Liturgy vs. Liturgy

One of the primary reasons I remain Orthodox is Liturgy. I’m a Christian because I want to follow Christ. I’m Orthodox because I’ve found that the Liturgy and Sacraments help me worship God better. Alan posted this bit comparing his experiece in the Roman Catholic church to that of the Orthodox church. I, too, have worshiped in the RC and Orthodox churches, but I’ve settled in a different church. You should first know that accused me multiple times of becoming Orthodox just because Alan had. And it is true that I converted to Orthodoxy after Alan and that I talked to him a lot about the conversion. However, I think that we’ve finally laid that bit to rest: I’m attending an Orthodox church and Alan is going to an RC one. Its been this way for a couple of years now. The Orthodox liturgy feels deeper to me. Perhaps it is just that Eastern-ness, the taste of the exotic, that attracts me. But that, in itself, is interesting. Alan looks for the familiar “continuation of the western christianity that [he] grew up with” and I, having grown up in a non—liturgical tradition, find it all equally strange or “deep”. That said, there is far more emphasis on the Trinity in the Orthodox liturgy, an emphasis that I’ve grown to appreciate. Whenever I go to a non-Orthodox church now, I sometimes wait for them to mention the Trinity without satisfaction. Too, I find the icons of the Orthodox church more tasteful than some of the gaudy statues or minimalist design in the Catholic churches I’ve been to — perhaps that is just my taste or just the churches I’ve been to. Finally, baptism. I was not baptised in the Orthodox Church. The priest asked me if I wanted to, but let me use my previous baptism. It was Trinitarian, so I felt that was enough.

8 thoughts on “Liturgy vs. Liturgy”

  1. I’m glad you have explored and experienced and remained Orthodox since your conversion to that tradition.

    It would probably not be accurate, however, to say (using words that you apply to yourself) “that I’ve settled in a different church.”

    Yes I am currently attending and communing in the RC church. However I dont know if this is a “settling down” in that tradition. I still consider myself Orthodox in theology as compared to RCism. And the emphasis in doctrine is different in the two traditions. But I do believe the “medicine of immortality” is available in each communion (tradition).

    I guess I would say I am far from settled, even unsettled. It is interesting that when the kids were here for a month, we prayed each evening using the HTM Orthodox (blue) prayer book and the icon of the Theotokos of Vladimir. Those short prayer sessions aech eveing remain the fondest memories and probably most important experiences I had with the kids in July.

    So for me: I still need to talk to both my Orthodox priest and perhaps the RC one(s) to see where I am at and where I should go. I definitely need to go to confession. 🙂

    One problem is that there are few single adults my age w/i Orthodoxy here, whereas the city is full of single RCs. I cant see going outside one of those two traditions to meet new people and enter new relationships.

    1. Same boat

      I’m pretty much in the same boat as you are, Alan, though I haven’t yet actually stepped into a RC church, yet. And I do say “yet”. Not sure what’ll happen. But community is something I’m in need of and having a hard time finding.


    2. social life

      While I’m not looking for the same sort of social interaction that you would be looking for, I was disappointed with the “fellowship” aspect of the church.

      It got better over time, and I’ve developed some good friendships. Still, if I were looking for more from a church socially, I probably would have spent more time in the RC church.

      1. Re: social life

        I’m not looking for the same sort of social interaction that you would be looking for

        well, I am not sure what you mean by that 🙂

        or, seriously, what I might mean or be seeking

        part of me says it is not the best course of action to be “directly seeking” a soul mate (if that is what I am doing)–but that I ought to be seeking God and ministering to others, and then God would provide whatever I need(ed)…

        but i cant deny my self image and confidence (in many areas of life) has increased due to hanging out with the singles

        what I mean is should I be “dating th church” or “courting God”… course there doesnt have to be either/ors

        and since I dont even know what I want, and I do not hope for but do not rule out reconciliation with x, all i can do is “lean not on my own understanding…..”

      2. Re: social life

        That’s right! You better not be looking for the *same* social interactions!

  2. Trinity

    Your observations on the trinity seem to be pretty much dead on especially in relation to protestant churches. As a Presbyterian, we do baptisms using the trinitarian “formula” but I suspect in most churches that is about the only time you will hear the traditional reference to the trinity. Most protestants are functional unitarians or at the very least modalists…While I try to base most of my theological thinking in the trinity, I suspect that more often than not I slip into some of these “heretical” views myself.

    A number of months ago, I was visiting an interviewing with a congregation as part of my call search process. Since it was our so-called “trinity sunday” in our lectionary calendar I decided it would be appropriate to preach a sermon on the trinity. (BTW…I used Rubilev’s famous icon of the trinity as an illustration to build the foundation of my sermon.) Afterward the committee said to me, “Wow, we think that’s the first time we’ve ever heard anyone preach a sermon on the trinity.” Pretty pathetic if you ask me…

    1. Re: Trinity

      I hope you did a better job with Rublev than the communists did:

      In his most celebrated work , the Old Testament Trinity,
      Rublev expressed the prevailing sentiments of his time:
      yearning for peace, unity and the happiness of understanding.


      Just kidding…. I’m sure you did.

      Reading some of the commentarty on Rublev’s icon re-inforces my understanding of Christ-like living.

    2. Re: Trinity

      I took a handful of courses at a mainline Presbyterian seminary (APTS), which graduates folks in both the UMC and the PCUSA (is that the mainline one?).

      Anyway, there is a lot of the in vogue “theologies” running around there: liberation, feminist.

      But for traditional, I don’t know. I once overheard one seminarian say to another: “Now I thought you were a Trinitarian Christian.”

      Oi Vei. I didnt think there was a choice if one espoused historic christianity.

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