patiently waiting to see priests

this is because i realised i have nearly derailed the discussion on communion cloths / napkins!
so this is a place where everyone can post tips on how to patiently wait to be allowed to resume going back to church.
if you are in a country / state where you can't go to church, you can tell us how you cope, and if you are going to church, you can tell us how beautiful it is.

i find that while i am praying from the agpeya, my thoughts stray to how i could accidently end up locked inside the church without anyone noticing and then take part in the liturgy from under a chair or behind a curtain...

then i go back to what i was praying, add several more 'kyrie eleison's and accept that God knows what is best, and that He is everywhere and knows all things and loves us more than we love each other.
we can be close to Him in prayer and in being kind to people.

anyone else have any tips? hopefully better than mine!
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Comments

  • so i had to travel to take part in some medical research today (as a 'healthy subject'), and it is a bit too far to cycle all the way so i adjusted my journey so i had just a short trip on public transport and then cycled the rest of the way.

    the journey just so happened to pass 2 orthodox churches (well, after i altered the direction slightly!), so at least i could see them from the outside.

    i am training my muscles so that i can cycle to church and back (13mile [20km]) round trip and not use public transport, so leaving more space for other people on the train.

    is anyone else that desperate or is it just me?

  • I am getting to that desperation too mabsoota....and the church for me is not even 5 mins driving. literally go straight and take a left.
  • I wish to just drive up to the Church and say Our Father from in front of the doors or even kiss the ground that we once took for granted.
    I miss the Church so much.
    I pray that this be a valuable lesson for our generation and for all generations to come,
    + “Don’t take your Mother for granted, just because you see Her often. Once we were longing to, but were not able to see Her at all...” +
  • dear minatasgeel, thanks for answering. 
    don't take this the wrong way, but people driving for 5 mins is why we have so much pollution!
    if it is so close, it will only be 30-45 mins walking / cycling / pushing your wheelchair (delete as appropriate) so please walk there, pray, come home, and you will have done your daily exercise!
    jojo hanna - great point, i hope i never arrive late to church again!

    thank u both, may God give u great peace
    :)
  • hmmmm.. i don't think i'll be held accountable for that?! but that's ok. I'll live with the guilt....as long as i get to access the church.
  • edited May 12
    @mabsoota

    You live in the UK, correct? Perhaps you should come to the Northeastern U.S. from November to April. Where I live in Pennsylvania, the high was 4 degrees Celsius on May 11th and it was 0 on the 10th with snow. It's been seven months of cold weather.

    We have extremely long and very cold winters, and the infrastructure of our country outside of large urban areas is not suitable for walking.

    I've heard this from so many friends and family in Europe and New Zealand, "You're all fat because you all drive!"

    If you live south of the Scottish Highlands in the British Isles, your definition of winter is our Spring. And your weather may be grey and rainy, but you don't have two months where you don't see grass.

    I'm all for being observant of the environment, but not all countries are built for walking as the UK and the EU. Especially a much younger one which was growing as technology grew along with it.

    I don't think most people would walk on the Garden State Parkway or Jersey Turnpike. Unfortunately, we created the automobile and designed our cities to accommodate that type of travel.

  • I listen to all that many have said, and i for one do miss going to church to be with others and worship, shoulder to shoulder, but please dont forget the church is not a building, the church is the body of believers who worship in a building called a church. God is within us all. I see too many who focus on huge churches, and seem to show more reverence to the building than to where God is and how we are to worship Him in spirit and truth. So, even though i miss meeting etc, let us hold on to the fact that the spirit of God is within us. Oh, the UK has had some lovely weather these past few weeks, ive coloured up very nice :)
  • Hi all
    Ⲭⲣⲓⲥⲧⲟⲥ ⲁⲛⲉⲥⲧⲏ
    The church is the Bride of Christ and who misses Christ misses the church as everyone here had said already. Please beware there is no salvation outside the church..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • But the church is not bricks and cement it is the people. Christ being the head of the church, the saints, the people :)
  • @Ricci...many make that argument, and technically is correct. But the think is, just saying that alone is not correct. The Church IS:
    - The Assembly of the Believers
    - The Brick and Mortar buildings
    - The Clergy (Priesthood)

    All of those make up the Church that God established. To explicitly and fully reject one of these, then you are rejecting the Church as a whole. But if for some certain circumstances one of those is restricted to be with the other, that is ok and acceptable. 
  • +Christ is Risen+

    When you enter the church and sit, you feel much more differently than when you enter your home and sit. They are both the House of God, but still. You can pray at home, but you will never truly imitate the feeling of the Church or its atmosphere.
    The same way when we pray a Liturgy on a trip, we pray outside or in a hall, and although the Eucharist is the most important Sacrament of all you still don't feel the same feeling of the Church.
    Yes, the Church is not the building, but the Church is the building. It is the building that is consecrated by its Prayers and Rites. Consecrated by the relics and icons of its Saints and Martyrs!
    Entering the Church is more comfortable than entering my house or my bedroom.
    We pray together, we eat together, we play together, we do everything together at "home", so one could argue that the Church is the people gathered (congregation of the Believers), using this quarantine period as their defense. But in reality, we cannot deny the importance of the very place that is consecrated by Prayers, Relics, Tears, Absolutions, Repentance, Readings, Hymns, Chants, Rites, etc.
    The Church is where I find rest, whether there are prayers or not, the mere building is where I know I can truly find God, because the Church IS the Bride of Christ.
    I can speak to God anywhere, but when I seek rest - I seek my Father's house.
    I miss the Church immensely, I pray day and night that God permits for us to enter His home once more.

    David the Psalmist had it best when He said;

    One thing I have desired of the Lord,
    That will I seek:
    That I may dwell in the house of the Lord
    All the days of my life,
    To behold the beauty of the Lord,
    And to inquire in His temple
    ¬ Psalm 27:4

    +God Bless+
  • With respect, I never disrespected the building, I wanted us to realise, as I'm sure you do, the people are the church and we have to be careful we dont worship the cup rather than the contents of the cup, for if you see my meaning?
  • You're right. And that's why the churches are currently, at least most of them, are closed. 
  • nice discussion, thanks, and sorry for upsetting minatasgeel and italiancoptic by telling them to exercise in freezing weather!
    (yes, i live in uk, and once cycled 5 miles on ice and snow, so i thought everyone would enjoy the thrill of risking falling off and freezing, sorry)
  • Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on
    this mountain nor in Jerusalem. ... God is 
    spirit, and his worshipers must
    worship in spirit
     and in truth."

     

    The New Testament Church is a group of people called out of this
    world’s society by God, even if they meet in a rented hall or on a grassy
    hillside. For example, the apostle Paul greeted the church—the congregation of
    people—that met in the house of Priscilla and Aquila in Rome (Romans 16:3-5)
    When the New Testament talks about the
    Church, it speaks of an assembly of people.

    In the Bible the word church is a translation of the Greek word ekklesia, meaning “a
    calling out.” It never refers to a building or meeting place, but always to
    people, the ones “called out” of the world’s society by God calling them into
    His service.

    Just some bible thoughts on how we should keep things in perspective. :) 

  • Ⲭⲣⲓⲥⲧⲟⲥ ⲁⲛⲉⲥⲧⲏ
    Hi @Ricci,
    I do believe that as mentioned in another post you are not a Coptic Orthodox. I for one do not dispute at all the Bible verses you have kindly provided but I think we should agree to disagree on our views. In the Coptic Orthodox writings you may find a clear explanation of the principle and the importance of being inside the church. This is a very difficult time for Christians all over the world that God allowed to take place, primarily because the faithful cannot go to church. I am not going to repeat what I had said before in other threads as I don't want to portray myself as something when I am nothing but suffice it to say that I am disappointed in many figures around me at this point. I am afraid to die having been away from the church for that long..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • My thoughts and words are never to offend, but gently look at the word of God, Gods own words and be guided by Him. Traditions of man are important but they should never come at the cost of Gods own words.
  • Ⲭⲣⲓⲥⲧⲟⲥ ⲁⲛⲉⲥⲧⲏ
    No offence taken at all and I am sorry that I sounded that way. I cannot agree more about the status of God's word and I never alluded to any traditions. Orthodox writing and teaching is not a tradition and this is where I see us in disagreement, hence my asking to agree to disagree..
    Ⲟⲩϫⲁⲓ ϧⲉⲛ Ⲡϭⲥ
  • i spoke to my confession father today for the first time in 2 months! 
    i am ok now, he is someone who loves God very, very much, so just hearing his voice makes me feel better
    :-)
  • Agree, to agree to disagree :)

    Im pleased those who seek, and have had time with their Fr have been richly rewarded. 

  • i just read on the news that people in italy and greece can go to church! i am very happy for them, thank God :)
  • i heard that some churches in usa will open soon, i hope that is right.
    :)

  • Yes. It depends on the state. I know in many mid-Atlantic states, they'll be opening at a certain capacity, i.e., 50% for a while. That way it will be in a one week on/ one week off schedule. The Monastery is going to allow 20 people, 10 for Abouna, 10 for the Mother. I'm by no means an ultra conservative person politically, but I'm actually glad our the President is pushing to open them. Going through Lent and Pascha at home was extremely difficult!
  • so who has been to church?

    was it weird the first time back?

    did you cry a lot (i will)?

    i am trying to figure out how it will be so i am prepared (other than taking plenty of tissues).

    i did go to church in my dreams last night, that was lovely, less stressful that i thought it would be.

    :)

  • I got to serve on the Altar. It felt great! I got three pieces of communion. It definitely helped!
  • wow!

    that is so nice for you. i had a good day today too.

    i got to meet nice Christians at work today, 1 client and 1 colleague.

    nearly as good!

    :)

  • I did pray for you on the Altar. I didn't want to ask to pray for, "Do you like it?" That would be...odd. So, I just said the English lady who rides her bike and would probably feed me tons of biscuits and tea if I showed up at her door. I think He figured it out.
  • Lollll, I’m guessing that’s no one else but @mabsoota? Hehe, He for sure, figured it out ;)
  • Well i was asked to do 3asheya 3 weeks ago i think and it was the first time my daughter been to church, EVER!!!

    but we are having the baptism next saturday....which will include a liturgy. 
  • congratulations, minatasgeel, on your new daughter!

    make it a long, slow baptism to make the most of being in church.

    :)

    and thanks so much, italian coptic, yr prayers are very welcome. 

    although it is more likely to be crunchy veg with dips and kofta / falafel (depending on the season), served with water, and followed by tea and cakes!

    (i prefer proper dinner to snacks!)

    jojo hanna, you are invited too, and bring everyone else from the forums...

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