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Liturgical Life Last Updated: Feb 8th, 2011 - 05:50:02

Dear Readers,
We are happy to announce plans for a new design for our website Orthodoxy and the World. We will be diverting all our efforts to introduce our new design March 1st, and so will be unable to make new posts at this time. We have many new translations lined up that we hope you will like, so there is much work ahead! Keep us in your prayers, and continue to support our efforts at Orthodoxy and the World.

Liturgical Life
Western Christmas Carols and the Orthodox Liturgy
Christmas carols have a deep connection to the Feast of the Nativity of the Lord in western countries, but today one can meet different attitudes toward them among clergy. There are parishes where a priest refuses to use them during or after the Nativity service, and there are priests who allow them during the service as a part of western culture. Is there a place or not for Christmas carols in Orthodox churches? This question we asked several priest.

Dec 24, 2010, 10:00

Liturgical Life
The Temptation of Sunday
Could it be that our faith can so easily become an outward thing, that when it is tested by, say, having to forego sleeping in on Sundays, or by taking a day off with pay for a holy day, our faith collapses like a house of cards?

Dec 11, 2010, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Living Liturgy: the Liturgical Method of the Fathers
This using of the Fathers for a model is not a matter of slavishly reproducing the Fathers world in our 21st century, regardless of how much things have changed. An unthinking and fundamentalist use of the Fathers can be as destructive as an unthinking and fundamentalist use of the Scriptures. Rather, our following of the Fathers is more a matter of imitating their mind-set, their attitude, and their method.

Dec 10, 2010, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Saturday Night Parties or Prayer?
Unchristian or simply foolish and empty weekend activities, especially on Saturday night, rob our heart and soul of preparation for worship on the Lords Day, wherein real escape is found. All who have experienced faithful attendance at Vespers know how it helps to fill the heart with calm and peace as we enter the darkness that will be transformed by the light of the Resurrection of Christ.

Sep 10, 2010, 10:00

Liturgical Life
English Text and Byzantine Chant: Some Problems and Issues
There is, as of yet, no definitive agreement on how best to reconcile Byzantine chant, in all its glorious intricacy, to this new world of English and Western Music. Given the complex factors involved, many people question not how an English text should be set to Byzantine chant, but if it should be done at all! For some, the answer is a definite, No!

Jul 27, 2010, 10:00

Liturgical Life
A Lenten Look at Liturgical Music
One's favorite liturgical music setting, in fact, can become nothing more than whatever reflects that person's tastes and how well the setting has been sung by the cantors or choir. And, over time, taste can begin to determine the shape and sound of liturgical music apart from the actual needs of worship, as if music is merely added on to ornament or decorate worship, even to cover or distract from the "duller" moments.

Feb 23, 2010, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Church Reading: A Vital Ministry
Sometimes people say, "I am just a reader," as though this were a petty or insignificant ministry. However, when the reader (whether tonsured or not) begins chanting the selection from the Acts or the Epistles, he or she is performing an evangelical ministry that is absolutely essential to the celebration of the Divine Liturgy, and as such it demands the same care and preparation as any other liturgical ministry.

Jan 16, 2010, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Music in the Worship of the Church
"Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, Son, Holy Spirit ..." With these words we are invited to "come and see," to enter into and experience the foretaste of a heavenly reality, the Kingdom of heaven on earth, which manifests itself in the Churchs liturgy. In this reality there is already expressed a transformation of our present world and of us who dwell in it. We are not simply inhabitants living in a particular spot on the planet, but we are "standing in the temple of Your glory, and we think that we are in heaven".

Dec 8, 2009, 10:00

Liturgical Life
The Art of God Incarnate
To be deified, to experience theosis, is not to become powerful, as power is normally understood. Christianity is curious in this way. Its understanding of the divine is rooted in the life and teaching of Jesus and as such it has nothing to do with power and achievement. Glimpsing the wonder of creation, remembering the "long lost," the communing love that is central to life, engenders a profound compassion in the faithful, a compassion that leads to a life of service to the world.

Nov 20, 2009, 10:00

Liturgical Life
The Seven-Day Commemoration In The Orthodox Church
"The Week: A Seven Day Holiday"

The two words betrayer and betrayal are resentful and abominable in any language. If on this day we find time to think of our Lord's betrayal, we ourselves could avoid our daily betrayals. We could avoid, in other words the little betrayals with which we choke off our conscience in order to be accepted by the world, and also bigger betrayals when we betray innocent, just, and good people. We would avoid betraying our faith and our conscience for worldly riches and for daily power for glory. For we all know very well that the betrayed sooner or later are resurrected and become heroes, martyrs and saints. The betrayers, however, remain marked and stained forever.

Oct 28, 2009, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Let Us Lift Up Our Hearts
The fact is we were created to be worshipers. Fr. Alexander Schmemann once wrote that we humans are homo adoramus the worshipping man. It is in worship that we are most like who we really are. In a constant attitude of worshipping God, keeping the memory of God and His love always before us, our souls are opened to the healing influence of the Holy Spirit. In other words, worship works wonders!

Sep 29, 2009, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Ten Ways to Participate in Worship, Pay Attention, be Still and Pray
These repeated litanies do not contribute to the length of the service, which most Orthodox consider to be a problem But if you begin to participate in the Divine Liturgy and do the things the Liturgy instructs you to do-guess what? The Liturgy gets shorter! You don't notice the length of the Liturgy, why because you didn't attend as a mere observer, just waiting for the final blessing to go home.

Sep 24, 2009, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Worship in the Church: The Sanctification of Time
It is vital for us to catch a vision for this, so that we may know why it is we come to Church. It is not to understand God deeper, or to feel better about ourselves. Church is not an aesthetic experience, or a psychological boost. We don't come to Church to "get" anything. We come in order to participate in the joy of the Kingdom of God. This Kingdom is "made present" in our worship.

Aug 22, 2009, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Living in the Liturgical Cycles of the Church
The Church sets before us the ideal of daily services, and in earlier times this was not just an ideal, but a norm; this was the standard practice of the Church. But in our time, and especially here in America, daily services have become a rarity, something almost exclusively limited to monasteries and a very few cathedrals. In all honesty, such a situation must be called an aberration.

Jun 26, 2009, 10:00

Liturgical Life
A Call for Liturgical Renewal
The Liturgical Effectiveness of Pews

Are pews, which we borrowed not so very long ago from the Protestants and the Roman Catholics (who borrowed them from the Protestants) a liturgical accretion without consequences? Or, do pews (and pew-like rows of chairs) make a significant difference in the life of the Church? Or is the idea they do make a difference perhaps only the bothersome complaint of reactionaries who want to obstruct the progress of Orthodoxy in the name of a false traditionalism? Asking ourselves these questions, we came up with the following painful observations.

Mar 26, 2009, 10:00

Liturgical Life
The Saturday All-Night Vigil: An Appreciation
Our Saturday evening vigil service anticipates Sunday, defining the liturgical day just as a day is defined in the creation account in the book of Genesis, wherein Gods major creative acts are set off by the phrase, "there was evening and there was morning," making one day.

Sep 24, 2008, 10:00

Liturgical Life
Giving Thanks Is More Than A Once-a-Year Affair
The Divine Liturgy has become so familiar to us that quite often we take no time to see all its sides and aspects, its depths and implications for life. Christ our Savior brought to us the Kingdom of God. His miracles point to that fact. Father John of Kronstadt wrote that the Christian life is a "continuous mystery." The Eucharist is a continual and continuous miracle. Let us wonder at that miracle.

Sep 6, 2008, 10:00

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