Easter-Dublin-the dogs are barking

23Apr11

In the Eastern Orthodox Church, services (liturgies) are not to be sneezed at. They are both meaningful and beautiful – the latter depending on the choir. They are also lengthy. There generally are no seats except for the very elderly or ill. The service is conducted in the language of the church you attend. For us, over the years, it has been Greek, Slavonic (Russian), and English, with the occasional Romanian. (I must say, though, that it seems to me that the Greeks, generally speaking,  abbreviate the service.)  

Here in Dublin, there is a sizeable Russian population, ergo, our church has 3 Russian priests and services are in Church Slavonic (akin to Russian). Confession, however, can be in English, since the priests are bi-lingual. Even though the priest are bilingual, unfortunately, the homily is always in Russian.  Thus, converts, like us, are at sea.

In many Russian – Greek churches we have attended in the past, the homily and gospel were given in English since, let’s admit it, English is the universal language. Unfortunately, Russians, and to some degree, Greeks, think their churches are for them alone. What would Christ say?     

At yesteday’s service, we were treated to a 25 minute homily in Russian. I was ready for a vodka or two after the service.

One of the beauties of the Russian Church is the faith of the faithful – Russians properly and very early instruct their children in the faith. It is lovely to see a 9 year old beautiful Russian child venerate an Icon in the church in the proper manner that her parents have taught her.  There is some truth inthe expression Holy Russia. 

In Christ,

Howard

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