Posted by: Nathan M. | March 28, 2011


This morning, two friends and I went to a Ukranian Eastern Orthodoxy service, held in English. I must say, I found it very stimulating, as we had the opportunity to worship in ways that are not ordinarily used within the protestant tradition. I heard the Priest tell somebody after the service that Orthodoxy is all about worship-and I really found that to be true. The, what we protestants would call, message of the service was very short, and was simply a call to action-an insistence on re-evaluation of our lives constantly. The service itself was full of singing and chant-a great deal of chant. What I found particularly entrancing, however, was the involvement of the congregation in the service. I understand that, in a usual service, there are much more people, so involvement is not quite as elevated. However, in this service we were invited to join in the service, holding candles in a line as a prayer was given for the departed, as well as the Lord’s prayer, and a number of other liturgies.

What struck me about the service was the emphasis on action. In most protestant traditions, the focus is on learning, but there was a real call to action within the service. Members of the congregation could not simply allow the people at the front to do the work in the service-constant involvement and response was required. The greatness of God was emphasized, while His closeness was continually inscribed on our hearts by the making of the sign of the cross. I believe we can learn a great deal from the Orthodox.



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