OrthodoxChristianity.net
August 01, 2014, 08:25:59 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Reminder: No political discussions in the public fora.  If you do not have access to the private Politics Forum, please send a PM to Fr. George.
 
   Home   Help Calendar Contact Treasury Tags Login Register  
Pages: 1   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Orthodox Worship?  (Read 3583 times) Average Rating: 0
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
prasrabdhi
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7



WWW
« on: April 06, 2003, 11:16:13 PM »

I had a question about what you guys do in your service as I had read that you use a form of meditation during it.  Is this true and if it is could someone explain the process and the goals?

Respectfully,

Prasrabdhi
Logged

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama
David
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of the South)
Posts: 1,952


Retired GM


WWW
« Reply #1 on: April 07, 2003, 01:30:16 AM »

I had a question about what you guys do in your service as I had read that you use a form of meditation during it.  Is this true and if it is could someone explain the process and the goals?

Respectfully,

Prasrabdhi

Prasrabdhi,

First of all, welcome to the forums!  To answer your question I think we must first define meditation.  I would use the second definition from www.dictionary.com that meditation is "A devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation."  In this sense, participation in the liturgy would be considered meditation and is even quoted in the bible and in the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, "May my meditation be well pleasing to the Lord."  

I would like to also add that while we say it is good to contemplate the divine services, it is of primary importance to participate in the common work(the literal translation of liturgy).  When in the services we pray one should pray.  When we sing, one should sing.  It would be distracting and in a sense contrary to the idea of what we are doing and why we are doing it to be focused in personal prayer or reflection during these services.   Of course, one's mind will wander from time to time, but it is important to keep our overall goals intact.  What is this goal?  I would say the overall goal is to enter into the very life of the Holy Trinity and through participation in the heavenly liturgy to go forth and do the common work among those in our lives outside of church.

I look forward to reading your reply.  It would also be an interesting discussion to compare and contrast a koan with some of the paradoxical sayings of Christ and teachings of the Church.  Peace be unto you!
Logged

"When looking at faults, use a mirror, not a telescope."
-Yazid Ibrahim
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #2 on: April 07, 2003, 01:33:45 AM »

Outside of our main "worship service" which we call "Divine Liturgy" (liturgy meaning "the work" of the people) we do participate in a prayer called the "Jesus Prayer" which you could say is mediation: it involves repetion of the sacred mantra "Lord Jesus Christ have mercy on me" and involves breath control, with prayers counted on a rope similar to Buddhist prayer beads.

anastasios
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
prasrabdhi
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7



WWW
« Reply #3 on: April 07, 2003, 02:00:33 AM »

Thanks for the replies!

The divine liturgy sounds similar to some of the calming meditations that we practice.

Quote
What is this goal?  I would say the overall goal is to enter into the very life of the Holy Trinity and through participation in the heavenly liturgy to go forth and do the common work among those in our lives outside of church.

Could you explain this a little more?  I am unsure what you mean by entering the life of the holy trinity.  It sounds similar to loving-kindness meditation which helps us train ourselves to be compassionate to others, particularly those we might be hesitant to be compassionate to.
Logged

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama
David
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of the South)
Posts: 1,952


Retired GM


WWW
« Reply #4 on: April 07, 2003, 02:33:51 AM »

Quote
Could you explain this a little more?  I am unsure what you mean by entering the life of the holy trinity.  

That is quite a tall order!  I will do my best, but please remember that asking an Orthodox what communion is can be like asking a Buddhist what enlightenment is, so the answer may take time or go beyond the scope of this conversation.  In fact, I am almost tempted to say that this question cannot be answered but only experienced as reality.  

I will define anything I say that may not be familiar to a non-Christian, not in an attempt to be condescending, but to avoid confusion.  

In the Old Testament(an early book of sacred writings held in common by Jews, Christians, and Muslims) when God reveals Himself to Moses on Mt. Sinai, Moses asks God to share His Name.  God responds, "I am that I am" or more simply, "I am He who Is."  We believe that there is one God who exists in three Persons; God the Father, God the Son(Jesus Christ, also known as God the Word), and God the Holy Spirit(hereafter referred to as The Holy Trinity).  It is impossible for us to define God, but it might be said that God is love that the Holy Trinity can be described in relation to each other as: The Lover, the Beloved, and Love itself.  

Human beings were created in the image and likeness of God so that they might become part of this divine relationship.  But as true love cannot be forced, only compelled, God created human beings with the freedom to accept or reject this relationship.  As human beings were created to exist in this state of communion with God, rejecting this is also rejecting what it means to be human.  The first humans rejected this communion with God, and as a result death entered into the world, not as a punishment by God, but as the effect of the cause, just as if you cut yourself you will bleed, not as punishment from the body but as because that is how bodies are made to sustain themselves.   This is referred to by Christians as the "fall of mankind."  We teach that as death entered into the world, it became part of living creatures, passing death down to their descendants, as parents pass hair color and other physical traits.  

At this point human beings were cut off from this relationship, the very essense of their being.  But how can God correct this without violating the free will He gave humanity?  To restore human beings to their essense as creatures in communion with God, God took on human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.  Jesus Christ was 100% God and 100% man.  Jesus Christ entered the world in flesh roughly two thousand years ago in the lands occupied to the descendants of the people in the Old Testament.  As He was God, the source of infinite mercy and love, He forgave others of the wrongs they have commited.  This claim to be God caused the religious authority of that time and place to declare that he was a blashphemer and brought Him before the goverment authorities and was executed on a cross.  Christ did not oppose these people as His death was to serve an even greater purpose.  As God who is life died, death itself died as it could not contain the life of God, and through this voluntary sacrifice of Christ restored the ability of human beings to be in communion with God and with each other.  

When I speak of entering into the life of the Holy Trinity, it is this: God became man so that man might become like God.  By God's grace we are able to enter into the exact life that God is as the love of the Holy Trinity the way that Trinity by nature is this life.
Logged

"When looking at faults, use a mirror, not a telescope."
-Yazid Ibrahim
prasrabdhi
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7



WWW
« Reply #5 on: April 07, 2003, 11:05:11 PM »

Quote
When I speak of entering into the life of the Holy Trinity, it is this: God became man so that man might become like God.  By God's grace we are able to enter into the exact life that God is as the love of the Holy Trinity the way that Trinity by nature is this life.

I am familiar with the christian concept of becoming righteous which seems to be a purifying of oneself of evil but what you describe here sounds a little like becoming one with God in a pantheistic sense...I don't think that is how you mean it though.
Logged

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #6 on: April 07, 2003, 11:33:13 PM »

The Orthodox belief in "righteousness" is more than a juridical concept as in evangelical strains of Protestantism.  Now I will let any evangelic correct me if I am wrong, but in their view God "covers up" the sin of man and "declares" him righteous on the basis of faith, and if that faith is true faith, then the sinner will begin to be transformed (called "sanctification.")

The Orthodox view is theosis, or "divinization."  We become God "by grace."  To understand this you have to understand that we distinguish between what God is by nature, i.e. what he is eternally and what he shares with us "by grace" which is his life.  We partake of this life in the Orthodox Church (and to a lesser extent that cannot be predetermined the other Christians and even non-Christians participate in varying degrees in this), and become one with God, and take on his attributes (God "by grace" in other words because he wills it to be so) while still staying 100% human.  In other words, we take on his qualities while retaining our "pattern."

Orthodox can be said to be "panENtheists" in that the belief is that God is IN everything; without God's indwelling, the object would die.  That does not at the same time stop the Orthodox from referring to God as transcendent; in other words, unknowable and something to strive for.  Antinomies are a big part of Orthodoxy; affirming two seemingly incompatible things but then seeing how they play out (God is in everything vs. God is transcendent; it means that God has two aspects and acts accoring to two different dispensations), etc.

Hope that answers your question somewhat.

anastasios
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
David
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of the South)
Posts: 1,952


Retired GM


WWW
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2003, 12:11:24 AM »

In a way, I think you could make a very general general comparison between the Orthodox concept of theosis and the Buddhist concept of nirvana, not in the end result but in the process.

If I understand Buddhism correctly, the ultimate goal is to rid oneself of all illusions and become one with the universe.  This oneness is realizing that all life is an illusion and nirvana(nothingness) is all that is and everything; humans, animals, plants, stone, even the void is a "harmony of nothing."  

In a similar manner, the ultimate goal of an Orthodox Christian is to rid oneself of sin(literally "missing the mark" the choices we've made to put ourself above God and in effect making gods out of ourselves) and establishing communion with God and the Church, which is the body of Christ God.  

As Anastasios pointed out, we Orthodox can be said to hold the position of panentheism, and through this we view that all is made because God saw it as well pleasing and all that is made is sustained by God.  The major difference in this comparison is that while the Buddhist sees the makeup of the universe as an impersonal force of chaotic harmony, the Orthodox would see all that is as being God and those things and people that God has made to share in the beauty of divine life.  We also do not see God as an impersonal force of "nature" but rather as one God in three persons.  That one of those persons became man that man might become part of the incarnate God's body and share the eternal life that the Trinity is.  

If my assumptions of Buddhism are wrong, please correct me as I have only studied it's basic teachings briefly.
Logged

"When looking at faults, use a mirror, not a telescope."
-Yazid Ibrahim
prasrabdhi
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7



WWW
« Reply #8 on: April 13, 2003, 01:30:42 AM »

Sorry for the delay in my reply.

I think I might tweak your views of buddhism a little bit but I won't go into that at the moment.

Your theological ideas seem, well, drastically different from Catholic and Protestant ones, at least in my experience.  Is there a generally available book that discusses Orthodox Christianity in more detail (something not overly technical)?

Thank you
Logged

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama
MartinIntlStud
Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 134



« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2003, 02:44:36 AM »

"The Orthodox Church" by Bishop KALLISTOS(Timothy Ware) is the one I've seen the most in a local Barnes & Noble. It's a very basic introduction though, but from what I've heard, very readable.
Logged
JoeZollars
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,278

Pray for me an unworthy sinner


WWW
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2003, 03:11:59 AM »

The Orthodox Church by Bp. Kallistos (Timothy Ware) can be purchased by going to http://www.sjkp.org  Try searching for "Archbishop Kallistos Ware."  The first book listed should be entitled "The Orthodox Church."  

You might want to also check into some of the writings of Hieromonk (Fr.) Seraphim Rose, especially his "Christ the Eternal Tao" available here: http://www.sainthermanpress.com/catalog/chapter_three/Tao_book.htm

Also you may wish to check out the Orthodox Christian Information Center for some FREE online information about various aspects of the Holy Orthodox Faith:  http://www.orthodoxinfo.com
Logged

These posts no longer represent my beliefs and I in no way endorse their contents.
David
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of the South)
Posts: 1,952


Retired GM


WWW
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2003, 03:42:13 PM »

Prasrabdhi,

I would reccomend the following, taking into consideration your background as shared in your threads:

Rather than The Orthodox Church by Kallistos Ware, I would reccomend his other introduction The Orthodox Way.  Both are wonderful to have; The Orthodox Church has two parts; a history of the Orthodox Church and an outline of Orthodox Doctrine similar to a small catechism.  The Orthodox Way is a more mystical introduction better suited for a nonChristian audience.

The Tao of Christ by Hieromonk Damascene(not Fr. Seraphim Rose) as reccomended by Joe Zollars would also be beneficial.  It is not a comparitive contrast of Orthodoxy and Taoism, but an Orthodox commentary on the Tao Teh Ching and a narrative of Christ in the poetic style of Lao Tzu.   I know you are not a Taoist, but I think you would find this book very edifying.

Finally, I would reccomend For the Life of the World; Sacraments and Orthodoxy by Fr. Alexander Schmemann.  This was the first book I read on my journey to Orthodoxy, and while it is a small book, an introduction to Orthodox liturgical theology, It is quite astonishing in scope.  I think this would be an excellent introduction to the Orthodox Church from one of the most brilliant theologians of the 20th century.  I will quote a significant portion later in the day for you.

I hope this helps.  Let me know if you have any questions.
Logged

"When looking at faults, use a mirror, not a telescope."
-Yazid Ibrahim
prasrabdhi
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 7



WWW
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2003, 10:16:18 PM »

With those in mind how do you guys feel about Living Buddha Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh?
Logged

If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

Dalai Lama
Anastasios
Webdespota
Administrator
Merarches
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Eastern Orthodox
Jurisdiction: Greek Old Calendarist
Posts: 10,440


Metropolitan Chrysostomos of Florina

anastasios0513
WWW
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2003, 11:14:35 PM »

With those in mind how do you guys feel about Living Buddha Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh?

Sorry, but I have not seen the book. Could you give us a brief summary of it?

anastasios
Logged

Met. Demetrius's Enthronement

Disclaimer: Past posts reflect stages of my life before my baptism may not be accurate expositions of Orthodox teaching.

I served as an Orthodox priest from June 2008 to April 2013, before resigning for personal reasons
David
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Faith: Orthodox Christian
Jurisdiction: OCA (Diocese of the South)
Posts: 1,952


Retired GM


WWW
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2003, 11:45:23 PM »

With those in mind how do you guys feel about Living Buddha Living Christ by Thich Nhat Hanh?

It has been a few years since I have read it, but it was a nice contrast. I feel that The River is Not the Shore by Thich Nhat Hanh and Daniel Berrigan is a better version of the same book, though, because it gives a dialogue between Buddhist and Roman Catholic views.  Christ the Eternal Tao is unlike either of those, though, it is less comparison and more substance.
Logged

"When looking at faults, use a mirror, not a telescope."
-Yazid Ibrahim
JoeZollars
OC.net guru
*******
Offline Offline

Posts: 1,278

Pray for me an unworthy sinner


WWW
« Reply #15 on: April 16, 2003, 05:33:47 PM »

Oh my goodness.  I just realized I said Fr. Rose wrote Christ the Eternal Tao.    Thanks for correcting me David.

Joe Zollars
Logged

These posts no longer represent my beliefs and I in no way endorse their contents.
Tags: worship 
Pages: 1   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.18 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
Page created in 0.071 seconds with 43 queries.