why go to church?

edited December 1969 in Faith Issues
Why should i go to church?  i dont feel like i gain anything from it.  i find my self just trying to get through it until communion so i can get it over with.  the only thing i really feel like i gain from it is the sermon after the gospel.  i try to pray but it is hard to with all the noise and it doesnt feel any different from praying at home, so i end barely even praying during the service.  i dont like singing so i dont get very involved in that part.  and concentrating is so hard because im dozing off and it just seems so boring.  to top it off i have some leg problems that makes it painful to stand- for long periods of time(i.e. during a church service)
its not as if i want to just stop going to church though, its just not something i am super excited to go to, or at least go late or be like one of the uncles who are doing work in the church during the service.


  • Hmm, are you following along with a book? If you have a book open and are actively following along and trying to understand, it will make things go a lot faster and make it less like just waiting around for communion. If you sing, even if with just a small voice, you become more involved and less passive, and before you know it liturgy will be over. Also it may help to read or listen to sermons about the liturgy (orthodoxsermons.org) to understand what's happening and get more excited about it.
  • The whole point of going to church is so that we, the believers, can partake of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, in order to do this requires some work on our part. We must cleanse ourselves through repentance and confession so that we can allow Christ to enter into our hearts. This also requires that we put work into the services. I do not know if you know this but the word "Liturgy" comes from the word "Liturgia" which is Greek meaning "Work of the People." Therefore, all of us must be participating in the service regardless of whether or not we "feel" like it. We need to understand that Christ is up on the altar and we must be willing to dedicate our time and worship for our own well-being.

    Perhaps, you do not fully understand what goes on in the Liturgy to the point where it is not very engaging for you. If this is the case, I suggest you pick up a book that helps explain this wonderful sacrament that was established by our Lord. An example of a good book would be "Understanding the Liturgy" by Fr. Athanasius Iskander. I am sure you can find it somewhere on www.orthodoxbookstore.org.

    Its worthy to note that the readings are there to purify our minds and spirits so that when we participate in the Liturgy, our focus is on God and not the environment around us or our personal lives. So take advantage of them and listen to them when they are being read!

    Also, I noticed you mention it is hard to focus because the amount of noise you hear. If this is what is bothering you, I would suggest you go into an area where there is the least amount of noise and concentrate on the words of the liturgy and think about them. I was ounce told by a friend that you could always try to apply the words of the liturgy literally to yourself. For example, when it says: "When we disobeyed Your commandment" - pray to yourself saying, "when I sinned against You Lord and disobeyed Your commandment, I have regretted it." Or "You have not abandoned us to the end but have always visited us through Your holy prophets" - say "So many times Lord you should have left me and I would have deserved it, but You did not abandon me, You visited me through Your prophets in the Bible and even went so far as to send my Your own Son." Or at the time of the descent of the Holy Spirit: "And this bread He makes into His holy body" - say "Please Father, send Your Holy Spirit upon me also and purify my body and by blood that I too could be sanctified and consecrated entirely to You." These are just a few small examples of ways you can interpret the Liturgical prayer to personal prayer.

    The main goal here is to have Christ with us and to praise Him and partake of Him. By doing so, we end up in heaven itself. Nevertheless, it is very easy for us to get distracted by other people in the congregation, our sleepiness, the lack of excitement, and so on and so forth. But we must realize that all these come from the enemy who deliberately tries to hinder us from being with God. There are many ways that can help you fight back. I will just list a few...

    1. Read agpeya before going to church to prepare yourself for entering the church
    2. Decide to focus on one particular part of the Liturgy and contemplate on it
    3. (this one is a must!) Repentance & confession prior to communion. Perhaps on Saturday with your FOC
    4. Reading the Bible daily
    5. Read a spiritual book
    6. Fasting

    I can go on and on. I hope this helps in one way or another!

    God bless

  • great answer, tony  ;)
  • Is it possible to go to another locale? Another parish?

    Where are you in terms of geography?
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