Liturgical Reminders Sermon – September 8, 2013

bible lightLiturgical Reminders Sermon – September 8, 2013

Tradition: T or t?

There are two levels of tradition: With a T = authoritative belief, creeds, canons, Holy Scripture, hymns, prayers of the Church. Unchangeable. Universal.

With a t = variable pious beliefs, special foods, local traditions, Serbians with grass on Pentecost, Arabs touching the robe of the priest in the Great Entrance. Changeable. Different in one country or region to another.

Theology of worship:

Worship is a verb

All senses, our whole soul, our whole mind, our whole body should be involved

Dialogue, God and Man, choir and priest, people and priest, man to God, God to man

Active and interactive

Standing (and sitting)

When the priest says, “Again and again, let us pray to the Lord!” you may sit.

Sit: homily, ektenias (litanies)

Stand: censing, Gospel reading, any liturgical movements (entrances, processions), following communion

Default setting is standing, we never find people sitting during prayer in the Bible.

The weak, the aged, pregnant women, physical ailments, of course, sit. If it is too hard to stand, sit, there is no police to enforce this.

Reverence-due to God

Recognize- the presence of God

Respect- where you are, dress and act that way

Re-orient yourself to the Kingdom of God, away from the world


Entering the church building, during services, remember where you are and why you are here. Respect for others. Be aware of what is going on. Get out of your own thoughts, enter the Kingdom.


Alert, respectful, not relaxed-Let us attend.

Standing in the back



Better noisy with children, than quiet without


Most of the people singing most of the time, not at a play or a movie, church is not a spectator sport. I love to hear you sing! Keep it up. The Lord loves your singing.


Arrive on time, never after the Epistle reading. You can be on time for work, doctors, why not church?

When does the Liturgy begin? When the priest elevates the Gospel and says, Blessed is the Kingdom…. When does it end? When you venerate the cross.


Prefer following Vespers on Saturday

Or make an appointment

During hours, on Sunday morning, not preferred

Following any service

How often? When you need to. Every fast period is a good guideline. At least once a year.

Do you need to go to confession before every communion? Not if you receive every Sunday.

See the bulletin on Sunday, September 15.

Receiving Communion

Preparation, what does properly prepared mean? See bulletin on September 15.

1 Cor. 11

26 For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

27 Whoever, therefore, eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Let a man examine himself, and so eat of the bread and drink of the cup. 29 For any one who eats and drinks without discerning the body eats and drinks judgment upon himself. 30 That is why many of you are weak and ill, and some have died. 31 But if we judged ourselves truly, we should not be judged. 32 But when we are judged by the Lord, we are chastened so that we may not be condemned along with the world.

  1. I am at peace with all, as far as I am able.
  2. I truly believe what I am singing and reading, creed, prayers, hymns
  3. I am striving to live in a way that is pleasing to God (life of repentance) as taught to me in the Holy Orthodox Church Tradition
  4. I regularly go to confession
  5. I regularly take time to be with the Lord in prayer and readings


When should I refrain from communion?

When any of the above is not true.

When I am spiritually distressed by my sin and need to go to confession

When I am harboring resentment against anyone or against God

How to receive communion

Walk up the center aisle with arms crossed, with reverence, being aware of what is about to happen

When you approach the chalice:

  1. keep your arms crossed
  2. tilt your head back and open your mouth
  3. when the gifts are placed in your mouth close your mouth without moving
  4. if you choose to reverence the chalice, be careful
  5. slowly back up one step
  6. move to the side
  7. receive bread
  8. return to your place and read the prayers or sing

Move down center aisle, return up the side aisles

Antidoron will be up front. Antidoron means, “not the gifts” or not communion. It is also called holy bread. No crumbs should go on the floor. It is blessed at the altar of God.

We are heading for the Kingdom, we are on a journey, walking up the center aisle we symbolically are moving toward the kingdom, represented by the altar.

We are soldiers moving together on a long journey to the Kingdom.


Fr. Steven Lourie

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