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Author Topic: arriving late/chit chat  (Read 6477 times) Average Rating: 0
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irene
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« on: March 22, 2005, 12:11:42 PM »

I'm not criticizing.....but wondering if this is pretty standard.

People arrive at all different times during the Divine Liturgy.  (many people)   Some might be running late, but some seem like it was choice.   Is this just the way it is?      And, what does the Priest think of it??   

Also, I couldn't help but notice because they were fairly loud----people in the Communion Line were having conversations. (not about God/Church either).

Coming from the RCC, it is a bit different.    We are taught not to talk in Communion Line, and although some people come after the beginning of Mass, it doesn't seem to be much later than 15 minutes into the Service.

Just trying to understand!   Thank you.

Irene   
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2005, 12:20:21 PM »

Not standard in either my GOA parish or my wife's ACROD parish. Sad to say but this priest has a problem it seems.

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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2005, 12:49:28 PM »

Where do you attend Church? I was at a AA church that had the same problem and still does to an extent. The priest that was there and just left a few months ago had problems with people talking in the communion line and had to let them know that that is unacceptable and that they are going up to receive the Lord's Body and Blood. Basically he was telling them to take their faith seriously or do not come forward for communion. Still the problem of people talking too much during Liturgy remains sadly. I am not trying to judge but I think that these people, if we could get together and talk, would have to realize why what they are doing is not good. I would just ask them why they come to church if all they intend to do is chat with their friends and receive communion in a manner that is not in keeping with someone who truly believes it is the Lord's Body and Blood?
I pray things get better for you irene. Perhaps there is another parish you could go to? Have you been baptized or chrismated yet? I am not suggesting that you just leave but talk to the priest one-on-one, find out what is going on, and then if you think you would be better off somewhere else ask his blessing. Though I know in many parts of the country there is not another church for a hundred miles and in that case I would still say talk to the priest one-on-one. However if we come to church wanting to praise God in our hearts and partake of His Body and Blood the faults or failings of others become non-existent while ours become ever more apparent.
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« Reply #3 on: March 22, 2005, 08:08:33 PM »

Definitely standard in my GOA parish. We have a crowd who stand out in the Narthax during the whole liturgy and chit-chat. It is very disctracting but the Priests do nothing about it.
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« Reply #4 on: March 22, 2005, 09:28:07 PM »

Standard operating proceedure in every Greek parish I have been to (about 10).  That includes the Old Calendarist one! Except there they don't talk in the communion line becuase a) hardly anyone goes to communion as often as in the GOA and b) the priests would kick their butts.

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« Reply #5 on: March 23, 2005, 01:43:08 AM »

   
     There are a few families that arrive a little late in our small parish of mainly converts ( OCA ).
      But talking during liturgy and in the communion line....MAN!!!  If the priest was to busy to say anything , someone in the parish would take action to stop such madness. Unacceptable .
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« Reply #6 on: March 23, 2005, 12:34:53 PM »

Your replies are interesting, thanks for your opinions.

There tends to be kind of an overflow area near the Narthex as people wait to walk the aisle for Communion.   That is where I noticed the conversations the most.    I was a little surprised.   But, I also haven't attended enough services to say it always happens.    Maybe there was a reason.   So, wanted to see what your experiences have been like.   On the other hand, during the homily you could hear a pin drop, I was pretty impressed with the attentiveness.

As far as arriving late, I've seen it in  different parishes, people arriving right before Communion, and I remember reading that it isn't all that unusual in the Orthodox Church.    I wonder how that came to be?

Irene     
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« Reply #7 on: March 23, 2005, 12:55:34 PM »

Irene,

It's common in the Greek tradition because Matins is celebrated before liturgy, and liturgy itself in traditional Greek parishes is at least 2.5 hours long--so add matins to that and you have a four to five hour Sunday.  Obviously people with families don't always get to do that so they would arrive later.  Now, because there is no kind of categorizing of "what is the most important part" it would seem that people just would arrive whenever.  In most GOA parishes, the liturgy was cut down to size, now averaging about 1.25 hours to 1.5 hours.  People still used to looking at the start time and figuring "I'll come 2 hours late [which in Greece would mean right about the time of the Epistle if you count start time from the time of Matins]" actually were arriving at communion time Wink  That's my speculation at least.  The practice of arriving late then was passed on to the next generation.

It would be handy if the priest in a parish just mentioned occasionally that it's ok if you are running late occasionally but that here in America especially when liturgy has been trimmed, let's get there on time.

Anastasios
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« Reply #8 on: March 23, 2005, 03:05:59 PM »

Coming from the RCC, it is a bit different.  We are taught not to talk in Communion Line, and although some people come after the beginning of Mass, it doesn't seem to be much later than 15 minutes into the Service.

That's because the old rule was that you had to be there by the Gospel reading for it to "count".
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« Reply #9 on: March 23, 2005, 03:25:02 PM »

IN the past this was a problem in our parish. Our prist resolved it by having one of the subdeacons stand in the back of the church and remind people to be silent during the communion.  It has helped to silence people in the back and in line---respect and meditation on the divine gifts seems to be up now. It seems to have resolved it .

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« Reply #10 on: March 23, 2005, 05:07:10 PM »


That's because the old rule was that you had to be there by the Gospel reading for it to "count".


When we were little, that was my family's rule, to aim to arrive for the gospel, since we were very... um, lets just say active, kids.
Now that we're older (and drive ourselves to church,) we've gotten used to making it on time, but still I guess the menatlity persists of, as long as we get there before the Gospel, we're ok.  (not good, I know).
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« Reply #11 on: March 23, 2005, 06:38:30 PM »

I think it tends to occur in parishes where the ethnic/cultural connection of the church is more important than the religious connection. It just makes it more of a place to hang out and talk than think about what is happening in the service.
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« Reply #12 on: March 23, 2005, 07:12:54 PM »

A gentleman we know, a member of the OCA, once asked if the 10:00 AM Sunday Eucharist at our parish started at 10:00 AM.   Smiley We told him that it did, within a couple of minutes and that we were a bit surprised at the question.

I have to say that in standard Anglican services I have never seen or heard anyone having conversation while in line to go to the communion rail.  or parishioiners regularly arriving more then a few minutes late (allowing for driving conditions.) except, of course, for the Sundays that Daylight Savings time starts and someone forgot to set their clock.  Grin

Otoh, I will confess that at the first Christmas Eve service 3 months ago, where there were alot of visitors due to the parish children doing the Nativity tableau, there were people in the pews around me talking while waiting to get in line for Communion.  It was annoying as the children's choristers were singing hymns and the chatterers made it hard to hear them or pray quietly.  Fortunately, this is not (yet) a common thing on Sundays.

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« Reply #13 on: March 23, 2005, 10:51:14 PM »

This is how it is at my church -- there are times when I can't hear the Priest's "sermon" because the other members of the choir are talking to each other.

One liturgy last year, when Archbishop Demetrios was there and was speaking, I had to actually lean over and ask a couple of people in the choir to please be quite so that I could hear what he was saying!

The "visiting" during the services is really, really, really bad at my GOA Church.
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« Reply #14 on: March 24, 2005, 06:37:16 AM »

Then, which Orthodox Church is best known for not having conversations during Liturgy and not and arriving late?  OCA?

People are people, and there will always be some who talk during the Liturgy, etc....but I'd rather be in a church where the above is minimal.    Otherwise, I might end up doing the same down the road.   I was distracted from worshipping.       A different scenario, but at my job, people are never on time.    It was  very strange at first.      After a few years, of always leaving home on time, I have started leaving later and later.   So, in my case, anyway, it might relax me a little too much down the road. (i wonder)

Irene
   
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« Reply #15 on: March 24, 2005, 07:00:17 AM »

Irene,

I've never noticed this much in the Romanian church, though I could just have been lucky. People do tend to come in late (on 'Romanian time' as I tell my wife to annoy her - times are somewhat more vague in Romania than in the west), but not so late as some of the examples given here and the vast majority are always on time - otherwise you might not be able to find room in the church. As for the chit chat, that I have never experienced in a Romanian church, especially not when receiving the Eucharist for goodness sake! Even reasonable talking, such as pointing out that you're on the wrong side of the church (that's happened to me a couple of times) tends to be in a very low whisper so as not to disturb anyone. The one really annoying thing I have found frequently, though, is the number of old women who seem to go to church to find out the latest gossip. The actual gossipping tends to be done after the Liturgy outside, but it does make me wonder why they go at all - most of the time they seem to be there to see what people are wearing rather than to take part in the Liturgy.

James
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« Reply #16 on: March 24, 2005, 08:43:02 AM »

The OCA is not immune from latecomers or chit-chatters.  There are a number of large and extended families at my parish, many of them Russian.  The more elderly people seem to be punctual, but those with younger children, or even teenagers, tend to lag behind, and these are the people/families that make up the choir!

These people have been attending this parish their entire lives.  I tend to think that if I am distracted from worship by people walking about and chattering about who-knows-what, then OK it's probably bad that they are doing this, but how much worse is it that I allow myself to become distracted by it, and that I turn my focus to "how dare they do this, don't they know they are in the House of God right now?"  If this thought ever comes to mind, I try to tell myself, "how dare I lose sight of where I am right now, and what I am experiencing." 

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« Reply #17 on: March 24, 2005, 10:17:01 AM »

Irene,
My experience is very limited, but our little OO parish is small  and mostly converts. The people's participation in the liturgy is
demanding of all our focus and other than the occasional loud baby, I haven't seen the chit-chat  during the line for Eucharist. The line is fairly short Shocked). How did I get this wierd smiley? Maybe it helps if the parish is small?  I know that you know this, the Holy Spirit will lead you to the parish where you fit best. Perhaps, you should look at other parishes in your area, if the chit chat distracts you from worship. Praying for God's leading!
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« Reply #18 on: March 24, 2005, 12:56:56 PM »

I agree.   I feel it's wrong, too, to be thinking they are "distracting" during church.      But....otoh,  I wasn't sure if this was the norm in the Orthodox Church.   

Have thought of a simple solution.....sit nearer to the front.  (gulp)    Have been a back-of-the-church sitter.     

Now, I just have to figure out who always sits in the same place so as not to take their seat!  lol

Irene

I've gotten that weird smiley, too, desertrose, after putting in a regular one.  They are alive!  lol



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« Reply #19 on: March 24, 2005, 01:43:58 PM »

I have never been too concerned with the late arrivals, because you never know the "why" of it all.  Hence I would hate to pass judgment on the guy who walked in 1 hour late because he got a flat tire on the way.

The chit chat, on the other hand is a different story.  I think it is terribly disrespectful.  It doesn't seem to be a big problem in my current Church, although it does happen.

However, I was made to feel much better when I went to a bat mitzvah recently.  During the ceremony in the synagogue, it was like "social hour" at the local pub.  You could hardly hear a thing from all the chatter.  Add to this, it was Shabbas and no microphone was in use, and it was a real mess.  Although, I think my wife picked up a great recipe for Matzah Ball Soup from the surrounding chatter.  Wink
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« Reply #20 on: March 24, 2005, 10:34:34 PM »

But, it isn't just one or two people arriving late.  That is expected.   But, quite a few people come in late.   So, it puzzled me a bit since I was not accustomed to seeing that outside of the Orthodox Church.   Even to the point where I was wondering what was going on. 

   
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« Reply #21 on: March 25, 2005, 01:04:25 AM »

This is also a problem at my church (OCA) at certain times. MAinly during the reading of the Hours, before liturgy people are walking about the church conversing and have gotten abit loud. Matter of fact, last Sunday, it was so bad, my priest walked over to the Deacon's door, and leaned over it and loudly went, "SSSSSHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!" to a group of older people who have been raised in the church and should obviously have known better.

There are also people who are notorious for being out in the foyeur for the whole liturgy, or chatting it up during liturgy in a comittee room, or downstairs where we have fellowship hour - with one person who sends up one of their kids to see if it's time to come up for Communion yet!!

Another time this happens is after everyone has received Communion, and they are going back to their seats. They seem to like to catch up on things right at that moment, rather than at coffee hour.

Can't figure it out, I guess it is something that will just persist...  Sad

Anyone have any solutions for these situations?

In Christ,
Aaron
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« Reply #22 on: March 25, 2005, 08:50:31 AM »

Hopefully, by remaining in a prayerful mode, and being quiet, some change might occur.   

I really think it is up to the priest to take a stand on the issue, too.   He sets the tone.   I think the people who get sushed might be more aware next time.   I wonder if some just aren't aware how loud they are, or some just don't really believe Christ is in their midst?

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« Reply #23 on: March 25, 2005, 09:51:02 AM »

Or they just don't realize it, at least.
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« Reply #24 on: March 27, 2005, 09:41:00 PM »

At the Greek church 90 miles from me, they don't have a resident priest.  A priest comes for the major feast days and Holy Week.  I guess that church always had a problem with people coming just before Communion and leaving right afterwards.  There were so few there at the Great Entrance that he knew who was there and who wasn't.  He told the ones that weren't there for the Great Entrance not to approach the chalice and that he knew who was there and who wasn't.  Needless to say, he doesn't have the problem of people showing up just before Communion anymore. 
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« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2005, 04:38:12 PM »

My priest said something along the lines (when we were taliking of this sort of thing) if you dont get there by Communion there really isnt a point is there? Lateness is just one of those things...I'm usually not, but sometimes..it happens.
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« Reply #26 on: March 28, 2005, 05:12:01 PM »

Then, which Orthodox Church is best known for not having conversations during Liturgy and not and arriving late? OCA?

People are people, and there will always be some who talk during the Liturgy, etc....but I'd rather be in a church where the above is minimal. Otherwise, I might end up doing the same down the road. I was distracted from worshipping. A different scenario, but at my job, people are never on time. It was very strange at first. After a few years, of always leaving home on time, I have started leaving later and later. So, in my case, anyway, it might relax me a little too much down the road. (i wonder)

Irene
 

Find an all convert or mostly convert parish, juristiction really doesn't matter.  They are usually quieter than an ethnic parish,  at least in my experience. In general, you will find even without the idle chatter, than an Orthodox church is much louder than what you are aquainted with. There are no "rules" per se about "when" to stand "when" to arrive "how" to light a candle etc. As people stand for most of the liturgy and there will be shuffling and movement.  These things are dictated by the people climate of the parish and not by written rules.   
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« Reply #27 on: March 29, 2005, 11:24:19 AM »

yes, i think that is the major issue.   

When you are so accustomed to the RCC ways, it takes some shifting of gears in becoming Orthodox.   The"rules" aren't as black and white, and that takes time to "let go."   

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« Reply #28 on: April 12, 2005, 01:55:12 PM »

It's pretty standard in our parish for oodles of people to be late-- the doors to the narthex are closed at a certain point, then opened after the gospel reading-- there is then a massive influx. Our priest will periodically lecture about arriving on time, but it seems to be standard practice throught the Orthodox world. As a convert, it irritated me at first-- "why come at all?" I wondered.

Then I realized, it's not what *they* do that really matters, it's what *I* do.
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« Reply #29 on: April 12, 2005, 02:28:53 PM »

i agree, good point.   the bottom line to most things in life, too!   
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« Reply #30 on: April 12, 2005, 05:19:06 PM »

Sister irene,

When the noisiness ends, when every disruption cease then you shall find that there is an internal fuss to fight against.

Have courage. Watch for the moment that the Spirit shall pray from your heart, regardless of external circumstances.

Don’t look insistently for the most quiet place because this quest will never find an end.

Have joy for those who are less adequate than you in behaving with a proper manner. Because they shall also inherit the same Reign of God as you will do.

Be an example for others to follow. You shall need one thing only: forgiving love.
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« Reply #31 on: April 14, 2005, 11:10:32 AM »

That is really beautiful, Ipap!
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« Reply #32 on: April 14, 2005, 03:44:27 PM »

Just my two cents about latecomers in Church: I am a convert to the Orthodox Church myself. When I first became Orthodox, I complained about latecomers a lot. It offended my Western (former Germanic Lutheran) sense of everything being "decent and in order."  It was an attitude I eventually had to TRANSCEND.  When I hear people constantly complain and bewail the numbers of "latecomers" in Orthodox churches now, I just give them a wry smile and think to myself, "The are still in convert mode. Still complaining about the habits of their adopted Orthdoox family. Just accept the family, warts and all."  We cannot change the behavior of other people. In fact, it's pretty hard for us to change our own behavior. 
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« Reply #33 on: April 14, 2005, 08:47:04 PM »

IPAP!
What a loving thing to say and to do for others! My goal is to put into practice!
Thanks !
Desertrose
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« Reply #34 on: April 15, 2005, 02:30:55 PM »

This has been a problem for centuries. It is noted that St John Chrysostom became so tired of latecomers who would stand outside Hagia Sophia to "shoot the breeze" (How like those today who go to the Kitchen for that last cup of coffee or to visit and walk in late to the service) that he went out of the church in full vestments and sat down, delaying the service until his lost sheep were ready to come in. The key to this problem is the pastoral response, done in a loving direct manner.

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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2005, 09:19:47 AM »

Each to their own.

Some worshipl the Lord by keeping their mouth closed others by keeping their open,
some feel Him by crying some by laughing.
Others touch Him by touching and some kiss Him by kissing.
Some praise the Lord by writing, others by reading.

May they all be blessed.

And may we be blessed with them.

Lord, do not judge us by our acts but by Your mercy.

Whatever we do,
however we do it,
let it be the most important in our lives to be with Him.





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