Fill your life with hundreds of rituals and if you have time left, follow me!

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FountainPen said:
Punch said:
However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.
I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.
Again, what difference does it make how much time is spent in worship vs. time spent in serving mankind (in some capacity)? If one is a Pentecostal & spends 1 hour & 45 min. in Sunday service vs. an Orthodox who spends about the same time in worship crossing oneself, prostrations etc. but both individuals show concern for others, what does it matter? (laying doctrine aside for the sake of argument).
 

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recent convert said:
FountainPen said:
Punch said:
However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.
I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.
Again, what difference does it make how much time is spent in worship vs. time spent in serving mankind (in some capacity)? If one is a Pentecostal & spends 1 hour & 45 min. in Sunday service vs. an Orthodox who spends about the same time in worship crossing oneself, prostrations etc. but both individuals show concern for others, what does it matter? (laying doctrine aside for the sake of argument).
Yes, would it be better if we didn't cross ourselves at the invocation of the Trinity, or when we called Christ blessed, or mention the resurrection or the crucifixion, or ask petitions of saints? Or perhaps there would be a better activity for our hands to do during worship, like wave them in the air and draw attention to ourselves like some are fond of doing in other circles?
 

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orthonorm said:
PeterTheAleut said:
orthonorm said:
PeterTheAleut said:
You did happen to notice that I was voicing a personal observation, which can be seen in my choice of the words "I've found"? I'm merely sharing what I have observed. The fact that my observations differ from yours does not invalidate either mine or yours. Besides, nothing you said contradicts anything I've said.
Actually it does.
No, all Punch did was cite a few of those specific exceptions to the rule I intended to establish by my use of the word "generally".
You are wrong in general.
Feel free to share with us those exceptions you have seen.
 

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Why do I cross myself? It's a prayer spoken by the hand rather than by the lips. And I'm reminded of the verse Mark 12:30 (NKJV):
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
When I cross myself, I touch my forehead (mind), my stomach/gut (soul) (as in "I have a gut feeling"), across my shoulders (physical strength) and in so doing the lines I trace with my fingers intersect at my heart. It places me next to the cross where I need to remember to be. It's a sign that declares my faith to myself and others: not only what I've already mentioned, but three fingers together for the Trinity, two fingers for the two natures of Christ.
 
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Ortho_cat said:
recent convert said:
FountainPen said:
Punch said:
However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.
I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.
Again, what difference does it make how much time is spent in worship vs. time spent in serving mankind (in some capacity)? If one is a Pentecostal & spends 1 hour & 45 min. in Sunday service vs. an Orthodox who spends about the same time in worship crossing oneself, prostrations etc. but both individuals show concern for others, what does it matter? (laying doctrine aside for the sake of argument).
Yes, would it be better if we didn't cross ourselves at the invocation of the Trinity, or when we called Christ blessed, or mention the resurrection or the crucifixion, or ask petitions of saints? Or perhaps there would be a better activity for our hands to do during worship, like wave them in the air and draw attention to ourselves like some are fond of doing in other circles?
I was just being hypothetical & not trying to make a value judgement in an example. I do not want to endorse other non Orthodox worship or deride it.
 

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genesisone said:
Why do I cross myself? It's a prayer spoken by the hand rather than by the lips. And I'm reminded of the verse Mark 12:30 (NKJV):
And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment.
When I cross myself, I touch my forehead (mind), my stomach/gut (soul) (as in "I have a gut feeling"), across my shoulders (physical strength) and in so doing the lines I trace with my fingers intersect at my heart. It places me next to the cross where I need to remember to be. It's a sign that declares my faith to myself and others: not only what I've already mentioned, but three fingers together for the Trinity, two fingers for the two natures of Christ.
In addition to this, my actions - no matter what they are, are reminded that I walk, think, breathe, BE in the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  This in itself gives me pause.
 

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FountainPen said:
Punch said:
However, where I disagree with Fountain Pen is that I believe that the Church and its rituals are not to blame for this.  The Church is a hospital, and it is where the sick and suffering belong.  However, those who do not follow the Doctor's orders will never get better, and often they will get worse.  This is not the fault of the Doctor and the medicine.  While the Scriptures teach us that everyone is sick and in need of healing, not all are as sick as others.  Some do not even recognize that they are sick.  If they are able to function that way, and by function, I mean follow the Law of God, then who are we to judge them; particularly so when we are to sick to even do what they do?  I have to say that I agree very much with a lot that Fountain Pen has written here.  I just happen to find a different root cause for the problem than Fountain Pen has.
I don't know that i'd say rituals are directly to blame but i don't think so many rituals help.

I'd be really interested to know what the root is that you've found though.
The root cause?  That we know what is right as taught to us by the Church, the Scriptures, and the Lives of the Saints.  We simply refuse to do it.  That is not the fault of the Church.    

Do we need the ritual?  No.  But does it hurt?  I think that depends on what is inside of us.  If we have a desire to please God, then we will both worship Him in the manner that he has set down, AND we will follow that up by keeping His commandments toward one another.  If we have no desire to please God, what does it matter anyway?  I find that the ritual keeps the commands of God fresh in front of me.  That is my illness and my cure.  That you do not feel this necessity does not make me think any better or worse of you, any more than you having any other illness that is different than mine.  Why should it?  
 

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FountainPen said:
Schultz said:
FountainPen,

I can only speak for myself, but these rituals help me, a grave sinner, to reorient my life on at least a weekly basis.  I suck.  I know I do.  I constantly find myself doing that which I do not want to do and not doing that which I want to.  These rituals help me to remember that.  If they help for but an hour before I fall again, that's an hour I spend with my mind on the Lord rather than the filth of my own mind.  Were my faith as great as yours, I would not need them.  

But I do.

Please forgive me for my weakness.
False humility doesn't suit you Schultz. Maybe you should get your mind off yourself then you wouldn't need all your rituals.
I have to say that I'm a lot like shultz here. I suck too. I'm a real sinner, and my mind is quite bound to the things of the Earth. If I need to make the sign of the cross or pray the prayers of the Church to raise my mind to God, you'll have to forgive me. I'm not Immaculately Conceived. :)
 

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Dear FountainPen,

Prayer is a sacrifice offered to God.  It is also a great service to mankind.  It is also very very difficult. 

St.  Silouan the Athonite expressed this in a simple way:  ‘Praying for people means shedding blood' and 'The greater the love, the greater the suffering’  Saint Silouan the Athonite

love, elephant


 

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Papist said:
FountainPen said:
Schultz said:
FountainPen,

I can only speak for myself, but these rituals help me, a grave sinner, to reorient my life on at least a weekly basis.  I suck.  I know I do.  I constantly find myself doing that which I do not want to do and not doing that which I want to.  These rituals help me to remember that.  If they help for but an hour before I fall again, that's an hour I spend with my mind on the Lord rather than the filth of my own mind.  Were my faith as great as yours, I would not need them.  

But I do.

Please forgive me for my weakness.
False humility doesn't suit you Schultz. Maybe you should get your mind off yourself then you wouldn't need all your rituals.
I have to say that I'm a lot like shultz here. I suck too. I'm a real sinner, and my mind is quite bound to the things of the Earth. If I need to make the sign of the cross or pray the prayers of the Church to raise my mind to God, you'll have to forgive me. I'm not Immaculately Conceived. :)
I think I would call it sarcasm rather than false humility.
 

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Revelation 9:4

And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, nor any green thing, nor any tree: but only the men who have not the sign of God on their foreheads.


(emphasis mine)


See? The Bible does tell us to do it.

What 'sign' most reminds people of Christ, our God?

You're welcome.
 

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Fountain Pen,

I can't answer all of your questions, but I can give you a reason . . . or an experience that I went through that gave specific meaning and place for 'ritualistic' prayers and worship.  I hope you will take this as someone who is not trying to attack you - but perhaps another perspective might help you to see why others do it, even if it is not the choice of your own.  

I was raised RC - and I loved the Mass - absolutely loved it, but it was never enough.  It just wasn't enough - so as an adult I started participating in non denominational churches. . . but that wasn't enough, either. . . .so I went to both the RC and the non denominational services . . . and that wasn't enough either - so I started going to the church of my own heart and stayed there.  No walls, no rituals. . .nothing but prayer and reading my bible.  I did this for nearly a decade.  Nine years, nine months -  to be exact.  What I found is that that wasn't enough either.  I had no guidance, no nurturing from my brothers and sisters. . . slowly, like a frog in a frying pan, or a lobster being boiled. . . I stopped reading my bible every day.  Then I stopped praying every day.  Then I stopped reading for long long breaks.  Then I stopped praying except when things were going really really bad - and they got VERY bad.  Then the only prayer I could pray was "Lord please, I'm begging you, have mercy on me.". . .because things got incredibly horribly the worst kind of bad - BAD.  And I didn't read my bible at all, because I was too busy trying to survive.  I couldn't even pray the Our Father. . .

Ritualistic prayer taught me how to pray again.  If my heart is in the wrong place, and I need His help, but I don't have the words to ask for help, then I can pray a prayer the early church Fathers, or the Saints, or King David or the Lord Himself (The Our Father) wrote.  The bible never changes - the book of Psalms never changes. . .the Our Father never changes.  We pray these prayers as they are every time - either with a full heart or a distracted one.  It is up to us to humble ourselves to hope in Him to allow us to pray with a full heart.  To pray from the heart is different from praying from the head.  When we pray from our minds, then we lose the context of God.  If we pray with our hearts, then He is there helping us to understand the fullness of that context.  My word, the Our Father is an incredibly powerful prayer, yet most just mumble along in it. . . because they have not allowed God to show them HOW to properly pray with the heart.  If I pray with my mind, then I cannot do another thing as the prayer itself becomes a distraction.  If I pray with my heart - then wow. . . nothing is distracted, I can still serve. . .and serve in His Spirit. . . by His Spirit, which is how it should be.  

For the first time in my life - I go to church and I'm fed. . . truly fed. . .and deeply fed. . .and it's enough.  I leave able to give.  ABLE to give. . .and before?  I was too hungry to give, and give truly, deeply and sincerely.  I gave out of my strength. . .now I can say that giving it out of His strength, not mine.  Yet I partake in a liturgical setting of tradition and ritual. . .every single ritual has meaning.  It's those who assume the meaning that cannot apply the meaning properly.  It's rich and wow. . .so very breathtakingly beautiful.  But moreso, the fruit is good.  It is GOOD - the ultimate test we are to look for.  

Maybe, one day, when I'm healed enough, and the Holy Spirit teaches me to pray without arrogance, maybe I'll be back to praying as I used to so very long ago.  But it will be without pride, IF it ever happens again.  Pride suffers a huge debt.  The fall from it for His little ones is completely shattering.

God gives us prayer, and He can take it away in a heartbeat if He so chooses.  He gives us the ability to Worship, and He can take it away in a heartbeat, if He so chooses.  He gives us our brothers and sisters and our leadership (which was often my own problem - an issue with authority) and He can take it away if He so chooses.  There is nothing so painful than to understand that one has truly cut themselves off from the nurturing vine that holds it.  We are blind deaf and dumb. . .and often don't know we're dying until we get long past.  It is our own pride that tells Him how we are going to pray. . .what feels good. . . if I don't feel this or that then I must have sinned or something of that nature.  

But He is faithful, and He will show you.  You are His.  

Please, for your sake, remember that Christ came to build His church.  He said to Love one Another, we cannot love one another if we never meet them.  
 
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FountainPen said:
akimori makoto said:
akimori makoto said:
Priest: Then, when he had come and fulfilled the whole of the divine dispensation for us, on the night that he was given up, or, rather, gave himself up for the life of the world, he took bread in his holy, pure and blameless hands and, when he had blessed it, hallowed it and broken it, he gave it to his disciples saying "take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you for the remission of sins".

People: Amen.

Priest: In like manner, when the supper was ended, he took the cup and gave it to his disciples saying "drink of this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins".

People: Amen.

Priest: Remembering, therefore, this our Saviour's command, and everything that has come to pass for us: the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the sitting at the right hand and the second and glorious coming again -- your own of your own, we offer unto you, on behalf of all and for all.

----------------------------------------------

Where's the problem?
FountainPen, so I can understand you better, can you please explain what part of the above is objectionable?

Please feel free to include the "ritual actions" that accompany the words in your criticisms, but please let's just stick to those for now.

I think if we dialogue in this way, taking a limited slice of liturgical life as our focal point, we can arrive at some mutual understanding.

Empty ritualism v. liturgical chaos is too unwieldy a theme.
I did take a slice, i asked specifically about crossing yourself. Is this a command? No. Jesus literally walked to his death carrying his cross. Does this mean we are to make the sign of a cross on our bodies? No, of course not. We are to die to self, that is why this means.
Okay, well taking the sign of the cross as the example ...

I would like to know if you distinguish between making the sign in a personal moment of prayerfulness or thankfulness or reverence v. at appointed or prescribed times in an appointed or prescribed manner.
 

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Papist said:
FountainPen said:
Schultz said:
FountainPen,

I can only speak for myself, but these rituals help me, a grave sinner, to reorient my life on at least a weekly basis.  I suck.  I know I do.  I constantly find myself doing that which I do not want to do and not doing that which I want to.  These rituals help me to remember that.  If they help for but an hour before I fall again, that's an hour I spend with my mind on the Lord rather than the filth of my own mind.  Were my faith as great as yours, I would not need them.  

But I do.

Please forgive me for my weakness.
False humility doesn't suit you Schultz. Maybe you should get your mind off yourself then you wouldn't need all your rituals.
I have to say that I'm a lot like shultz here. I suck too. I'm a real sinner, and my mind is quite bound to the things of the Earth. If I need to make the sign of the cross or pray the prayers of the Church to raise my mind to God, you'll have to forgive me. I'm not Immaculately Conceived. :)
I think you will find alot of us here with this opinion of ourselves during lent...
 

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"Rationalistic disapproval of the formal worship prescribed by church rubrics is characteristic of some forms of Protestantism.  It is a lack of faith in the Church, a lack of faith that its life can fill all kinds of forms, giving them eternal meaning." - Sergei Fudel, Icons and Church Services: Joys and Difficulties.
 

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Ortho_cat said:
Papist said:
FountainPen said:
Schultz said:
FountainPen,

I can only speak for myself, but these rituals help me, a grave sinner, to reorient my life on at least a weekly basis.  I suck.  I know I do.  I constantly find myself doing that which I do not want to do and not doing that which I want to.  These rituals help me to remember that.  If they help for but an hour before I fall again, that's an hour I spend with my mind on the Lord rather than the filth of my own mind.  Were my faith as great as yours, I would not need them.  

But I do.

Please forgive me for my weakness.
False humility doesn't suit you Schultz. Maybe you should get your mind off yourself then you wouldn't need all your rituals.
I have to say that I'm a lot like shultz here. I suck too. I'm a real sinner, and my mind is quite bound to the things of the Earth. If I need to make the sign of the cross or pray the prayers of the Church to raise my mind to God, you'll have to forgive me. I'm not Immaculately Conceived. :)
I think you will find alot of us here with this opinion of ourselves during lent...
And people don't understand why we experience joy during lent.  ;D Personally there is nothing more freeing to me than to know that I am wreched sinner, but that God loves me anyway and is doing everything possible to get me into heaven. :)
 

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"People who believe in God in their own way, yet do not believe in the Church, often say, "Does God really need all this ritual?  Why do we have to have all these formalities?  We only need love, beauty, and humaneness." A man, on his way to the woman he loves, seeing flowers, buys them or picks them and brings them to her, never stopping to think whether this is a formality or not.  Yet this is the very concept of church ritual." - Sergei Fudel, Icons and Church Services: Joys and Difficulties
 

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quietmorning said:
Fountain Pen,

I can't answer all of your questions, but I can give you a reason . . . or an experience that I went through that gave specific meaning and place for 'ritualistic' prayers and worship.  I hope you will take this as someone who is not trying to attack you - but perhaps another perspective might help you to see why others do it, even if it is not the choice of your own.  

I was raised RC - and I loved the Mass - absolutely loved it, but it was never enough.  It just wasn't enough - so as an adult I started participating in non denominational churches. . . but that wasn't enough, either. . . .so I went to both the RC and the non denominational services . . . and that wasn't enough either - so I started going to the church of my own heart and stayed there.  No walls, no rituals. . .nothing but prayer and reading my bible.  I did this for nearly a decade.  Nine years, nine months -  to be exact.  What I found is that that wasn't enough either.  I had no guidance, no nurturing from my brothers and sisters. . . slowly, like a frog in a frying pan, or a lobster being boiled. . . I stopped reading my bible every day.  Then I stopped praying every day.  Then I stopped reading for long long breaks.  Then I stopped praying except when things were going really really bad - and they got VERY bad.  Then the only prayer I could pray was "Lord please, I'm begging you, have mercy on me.". . .because things got incredibly horribly the worst kind of bad - BAD.  And I didn't read my bible at all, because I was too busy trying to survive.  I couldn't even pray the Our Father. . .

Ritualistic prayer taught me how to pray again.  If my heart is in the wrong place, and I need His help, but I don't have the words to ask for help, then I can pray a prayer the early church Fathers, or the Saints, or King David or the Lord Himself (The Our Father) wrote.  The bible never changes - the book of Psalms never changes. . .the Our Father never changes.  We pray these prayers as they are every time - either with a full heart or a distracted one.  It is up to us to humble ourselves to hope in Him to allow us to pray with a full heart.  To pray from the heart is different from praying from the head.  When we pray from our minds, then we lose the context of God.  If we pray with our hearts, then He is there helping us to understand the fullness of that context.  My word, the Our Father is an incredibly powerful prayer, yet most just mumble along in it. . . because they have not allowed God to show them HOW to properly pray with the heart.  If I pray with my mind, then I cannot do another thing as the prayer itself becomes a distraction.  If I pray with my heart - then wow. . . nothing is distracted, I can still serve. . .and serve in His Spirit. . . by His Spirit, which is how it should be.  

For the first time in my life - I go to church and I'm fed. . . truly fed. . .and deeply fed. . .and it's enough.  I leave able to give.  ABLE to give. . .and before?  I was too hungry to give, and give truly, deeply and sincerely.  I gave out of my strength. . .now I can say that giving it out of His strength, not mine.  Yet I partake in a liturgical setting of tradition and ritual. . .every single ritual has meaning.  It's those who assume the meaning that cannot apply the meaning properly.  It's rich and wow. . .so very breathtakingly beautiful.  But moreso, the fruit is good.  It is GOOD - the ultimate test we are to look for.  

Maybe, one day, when I'm healed enough, and the Holy Spirit teaches me to pray without arrogance, maybe I'll be back to praying as I used to so very long ago.  But it will be without pride, IF it ever happens again.  Pride suffers a huge debt.  The fall from it for His little ones is completely shattering.

God gives us prayer, and He can take it away in a heartbeat if He so chooses.  He gives us the ability to Worship, and He can take it away in a heartbeat, if He so chooses.  He gives us our brothers and sisters and our leadership (which was often my own problem - an issue with authority) and He can take it away if He so chooses.  There is nothing so painful than to understand that one has truly cut themselves off from the nurturing vine that holds it.  We are blind deaf and dumb. . .and often don't know we're dying until we get long past.  It is our own pride that tells Him how we are going to pray. . .what feels good. . . if I don't feel this or that then I must have sinned or something of that nature.  

But He is faithful, and He will show you.  You are His.  

Please, for your sake, remember that Christ came to build His church.  He said to Love one Another, we cannot love one another if we never meet them.  
That's a beautiful testimony and thank you for sharing it quietmorning. I do relate to some parts of it and understand why you hold certain practices as precious because they have been of personal help to you in the strengthening of your spiritual life.

I don't see the church primarily as a hospital so it is hard to always keep this in mind when reading what Orthodox people are about and this is probably why i disagree with so many rituals too, which i hadn't realised until i read your post. For me, it's a problematic concept right from the start but you've given me much more to think through. #smile

 

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akimori makoto said:
FountainPen said:
akimori makoto said:
akimori makoto said:
Priest: Then, when he had come and fulfilled the whole of the divine dispensation for us, on the night that he was given up, or, rather, gave himself up for the life of the world, he took bread in his holy, pure and blameless hands and, when he had blessed it, hallowed it and broken it, he gave it to his disciples saying "take, eat, this is my body, which is broken for you for the remission of sins".

People: Amen.

Priest: In like manner, when the supper was ended, he took the cup and gave it to his disciples saying "drink of this, all of you, this is my blood of the new covenant, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins".

People: Amen.

Priest: Remembering, therefore, this our Saviour's command, and everything that has come to pass for us: the cross, the tomb, the resurrection on the third day, the ascension into heaven, the sitting at the right hand and the second and glorious coming again -- your own of your own, we offer unto you, on behalf of all and for all.

----------------------------------------------

Where's the problem?
FountainPen, so I can understand you better, can you please explain what part of the above is objectionable?

Please feel free to include the "ritual actions" that accompany the words in your criticisms, but please let's just stick to those for now.

I think if we dialogue in this way, taking a limited slice of liturgical life as our focal point, we can arrive at some mutual understanding.

Empty ritualism v. liturgical chaos is too unwieldy a theme.
I did take a slice, i asked specifically about crossing yourself. Is this a command? No. Jesus literally walked to his death carrying his cross. Does this mean we are to make the sign of a cross on our bodies? No, of course not. We are to die to self, that is why this means.
Okay, well taking the sign of the cross as the example ...

I would like to know if you distinguish between making the sign in a personal moment of prayerfulness or thankfulness or reverence v. at appointed or prescribed times in an appointed or prescribed manner.
Akimori, i might i be mentally unwell if i started adding certain rituals to my day such as handwashing, checking doors making sure they are shut, touching light switches 20 times or stepping over a threshold three times before i can shut the door. It's not the one thing that i might do or the reason that i might have for what i do -- which might sound incredibly plausible -- but the behaviours collectively can become problematic and can be a sign of somethng more sinister. I'm not suggesting that Orthodox Christians are mentally unwell but i'm suggesting that there is a line where rituals can be problematic to us even though we feel we might have good reasons for them.
 

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FountainPen said:
I don't see the church primarily as a hospital
Really? The idea of the church as a "hospital for sinners" is common to Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Protestants alike.
 

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FountainPen said:
Quote from: Ortho_Cat
Quote from: FountainPen
Where/when/by whom was the practice was first recorded?
Jesus was the first to take up his cross...we are called to follow him, and doing this reminds us of that.
We are told to take up our cross, not to perform ritualised hand movements merely to remind us of what Jesus did.

Why clog the Christian life with rituals piled high on top of one another and then to discuss how many times we're all supposed to do them or in what way we do them? Doesn't life have enough real challenges in it for you (the Church)? The world is going to hell in a handbasket while we all colours of robes, liturgies, incense and prostrations while we (the various Churches) could be discussing how we can organise ourselves to aid the current issues of drug abuse, alcoholism and promiscuity.

Good grief, that we should all fill our lives with rituals!
Rituals are not pointless or meaningless, it is that which binds us in Love.  In my marriage, I have rituals I do concerning my wife such as getting her coffee ready in the morning for work.  It seems like nothing but it is something that binds and can be counted on.

Now also reading though the thread I think the problem is that we fundamentally disagree on exactly who Christ Jesus is to the world and each of us.  Christ Jesus came in the flesh, His incarnation, the Church in a profound mystery is the continued incarnation of our Lord.  These rituals, that are universally accepted long before your sect was born, are in there essence given by Christ Jesus Himself, he being mysteriously the Church also, for our benefit and the world.  We are both Body and Soul, the rituals are given for us, to tame our bodies to submit to the soul and the eye of the soul kept on God the Father, Son, Holy Spirit, it being a living Worship of God.  The reason being is that in the fall our bodies took control and ruled over our soul, those who enter into Christ are working with Him to reverse that damage, drawing us into a closer, deeper, communion with our Lord and rituals have always been part of that process.

As a former Baptist, I thought they were empty, until I started practicing them but that truly can't be explained until on experiences the rituals as they are meant.  This is how I see it, but if I am in error I am sure someone will correct me.
 

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The first mention of Christians making the sign of the Cross is in the 2nd Century by Tertullian who said: "In all our travels and movements, in all our coming in and going out, in putting of our shoes, at the bath, at the table, in lighting our candles, in lying down, in sitting down, whatever employment occupieth us, we mark our foreheads with the sign of the cross" (De cor. Mil., iii).

It seems this was a well established practice by the time Tertullian mentioned it here.
 

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Peter J said:
FountainPen said:
I don't see the church primarily as a hospital
Really? The idea of the church as a "hospital for sinners" is common to Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Protestants alike.
Goody! I'm a person.
Expressing my personal view.
 

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FountainPen said:
Peter J said:
FountainPen said:
I don't see the church primarily as a hospital
Really? The idea of the church as a "hospital for sinners" is common to Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Protestants alike.
Goody! I'm a person.
Expressing my personal view.
Well, your personal view is foreign to historical Christianity.
 

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FountainPen said:
Peter J said:
FountainPen said:
I don't see the church primarily as a hospital
Really? The idea of the church as a "hospital for sinners" is common to Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Protestants alike.
Goody! I'm a person.
Expressing my personal view.
so what do you consider it to be then?
 

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FountainPen said:
I'm not suggesting that Orthodox Christians are mentally unwell but i'm suggesting that there is a line where rituals can be problematic to us even though we feel we might have good reasons for them.
Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?  :D
 

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Ortho_cat said:
FountainPen said:
Peter J said:
FountainPen said:
I don't see the church primarily as a hospital
Really? The idea of the church as a "hospital for sinners" is common to Orthodox, Roman Catholics, and Protestants alike.
Goody! I'm a person.
Expressing my personal view.
so what do you consider it to be then?
I have no idea Ortho Cat, i really don't. I have never thought of the church in any way other than a functioning body of working parts that make up a whole with Christ as the head.

I can see there being problems when you make the church into a hospital.

Similar to the problems you have when you make celebrities in church, you set a focused identity and you will create an unhealthy environment where people can often stay stuck.

Churches with a 'celebrity' culture will often have cartoon-tie Christians clamouring for center stage with their latest ministry.

You can imagine what you might get with a 'hospital' identity.
 

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FountainPen said:
Similar to the problems you have when you make celebrities in church, you set a focused identity and you will create an unhealthy environment where people can often stay stuck.

Churches with a 'celebrity' culture will often have cartoon-tie Christians clamouring for center stage with their latest ministry.

You can imagine what you might get with a 'hospital' identity.
I don't think that's the hospital mentality failing.

I think it's a hipster/self-authority mentality.

I'm from Seattle, one of the hipster meccas of the world. What you have just described is how every church in my area functions, to the extreme. The main goal is to troll for... well, I suppose on this forum I'll have to say 'women', and attention, via awkward and unconvincing demagoguery. The only churches in my area that do not are some of the catholic and Orthodox churches, and churches that are part of an unfashionable protestant denomination (southern baptist, classical evangelical, etc.)
 

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FountainPen said:
I can see there being problems when you make the church into a hospital.

Similar to the problems you have when you make celebrities in church, you set a focused identity and you will create an unhealthy environment where people can often stay stuck.
What does this mean?

Churches with a 'celebrity' culture will often have cartoon-tie Christians clamouring for center stage with their latest ministry.
"Celebrity" culture in church? Do you mean like the televangelist thing, or how we pay respect to our priests and bishops? Because I think it's easy to mix up the two if you're not actually in the church.

You can imagine what you might get with a 'hospital' identity.
Yes. Treatment, medicine, and with the power of God, healing.
 

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if we don't go to church to be healed and spiritually fed, restoring our wholeness in Christ, what do we go there for? socializing? to show each other how saintly we are? Seriously...I don't see the alternative here...  ???
 

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NicholasMyra said:
FountainPen said:
Similar to the problems you have when you make celebrities in church, you set a focused identity and you will create an unhealthy environment where people can often stay stuck.

Churches with a 'celebrity' culture will often have cartoon-tie Christians clamouring for center stage with their latest ministry.

You can imagine what you might get with a 'hospital' identity.
I don't think that's the hospital mentality failing.

I think it's a hipster/self-authority mentality.

I'm from Seattle, one of the hipster meccas of the world. What you have just described is how every church in my area functions, to the extreme. The main goal is to troll for... well, I suppose on this forum I'll have to say 'women', and attention, via awkward and unconvincing demagoguery. The only churches in my area that do not are some of the catholic and Orthodox churches, and churches that are part of an unfashionable protestant denomination (southern baptist, classical evangelical, etc.)
I agree, there are other healthy ways a spiritual hospital could function but i don't see the need for the hospital at the moment. Given the scriptures mention that we run the race, why not have an Olympics identity? Our identity as Christians isn't soley that we are sick, it's much more than that. i don't see the necessity and i just think, given fallen humanity the propensity for staying sick, as it were, is hoooge!
 

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PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
You can imagine what you might get with a 'hospital' identity.
What do you think we might get with a 'hospital' identity?
Well, with that set up, you can either be sick, a doctor or a visitor.

 

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Ortho_cat said:
if we don't go to church to be healed and spiritually fed, restoring our wholeness in Christ, what do we go there for? socializing? to show each other how saintly we are? Seriously...I don't see the alternative here...  ???
Go there to the church building, i guess my answer would be... to gather.

Why do we gather? I suppose to edify and encourage each other in Christ.

I do not believe we go to a church building to worship God. Like i have expressed before, i believe worship is what you do all week.
 

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FountainPen said:
PeterTheAleut said:
FountainPen said:
You can imagine what you might get with a 'hospital' identity.
What do you think we might get with a 'hospital' identity?
Well, with that set up, you can either be sick, a doctor or a visitor.
We're all sick and in need of healing, and Jesus Christ is the Physician. Would you not agree?
 

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Second Chance said:
FountainPen said:
I'm not suggesting that Orthodox Christians are mentally unwell but i'm suggesting that there is a line where rituals can be problematic to us even though we feel we might have good reasons for them.
Can you walk and chew gum at the same time?  :D
No, however, i can do a handstand while reciting Lago's soliloquy  ;D
 

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FountainPen said:
NicholasMyra said:
FountainPen said:
Similar to the problems you have when you make celebrities in church, you set a focused identity and you will create an unhealthy environment where people can often stay stuck.

Churches with a 'celebrity' culture will often have cartoon-tie Christians clamouring for center stage with their latest ministry.

You can imagine what you might get with a 'hospital' identity.
I don't think that's the hospital mentality failing.

I think it's a hipster/self-authority mentality.

I'm from Seattle, one of the hipster meccas of the world. What you have just described is how every church in my area functions, to the extreme. The main goal is to troll for... well, I suppose on this forum I'll have to say 'women', and attention, via awkward and unconvincing demagoguery. The only churches in my area that do not are some of the catholic and Orthodox churches, and churches that are part of an unfashionable protestant denomination (southern baptist, classical evangelical, etc.)
I agree, there are other healthy ways a spiritual hospital could function but i don't see the need for the hospital at the moment. Given the scriptures mention that we run the race, why not have an Olympics identity? Our identity as Christians isn't soley that we are sick, it's much more than that. i don't see the necessity and i just think, given fallen humanity the propensity for staying sick, as it were, is hoooge!
The analogies are not mutually exclusive. In both cases you are talking about people improving their health. You are positing a false dichotomy.
 

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FountainPen said:
Ortho_cat said:
if we don't go to church to be healed and spiritually fed, restoring our wholeness in Christ, what do we go there for? socializing? to show each other how saintly we are? Seriously...I don't see the alternative here...  ???
Go there to the church building, i guess my answer would be... to gather.

Why do we gather? I suppose to edify and encourage each other in Christ.

I do not believe we go to a church building to worship God. Like i have expressed before, i believe worship is what you do all week.
That's interesting, because I think that everything we do is worship of God, including meeting on sunday to sing hymns of praise, and being united to him in the sacrament of his Body and Blood.
 
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