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Compliance or Defiance

noahzarc1

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Many Protestant pastors are defying public orders to not hold gatherings of 10-50 or more and are risking arrest and making much news and spectacle. (https://www.cbsnews.com/news/coronavirus-louisiana-life-tabernacle-church-packed-services-again-charges-against-pastor-tony-spell/), (https://www.baltimoresun.com/coronavirus/bs-md-ci-pastor-to-hold-services-20200331-sso3qw7vmncnjmlgbptewc3xhy-story.html) I know most Protestant churches are complying. Many Orthodox and Catholic Churches are not holding liturgies in conformity to the orders. It is not as if Christianity is being outlawed at this time, per se, as everyone is being asked to comply with the social distancing orders.

So, I wanted to ask your opinion of what is the proper Christian response? Should it be compliance or defiance at a time like this?
 

biro

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St. Luke was a doctor.

Obey those of you who are in authority.

Don't get a virus that is killing hundreds of people every day.

Those people should have been arrested, because they endangered thousands of people.

The first churches were people's homes.
 

Mor Ephrem

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noahzarc1 said:
It is not as if Christianity is being outlawed at this time, per se, as everyone is being asked to comply with the social distancing orders.
Our Christians are men and women of such great faith as to believe this without any doubt and that governments will never take advantage of such technicalities.  May their faith save us.
 

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noahzarc1 said:
So, I wanted to ask your opinion of what is the proper Christian response? Should it be compliance or defiance at a time like this?
Obey your spiritual father, who in turn must obey his bishop. Bishops will account for their decisions. What those decisions should be is above our pay grade.
 

noahzarc1

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Arachne said:
noahzarc1 said:
So, I wanted to ask your opinion of what is the proper Christian response? Should it be compliance or defiance at a time like this?
Obey your spiritual father, who in turn must obey his bishop. Bishops will account for their decisions. What those decisions should be is above our pay grade.
I also believe we must obey them. I think it is a time like this when Christians can show society what obedience to our elders and the government authorities looks like. Yes, if Christianity alone was being singled out, perhaps I would have a different take. But society as a whole, in every nation is being asked to do this, so rogue pastors defying these orders I think is another notch in giving Christianity a bad name to unbelievers.
 
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This is a time to refrain from embracing ( Ecclesiastes 3:5); this is life or death. As wrong as being foolish is, there are others who are downright evil though:

https://www.google.com/search?q=coughing+on+produce+coronavirus&rlz=1CDGOYI_enUS725US725&hl=en-US&prmd=inv&sxsrf=ALeKk0121QQ2OKb8lExn3ihR4vzcxXfINA:1585790625592&source=lnms&tbm=nws&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiPrrS3ysjoAhUwgnIEHdieDhMQ_AUoAnoECAwQAg&biw=568&bih=270We
 

Ainnir

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recent convert said:
This is a time to refrain from embracing ( Ecclesiastes 3:5)
I can't not hear that set to music.  ;D

Carry on, y'all.
 

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On one hand, I know how awful it is to live without access to the sacraments. On the other hand, it seems prudent of the civil authorities to do what is necessary to prevent the spread of disease. I am thankful that we have bishops to make these decisions for us.

Hopefully, this is a temporary thing. If coronavirus becomes a fact of life and everyone's still watching DL via livestream a year from now, I'd have much stronger feelings on the subject.
 

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I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
 

noahzarc1

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hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
I'm with you on this one. It is inevitable that I will be distracted or interrupted. Even without distractions, it is very difficult.
 

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hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
I can get through them, but I often feel myself inclined to observe with an academic curiosity rather than engaging in prayer and worship.
 

Ainnir

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Mor Ephrem said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
Same.
We cut Sunday's right after the offering.  :-\  I'm still debating what to do for this Sunday.
 

hecma925

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Ainnir said:
Mor Ephrem said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
Same.
We cut Sunday's right after the offering.  :-\  I'm still debating what to do for this Sunday.
Matins with Typica.
 

hecma925

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Watching liturgy is boring.
 

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Church is banned.

But the liquor store, weed store, costco, sams and walmart all remain open. Some with hundreds of people walking around at any given time.

I follow my priests word, and he follows the bishops.

https://orthochristian.com/129322.html

I love how they are doing it in Georgia though
 

Fr. George

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hecma925 said:
Ainnir said:
Mor Ephrem said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
Same.
We cut Sunday's right after the offering.  :-\  I'm still debating what to do for this Sunday.
Matins with Typica.
This is what we've been doing.  It can be hard, but it's participatory - and it is aided by the knowledge that somewhere someone is offering the bloodless sacrifice for our (collective) sake.
 

Luke

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I have mixed feelings about this.  I comply so that I do not get it from others or accidentally give it to others, but I also hate it.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Ainnir said:
Mor Ephrem said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
Same.
We cut Sunday's right after the offering.  :-\  I'm still debating what to do for this Sunday.
I don’t watch live streams live, usually.  But however I do end up watching them, I generally cut out after the Gospel.

As for what I’ve been doing when unable to get to church on Sunday, Vespers/Compline on Saturday evening and Matins and the Hours on Sunday morning, followed by the readings for the day and a sip of holy water.  If you have the liturgical books at home and know how to put the services together, that’s helpful, but if not, different jurisdictions have been releasing them in easy to use formats which are also very helpful.
 

Ainnir

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Mor Ephrem said:
Ainnir said:
Mor Ephrem said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
Same.
We cut Sunday's right after the offering.  :-\  I'm still debating what to do for this Sunday.
I don’t watch live streams live, usually.  But however I do end up watching them, I generally cut out after the Gospel.

As for what I’ve been doing when unable to get to church on Sunday, Vespers/Compline on Saturday evening and Matins and the Hours on Sunday morning, followed by the readings for the day and a sip of holy water.  If you have the liturgical books at home and know how to put the services together, that’s helpful, but if not, different jurisdictions have been releasing them in easy to use formats which are also very helpful.
Have books; have no clue how to put the services together if it's something beyond reading them and skipping "For thine is the kingdom...," etc.  :)
AANA has Great Compline, Little Compline/Akathist, Lenten Ninth Hour/Typika for Wed./Fri., and directions for Orthros that make absolutely no sense to me. 
I need to set aside some time to dig around the forum and Google.
 

Arachne

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The AGES app is good. Not perfect, but a good solution for one person - or as a blueprint to assemble hard copy resources.
 

Ainnir

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Arachne said:
The AGES app is good. Not perfect, but a good solution for one person - or as a blueprint to assemble hard copy resources.
Thanks!
 

noahzarc1

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Coptic Reader (Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States) is one of the best apps I've seen as far as its content library and usability.

I really like the app Pray Always, The Orthodox Christian Prayer book, and used that for a long time. The free version is okay, but the purchased version is much better and more expansive.

For Roman Catholics I recommend the Laudate app, which also has a very expansive library and lately I've really enjoyed how their Liturgy of the Hours is laid out. They're always doing updates to the app, which I appreciate.
 

Mor Ephrem

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Arachne said:
The AGES app is good. Not perfect, but a good solution for one person - or as a blueprint to assemble hard copy resources.
 

This is a good recommendation.
 

Dominika

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HaydenTE said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
I can get through them, but I often feel myself inclined to observe with an academic curiosity rather than engaging in prayer and worship.
Me too, since over the year I've been wathcing broadcasts of services tow rite a news, for liturgical comparisons or for particular hymnography...
 

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hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
I got through the Pope's half hour mass OK at two in the morning one Sunday. At eight in the morning though the 80 minute EWTN mass was tough it felt boring in a slightly painful way and I inadvertently napped a bit.

This Sunday I got through watching the Holy Trinity (OCA) liturgy at East Meadow, NY okay. Maybe because I had practice trying to last through the EWTN one the Sunday before.

So maybe if you try hard to make it through one Sunday, then the next Sunday it won't be as painfully boring.
 

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noahzarc1 said:
So, I wanted to ask your opinion of what is the proper Christian response? Should it be compliance or defiance at a time like this?
If the medical problem results from people being a single room within 6 feet of each other, then people could have Utrenya/Orthros and Obednitsa/Typika services outside with people standing 12 feet from each other.

They could realistically have services of 30 people standing outside with each person 12 feet apart.
 

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rakovsky said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
I got through the Pope's half hour mass OK at two in the morning one Sunday. At eight in the morning though the 80 minute EWTN mass was tough it felt boring in a slightly painful way and I inadvertently napped a bit.

This Sunday I got through watching the Holy Trinity (OCA) liturgy at East Meadow, NY okay. Maybe because I had practice trying to last through the EWTN one the Sunday before.

So maybe if you try hard to make it through one Sunday, then the next Sunday it won't be as painfully boring.
Why the Pope's mass?
 

rakovsky

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On Sundays, EWTN has a papal mass around 2 AM and a morning mass at 8 AM. One reason was that EWTN makes its masses readily accessible, and I had short notice that I wasn't going to church that Sunday. Afterwards, I researched the EO services being livestreamed and posted it here: http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,77762.new.html#new

Another reason is that EWTN's audio/visual quality is good, and it's on a big TV screen.

There is an analogous TV channel that they have in Russia called TV Soyuz that shows the MP's patriarchal liturgy as well as one from Ekaterinburg each Sunday. You can watch it livestreamed here: https://tv-soyuz.ru/tvprogramma  I am planning on watching it one Sunday.
 

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hecma925 said:
rakovsky said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
I got through the Pope's half hour mass OK at two in the morning one Sunday. At eight in the morning though the 80 minute EWTN mass was tough it felt boring in a slightly painful way and I inadvertently napped a bit.

This Sunday I got through watching the Holy Trinity (OCA) liturgy at East Meadow, NY okay. Maybe because I had practice trying to last through the EWTN one the Sunday before.

So maybe if you try hard to make it through one Sunday, then the next Sunday it won't be as painfully boring.
Why the Pope's mass?
It's normally called The Papal Mass where in the history of Popes have different styles and liturgies.
 

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Mor Ephrem said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
Same.
I just watch the liturgy of the catechumens. Hearing the scripture and the homily on my laptop is nice, but watching the Eucharist on a screen makes me feel like I've been excommunicated. Which, now that I think about it, is exactly what's happened...
 

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1. You are not excommunicated, because you have a legitimate canonical reason to be physically absent from the liturgy.
2. In the RC services on ETWN during the Eucharist they have a word about people watching the Eucharist who are not being present asking Jesus' Spirit to come into them even though they are not present physically. I imagine that there is probably a similar idea in the EO services for people who are watching.
3. Just think of it as if you are present at the liturgy but for some legitimate reason aren't communing. It doesn't mean that watching it that you should feel excommunicated.
 

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platypus said:
Mor Ephrem said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
Same.
I just watch the liturgy of the catechumens. Hearing the scripture and the homily on my laptop is nice, but watching the Eucharist on a screen makes me feel like I've been excommunicated. Which, now that I think about it, is exactly what's happened...
On our video stream, at our bishops direction, we always point the camera at an icon on the side wall during communion of the faithful.
 

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Bob2 said:
platypus said:
Mor Ephrem said:
hecma925 said:
I can't even get through watching a Liturgy online.
Same.
I just watch the liturgy of the catechumens. Hearing the scripture and the homily on my laptop is nice, but watching the Eucharist on a screen makes me feel like I've been excommunicated. Which, now that I think about it, is exactly what's happened...
On our video stream, at our bishops direction, we always point the camera at an icon on the side wall during communion of the faithful.
This is wise.
 

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What I'm about to write is my story and my opinion. 

When I broke my back two years ago and was laid up in bed for four months, the very few streaming services available were a literal Godsend.  After I was strong enough to go out, a crippling social anxiety like no other I've ever experienced settled in and made it exceptionally difficult to leave the house let alone go to church.  I thankfully work from home which is a blessing and a curse, as it just reinforces the inertia to stay put.  The last time I was able to attend church was last year's Paschal services.  It was lovely to see everyone again but also frightening.  I literally did not leave my house for two weeks afterwards aside from joining my dogs in the back yard while they did their constitutionals a few times a day.  While my anxiety has abated somewhat, I still find it exceptionally difficult to be around large groups of people.  As such, I still haven't darkened the door of a church since Pascha 2019. 

The proliferation of streaming services, from Sunday liturgies to molebens and now the Lenten services, has allowed me to participate in the meager way that my messed up brain will allow.  The old timers here will know that while I'm a member of an OCA parish, my musical heart lies in ACROD.  I purchased the pew book from Christ the Saviour seminary and have been watching the services from St. Elizabeth's in Woodstock, GA and St. Michael's in Binghamton (thanks to David Dutko for not only letting me know about them but for his son and brother, respectively, being priests!) and have been singing along in my house.  In fact, being able to sing along to the prostopinije has been incredibly therapeutic.  And let me be clear: when I do attend my OCA parish, I sing along.  Indeed, some of the music is prostopinije, but not all of it.  As I said, ACROD is where my musical heart lies. 

So I get confused when I read here that people are bored watching a streaming liturgy or other service.  I can certainly understand if the production value is poor (eg bad sound, even worse video, etc.), but there are so many streams to choose from now.  Sure, it's not the same as being surrounded by your parish family and hearing how so many off key voices somehow join to be a mighty chorus.  But boring?  Not on your life!  As anyone who works from home will tell you, it's very easy to be distracted, but I have yet to do so while watching a live streamed service.  If anything, I'm more determined to not be distracted.  For instance, this morning, one of our dogs (the dachsund/terrier mix) came in to the room where I watching and jumped up in my lap.  I petted him and settled him down and he actually snuggled up and just "was" for the rest of liturgy.  He even started howling a bit, trying to sing along to the post-communion hymn as best he could ;)

That brings me to the next thing I read on this thread.  I understand that missing out on communion can fill the heart with an incredible longing.  All I can say is that the story of today's feast says it all and that when the day comes that we will all be able to receive communion again without palpable fear of spreading COVID-19 (or, in my case, the fear of just leaving the house!), think of how much more Christ will fill us on that day.

By their very nature, pandemics are fleeting.  They will and do disrupt lives but not forever.  This will end.  I, for one, thank God that some parishes have joined the 21st century and are utilizing the great gift of the Internet for a more divine purpose than its usual mundane or profane ones.  As a digital accessibility professional, I hope and pray that pastors and ministers of all stripes continue to explore and provide for their flocks, as the current global situation brings the need for accessible digital products into the light, but that's another post for another time and place.

Again, the above is only my story and my opinion and is not meant to shame or judge anyone. 
 

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It makes me happy that it works well for you.
 

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ROCOR posted an appeal from Metropolitan Hilarion.  Two quotes, I think, are appropriate to the conversation in this thread:

And where the divine services are being broadcast over the Internet via live-stream, many unite and join in this prayer, creating a prayerful atmosphere in their own homes. I have even heard of instances where some among the faithful light candles and lamps and, standing in their prayer corners, follow along with the service and pray. I think that such church "attendance" has the virtue for them of actual attendance, and inclines to them God’s mercy.
Unfortunately, we also hear of sorrowful instances of insubordination not only to local authorities, but also to the ruling bishops. Such behavior on the part of the clergy and lay parish officers is completely irresponsible and involves risk not only to the physical health of our neighbors, but also to our relationships with these communities and to parish property. Tempting God and man, their actions can result in insurmountable fines and other measures from law enforcement. In so doing, they irreparably damage their relationships with those around them, sowing in them doubts toward Christ’s Church, whose members must serve as an example. As a result of their disobedience and so-called "zeal not according to knowledge" (Romans 10:2), there can even develop divisions and conflicts within the parish communities themselves.
Source:  https://eadiocese.org/news_200401_2
 
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