Orthodox Worship

The seamless stream of worship with the Ancient Church

Those of you who have been reading my postings are aware that we get a lot of Evangelical Christians visiting our monastery. Many are seeking that which they sense is older and more stable than the present day expression of Evangelical Christian denominations. Some are finding the “entertainment” approach to worship is leaving them hungering for something more meaningful. These people often share their frustration with a form of Christianity that is constantly trying to reinvent worship in an attempt to bring in crowds. They sense in Orthodox Christianity an eternal and unchanging connection with the Early Church.

Orthodox worship, with it’s otherworldly and mystical approach, makes many feel as though they’ve worshiped for the very first time. They recognized the Orthodox worship of the Holy Trinity is profound in ways they’ve never experienced before. I’ve even had visitors to the Sunday Divine Liturgy express a feeling like they’ve entered into a service where there is neither time nor space, and where God is experienced in a heavenly way. One Evangelical pastor even made the profound observation that he’d better love Orthodox worship, since heavenly worship is liturgical, as is evidenced by a reading of the Book of Revelation.

I have a special place in my heart for Evangelicals and admire their missionary efforts for bringing others to Christ. We Orthodox would do well to imitate their evangelical zeal and share with others the eternal truth that is found within the  Orthodox Faith. It seems sad to me that we Orthodox rest in the assurance that we have the fullness of Absolute Truth, and are members of the very Church Christ founded, yet seem uninterested in reaching out to others and sharing the Pearl of Great Price. We’ve lost touch with the profound missionary history of our Church, one that brought Orthodoxy to all corners of the earth. In our attempts to preserve our ethnic traditions we’ve lost the vision of sharing Orthodox Tradition.

With love in Christ,
Abbot Tryphon

Monday May 15, 2017 / May 2, 2017
Fifth Week of Pascha. Tone four.

St. Athanasius the Great, archbishop of Alexandria (373).
Translation of the relics (1072 and 1115) of the Holy Passion-bearers Boris and Gleb of Russia, in holy baptism Romanus and David (1015).
St. Athanasius III, patriarch of Constantinople and wonderworker of Lubny (1654).
Martyrs Hesperus, Zoe, and their sons Cyriacus and Theodulus, at Attalia (2nd c.).
St. Boris-Michael, prince of Bulgaria (907).
“Putivl’sk” (1635) and “Vutivansk” Icons of the Mother of God.
St. Athanasius of Syandem and Valaam (1550).
Blessed Basil of Kadom (1848).
St. Jordan the Wonderworker (Greek).

The Scripture Readings

Acts 12:12-17

12 So, when he had considered this, he came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.”

16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished. 17 But motioning to them with his hand to keep silent, he declared to them how the Lord had brought him out of the prison. And he said, “Go, tell these things to James and to the brethren.” And he departed and went to another place.

John 8:42-51

42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. 43 Why do you not understand My speech? Because you are not able to listen to My word. 44 You are of yourfather the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me?47 He who is of God hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”

Before Abraham Was, I AM

48 Then the Jews answered and said to Him, “Do we not say rightly that You are a Samaritan and have a demon?”

49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor My Father, and you dishonor Me. 50 And I do not seek My own glory; there is One who seeks and judges. 51 Most assuredly, I say to you, if anyone keeps My word he shall never see death.”

Abbot Tryphon

About Abbot Tryphon

The Rt. Rev. Father Tryphon is abbot of the All-Merciful Saviour Monastery on Vashon Island, Washington. The Monastery is under the omophore of The Rt. Rev. Bishop Theodosy of Seattle, of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. Situated in the heart of a beautiful forest, surrounded by the Salish Sea, the monastery is reached by ferry from either Seattle, or Tacoma, Washington.

6 comments:

  1. When I fist attended a Divine Liturgy (almost four years ago, time indeed flys by) my immediate impression was that these people were worshipping God in truth and spirit, something I had never really experienced. That vision helped to sustain me through all the protestant “withdrawal” symptoms like having an issue with icons and confession. Sure I had felt His presence before in other churches, but it was almost a separate event from what was going on in the church service at the time, as if to say “you are doing well in seeking Me but keep looking and the fullness of My presence will be revealed”. I have heard stories of visitors feeling alienated or even experiencing outright hostility when they attended an “ethnic” Orthodox church so I feel blessed that the church I first visited was warm and welcoming and became my family.

  2. Blessings, Father.
    Perhaps there should be as much focus on evangelizing as there is on the current form of ecumenicalism, or less of the latter and more of the former? If we do more evangelizing, it just may eliminate the need for the ecumenical movement. What are your thoughts?

  3. Is that photograph of your chapel? It is stunningly beautiful.
    After I had attended a few vespers services one of my friends asked me what I thought of them. All I could say was “God is there”.

  4. We grow up thinking life is about “likes'” and “dislikes”. Most of us never advance much beyond that sort of relationship between ourselves and the world. I, too, was amazed when I first entered the monastery temple for a Sunday service. I could hardly imagine this “other world” existing in my little hometown. But I also quickly learned that Orthodoxy is not for sissies, and that trying to be Christian meant passing through difficulties (like standing in one place for the better part of two hours) in order to receive benefits. In church as in life.
    Even though I understand this, and had even been prepared for it, I find it hard to stay the course or accept that portion of suffering necessary to me. I want my life to be different. I pray for my life to be different. How much harder Orthodoxy must seem for someone never given to imagine that pain and beauty must often be accepted as one.

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