By becoming a participant and not a spectator. I’m also a convert. It’s hard. Especially when parts are in Slavic. Silver lining I now know to sing “Lord have Mercy” and “Holy God Holy Mighty Holy Immortal” in Slav.


What does in Slav mean? Slavic is not a language in itself.


I was told the language we sing parts of our liturgy aren’t Ukrainian or Russian, but an archaic language that is the grandmother? For lack of a better word? Of both of them.


Slavonic (specifically “Old Church Slavonic”) is the word you are looking for.


Very pedantic correction but I can’t help myself: it’s in Church Slavonic, not Old Church Slavonic. OCS is mostly just useful for reading medieval Russian manuscripts.


Yeah but this is the point at which we hit the question "are they different languages or just different dialects of one language?"


The difference between a language and a dialect is an army and a navy.




Well Church Slavonic is pretty much in its earliest form a late stage of Old Church Slavonic that various churches took and modified to suit their own native language called recensions, and Old Church Slavonic was what I’d call a late stage dialect of the original Slavic language we call Proto-Slavic in the lands of the Thessalonian hinterlands (which was already diverging into East Slavic, South Slavic and West Slavic), which eventually would become and influence what is generally called the East South-Slavic languages, Macedonian and Bulgarian, with OCS’s original rough dialectal territory being on which the modern Solun-Kukush-Voden dialects of Macedonian are spoken today in quite small numbers.


I don't understand why English has to complicate everything, in Slavic languages, it literaly translates Church Slavic. Slavonic is if it is from Slavonia, northern part of Croatia.


Ah! Yes! That’s it! Thank you!


If it's Ukrainian and Russian, sounds like it's eastern slavic. I understand the idea of grandmother language but I've never heard of this before. I'd imagine they mean something like Latin being the grandmother to Italian maybe? This confused me as I'm Polish slav, so slavic language sounded like areally broad term.


Latin is totally the grandmother of Italian.


Old Church Slavonic is actually only more or less a direct ancestor of Bulgarian and Macedonian. It’s more like an aunt to Russian or Ukrainian


It isn't "Eastern Slavic", there is no such language and never was (I guess you can call the eastern dialect of proto-slavic that but I've never heard the term before), it's Church Slavonic. That's medieval Bulgarian with Russian grammar and loan words. OP is just a little confused but other comments have corrected him. Edit: not the OP, but the comment you were replying to is a little confused, OP is just asking a question


I was just commenting from what I understood. Russian and Ukrainian fall under eastern slavic.


You are absolutely correct, but eastern slavic isn't a language. It isn't even a language family, it's a *subdivision of a subdivision of Indo-European*. There couldn't be a liturgy in eastern slavic like there can't be a liturgy in romance or germanic. OP made it seem like the liturgy was in Ukrainian or Russian (which it probably was), but the parts he refers to are in Church Slavonic.


I love you language nerds.


This is when the rubber meets the road. Liturgy is not entertainment. I agree with another commenter: become a participant in whatever way you can.


Liturgy is not entertainment, it is not a show, it is worship of the Most Holy Trinity. As for how to connect, participate in Liturgy, pray, cross yourself, join in the worship of the faithful even if you cannot fully participate yet. Be active, not a spectator.


…and a memorial of the Most Holy Sacrifice on Golgotha, or Calvary


Get engaged with it. Don’t be a passive spectator. Get to know the liturgy, learn what each part means, the theology behind it all. And yes, actively participate. I love the liturgy with all my heart, but even for me it would be a difficult thing to endure if I had to listen to essentially the same thing every week for an hour and a half without understanding much. As for the sermon, it really depends on the priest. Some are good at it, some are terrible. But this is also the case in Protestantism.


Our priest’s “official” sermon is 5 minutes tops. He get’s into teaching mode more on a q and a basis.


Is that a good or a bad thing? I can see arguments going either way


Because of logistical reasons it’s a necessity. Our parish only gets five Divine Liturgies this year. We can listen to sermons at home, we can’t do confession and communion at home.


Like everyone else is saying, you must participate. Sing! Pray! The liturgy is an event that takes place outside the bounds of space and time. We are joined with the eternal celestial chorus in worship of the Most High. Sing! Even if you’re bad at it. Remember: we worship for *us*. Because it’s what we do naturally in response to perceiving his indescribable goodness. So worship! Sing your praises! Pray fervently! Learn the language and the responses. You’re not there to watch a performance that the priest is putting on. You’re there to partake of the greatest metaphysical cosmic mystery that exists, and you’re a part of it! just like the crying baby that won’t quiet down is a part of it! As for a “meaty sermon” well for me personally, that’s precisely what I do not want, coming from a Protestant background. I’m not there to hear a man’s opinion on Scripture. I’m there to worship God. (No offense and no disrespect to my or any other priest, I do enjoy and learn from their homilies, but I appreciate that they are short and not the main focus).


Agree about the sermons! Liturgy being consistent was a huge draw to me as a convert


I was the opposite. The Divine Liturgy came as blessed relief after growing up with services that were dominated by the sermon.


Father Barnabus Powell says that you don’t have to like the liturgy. Unlike some other churches, having a certain emotional response to the liturgy is not the point. At least that’s what I’ve been told.


Well said. Sometimes I'm very happy to be there. Sometimes I'm sick or tired and looking forward to the end. But regardless of how I feel, I know that it's not about me, so even when I'm tired or sick I go through it, and I never have any regret.


I love liturgy, it’s beautiful and I enjoy it very much. The reason i say this is because what i’m about to say might sound bad. Consider it a blessing that you dislike going, because if you bring yourself to go even though you don’t enjoy it, that’s evidence that you aren’t just following through the motions, this isn’t the path of least resistance to you. But you get an opportunity to show your faith to God by going despite not liking it. Self denial and obedience by going is a great way to show love for Christ 💜


Wow this is actually very insightful and gives me a new way of looking at things. Thank you


No problem


There is nothing wrong with you. Liturgy is supposed to be a celebration, praise, worship, thanksgiving and communion with our Lord. There might be something wrong with your church, if you’re not connecting. Have you visited an all English liturgy? Maybe try OCA or an English speaking Russian service? You might be more engaged if it’s in your native language. I go to Greek church btw, but I have also attended a couple years at a beautiful OCA church.


I can really only give you my perspective here, so... use what you can and toss the rest: 1. Pray beforehand. Prayer is absolutely essential of preparation. In my case, I generally pray the night before based based on the prayer rule (set of prayers) my priest gave me. 2. Actively participate. Liturgy can be reckoned as "The work of the people." Thus the people are an integral part to the liturgy. You can follow along with either the service book/bulletin or digital chant stand depending on what you're comfortable with. That may help as it did for me when I first started my process of conversion.


I also find it boring if I go every week, but if I skip, I miss it. lol Sometimes I go to services during the week because the liturgy is short vs the sunday one. I advice you to research about the liturgy and what the movements mean etc. When I get bored I remember it is like a window into the past of how christians used to praise in church!


Liturgy is a Greek term for work, so it should feel like work. Although you might benefit from an English only Liturgy if you have access to one.


I didn't know that! Thanks for sharing! I'm fairly new to the choir and it *does* feel like work! lol It's so good and I'm so grateful for it.


I probably spend half of the Liturgy saying prayers in my mind (and sometimes in a very low whisper) for various people and events. It's not ideal, but it is a relatively common practice.


I am wanting to become orthadox. I have a Baptist background. Do they have messages and sermons from the Bible??


There is a reading, usually from the Epistles, and a reading from the Gospels. The sermon is usually related to the those readings, but it is often short, 5-15 minutes. The point of Liturgy is worship. The culmination of worship is the Eucharist.


I though faith comes by hearing the word of God not worship? I'm genuinely wondering


The Divine Liturgy is not the setting for Bible study nor for evangelism. It is for those who belong to the mystical Body to commune with, and as, that mystical Body.


Christ is the Word of God. On the road to Emmaus, the two disciples burned in their hearts, but did not recognize Jesus until the breaking of the bread. Hearing, studying, and understanding the scriptures is important, if you have the means. But the point is to give thanks and glory to God, you grow in holiness. We live a Christian life, not just hear it. It is not the hearers of the Law, but the doers who will be righteous before God, as St Paul says. It's also important to note that prior to the printing press, Bibles were extremely expensive. Literacy in the Byzantine empire, which was the highest in the world, never cracked 20%. Most people never had access to the kind of study we take for granted. Worship, however, is universal.


Thank you that was a good explanation


During the catechumen process I read that you are instructed in scripture , when does that happen ? Are there special times and things for catechumen or are you guided to do it at home?


There are classes.


Is there another day or time that you study the Bible?


An Orthodox Christian is free to study the Bible whenever and however they’d like.


Some churches do have a more informal, clergy-led bible study. It’s nothing formal at all. Larger churches might have an adult bible study at evening. And a youth bible study Mid afternoon. Others are all virtual via Zoom.


Well, for one thing, a very large part of the lyrics of the hymns we sing are just lines from the Bible or close paraphrases of them. But in terms of things that are *spoken* and not sung, the Liturgy contains two readings and a sermon. The sermon is typically short, although nothing stops a priest from having a long sermon if that is what the community expects.


Thank you , I am emailing with a Russian orthadox church an hour away from me. My my liturgy is this Sunday! Wish me luck


Come back here after it and let us know your impressions! God bless you!


Do you have the option of another parish? My liturgy is 99% in English at the OCA parish I attend. Even the local Greek parish is almost entirely English. Half of yours is Greek?? Really? The issue you’re having is you aren’t connecting with it, that’s why you feel awkward and stuff too. You need to participate in the prayers and singing and bowing and crossing.. but if you can’t understand anything then you can’t really connect to it.


What is it that drew you to Orthodoxy?


The theology primarily, as well as the contemplative tradition.


I also was primarily drawn by the theology, though there were/are other strong reasons. It might be worth investigating (as mentioned elsewhere upthread) the meaning, traditions, and symbolism of the liturgy; just about every phrase and motion has a meaning, and if nothing else, it gives you something relevant to think about if/when you aren't really 'in tune' with the moment.


Besides what others have said, I'm sure there is plenty of material out there that explains the beauty and meaning in the liturgy and maybe this could help you feel more passionate about it


That is exactly how I felt when attending liturgy at first. Slowly, I began to learn the responses and prayers, I began to participate. Nobody cares if you are doing it exactly right or if you misstep on something...they like it that you are participating in worship. As a convert from Roman Catholicism I have never felt such power and intensity and grace as in the Orthodox liturgy. It also helps to do a little research on what the liturgy is and how it came to be. One book that helped me is by Benjamin D. Williams and Harold B. Anstall titled "Orthodox Worship: A Living Continuity with the Synagogue, the Temple, and the early Church". The structure of the Orthodox liturgy is very ancient, one that first century Christians would recognize.


Read Meditations on the Divine Liturgy by Gogol, it will explain everything connected with Liturgy and you will experience it with completely different eyes and heart. ​ [https://www.amazon.co.uk/Meditations-Divine-Liturgy-Nikolai-Gogol/dp/0884653439](https://www.amazon.co.uk/Meditations-Divine-Liturgy-Nikolai-Gogol/dp/0884653439) ​ EDIT: here is the free version i found https://vdoc.pub/download/meditations-on-the-divine-liturgy-s45n2i17h800


Thanks so much for the suggestion, I think learning more is a great idea


Occasional reader, first-time commenter here, but this really resonated with me. For context, I am a "cradle-convert" (because of my ethnicity, I was exposed to Orthodoxy growing up, but only joined the Orthodox church in adulthood, after a lot of study -- the theology nerd route to conversion). I love the Liturgy, am knowledgeable about the liturgy, but in several contexts have found it an incredible chore -- very painful in fact. Sometimes it was the preaching. Sometimes the music. Sometimes both. I moved to an area where pretty much any Orthodox parish was about an hour away. For a year I toughed it out in a parish that actually had very good preaching (honestly, probably because the priest was a convert from Protestantism), but the chanting was so slow and dreary I found it painful. And Greek parishes in the US have developed the custom (that some consider "Orthodox tradition" of a practically mute congregation, with singing done only by a handful of chanters. I felt drained and irritated every time I went. I didn't mind the parts in Greek (which I had the benefit of understanding). I like congregational singing but am also fine participating by listening if the choir/chanters have baseline competence. Sadly, sometimes churches offer neither. Eventually I did switch parishes to one about the same distance away. The priest, like many Orthodox priests, doesn't preach much. Music was below average by the standards of most Protestant or Roman Catholic parishes, but tolerable. And the community happened to be more welcoming. I understand that depending on where you are, just trying a different parish might not be a possibility, so here are a couple thoughts for if you can't find anywhere else. 1. No need to be gaslit. Sometimes music and preaching is bad. True, the Liturgy isn't about entertainment, so beautiful music isn't everything. But Orthodoxy in America loves to quote Dostoyevsky "Beauty will save the world," and lauds beauty in iconography, while it unfortunately tolerates very low standards in music. Furthermore, contrary to what some Orthodox might say, preaching \*does\* belong in the Divine Liturgy. The Liturgy is the "native habitat" for Scripture, and expounding it to the people is what the Fathers did. We like to read the sermons of St. John Chrysostom or St. Basil, or more modern men like St. John of Kronstadt -- but forget to imitate them. As I understand it, lack of preaching at the Divine Liturgy is largely due to lack of education among priests in former centuries. Especially in the Ottoman empire, many clergy did not have formal education, and so didn't do things like regular preaching or spiritual direction. This led to a self-understanding of the priesthood as basically, "the guy who celebrates liturgy." That habit is hard to break, and among Orthodox, I sometimes see this habit justified by an aversion to Protestantism. Long and short of it... if you think the music and preaching is bad, it probably is. Don't let anyone try to convince you black is white. 2. Be gentle with your potential coreligionists. Many parishes, especially with a strong ethnic flavor, are simply doing church as they assume church has always been done. In fact, for them it probably is how things were always done. And they found grace there. I have known one priest who cannot preach effectively due to language/culture barriers, but has himself suffered persecution for the faith under the communism. The Church is the mass of humanity that God doesn't give up on, despite us missing the mark 99.9% of the time. 3. Take breaks, come late, leave early. This may be controversial. You may notice cradle Orthodox tend to come and go from services as they please. Some certainly complain about this. I actually see a good amount of sense in it. The Divine Liturgy is going on eternally -- we just happen to be pulling the curtain back from 10 am to 11:30 am. And furthermore, the church building (or "temple" for the hyperdox) is both the awe-filled gate of heaven and our loving father's living room. Many Orthodox, in their father's house, feel free to move in and out (without disturbing others of course) because we are among family. In my old parish, unless I was communing, sometimes I would "drop in to say hi to Dad" for Matins or for a chunk of Liturgy, then leave. Ideal? Maybe not. But preserved my sanity. As an inquiry, do what you can, when you can. 4. Bring a book. If there are pewbooks with the Divine Liturgy, feel free to follow along. Honestly, I would often bring my personal prayerbook and, when the singing was horrendous, read whatever prayers (Akathists, canons, psalms, etc.) I needed to redirect my thoughts away from piercing my eardrum to avoid the off-key chanting. The Akathist "Glory to God for all things" or the long prayers of intercession in most prayerbooks were my fave. It was a welcome break. In conclusion: know you \*probably\* aren't crazy, know this parish is a group of very flawed people (like all of us) whom the Lord loves, skip Matins if you can, and bring something to read. Good luck and pray for me a sinner.


Christ willingly let himself be tortured and executed to save us. I think you can handle 2 hours a week tbh


Maybe you could visit a church that does more English. Or you could learn more about the liturgy. There are several good commentaries on it at various levels of accessibility. I find that the more I know about the liturgy, the more I enjoy it.


I don’t understand what I must be doing during liturgy


In church it’s not about ‘you’. The music isn’t directed towards you. The prayers aren’t directed towards ‘me’. The liturgy is not a sacrifice to you. It’s Christ sacrificing himself to himself, in a sense. We are giving unto god. That being said, I would still recommend maybe switching to a church in all English or at least one with some converts. It’s important to be a part of the church and really participate. To get something out of it, you have to give into it.


I definitely jive with the weariness with being in liturgy—and that's with it 100% in English! From a sort of anthropological perspective, I see it as "doing the religion thing." Ticking the religion box. There's a human need for it. For me, being an evangelical Protestant didn't take that seriously. Something-to-the-effect-of-the-liturgy is, for me, the right human approach toward God, the divine, the transcendent other. Don't get me wrong—I'm a Christian very very specifically. Non liturgical worship as a function of the community just seems off to me somehow. But Orthodoxy is the end of the line for what I can take seriously. Being a good human being means being right with God. Giving God right worship means being in liturgy. Liturgy. Don't "like" it, but life isn't about me cramming myself with what pleases me. So I try to keep moving toward God.


People have probably already said something to this effect, but I want to throw it in just in case: You're not there to be entertained. You're there to be part of something meaningful, a force that tries to shape human history for the better by shaping humans to be better. There will be good times and there will be tough times, but it's really important to get out of the entertainment mindset that surrounds modern humans constantly. This has nothing to do with that. Entertainment is an (enjoyable) waste of time (which itself can be good, so don't think I'm hating on entertainment). Liturgy is about filling your life with something meaningful.


I don’t agree that my issue is premised on considering liturgy entertainment. I go to work pretty cheerfully every day, and I understand it’s work. Something not being “entertainment” doesn’t mean it should be very unpleasant. Maybe “absolute chore” was a confusing choice of words.


I wasn't necessarily accusing you of that mindset, but I was just mentioning it in case that's what it was. Some people feel bored at liturgy because nothing about it is exciting in the way that music or other types of media are.


You’ll be bored in heaven if you’re bored at liturgy


I understand that's at least a little tongue-in-cheek, but surely it would be impossible to be bored at heaven, right? It's either absolute pleasure in the glory of God or absolute pain and suffering(in the glory of God), I don't see how any of those allow for a second of boredom.


I just made a post expounding on this issue. In my case, going back just seems silly. There’s 100 Protestant churches and at least two Catholic parishes, closer to where I live, that would love to have me. Why chase a Greek priest, in a building he obviously set up for culturally Greek people? If they were serious about evangelizing — it would be entirely in English, or there’d at least be another Parish in town offering that. Most of the parishioners are second or third generation, anyway.


I mean, if you go back as little as 60 years, all the Catholic churches were doing their services in Latin and were mostly set up for culturally Irish, Italian, or Polish people. The reason to go to an Orthodox church is because you believe this is the true church, not because you like the community (although it helps if you do).


But they don’t anymore. I’m 32; and that was never a practical problem in my lifetime. Expecting someone to sit through three hours of Dead Language a week is absolutely unrealistic; and why the numbers are so abysmal here.


I don't understand this presentism. If a church is the true Church, we should not care that we just **happen** to be alive at a point in history when this church does something inconvenient and other churches don't. What matters is the long sweep of time, not the present moment. Also... >Expecting someone to sit through three hours of Dead Language a week is absolutely unrealistic Ummm, the majority of Christians for the majority of Christian history actually went to services performed in a dead language. First and foremost we have the Catholics with their Latin, but the Oriental Churches do the same thing (they have liturgies in Coptic, Ge'ez or Syriac when the people speak Arabic or Amharic or Tigrinya). And to a more limited extent even the Orthodox Church does this, as Greek services are held in an ancient form of Greek and most Slavic churches hold their services in an archaic form of Slavonic that requires a bit of study to understand. Heck, even traditional English churches use a form of Elizabethan English that thou dost not always understandeth. Give it another few centuries and this traditional English liturgy will be as hard to understand as Latin.


Nah. Most modern people understand what’s going on and being said in their Church. Weak argument.


>Most modern people >What matters is the long sweep of time, not the present moment. A point was lost here, methinks.


No, not really. You’re trying to justify a weak position. Go visit a Catholic Church. They use modern English. Check the Anglican option you speak of. Very understandable English. Literally the only group with 14 Dead Language churches in one country — are the Orthodox. Even my local Orthodox Priest admits it’s “uncanonical.”


I'm not sure what your argument is. If your argument is that the Orthodox churches in the US should hold the Liturgy in English (or Spanish or another language spoken by the local community), then I completely agree with you. They should. But if your argument is that their failure to do this makes them... not the true Church of Christ (???), then I don't see any logic to that at all. Orthodoxy is the true Church, which sometimes makes bad decisions.


I think calling it “the true Church of Christ” is a misnomer. The actual Church formed by God would not have 14 autocephalous, nationalistic, dying denominations as it’s headpiece in the Western World. That’s realistically preposterous; both in concept, and as something you would evangelize towards.


Again with the weird presentism and Western provincialism. You really think the status of a Church as the true Church of Christ or not, depends on what it happens to be doing in North America in the 21st century? There is nothing special about North America in the 21st century, you just happen to live there. If you lived among the Goths in the 4th century, and concluded that Arianism must be correct because the Arians were the only ones with a Gothic liturgy and a Gothic translation of the Bible... Do you see how stupid that would be?


Yes, mass needs serious reform. Definitely needs to be shortened, among many other things. >Now I listen to the same words every week for an hour and a half, half in Greek. In Russia and some other Ortho-majority countries, they use cantors that can actually sing, so it's nice, and they also make use of choirs. But unfortunately, the Greek tradition kinda sucks. And I'm Greek.


The Greek liturgical tradition is my favourite and I'm not Greek. Aesthetically, I've always loved the Greek way of doing things the best. From other points of view, not so much - as you know - but the aesthetics? Byzantine style is where it's at. EDIT: And now I want a "Byzantine style" parody of *Gangnam style*. It would have to be at least five times longer, of course, and with a random terirem in the middle.


>And now I want a "Byzantine style" parody of Gangnam style. This is so funny.


Haha wow..


Been there! It gets better, especially when one starts evaluating the quality of most sermons. Better the hymnography of the Church…


I’m not sure if someone has already said this: I just got baptized into the Coptic church, where I knew no one (still kinda don’t) and the liturgy is in THREE languages! I think what helped me is telling the priest how scary it is to come into a church that is primarily Egyptian, and coming from a Protestant background. The blessing in that is, my priest is American and also came from a Protestant background. Talk to your priest and see if there is anything social you can get involved in to meet people. I have visited different orthodox churches (Eastern and Oriental) and I haven’t experienced people who would just flat out not talk to you. I think with orthodox churches also being primarily that ethnicity, it can feel to an “outsider” that there is distance. Maybe watch a video that explains liturgy as well. I’ve watched one particular video that explains my liturgy from start to finish multiple times and at times I go and I’m still like “wait, what are we doing now?” If it’s something you know God is drawing you to, pray pray pray!! He will lead and guide you. Praying for you ! ☦️🙏🏾📿


The liturgy itself is like one giant song, and you don't need to be in the choir to sing along though perhaps you should consider becoming a choir member in the future. I do know how hard that is with a language difference though. There are times I hear a full English liturgy and that is when I can participate & typically enjoy it more (though not always). When I hear a mixed-language liturgy, I try to appreciate the whole atmosphere and join in on all the English parts or parts I particularly recognize (like the trisagion).


Try to understand and be connected with it.


If they have a service book or a hymnal, pick it up and sing along. Heck, learn Greek if you want to sing along with the other half. Doesn't have to be good, but by singing the words, they enter your heart and teach you about the faith at once. As for going to liturgy being a chore, I've been there. I confessed to my priest just this morning that I had deliberately avoided liturgy once or twice. And he told me "Hey, sometimes I don't want to go either". But it's like working out or going on a diet. Sure, you could sit around eating chips and watching TV, but ultimately there are things that are better for you that will make you healthier and happier than you would otherwise be. And eventually, you learn to take joy in those things which make you a better you.


Allow yourself to be absorbed into the litgury and let it be a time of intense devotion.


It's a good thing that you're open with this! While I had some initial captivation from the novelty of the liturgy, as a prior Protestant I also got bored. I think what helped me engage more was learning more about the symbolism and the "why's" behind liturgy. Catechism, inquirer's class, or conversations with clergy should help with that. If you can, find a way to read along to the Greek parts. (An all-English service would be best, but I know its not always an option.) There's also the beauty of knowing that each Sunday throughout the world, we are singing roughly the same chant that has been sung for generations. It makes it feel eternal. After some time and discipline, I trust you can break through. I highly, *highly* recommend attending some of the special services outside of the standard liturgy services. The last year and a half I've had the privilege of attending a lot of the services surrounding the various feasts/fasts of the church year. These were refreshing and eye-opening and helped me see the regular liturgies in a better light. This is especially true around Lent and Pascha, which are soon approaching. I agree with u/aletheia: Liturgy is not entertainment. I don't know your background but speaking for myself, I grew up expecting worship to be a vibrant feel-good rock concert. Worship was good when it was intense, fast-paced, and emotionally overstimulating. Looking back, I realized these expectations had the trappings of an ecstasy cult. I went to church for entirely selfish reasons: I wanted to feel a rush, hear something inspiring or therapeutic, spend time socializing with people, and then go about my business. Liturgy has undone those issues for me. The entire service is centered around God first and foremost. The sermons are short, but I think it helps prevent a cult of personality developing around the Priest. (At least it should.) I've seen how that damages the Protestant churches I was a part of. Getting involved requires discipline and submission, but that's what I lacked the most in my spiritual life. If you struggle, take that as an opportunity to grow. In moments of boredom I pray to myself the Jesus Prayer. ("Lord Jesus Christ, son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.) Maybe that will help you.


When you say you go by yourself, do you mean you stand/sit by yourself? Going to Divine Liturgy becomes easier when you have friends to sit with. You not only need to go to Divine Liturgy, you need to go to Coffee Hour! ElIf you're shy or reserved, each Sunday, get your coffee and set a goal -- I'll go say congratulations to the new parents -- do that, and then you can leave. Only each week make the goal more challenging :-) Within a couple of months, you'll look forward to greeting some particular folks, they will look forward to greeting you -- and it will be not only easier to get yourself to church, you'll know some people with whom you can discuss the Divine Liturgy.


Not sure if it was mentioned in another comment, but Fr Thomas Hopko has a whole podcast series called Worship in Spirit and Truth where he delves in incredible detail into the entirety of the Divine Liturgy. Each episode covers a different aspect: every prayer, the priest and clergy, the laity, the meaning of each aspect of our worship in the Liturgy. Truly, truly worth a listen!


Participate! We repeat some parts of the Liturgy (which is in English) in Greek. That made it very easy for me to learn those Greek parts and follow along. For me, the Liturgy was never boring, but it became entirely more enjoyable when I had been long enough to learn the parts of the Liturgy by heart. Even though I'm not in the choir, I sing/pray along with the choir out loud. It also helps that our priest is an incredible orator and gives quite lengthy (for the Orthodox) sermons that are very engaging and always apply to the Gospel reading. Most of our parishioners are silent except for reciting the Creed and the Lord's Prayer, but I can't get on board with that.


My advice is to find an English speaking parish. Going to an Antiochian parish that speaks all English has been a lot better for my family than the Greek parish. Of course, if the Greek is your only choice, then find how to get more involved


We must learn to love Liturgy. Liturgy is practice for heaven. If we cannot stand the worship service now, how will we stand the never-ending worship of God in heaven! Something that made a huge difference to me is reading the book *Experiences During The Divine Liturgy*. It helped me to learn about the liturgy, what the priest is doing, what the prayers really mean and represent, and miracles during all the parts. I cannot recommend this book enough it changed my life! Secondly, I recommend you "invest" in a prayer rope. get a 33 or 50 knot and use it during the liturgy. this will keep us focused and give us a physical way to express ourself while we are standing in place and keep us in prayer even if we arent catching every word of the priest or choir. If you do these two things you life and experience with liturgy will change greatly! God bless


Liturgy is a glimpse into heaven, not a means of entertainment. You have to surrender yourself to the ritual and immerse yourself in its beauty. I’m not sure from what kind of church you are coming from, but most churches besides the RC have completely removed any form of ritual or symbolism from their “services”. You literally get to witness the Holy Gifts and, once a member of The Church, get to partake in communion with God like countless before have over a span of 2000 years. Just remind yourself of the generosity of God to give you such an opportunity. Think of the Liturgies held by those persecuted for their faith in prison cells awaited their fate.