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LenInSebastopol
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« on: April 01, 2013, 03:48:28 PM »

As was written, "God is the Creator of all free beings".
And yet The Church has all these rules!
I am a catechumen starting my third week of Great Lent and in my readings I find that there are only, about a gazillion Pharisaical rules, regs, mandates, whatever one calls them.  Now I know I must achieve a balance, work hard (and a little more) and all that, but this is my latest "clash" with all that is happening, and there is a LOT.
Any insight or direction would be MUCH appreciated, and yes I talked to my good priest, but he is young, talks fast, and I am not so young and listen slowly, so..........God bless. 
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« Reply #1 on: April 01, 2013, 03:50:57 PM »


Welcome to the Forum LenInSebastopol!



May I ask what exactly you are having an issue with?

Which "rules" are you interpreting as being "too" much?
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« Reply #2 on: April 01, 2013, 03:55:50 PM »

As was written, "God is the Creator of all free beings".
And yet The Church has all these rules!
I am a catechumen starting my third week of Great Lent and in my readings I find that there are only, about a gazillion Pharisaical rules, regs, mandates, whatever one calls them.  Now I know I must achieve a balance, work hard (and a little more) and all that, but this is my latest "clash" with all that is happening, and there is a LOT.
Any insight or direction would be MUCH appreciated, and yes I talked to my good priest, but he is young, talks fast, and I am not so young and listen slowly, so..........God bless. 

Can you compare and contrast these "rules, regs, mandates, et al." to your previous faith tradition?
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« Reply #3 on: April 01, 2013, 09:53:56 PM »

For me, in my selfish state, all and any rules deny the natural way God made us; and yet the fasting, daily prayers of morning, meal, noontime, evenings, the mandates to go to church, the rubrics, the "this and that" and after a bit it seems to Pharisaical. During this Season we prostrate, but during another Season we do not. No connubial bliss for about 4 months out of the year? 52 Saturdays plus Great Lent, plus Christmas time adds up! Before Eucharist (which I am dying to receive) we may not eat, or even DRINK WATER? RULES, rules and Rules!

I have a picture of "guys in caves" (forgive me, but plain English is my first language wherein I should say Holy Fathers) writing on things eternal and from that I draw distinctive conclusions which translate poorly into this world we now find ourselves in. I already knew the fallen world we deal with day to day is FAR from "real" life, yet function we must. And it is not a "guy in caves" world, though the eternals written may be applied, albeit with "failure and ridicule" to be the only reward.
For example, the beautiful hymn that ends in "He is clothed in Majesty" keeps evoking guys in caves (COLD caves) in tattered shredded, torn rags and they are the ones coming up with that hymn or wording. And THAT is what our relationship to God should be, in my overly prideful opinion.
If that were the case, what can WE come up with NOW that would address and call attention to the world and how we may think about Him?
 
Speaking or writing not in Russian translated from the Greek, but rather plain and simple ENGLISH: Much of what I read or am told (instructed) is plain, simple and common sense, however it is put in "faith speak" or "God-talk". And these ceremonies go ON and ON to the point of watching folks (my own projection and judgment as I AM a HUMAN BEING) and it gets to be a "who can stand the longest" game! While I (and I am not alone) am playing THAT game of Pharisee it really does detract away from The One with Whom I am worshiping.  Sitting so as not to be SO distracted by pain and pride is conducive to worship as well, no? I also wonder if the length of service is do to pride on those creating it, or did create it. I understand that loving God and worshipping Him is the only thing we may try to do (plus service to each other) but dang those things are LONG...to long for this American, by about 20 minutes. This applies to all EXCEPT Divine Liturgy, and only because as a selfish one, WE get to "have" God in a participatory manner. Not even the angels get to do that!

As for my previous faith tradition, Evangelical Protestants have few if any. Besides that is no longer my focus. As a cradle Catholic we had our ways too but that was almost 50 years ago, so that hole has been dug, moved and refilled.
Thanks for the response and forgive me for the rant. I think the word "katharsis" comes to mind....OK, so I AM a hypocrite and use the Greek and poorly at that.
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« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2013, 10:10:57 PM »


LOL!  You make valid points.

Do you know the reasons behind some of the rules that are so Pharisaical?

For instance, why do we fast from food and drink (even water) when we commune?  Imagine the special occasion, the privilege as it were, of taking Christ in to your body.  Would you like to have Him mingle with that morning's scrambled eggs and bacon?  It is simply out of respect and reverence of receiving Christ, that we abstain from ingesting anything for a matter of hours.

Remember, that there is such a thing as economia.  If a person needs to eat, or take meds, for health and medical purposes, the priest will often allow this.  Diabetics must have something to eat.  Granted, don't sit down to a full meal, but, have a bite or two of bread, a sip of water with your meds.  It's not that strict.

As for marital "relations"....they distract during the Lenten season.  Our focus must be on God, and on self (to improve ourselves), and nothing else.  Too many interests, too much multi-tasking, scatters our thoughts and we lose focus.  This is why we don't have marriages, large parties, etc. during Lent.

As for the length of the Liturgy....we are instructed to pray 24/7, so, the 1.5 - 2 hours is nothing.  If you are tired, by all means SIT down!  God doesn't want you to be ill.  You can pray sitting.  This is NOT a competition.  If someone next to you judges you for sitting, that is THEIR problem, a sin they need to work on, not yours.  Don't judge them, just do what you feel you need to do.  Many people sit, others don't kneel, others only come for 1/2 hour....because that's all they are able to do.  Do what you can.  God knows, and He's the only one that matters.

It's really not that bad.

Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: April 01, 2013, 10:21:50 PM »

All these "rules" provide us with a powerful means of coming closer to God. They are not the ends.

Of course we're going to stumble. That also can bring us closer to God, if we realize that we are powerless to progress without His divine help.

We are NOT Pharisees. I lived as one, I should know. Embarrassed
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« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2013, 11:37:07 PM »

I am not orthodox yet, so I better watch my tongue and writing fingers, but these rules: they bring us closer to God. They makes us set the focus on God and less on all these wordly things that so easily can distract us and disrupt our spirituality and prayerlife.

But it must be given time. Me? Well, it goes up and down. But every experience on the way, I would not have wanted to be without them.
It is a blessing, a true gift.

+ Glory to God in all things! +
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« Reply #7 on: April 01, 2013, 11:52:17 PM »

You can't get something for nothing.
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2013, 01:31:11 AM »



 And these ceremonies go ON and ON to the point of watching folks (my own projection and judgment as I AM a HUMAN BEING) and it gets to be a "who can stand the longest" game! While I (and I am not alone) am playing THAT game of Pharisee it really does detract away from The One with Whom I am worshiping.  Sitting so as not to be SO distracted by pain and pride is conducive to worship as well, no? I also wonder if the length of service is do to pride on those creating it, or did create it.

There are a few key points when you should stand, the Doxology, the Gospel reading, while the Eucharistic prayers are being prayed, while all others are communing, and ideally for Thanksgiving prayers, but I've been in parishes where people just walk out during the Thanksgiving prayers, or they don't have them at all, or they sit.   But if you can't stand, you can't stand.  It's okay.  People have issues that make it difficult to stand sometimes.

Some always stand for the Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, but that is said a lot, so if you really need to sit, then sit.  


It gets easier as your body adjusts to it.  It becomes normal.  Pretty soon you will be able to enter into prayer with the community.

There really is no competition to stand the longest.  You're fortunate to have a place to sit in your parish, use it if you need to.   Just do what you can without going overboard or being to easy on yourself.  

Keep your mind open to experiencing new insights during Liturgy.  Even though it's basically the same thing, there is always something new happening.  

I hope you feel better soon.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 01:39:14 AM by Velsigne » Logged
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« Reply #9 on: April 02, 2013, 01:49:40 AM »

When I first began inquiring, I was fortunate enough to have very godly women sharing their experiences of conversion and when necessary, pointing me to a priest.  Once I began to feel comfortable, I began having meetings with my priest about once per month and/or attending catechism classes and asking tons of questions.  The rules were a real sticking point for me but as I learned, the rules are not hard and fast, they are there FOR us, not against us, they are something to attain to, not something we can do in one fell swoop.  When we begin to participate in the "rules", we are blessed beyond measure!  It IS hard to see this though without participating.

A poster upthread asked you to compare/contrast our "rules" with those of your former traditions and you said there were very little...however, I would challenge you to think about the culture of your former church.  There may not have been written rules, but they are there nonetheless.  Read your bible so many minutes a day.  Don't stay up late in the night.  Wake early and pray.  If you're a man, there is a distinct picture of how one should lead his family.  The list is endless.

Your title "Free and Rules" drew me immediately because of what I just wrote above regarding former church rules.  My husband was dying in our protestant church.  Since our baptism into the Orthodox Church, I have watched my husband be transformed and that, with very little participation yet because of his work schedule.  However, he has become truly FREE to grow and commune with God, whereas in protestantism, he was locked into one interpretation (that he oftentimes did not agree with) and the pressure to look great on the outside was killing him.

Don't give up.  Begin participating without looking at everyone around you.  Be honest, as you have been here, and pray.    

"God is not unjust. He will not slam the door against the man who humbly knocks."

~ St. John Climacus


eta:  Last Lent, as a catechumen, I had NO strength to follow the fast in any way because I still saw it as harsh.  However, by the grace of God, my strength is increasing and I attribute that to the Real Presence in the Eucharist, as well as participating in Confession.  I stumble constantly but I remember that even then, I am learning about myself and about the unquantifiable grace of our Lord!  I realize that you cannot yet participate in Communion and Confession but I urge you to stay the course.  My husband said this about a week after baptism, "When you talked about there being a real strength gained from the Eucharist, I thought, 'yeahh, rigggght.'  But after partaking, I KNOW there is!  Thoughts I was struggling with have vanished and I am no longer pining away about certain things." 

All of Orthodoxy is a way of life and you will catch those glimpses that turn into bigger things as you continue to participate.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2013, 02:08:09 AM by Desiring_unity » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: April 02, 2013, 10:07:57 AM »

For me, in my selfish state, all and any rules deny the natural way God made us; and yet the fasting, daily prayers of morning, meal, noontime, evenings, the mandates to go to church, the rubrics, the "this and that" and after a bit it seems to Pharisaical. During this Season we prostrate, but during another Season we do not. No connubial bliss for about 4 months out of the year? 52 Saturdays plus Great Lent, plus Christmas time adds up! Before Eucharist (which I am dying to receive) we may not eat, or even DRINK WATER? RULES, rules and Rules!

There have always been rules. Remember Adam and Eve did not follow a simple rule and we all suffer because of it. We are all given by God free choice, and the things asked by the Church are there to help us get closer to God.  As stated above do what you can and talk it over with your Priest. You will find that the Church is very accommodating.  I have had back surgery and have to take medication which I need to take with a sip of water. Could I drink more with the Churches blessing, sure but I choose not to.

It all comes down to choice.  What do We choose to do?
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« Reply #11 on: April 02, 2013, 10:55:32 AM »

For me, in my selfish state, all and any rules deny the natural way God made us; and yet the fasting, daily prayers of morning, meal, noontime, evenings, the mandates to go to church, the rubrics, the "this and that" and after a bit it seems to Pharisaical. During this Season we prostrate, but during another Season we do not. No connubial bliss for about 4 months out of the year? 52 Saturdays plus Great Lent, plus Christmas time adds up! Before Eucharist (which I am dying to receive) we may not eat, or even DRINK WATER? RULES, rules and Rules!

There have always been rules. Remember Adam and Eve did not follow a simple rule and we all suffer because of it. We are all given by God free choice, and the things asked by the Church are there to help us get closer to God.  As stated above do what you can and talk it over with your Priest. You will find that the Church is very accommodating.  I have had back surgery and have to take medication which I need to take with a sip of water. Could I drink more with the Churches blessing, sure but I choose not to.

It all comes down to choice.  What do We choose to do?
Those choices ARE the freedom God gives and I praise and adore Him for such. Our original parents had only ONE rule, and now as with the Pharisees, it seems 647 can get us by.  In my pride of 'understanding' had any of us been Adam  & Eve we too would have done the same thing, but that IS who we are! All sin is a choice, even if we 'reason' it out that we are 'helpless' and habituated into it, and that is the down-side of freedom, which is the strength needed to choose what is right, good, true and beautiful.
Though suffering may not be a 'choice' you are right, but it is a blessing from God to suffer. As St. Paul, in Romans, it builds and molds us. We chose to have it bring us closer to Him. It also gave us a real (better? more complete?) view of ourselves because of His Son. One could go on, but time does not permit. God Bless and stay in prayer.
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« Reply #12 on: April 02, 2013, 10:57:45 AM »

I am not orthodox yet, so I better watch my tongue and writing fingers, but these rules: they bring us closer to God. They makes us set the focus on God and less on all these wordly things that so easily can distract us and disrupt our spirituality and prayerlife.

But it must be given time. Me? Well, it goes up and down. But every experience on the way, I would not have wanted to be without them.
It is a blessing, a true gift.

+ Glory to God in all things! +

You are blessed! and have a true gift! and it is from God, for He is Good and Loves Mankind.
I will be there for you.
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« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2013, 08:48:46 AM »

Do you know the reasons behind some of the rules that are so Pharisaical?
For instance, why do we fast from food and drink (even water) when we commune?  Imagine the special occasion, the privilege as it were, of taking Christ in to your body.  Would you like to have Him mingle with that morning's scrambled eggs and bacon?  It is simply out of respect and reverence of receiving Christ, that we abstain from ingesting anything for a matter of hours.

As for marital "relations"....they distract during the Lenten season.  Our focus must be on God, and on self (to improve ourselves), and nothing else.  Too many interests, too much multi-tasking, scatters our thoughts and we lose focus.  This is why we don't have marriages, large parties, etc. during Lent.

As for the length of the Liturgy....we are instructed to pray 24/7, so, the 1.5 - 2 hours is nothing.  If you are tired, by all means SIT down!  God doesn't want you to be ill.  You can pray sitting.  This is NOT a competition.  If someone next to you judges you for sitting, that is THEIR problem, a sin they need to work on, not yours.  Don't judge them, just do what you feel you need to do.  Many people sit, others don't kneel, others only come for 1/2 hour....because that's all they are able to do.  Do what you can.  God knows, and He's the only one that matters. It's really not that bad.
Smiley

Truth is: it is not "that bad" but actually quite Good, howsoever...
As for fasting prior to Eucharist, you are right: out  of respect & reverence we fast, also it helps is think of Him in a focused manner and is quite easy. Seems Our Lord and water did well together! We here, out in the Wild West, had an unwritten law that one cannot refuse another a drink of water; it is a "desert thing", much like stealing a man's horse was a hanging offense, as it meant the victim could die due to the distance and vastness of our land. It IS a water thing, as in basic and human!

As for Marriage: that is as much a Mystery and Sacred as The Eucharist. We all know of poor relations within marriage, and distractive actions COULD be detrimental to receiving, but.....well, it seems to me that celibates in monasteries came down with this one, as in 'tossing the baby out with the bathwater'.

Again, you are right: the competition game for standing is my sin and the Gospel prior to Great Lent brought it home well. I AM the Pharisee standing in front, so I know Our Lord called me in my sin a long time ago! And I know I am not alone in that temple. And I will sit when needed (and I can find a place, thank God and His good priest) however to compare 24/7 prayer to any Liturgy (except Divine Liturgy) is not fair, nor true. The admonishment is to PRAY, not stand. Even St. Herman lay on a rock for a thousand days! And no, I am not going to keep my old arms up that way nor that long!

Your response has blessed me, and I thank God for it in this mornings prayers.





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« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2013, 08:50:15 AM »

You can't get something for nothing.

You mean, as in Agape?
I got this life and do not deserve it.
Sorry, but we disagree.
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« Reply #15 on: April 03, 2013, 08:54:50 AM »

And these ceremonies go ON and ON to the point of watching folks (my own projection and judgment as I AM a HUMAN BEING) and it gets to be a "who can stand the longest" game! While I (and I am not alone) am playing THAT game of Pharisee it really does detract away from The One with Whom I am worshiping.  Sitting so as not to be SO distracted by pain and pride is conducive to worship as well, no? I also wonder if the length of service is do to pride on those creating it, or did create it.

There are a few key points when you should stand, the Doxology, the Gospel reading, while the Eucharistic prayers are being prayed, while all others are communing, and ideally for Thanksgiving prayers, but I've been in parishes where people just walk out during the Thanksgiving prayers, or they don't have them at all, or they sit.   But if you can't stand, you can't stand.  It's okay.  People have issues that make it difficult to stand sometimes.
Some always stand for the Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, but that is said a lot, so if you really need to sit, then sit.  
It gets easier as your body adjusts to it.  It becomes normal.  Pretty soon you will be able to enter into prayer with the community.
There really is no competition to stand the longest.  You're fortunate to have a place to sit in your parish, use it if you need to.   Just do what you can without going overboard or being to easy on yourself.  
Keep your mind open to experiencing new insights during Liturgy.  Even though it's basically the same thing, there is always something new happening.  
I hope you feel better soon.

Thank you for your response. And you are right...it is getting easier, but these old bones are not getting younger at the same time!

I do try to stand when our priest is present. I try to stand while the doors are open, and when the priest is standing. And I will always stand for any readings from the Bible, as in Epistle, Gospel and other points as recognized. That is during the Divine Liturgy, but all the other services attended during the rest of the week at this time.....Zounds!
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« Reply #16 on: April 03, 2013, 09:02:20 AM »

The rules were a real sticking point for me but as I learned, the rules are not hard and fast, they are there FOR us, not against us, they are something to attain to, not something we can do in one fell swoop.  When we begin to participate in the "rules", we are blessed beyond measure!  It IS hard to see this though without participating.

A poster upthread asked you to compare/contrast our "rules" with those of your former traditions and you said there were very little...however, I would challenge you to think about the culture of your former church.  There may not have been written rules, but they are there nonetheless.  Read your bible so many minutes a day.  Don't stay up late in the night.  Wake early and pray.  If you're a man, there is a distinct picture of how one should lead his family.  The list is endless.

Your title "Free and Rules" drew me immediately because of what I just wrote above regarding former church rules.  My husband was dying in our protestant church.  Since our baptism into the Orthodox Church, I have watched my husband be transformed and that, with very little participation yet because of his work schedule.  However, he has become truly FREE to grow and commune with God, whereas in protestantism, he was locked into one interpretation (that he oftentimes did not agree with) and the pressure to look great on the outside was killing him.
Don't give up.  Begin participating without looking at everyone around you.  Be honest, as you have been here, and pray.    
"God is not unjust. He will not slam the door against the man who humbly knocks."
~ St. John Climacus

eta:  Last Lent, as a catechumen, I had NO strength to follow the fast in any way because I still saw it as harsh.  However, by the grace of God, my strength is increasing and I attribute that to the Real Presence in the Eucharist, as well as participating in Confession.  I stumble constantly but I remember that even then, I am learning about myself and about the unquantifiable grace of our Lord!  I realize that you cannot yet participate in Communion and Confession but I urge you to stay the course.  My husband said this about a week after baptism, "When you talked about there being a real strength gained from the Eucharist, I thought, 'yeahh, rigggght.'  But after partaking, I KNOW there is!  Thoughts I was struggling with have vanished and I am no longer pining away about certain things." 
All of Orthodoxy is a way of life and you will catch those glimpses that turn into bigger things as you continue to participate.

I am glad your husband found new life in Orthodoxy, as I too am on his same journey in a manner of speaking, as our previous Protestant church is deadening.  And it is good to know that you are blossoming in your new creation.
Thank you for sharing as I too am wondering with questions-by-the-ton, so thanks to your encouragement I will hang in there, especially with the hope of The Eucharist and His Presence. I have to deal with a lot when the priest tells us to depart because I know I am denied it at this time.
Your post has helped and I thank God.
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« Reply #17 on: April 03, 2013, 09:20:53 AM »

As I tell my Sunday School class, these are not "rules", they're "tools."
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« Reply #18 on: April 03, 2013, 09:31:33 AM »


LenInSebastopol, feel free to sit.

There are no rules against people sitting if they need to.

Liturgy is a celebration, not a form of torture.

If anyone gives you a "look" or says something....that is THEIR problem, and they need to work on not judging others. 
You need to just ignore them....and not let it detract from the beauty that is unfolding before you.

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« Reply #19 on: April 03, 2013, 10:07:54 AM »

Do less than more. Don't burn out. Take eternal perspective. Great Lent is very intense time. Holy Week even more. Then, Holy Pascha, the Resurrection of Christ! May God strengthen you in the journey.
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« Reply #20 on: April 03, 2013, 10:57:26 AM »

Many good answers were given, I just would like to add this: the rules or tools (I like that), are really many, and tough and rigid. *But*, do you remember the passage about the widow's mite?

Basically, Jesus notes how some people donated a lot of money, but it was just a fraction of their massive wealth. At the same time, a widow gave just two mites, the least valuable coins, but they were everything she had, so she gave much more than all the rich.

Here is the balance of God's justice and love, of His Toughness and His Tenderness: God will *never* be glad if you give anything less than all you have, than all you are. We have to give us entirely to Him, but He will accept *anything* that is our best sincere attempt. Maybe someone struggles the entire Lent period and manage to fast just one day and another, who is already a vegetarian, has no trouble at all doing it. As long as each is giving their maximum best, all they can at their best effort, God will accept both. The rules are not to be chains, but invitations to improvement. This Lent, maybe, we fast just from red meat. Maybe, next year we can add milk? This Lent we read just a couple of spiritual articles on the Internet. Next year, can we read an entire book? Use the rules as a program of spiritual exercises (that is what "ascesis" means, exercise), not as judgements over yourself. They were given as tools, really, not as excuses for condemnation. God gave them to us to help us, not to be a burden. And that is why they have to be as tough as possible, for they are our horizon, the place where we want to be. We should not accept easy tasks that won't really challenge us to improve, nor demand that those more advanced than us should not have even tougher exercises for them.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 11:04:51 AM by Fabio Leite » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: April 03, 2013, 11:57:52 AM »

As was written, "God is the Creator of all free beings".
And yet The Church has all these rules!
I am a catechumen starting my third week of Great Lent and in my readings I find that there are only, about a gazillion Pharisaical rules, regs, mandates, whatever one calls them.  Now I know I must achieve a balance, work hard (and a little more) and all that, but this is my latest "clash" with all that is happening, and there is a LOT.
Any insight or direction would be MUCH appreciated, and yes I talked to my good priest, but he is young, talks fast, and I am not so young and listen slowly, so..........God bless. 
just hop on the free train, the one not ruled by the rails and signs:

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« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2013, 11:57:52 AM »

As I tell my Sunday School class, these are not "rules", they're "tools."
yes, scaffolding, not the edifice.
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Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth
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« Reply #23 on: April 03, 2013, 09:36:45 PM »

You can't get something for nothing.

You mean, as in Agape?
I got this life and do not deserve it.
Sorry, but we disagree.

I didn't mean as in anything. Even in agape you must give your entire heart, soul and mind, and in agape God gave his.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2013, 09:37:58 PM by Jason.Wike » Logged
Velsigne
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« Reply #24 on: April 04, 2013, 03:29:49 PM »

And these ceremonies go ON and ON to the point of watching folks (my own projection and judgment as I AM a HUMAN BEING) and it gets to be a "who can stand the longest" game! While I (and I am not alone) am playing THAT game of Pharisee it really does detract away from The One with Whom I am worshiping.  Sitting so as not to be SO distracted by pain and pride is conducive to worship as well, no? I also wonder if the length of service is do to pride on those creating it, or did create it.

There are a few key points when you should stand, the Doxology, the Gospel reading, while the Eucharistic prayers are being prayed, while all others are communing, and ideally for Thanksgiving prayers, but I've been in parishes where people just walk out during the Thanksgiving prayers, or they don't have them at all, or they sit.   But if you can't stand, you can't stand.  It's okay.  People have issues that make it difficult to stand sometimes.
Some always stand for the Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit, but that is said a lot, so if you really need to sit, then sit.  
It gets easier as your body adjusts to it.  It becomes normal.  Pretty soon you will be able to enter into prayer with the community.
There really is no competition to stand the longest.  You're fortunate to have a place to sit in your parish, use it if you need to.   Just do what you can without going overboard or being to easy on yourself.  
Keep your mind open to experiencing new insights during Liturgy.  Even though it's basically the same thing, there is always something new happening.  
I hope you feel better soon.

Thank you for your response. And you are right...it is getting easier, but these old bones are not getting younger at the same time!

I do try to stand when our priest is present. I try to stand while the doors are open, and when the priest is standing. And I will always stand for any readings from the Bible, as in Epistle, Gospel and other points as recognized. That is during the Divine Liturgy, but all the other services attended during the rest of the week at this time.....Zounds!

Hi there,

We sit for the Epistle and OT readings.  I'm sure you get it though by seeing what others do, which is probably what early on leads to more focus on what others are doing rather than just flowing along, because it takes time to get it down. 

Not everyone can make every service.  It would be a shame to burn out too early.  Just try a little past your comfort point, not all or nothing.  I understand your frustration, believe me.   Smiley  It can be a lot.  And then there are the talks about 'oh everyone is so busy with everything nowadays, we need to slow down and pray and reflect' but church makes it extremely more busy.  lol 



 You'll find a balance, as we change, so does our practice. 
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