How We Pray
HOW WE PRAY IN CHURCH - When we come to church, do we purchase and light a candle? If not, please consider making this simple, yet eloquent ritual a part of your worship routine. Let us teach our children to do the same.
HOW WE PRAY - Do we chew gum in church? No. ('nufsed)
HOW WE PRAY - Do we walk in and out of church at will? No. It takes a long time to establish a physical and mental posture of prayer. Movement is a distraction for oneself and for others. (The Buddhists have it right!) Children, go to the washroom before coming to church. Move about only when necessary.
HOW WE CROSS OURSELVES - do we do it carefully, holding the first three fingers together and the remaining two tucked into the palm? Do we touch head, heart and shoulders carefully, reminding ourselves that this body belongs to Jesus Christ? Do we give our children a good example in doing this?
HOW WE PRAY - Do we carry on unnecessary conversations during Divine Services? No. These, too, can be a distraction. It is true that the church is our meeting place, but the time for informal conversation and fellowship is after Liturgy, downstairs.
HOW WE PRAY - Do we take part in singing the Divine Services? Over and over again, the Deacon says: "Let us pray to the Lord." All are expected to respond. If we do not, why not? "Liturgy" means "action of the people" - all the people. Even if sung in an unfamiliar language, the basic responses are within the competency of all. Don't just stand there - get involved!
HOW WE RECEIVE HOLY COMMUNION - The reception of the Holy Mysteries is a grave and serious matter. Not one of us is worthy of this Gift. However, in accordance with the invitation of Christ, we approach. It behooves us, therefore, to do so with fear and trembling. Among other things, it involves going to Confession at least once a year (at Easter); it involves living a life-style that is Christian to the best of our ability; it involves going to church every Sunday and Holy Day; it involves fasting from food before Holy Communion; it involves being in church on time (those arriving after the Gospel should reconsider); it involves preparation and prayer during the Divine Liturgy. “With fear of God, and with faith, approach!”
ANTIDORON – the “crumbs from the table” (Mk. 7:28) – bread cut away from the “Lamb” that is offered and consecrated and distributed by the priest after the Liturgy. This is not Holy Communion, but still a sharing and an eating together. Important. Do you receive it?
How blessed we are that in a society where we have been encouraged to "do our own thing", the Church continues to place expectations on us, just as we do on our own children.
"Blessed are You, O Lord, teach me your statutes!"
Fr. Roman Galadza