Saturday, 13 June 2009

Unreasonable Demands?

"Robes, scary art, smoking incense, secret doors in the Iconostas popping open and little robed boys coming out with golden candlesticks, chants and singing from a small choir that rolled across the curved ceiling and emerged from the other side of the room where no one was singing."

Other than the Iconostasis (we don't have any Orthodox members -at least, not yet), this description could easily fit most of the churches in which the Women's Guild lurk attend. So, I was stuck by this blog post by a Baptist minister experiencing Eastern Orthodox worship for the first time (spotted on Shrine of the Holy Whapping) especially as I've become quite accustomed to robes, scary art, incense and gold candlesticks.

"So what did I think about my experience at Saint Anthony the Great Orthodox Church?

I LOVED IT. Loved it loved it loved it loved it loved it.

In a day when user-friendly is the byword of everything from churches to software, here was worship that asked something of me. No, DEMANDED something of me.

“You don’t know what Theotokos means? Get a book and read about it. You have a hard time standing for 2 hours? Do some sit ups and get yourself into worship shape. It is the Lord our God we worship here, mortal. What made you think you could worship the Eternal One without pain?"

I've been thinking of this recently whenever I've been too lazy to kneel in the right places or say my prayers when I ought. Faith is demanding -not about making things easy for yourself.


  1. Well, you do have an Orthodox lurker :-)

    I am an Orthodox reader of your blog, LOL.

  2. And I'm a first-time visitor who is also Orthodox but whose church has no iconostas - yet! :-)