personal practical way during liturgy

edited May 2005 in Faith Issues

My beloved sisters & brothers in Christ

i was just wondering if anyone learned something spiritual helps you during the liturgy.
do you have any personal practice that you learned from ur best friend , maybe ur father of confession , monks, nuns. sunday school teacher, spiritual father
+ my spiritual best friend taught me saying that whenever you feel lost track of yourself during liturgy or somehow pick up the agyia and read one psalm to get ur thought back. + ofcourse most of us knows the hymns by heart. my spiritual father told me insteat of holding the book close ur eyes and forgot about who is around you and remember it's only you and God .
+ one thing to try to do during the liturgy so we don't get off track and keep our concentration is we either close our eyes or look in to Christ's icon and just listen really carefully to the words and u can also look at the last supper icon,( i think every church has that o top of the altar) and just live in the liturgy and forget everything outside as if ur alone inside with God and that's it.. so i mean thats wat i do and it works most of the time.

keep me in ur prayer


  • did you have fun doin that? lol... jk

    wat i try to do is if i loose track of the liturgy i try to go back in the liturgy book n find the meanin behind everythin... y do we say this... wen we say that... or i pick up an agpeya or spiritual book n read a bit to get back
  • i tend to look around at the icons in the church, and then focus on the last supper one :)
  • look my sons and duaghters if you really want to concentrate during the litergy(ofcorce the spelling is wrong)you can sit in the front and see every thing going
    on and believe me guys you will enjoy and don't forget to put things together for example WHY DO ABOUNA
    WASH HIS HANDS AFTER CHOSING THE HAMAL because pilatos wash his hands.

    believe me guys i used to do this when i was young!!!

    i need your prayers!
  • hi guys - great response fr. mikhail :D

    we had a speaker come in on our friday youth meeting and they wer telin us bout the same thing

    - if u get bored in a mass, look around, talk 2 jesus, ask him 2 b there in ur life
    close ur eyes an believe that its jus u an him and no one else
    - did u know that the icons in the church are placed in a speacial way. an theres a meanin y they are placed like that (thanx shnoods lol)
    - once u learn wat this holy mass is about and understand every procedure, i assure u, you will never get bored.
    - do u know y after the the holy orbana is chosen it is then wrapped in a white cloth and held up in the sky??
    - there is so much symbolism and meaning in a mass
    so dont 4get that
    - go reasearch and find out wat its all about
    but if that doesnt help, u can always go 2 the easy option and just PRAY ;D
  • Sit up front..right in front of the altar, you can't get bored..
  • great responses, I don’t know if mine belongs among them... the ICONS is a great source of meditation upon the lives of saints and Christ Himself... also the agpya is amazing, even though I use the bible... I like the translation better... the Hymns... all combined you can never be bored... but the reason you are getting bored is because you are not doing your job as a part of the congregation... when the deacon respond to abouna... he says "PRAY..." thus we need to pray for what we were asked to pray for... like pray for the peace... you pray for the peace... and even when are not asked to pray... pray what abouna prays... our job in the liturgy is not just to be there... but it is to pray and worship.
  • Thanks Youstina, This is definatly one of the nicest threads thats gone up for a while...!

    I'll just summerise what others have said:

    Socoolbishoy, You said heaps of wonderful ideas that are very benificial for us during the liturgy.

    1) Meditate on the Icons
    2) Meditate on Psalms
    3) Paricipation in the congragational responses

    Mazza, Thanks for giving me hope!

    1) Have a Diologue with your KING (thats why you came to church)
    2) Understand Icons why are they placed in a special order
    3) Understand whats going on..the symbolism etc

    I'll add to those...:

    1) [shadow=red,left]DONT WAIST YOUR TIME THERE!!![/shadow]
    Have you ever gone to a theme park and wanted to go on EVERY RIDE!!...with church its the same..TAKE EVERY opertunity to talk to God, its the best time because he is right there in front of you!... Enter in Church as if your meeting your best friend, as your best friend you want to do everything together, just YOU AND HIM!.

    Actually there is a story that i heard once, about the angel of the oblation...As you know there is an angel that God sends specially for the liturgy service, at the end abouna sends him away by saying "oh angel of this oblation ascending to the hights with this hymn remember us before the Lord that he may forgive us our sins"...anyway, there was a man who said in his prayer, he was praying and saying to the angel "i wont let you go until my problem is solved" so during the day the problem was solved, and at night the angel came to him and said, "your problem is solved, now you have to let me go"...(jus a story i heard not sure if its true)

    So i guess send your prayers and intercessions to the angel of the oblation (but remember to let him go) ;D ...because this angel stands before God and "remembers us before our Lord"...How awsome is that!

    2) [shadow=red,left] BE ACTIVE !![/shadow]
    - Follow in the hymns of the church, if you don't know the hymns try and learn them so next week you will be able to sing along, (if you have trouble learning the hymns ask a deacon thats what their there for!) ....there are people who always come and say after the mass "I LOVE THIS HYMN" but they don't know it properly...if you learn it, it would VERY benificial for you during the liturgy.
    - Another thing is ....DO THE SIGN OF THE CROSS...when we say "Agios" (HOLY) or when we are worhiping christ or when abouna goes past you with the shoria....LIFT UP YOUR HANDS when we say "Amen Amen Amen Ton Thanaton" (Amen Amen Amen your death O Lord we proclaim) sometimes small things that we do physically help us attain the spiritual atmosphere.

    4) [shadow=red,left] USE YOUR SENSES!![/shadow]
    Our church in her wisdom, has put to use ALL of our senses in the liturgy..HOW??
    SEE - The Icons, the colours of the church and understand, why is the curtain red, why are the deacons and even abouna wearing white? see the candles burning when they read the Gospel. see abouna doing the insence circuit.
    SMELL - The insence around the church ...i think it makes the church look like heaven coz i can imagine heaven with alot of clouds and the insence makes it look foggy hhehe...has anybody ever smelt the blood just before you take it (i think its sweet)
    HEAR- The Deacons singing like the angels in heaven sing along with them (even if you think you have a bad voice, no one can hear you except the person next to you hehe because everyone is singing its not a solo..)..listen to the Gospels and understand how they can apply to you in your day to day life (try and follow if there is a projector)
    TASTE- The sacrifice of Our Lord Jesus Christ His body and his blood, who died for us. He has turned the bitter into sweetness, the defeat into victory, and the sin into salvation.

    5) as Mazza said [shadow=red,left] RESEARCH!![/shadow]
    Everything in the liturgy has a purpose FIND OUT !! read books...i think there is a pamplet by HG Bishop Moussa on how to benifit in the liturgy..also the is the one that HG Bishop Mattaous has which is at

    reading and understanding the liturgy will definatly help you if you want to benifit.

    I have blabbed way to long
    Keep me in your prayers
  • You know not only during Liturgy do we often squander those fallable thoughts and visions,we seem to also
    have this happen in our personal prayers aswell.
    you know the Holy Fathers of the Church warn us of this great attack by the Evil one himself.what a better way to attack a servant of God, then by putting worldly thoughts and visions into ones head...the Holy Fathers also taught us that these straying thought were o.k. just as long as we didnt entertain those thoughts very good way to remove them is by repeating as our Holy Fathers taught us
    "Lord Jesus Christ.Son of God! have mercy on me a sinner !!"
    by learning this great and simple prayer from the heart and to stand in Great fear NOW of that Great and final judgement before God. is alot better than entertaining some crazy thought of a new car,a new house,new clothes,etc...nothing should ever compare to Christ whether in Church or with friends or asleep or eating,nothing at all, therefore forget those thoughts and ask God For forgiveness as a sinner at that moment from within your heart and he will not forget you.
  • Hey Youstina04...
    You answered the question for me! I have to admit, it’s hard to concentrate during mass the entire 2.5 hrs…so, whenever I find myself distracted from what’s really important, I close my eyes and picture myself standing before God who is sitting on His Heavenly Throne. See, I’m a visual person…I know that if I’m not staring at something or imagining myself looking at something, then I’m going to gaze into space. As I stand before God, I also envision myself kneeling before his throne, and it is at this moment that I begin praying to God, asking him to give me strength. The other thing I do, is try sitting as close up to the altar as possible, I always sit like the 3rd pew from the front so I’m not disturbed by anyone around me. Another thing I do, after having studied some of the church’s rituals during the mass, is I try to concentrate on two things: a) what abouna is actually performing during the mass and how this symbolizes something about our Lord, and b) what the liturgical words actually mean. See, I imagine as if I’m sitting in my favorite class in school, trying to listen to what the teacher has to say. I imagine abouna as my Bio teacher, for example, and as he’s praying the mass, I urge myself to pay attention to what is being said so that I don’t miss part of the ‘lesson.’ When I think of it that way, it motivates me to want to keep listening so that I don’t miss out on any important ‘info’… know what I mean?

    Well those are my methods, I don’t know if they’d work with you, but you can always give them a try. I really hope I helped! Take care, GB++
  • What i do is realize that te liturgy is new everytime we enter it. There are many times when it changes,
    when there are feasts, like the feast if the cross and archangel michael (which i thonk come in every month)
    Also the gospel is different everytime.

    U can also pay attention to what abouna does in the altar, EVERY little thing he does symblizes a big story! (this may be easier for guys who are deacons who serve insidde)

    The liturgy is actually quite amazing if u listen closley and watch closley. It's like the last supper being player over again, but we're in it this time, we are the disciples of christ who are here to learn from him.

    the reason the liturgy seems soooo boring is b/c we think it is repeting every week, and we grow apathertic and we become kinda pompouse acting like we know whats going on.

    People in this generation have to get rid of this attitude and become more humble and realize we don't know whats going on in the liurgy because it's new everyday, and ure comming to the liturgy for ure personal benefit and to partake of the body and blood of christ.

    ure brother
  • i recommend reading how to benefit from the holy litrugy parts 1 and 2. the book (i forgot by bishop who) points out things that most of us dont know. my f.o.c. told me that whenever I lose concentration, n then go back that I start saying in my head god forgive me for letting my thoughts wonder and please help me to stay with u these couple of hours. hope this helps
  • shnoods that was awsome :D
  • not sure if my response will fit in here with those GREAT and AMAZING respones.
    But I will share a personall expiereince. I used to get bored of the liturgy thinking it is redundent. I even got to the point where I said, what's the point in saying the same thing over and over again, its easier to get a recorder.
    Then I was dragged to attend a non-orthodox liturgy (two of them actually) it took about 20 min for the whole liturgy from beginning to end. That's when I realized how amazing our liturgy. I realized the journey that it takes us and how it is a constant reminder of the greatest gift anyone can get, SALVATION. The trip that Jesus took for us. How our mother church arranges for us the order of events and helps us remember them. Don't look at a liturgy as a repetation of words but rather a story of how Jesus saved us.
    Just my thoughts.
  • I used to always and i mean ALWAYS trail off and wander into my own world during mass... I used to sit in the back of the church so I never saw anything interesting going on, I used to always worry about what I was wearing playing around with my clothes because they were uncomfortable or "pretty" or think of things I was going to do later on in the day... then I realized I wasn't benefitting myself at all and it was bascially a complete waste for me to go.

    So I changed things up!!

    The first thing I did is sit up at the front, like the second pew at the front so I can see everything that was going on in the altar, which spiked my interest [TIP!: Buy a liturgy book that explains what is going on in mass as it proceeds] you feel more involved in the mass!

    Also sing and reply out loud when you are following the liturgy book, not only will you not be distracted, but your focus is completely on the mass and on God.

    This one is for the girls
    WEAR COMFORTABLE CLOTHES! How are you going to concentrate on the mass if you are worrying about your dress or clothes or thinking why you wore the shoes you did cuz they're killing your feet...I know most of us fell into that situation!I know I did!

    Also, ELIMINATE ALL DISTRACTIONS! If you know you're gonna talk to your friends while your sitting beside them, MOVE! turn off your cell phones and stay away from any distractions.

    Finally, go for GOD! Many people go to mass to check out other people's clothing or to "hang out" with their friends, if you walk into mass with the full intention of being with God and experiencing God, you will most definately keep your focus and enjoy mass.

    I hope that was useful to some, if i repeated something mentioned above (i didnt read lol) then thats great! it means the advice works!
  • The Liturgy is very beneficial, it can be very boring to us if we are not concentrating and focusing on the real meanings behind it. A lot of times we all get distracted and start thinking of work or school or problems at home...etc during the liturgy and our mind just starts wandering off, are we too busy for God?,

    personally, when i get distracted, i look at Jesus on the cross, and think of all what He has done for us, and think about His great love for us. Even though we are nothing but some dust, yet God has loved us with an everlasting bond of love; for He is the lover of mankind.

    Everyday we hurt Him countless times, everyday we renew His wounds, everyday we pierce Him once again, so why is it then, that He still keeps on loving us unconditionally?

    God, our God, is love itself, the definition of love is God because the only real love that surpasses all other love, is the love of God. His love is a deep love, a love that each one of us can feel in his heart. He showed us this love on the cross, it was a sacrifice of love, for you and me.

    After all what He has done for us, how can we let anything distract us from Him? we should try our best not to let anything separate us from Him, because Jesus means everything to us, He is our life, if Jesus is not in our lives then it is a meaningless and purposeless life that we live.
  • hey wats up my im always on the altar at church and my priest tells my to stop looking to the congration , but sometimes i tend to look around n not pay attention to the liturgy... i would then look at my book or close my eyes n jus look at the ceiling just praying to the lord jesus if u jus get lost jus look up n pray
  • Since everyone said about anything and everything I could have possibly thought of and more, I'm gonna bring up something a little different, something not everyone might know even though it's totally irrelevant. Ever since I was a kid my parents always made sure we were in church like at least a good 5-10 mins before anything started, and I'd get there and just sit down...and stare around without doing anything until the liturgy starts. However a couple of months ago I found out something REALLY cool: I discovered that we actually have to PREPARE ourselves for the liturgy!! I don't mean like going to asheya and tasbeha and stuff...but like...RIGHT BEFORE walking in church, it turns out we have to say psalms and stuff. The craziest part of all is that all these readings are actually PERTINENT to whats happening!! You guys can print it n stuff and use it every week!!!here it is...i've decided to entitle it "Going to Church 101" lol


    When waking up, before leaving to church(Matthew Chapter 7)

    " Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgement you judged, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how could you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from you brother's eye.
    "Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces.
    "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks recieves, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Or what man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who asks Him! Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
    "Enter by the narrow gate; for wide is the gate and broad is the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
    "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thorn bushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruit you will know them.
    "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'
    "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
    "But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."
    And so it was, when Jesus had ended these sayings, that the people were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

    Upon arrival at church, when walking towards the church

    Psalm 122

    I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD." Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together, where the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, to the Testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD. For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David. Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. Peace be within your walls, prosperity within your palaces." For the sake of my brethren and companions, I will now say, "Peace be within you." Because of the house of the LORD our God I will seek your good.

    Psalm 65:4
    Blessed is the man You choose, and cause to approach You, that he may dwell in Your courts. We shall be satisfied with the goodness of Your house, of Your holy temple.

    Psalm 27:4-7
    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. For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavillion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock. And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me; therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle; I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD. Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me and answer me.

    Once at the door of the church, walking all the way up to the altar

    Psalm 84

    How lovely is your tabernacle, O LORD of hosts! My soul longs, yes, even faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God. Even the sparrow has found a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young - even Your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God. Blessed are those who dwell in Your house; they will still be praising You. Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Baca, they make it a spring; the rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! O God, behold our shield, and look upon the face of Your anointed. For a day in Your courts is better a thousand. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness. For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD will give grace and glory; no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly. O LORD of hosts blessed is the man who trusts in You!

    Once in front of the altar, kneel 3 times in front of the altar while saying

    Psalm 5:7

    But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy; in fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.

    Finally,conclude by reading

    Psalm 123

    Unto You I lift up my eyes, O You who dwell in the heavens. Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the land of their masters, as the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, until He has mercy on us. Have mercy on us, O LORD, have mercy on us! For we are exceedingly filled with contempt. Our soul is exceedingly filled with the scorn of those who are at ease, with the contempt of the proud.

  • that was great!!! :D
  • That was awesome Dany! :)
    Thanks 4 sharing

    God Bless!
  • hey guys, Great responses :)
    my input:
    sometimes i also find myself not paying attention or drifting. but i just listen to what abounna is saying and the alter responses i find myself to follow along and completely forget about the drifting. Also another thing that helped me to enjoy the Liturgy more, is knowing the responses and hymns (I started to learn more - especially alter responses - when dl from the site so thanks to all that make it possible). At the end of te mass if u really paid attention, you should feel such a great joy, and there should be a smile on ur face

    please keep me in ur prayers my friends
  • WOW! what great and beautiful responses there is not much more i can add but a while ago a servant told me a trick,if you will, to keep my attention on the liturgy which is like think of what it was like....

    during the words of institution(Priest says:he took bread into his spotless unblemished lifegiving hands)...what was it like in the upper room how did it smell how did the communion taste how did it look what was teh atmosphere?
    look at the icons and imagine yourself alive at the time and witnessing these events in christ's life how woulod you feel how would the scene be? how would it smell?

    these help me alot

  • The thing that helps me the most during the liturgy, is looking into an icon while praying, especially the icon of the Resurrection during the Holy 50 days. It just reminds me so much of the glory of the Lord and His power over everything. It helps me to feel the liturgy. I also listen to the words and closely contemplate on them. It helps me realize how much God loves me because of His Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection. Something i try to avoid is looking around/for people. I'm speaking to God, its like me insulting Him, but looking away while He's trying to talk to me, so i do whatever i can not to look around/for people. Hope this works for you guys as it does for me.
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    ÇÐßÑæäì Ýì ÕáæÇÊßã
  • translation ???? ???
  • [quote author=hanithepharaoh link=board=1;threadid=1643;start=15#msg26130 date=1117015966]
    ÇÎæÇäì æÇÎæÇÊì ÇáÇÍÈÇÁ
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    ÇÐßÑæäì Ýì ÕáæÇÊßã

    My beloved Brothers and Sisters,
    Peace and Grace be with you all. The Holy liturgy is the most important thing in the whole world, and it's a trip to heaven and the church taught us to be ready for that trip like the church is getting ready to meet the Saviour and be as one with Him....The Church prays prayers...The prayers from the (Agpeya) and then the Tasbeha for the vespers and then the raising of incense for the vespers, and reading the Gospel of the vespers...and before the liturgy, the Church prays the Tasbeha for the morning, and then the raising of incense for the morning and the Psalms of the hours and the Holy Liturgy and with this prayers, the person raises his mind and heart to God, and his thoughts get away from the thoughts of the world, and the issues of the world, and he rejoice in meeting the Saviour.
    Remeber me in your prayers,
    Hany (the one who wrote it)
  • Anyone can correct me in the translation part
  • The Liturgy is the most intimate moment you can have with the Trinity. As such it is so essential not to screw it up. no offense. Imagine you're going to meet the president of the States (put ur bias a side) how would you stand, and look? now this is the King of kings. How you dress has an influence on how you act during the Liturgy. the Liturgy and the Church in don't dress to impress. I'm not saying don't look presentable, but I'm saying there are summer clothes and Church clothe, and when wearing Summer cloth in Church, you distract ppl from concentrating and you yourself lose your concentration when eyes are on you. A psalm should get you back on track, or the sign of the Cross. Also if you want to benifit the most sit away from friends and kids and anyone...sit in a corner. And follow the book, even if the liturgy is set on powerpoint.

    thats all I got for now. G.B.U.A.
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