Watching the Clock

Orthodox-Candle-Lighting1This is a guest post by regular reader orthojaxy.  She is a former Latter-day Saint who recently was baptized into the Orthodox faith.

I love listening to the sermons that my priest gives at our Greek Orthodox parish. This week he told us that he does not wear a watch once Orthros begins; he does not keep track of time. Divine Liturgy follows directly after Orthros. My parish begins Orthros at 9 a.m. and Divine Liturgy usually begins around 10 a.m. Could it start a little after 10? Could it start before 10? The answer to both is yes, and neither time would be late or early. Many parishes don’t even give a time for Divine Liturgy. They only provide the time for Orthros. That is because once the first service begins, we are in heavenly time. Worldly time is lost, and it is all about the divine experience.

There are no breaks between services. No stops and starts. It is just one continual flow of time and worship. I didn’t know that during my first visit to an Orthodox Church. I remember sitting in the dark candle lit Orthros service. It was beautiful. It was amazingly wonderful to watch when Orthros became the Divine Liturgy. The room suddenly became well-lit and the priest sang, “Blessed is the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit, now and ever and unto the ages of ages.” When our priest mentioned that he never wears a watch during service, I realized that I never look at my watch during service. Orthodox services aren’t kept to a schedule. They end when everything that is supposed to be done is done and when everything that should be said, is said. Continue reading

Comparative Religion

seraphimThanks to a comment left today by another blogger, I’ve been made aware of another blog that is quite similar to this one.  It is called Comparative Religion: Discerning between Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormonism).  That blogger, Seraphim, seems to be quite interested in the differences, similarities, and most of all the truth of those three religions.  Kind of reminds me of me!

He has a quite similar faith journey to me, though it seems that in the past, he has favored Roman Catholicism over Eastern Orthodoxy, and his blog has reflected that.  He seems to be interested in the same philosophy as me as well – questions about the origin of the universe, the nature of God, and Apostolic Succession.  A member of the LDS church, he is open-minded and thoughtful.  The thing I like most about his blog is that he is not angry, bitter, or reactive in his writings.  So much of the “Disaffected Mormon Underground” (DAMU) is so bitter that I think it clouds their judgment.  Lots of blogs there simply take cheap shots at General Authorities or the much-hated Mormon Culture.  But is that how you discover truth?  I think not.

In any case, I would love to have some greater collaboration, guest posting, and cross posting from Seraphim.  I really dig his style.