AN INTRODUCTION TO ORTHODOX SERVICES

By Fr John Hainsworth

The Orthodox Church is fundamentally a worshiping Church. One Church Father said that "A theologian is one who prays and one who prays is a theologian" He meant that anything said by an Orthodox theologian is in fact something which is (or can be) said to God in prayer. Theology is the conversation we have with God in relationship, when that relationship is with the genuine God of Jesus Christ. This means that what we pray is what we believe, and therefore whatever we study about God is also a study of what we do and say in our worship to Him. The worship of the Orthodox Church really grew (and continues to grow) from our ongoing encounter with Him in His Church.

The services of the Orthodox Church inform not only our faith in God's Son Jesus Christ, but provide meaning to our daily life. They seek to redeem our time and sanctify our life and the world we live in. We will never understand the Orthodox Church, its teachings or its God, without a genuine engagement with its worship. No book knowledge or other hearsay will ever substitute BEING in the services, since they constitute the being of the church. Basically, if you are interested in the Orthodox Church go to one, on time, and worship God within it. And do it more than once.

As such, it is important first of all to know the standard services which fill our days, which redeem our time, and to understand what they mean.