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Worshipping Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Believers gather in the Church and, they worship God by offering prayers to Him as a group. Through Worship, they come into union with God. In that union, Christ is the head and Church(congregation)is the body. Church (congregation) is holy and it exists both on earth and in heaven.

Practices of Orthodox worship have been passed on as Holy Tradition from generation to generation from the time of early Christianity. Orthodox worship is very visual, symbolic and celebratory. Symbolisms in words and objects remind worshippers of the union of heaven and earth during worship and the presence of Christ, Mother Mary, saints and angels at the worship. Bishops, Priests and Deacons wear vestments appropriate for their respective position in the hierarchy and the occasion.

  • Burning of incense, Candles, Processions, Bells

Incense is burned in censers throughout Orthodox worship rituals. Censers are ornamental metal bowls that could be raised or lowered by adjusting chains on which they are suspended. Incense is burned to show respect and reverence for relics, icons, bishops, priests, congregation and other people or objects of sanctity. In Orthodox worship, processions commemorate special events. Depending on the event, members in the procession may hold candles, ornamental discs with angelic visages, crosses and banners. Candles are used during or after worship at various locations in the Church. They are often lit as symbolic of prayers being offered continuously by the believer, for themselves or others. Musical instruments are not normally used in Orthodox liturgy, but the choir and the congregants join in singing and chanting. Chanting is intended to induce a calm and peaceful environment for the mind. Ringing of the bells during orthodox worship proclaims the beginning and end of the services as well as significant moments during the worship.

  • Making the Sign of the Cross

Making the sign of the cross invokes the Cross of Christ and is done in remembrance of his sacrifice. The sign of the cross is made with the thumb, the index finger and the middle finger held together. The ring finder and the small finger will remain folded against the palm. The three fingers held together will touch the forehead, then below the sternum, and then the left and right shoulders. Making the sign of the cross, by tradition, is also meant as protection from adverse powers and evil entities. Standing, Kneeling and Prostrating Orthodox worshippers stand during most of the worship. While making the sign of the cross, the individual will bow from the waist in submission and reverence to God. Congregants may often kneel in repentance during Lenten services and even at other times. In a further expression of reverence and submission, the person may do prostrations by making the sign of the cross, getting down on the knees and touching the floor with the head.

  • Daily Cycle of Prayers

The daily cycle of prayers starts at Sunset with Vespers, followed by Compline (at bed time), Midnight office, Matins/First Hour (at Sunrise), Third Hour (at 9:00 AM), Sixth Hour (at Noon), and Ninth Hour (at 3:00 PM).

The most prominent of the Orthodox Services is The Divine Liturgy. Typically it is held on Sunday mornings. The Divine Liturgy is centered around the Holy Eucharist: the sacrament of consecration of the Bread and Wine and their transformation into the Body and Blood of Christ which are offered to and received by believers who have truly repented their sins and have been forgiven. The Eucharistic meal is intended to renew the spirit in the repentant believers, so that they could go out as witnesses of Christ to the rest of the world, by their words and deeds.

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