012, 11:36:37 AM »

One Priest I know refuses communion to anyone arriving later than his homily.

I'm currently in a parish where half of it is cradle. I noticed on Sunday that though we started liturgy 5 minutes late, only the converts & 3-4 cradles were there already.

By the gospel reading, a couple more cradles showed up. It wasn't until about the Creed when most of the regulars were there. However, most of the cradles don't approach for communion anyway (unless they've confessed that morning, which depends on early arrival).

This isn't a cradle v convert issue, but that is the shape it sometimes takes.
Priests, as I've seen them, normally always commune children, while also sometimes having to refuse the parents.

If one wants to receive communion, they shouldn't show up late. Showing up late, while sadly typical, in my opinion, is greatly disrespectful to God. You can't take the initiative to get up and leave earlier to get to church on time? What makes that person think they should be able to receive The Eucharist that day?

I would expand this to lazy people who sit during the whole service or even stay out in the narthex or outdoors visiting or smoking. I understand the elderly and sickly needing to sit. But it is absolutely lazy for young people to do so. You stand in Wal-Mart, you'll stand in long lines, you'll stand in concerts, why can't you stand out of respect and reverence for God himself? Who do you think you are?
Why do you deserve to sit when the Priest, Deacon and altar servers stand? Why do you deserve to sit when the choir stands? Why are you more deserving and important than those who revere God and honor him in their worship by standing?

(Keep in mind the "you" isn't addressed to anyone in particular)
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« Reply #65 on: October 12, 2012, 12:15:17 PM »


If one wants to receive communion, they shouldn't show up late. Showing up late, while sadly typical, in my opinion, is greatly disrespectful to God. You can't take the initiative to get up and leave earlier to get to church on time? What makes that person think they should be able to receive The Eucharist that day?

I would expand this to lazy people who sit during the whole service or even stay out in the narthex or outdoors visiting or smoking. I understand the elderly and sickly needing to sit. But it is absolutely lazy for young people to do so. You stand in Wal-Mart, you'll stand in long lines, you'll stand in concerts, why can't you stand out of respect and reverence for God himself? Who do you think you are?
Why do you deserve to sit when the Priest, Deacon and altar servers stand? Why do you deserve to sit when the choir stands? Why are you more deserving and important than those who revere God and honor him in their worship by standing?

(Keep in mind the "you" isn't addressed to anyone in particular)
Amen - preach it, Brother!  Wink Cheesy

I'm a chanter - always on duty. I might sit for the Epistle, though I read it about half the time so no sitting then - and I will sit for the sermon, but that's it. And it's not just DL, we have Orthros as well - no sitting for me then at all - though my priest might sit for a few minutes during the Praises. I'm sixty, my priest is seventy-one. Most in the congregation are younger. When I see someone seated, legs crossed, arm over the back of the seat, I've been tempted to go over and ask if I can bring them a coffee  Cheesy.
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« Reply #66 on: October 12, 2012, 12:22:14 PM »

Also as a chanter (eventually I want to be tonsured as one, but our bishop is on leave) it irritates me when I'm doing the post-communion prayers and people are visiting with each other. I have no problem if they're talking to the Priest but come on!
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« Reply #67 on: October 12, 2012, 02:04:04 PM »

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

I take two buses and two light rail trains to get the 20 miles one-way to Liturgy, and I leave an hour and a half early to get there.  I am English about my timing, if you're not ten minutes early you are late!  I have had several nervous breakdowns when missing a bus or train or otherwise finding myself late, especially after having worked so hard and dilligently to get there on-time.  However, even in my own experiences with being late, I've come to learn from experience that it isn't all or nothing. We have to understand that it is God who brings us to Church any time, as it is God who even gives us life and drags our derrieres out of bed each morning Smiley  We learn to let GOD takeover and do the work, and we respond by cooperating as best as we are able, letting God do His thing while trying our bests to match His effort.

  If folks have made it their routines to get there habitually late, such as by this Gospel reading or by that particular prayer, I'd discourage that kind of behavior.  The purpose of Church is to challenge us, to push us in our Faith, that we can grow and spiritually mature in our relationship with God by the experience, just as in our own families and lives experience pushes us in many directions.  So when folks are randomly late to Liturgy, that is fine, hopefully in prayer they are feeling repentant about their priorities and will push themselves to make amends in the future.  For those who stumble in routinely late with this or that excuse, such flippancy is hardly spiritual growth.  I would never be mean-spirited or condescending to such folks, but I can't help but spiritually pity them that they are not allowing the Church to push them to grow more and more each day in their lives.  Sunday Liturgy is a weekly opportunity for us to challenge ourselves and to grow each week, it is not just an empty obligation.  Further, we grow as a community the more we harmonize and get on the same page.  I love Catholic parishes, but from my experience, they don't seem to be as intimately interconnected as Orthodox parishes, and I pray we keep up our efforts unless we become some of the more lax Catholic parishes which over emphasize the Universal Church and not the family of Christians coming together as One Body of Christ.  Can the foot show up fifteen minutes later than the hand?

Further, if we show up to work and school on time day in and day out during the week, can't we value our opportunity to come to the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth and stand in prayer before Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ? The prayer which drags my lazy behind out of bed each Sunday to hit that train is, "ARE YOU NOT STRONG ENOUGH TO STAND AND PRAY WITH ME FOR ONE HOUR? The spirit is willing, but the body is weak, so pray to the Father.."



stay blessed,
habte selassie
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katherineofdixie
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« Reply #68 on: October 12, 2012, 02:12:55 PM »

Well said!
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