Do You Have An Attitude

edited April 2006 in Youth Corner
Some youth perceive the Coptic Church to be boring, long and something should be done about. Is the church really boring? We may get philosophical, but we don't need to convolute the argument. It basically comes down to, "what is boredom?" You may define boredom as "a repetitive act." This is not an accurate definition. I can list many repetitive activities that are not boring for some people. For example: watching TV everyday, talking on the phone with friends, et cetera. Those acts repeat, yet they don't bore you! Therefore, it is not fair to call the church bo ffb ring just because the "same" liturgy is celebrated every week. You may want to expand the definition of boredom to be: "a repetitive act which does not interest me." This would be a more accurate definition but does not let you off the hook! In essence, what you are saying is that church is boring because "it is a repetitive act which does not interest me."

An honest self-examination is in order to reveal what are one's interests! If the interests are spiritual and the church is incapable of providing such needs, I would be the first calling for changes (some people call it modernization). However, if an individual is interested in other-than spiritual matters, no form of church adaptation or conformity would suit such individuals. It is a simple equation with two variables resulting in a conflict of interest.

Saint Matthew recounts the miracle of the five loaves and two fishes, "when it was evening, His disciples came to Him saying…" (Matt. 14:15). This is a very clear example of people spending a long time (till the evening) in the church since the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. There are numerous examples in our church of people who prayed continuously. St. Arsanious for example would stand and pray facing the sun, the sun sets rises, and our saint is still standing praying. The twenty-four priests in heaven praising the Lord continually pray without ceasing.

The disturbing thought is that some may find the Orthodox Church to be inconvenient therefore label it boring! Some erroneously think that the church is boring and long because it is an "Egyptian" church. This is simply not true. The bible is universal and the teachings are clear. Any honest Christian religion will abide by these biblical teachings.

So, what is wrong? Something has to be wrong because, for some people, the feeling of boredom exists. What can be done to confront and overcome this feeling?

The answer begins with you! You have got to be honest enough to admit your interests and goals. Do they include God? Some things in life are very boring but they must be completed. What if someone is ill and must take a certain medication, everyday, for the rest of his/her life? Wouldn't it get boring taking that pill day-in and day-out? Wouldn't this be the ultimate repetitive act? However, you do it because your goals and commitment to life is clear. The reward of completing such repetitive act is measurable by how much longer you live because of the pills. In this case, it is easy to force ourselves to complete this daily boring act of taking a pill every day, so we may live longer.

On the other hand, it is hard to measure the outcome of completing spiritual activities. The rewards are often heavenly. Unless we have a clear goal and a clear commitment to achieving the goal, we may get bored and don't finish the way because the end results are intangible. When we stop taking the pill, we can see physical signs of the body becoming fatigue. How ever, when we stop praying for a period of time, or stop going to church, there may not be any physical signs of a depleted soul. That is why if an individual has a serious commitment towards the spiritual life, he/she will know the unseen state of the spirit is growing. Just as the pills will make the ill person better, so will the spiritual exercises better the soul.

Part of the solution is to make adjustments to the attitude towards the church. It would be beneficial to know whether a person is willing to submit to the church's teachings as a means to get to Christ, or is the church something that he/she needs to analyze, evaluate, and postulate. Sometime, it is easier to question than to perform or follow which evades the imminent. It is healthy to have an inquisitive mind. However, it is important to know the motives behind the questions.

What helps is if you examine your goals and know where the role of the church is in your life. When these goals are clear and your priorities are straight, you need to make a commitment. Once a commitment is made, you don't have a choice to change it. After all, a commitment is sticking to your decision even after the mood in which you made the decision is long gone. If facts change, or life goals are altered, then you may adjust your commitments. However, if the variables remain the same, your commitment should also remain the same!

The key to attending church and actually benefiting spiritually is to alter the attitude towards the church. Remember that the church does not make you go to her every day. If you are uncomfortable with certain people or certain pressures applied to force you to go to church, the church should not suffer as a result. Having the right attitude will automatically crystallize the issues, and you will be able to sort church issues and everything else
Dear members can you please answer the questions as you feel and how can we resolve it


  • Umm.. I want to answer a couple of the questions. I think that to end this "boredom" thing you have to pay attention and follow along. By all means you HAVE to sing with them whenever you can, and pull out a book. Don't go out of church because it makes it seem longer that time didnt pass by when you come in. Pray, a lot of times during church you really want to pray because there God might hear you the most becuase you are already praying to him, but just in a group. I think that if you do spontaneous prayer- which is prayer for someone special or something- then maybe it will help because you have your mind on something you have to be worrying about God and whatever is on your mind. It helps. Also, this person might want to read psalms or close their eyes. When you close your eyes and pay attention, you feel the church liturgy so much more.

    Church is not really boring and I really like your first paragraph. You can lead a boring life, but this is not boring. People say that, but they are really not looking at it this way. They are looking at it from a different way than this "boredom." It's completely different. You are right there.

    The disturbing thought is that some may find the Orthodox Church to be inconvenient therefore label it boring! Some erroneously think that the church is boring and long because it is an "Egyptian" church. This is simply not true. The bible is universal and the teachings are clear. Any honest Christian religion will abide by these biblical teachings.

    That's true too because people always say our church is the longest, but people should look at it as a reward. I mean, God is GIVING us this chance to go to church and if you miss out, don't come complaining if you end up sinning and going to hell, sorry to say it, then DON'T complain. It's not boring. It's a great joy to be at our church actually.

    [glow=red,2,300]I also believe that you were right when you said the key is to the goals of your life including God. Outside of church, you still have to have God in you or else you aren't getting anything out of it. [/glow]

    [shadow=red,left]I honestly like everything you mentioned. I truly agree. I hope I didn't overwrite, or I might have just understood the questions wrong. Sorry if that was the problem. Great topic, by the way.[/shadow]

    love lots,
  • any other replies
    Dear members can you please answer the questions as you feel and how can we resolve it
  • I feel that in some occasions, yes I hear people talking about the church being to long, repetitive, etc. I dont think the church is that long, this is coming from a deacon, I dont know I guess I dont feel really the time, I guess because being a deacon requires active participation. But even then there have been times where I have experienced a sort of boredom, it could be a brief instant thinking about what I have to do after church, school-related or other things.

    I think that this "boredom" that we all are talking about is not because a person doesn't care about the liturgy, but that we dont understand enough about it. Look at it this way, we do the same exact movements, singing, prayers every sunday. And then if we really dont know why we do it or where the idea came from, of course a person would be bored out of their mind for three hours.

    This is a quote from youstina04 in the first reply about the meaning of boredom

    "it is a repetitive act which does not interest me."

    I think that this definition should be the cause of boredom. is a repetitive act which does not interest me. How can we say that we are not interested in something that we dont fully understand. It is like an algebra student sitting in a calculus class. The teacher starts working derivatives on the board and the student sees that the derivative of 4n^2 is 8n and the derivative of 4n^3 is 12n^2. He understands form this that you multiply the top number and the bottom together and then you subtract one from the top number. Then the teacher keeps working these problems and the student gets bored because he knows what to do because he has seen it before.

    This is exactly what causes the boredom, we know that we do it, but we dont know why we do it. I think that we should really start trying to gain in knowledge about the Liturgy, I should be telling myself this, there are many good articles about the liturgy on Just go to articles and search for liturgy. There is alot to read up on there.

    Hope this helps in anyway
    GB, pray for me.
  • i don't understand how any one can say that church is boring everyday there is something different celebrated and we have different periods in the year were we sing different songs and we have a different way of during the liturgy. take great lent for example on weekdays it is almost a completely different format for conducting the service. we do matanias and other things we don't usually do. we also can't use the cymbols on weekdays either. for me it is not boring at all but this is also coming from a deacon so i am involved. but for the clergy members they can sing along it's not like there is a rule saying deacons are the only people who can sing i think the problem is that people are just not as involved during the liturgy as the should be. they just need to get involved.
  • In the consummate expression of love, relationship must be breached--relationship with Christ Jesus in its fullest extravagance. Boredom ensues when the individual is experiencing the common threads of a sensation. Thus, psychologists call the concept "habituation", to which, the senses have fully adapted to an experience and no longer find its novelty present; the experience becomes mundane. Yet, this phenomenon occurs because the "senses" are fully exhausted in the moment of the experience. Continuous watching of television, listening to music, reading books.....will inevitably at one point or another exhaust the senses.
    The core of the congregation’s problem is that they approach the liturgy as a systematic means to fulfill a Christian duty. Coming to church becomes the responsibility of the good Christian, primarily since it enables good "works" to be accomplished. However, this is only partly the prerogative when one surveys the truth of Christianity. There are many services in the church and these, indeed, will work the sensual nature of man, even to the glory of God. Yet, Christ does not merely call men to feed His sheep, but essentially to come to know Him as their Companion, Friend and Father.

    Only through worship can all of the senses celestially unite. We see the church's adornment in all its beauty, the assemblage of fellow brothers and sisters, the word of God in readings, and the very images of the Christian message portrayed. We actively "touch" the holy articles of the worship service and distribute a holy "kiss" of peace to one another; the reception of the sacraments often requires tactile dispensation. The smell of incense or roses, the taste of Christ's body and blood; all of these tantalize the senses with an enriching experience.
    [glow=yellow,2,300]Nevertheless, there is also a sixth sense that must arise for novelty in the experience to re-emerge.....the sense of the spiritual. [/glow] It is this final and primordial sense that pulls together all the stands of our physical senses into the consummate expression of reality. For, only through that sincere relationship with Christ, spiritually, can all the other senses come to serve God as they are purposed to. The final sense of spiritual communication with God is that which not only utilizes the five original senses correctly, but satiates the desires of those senses completely. The experience is constantly made anew if we engage in sincere communication with God; in sincere heart wrenched prayer that eludes all distractions. It is the quite prayer in “our room” that Christ was referring to. Worship is the realization that we are meeting both God and a friend; a Person that seeks to know us as His friends.

    Unless one can come to appreciate the need for an active relationship with Christ in prayer, the sensual experience we face in worship will only reach as far as the sensuality we experience in ordinary things. The experience will become mundane as in the prophetic foreshadowing of psychological theory. For whoever worships God, must first worship Him in "Spirit and in truth" (John 4:24). For many of the youth, this becomes difficult. Their dilemma does not resonate around identifying with the actual event, but ascertaining the meaning behind the event. Similarly, we will never come to appreciate the concept of Christ until we can comprehend who He really is; not only as our God…..but also as our dearest and most consistent Friend.

    God bless.
  • Great topic....strange cause i was just thinking church is boring last week.....not that church is boring at all...on the very contrary. The problem is not that church is boring, church is very important, we all need to go to church.

    But sometimes while in the liturgy one does not concentrate and ur mind begins to wander, its like ur in church but u are really not there at the same time....And then there are times when you go to church and you feel like u are really standing in heaven...

    Why is this so?, obviously there is nothing wrong with church, so there must be something wrong with me. The problem is that sometimes in our lives we are far away from God, sometimes we are lost.

    Sometimes we feel life is meaningless, it is dull and boring. These thoughts may greatly trouble our hearts and our minds. I was trying to find out what is the problem, what is wrong with my life; when I realized that it was missing something very important, it was missing God. I may have been going to church every week, and taking communion and serving in sunday school, and in various other activities in church, ...etc but even so I knew that deep down inside, God was not in my life. I had forgotten about Him many times, even though I am sure He has never forgotten about me, even till this very moment. Many times I had loved the pleasures of this world , more than Him. Many times did He come knocking on the door of my heart, but yet I did not open, I chose not to let Him inside my heart, inside my life. The love of the world that existed in my heart was far greater than the love of God.

    So, church is not boring, but I think when we really have a close relationship with God, we will truly taste and see how the Lord is good, you will feel God in every aspect of Your life; "for in Him we live, and move and have our being". When God is in your heart you will never ever feel that church is boring, you will infact long to go to church more and more, and to be with God every passing moment of the day. I think we have to truly examine ourselves and see how we are living lives, and let our actions be our judges, and we have to figure out why are we far away from God, why are we hiding from Him, and why are we not enjoying Him?
  • interesting... interesting... interesting indeed... ummm I would lie and say I read all the posts... but I wont... lol... but here is something to think about... saint Anthony when he fell in boredom... what did God due? God showed him how he should live... pray... work... and keep busy... so that’s the core of the problem with some of the people in the church... they are not doing what is to be done... they don’t use the book to follow along... they don’t search to explore the mysteries of the liturgy... thus they don’t keep busy... they just listen to abouna, and that’s it... which is really a waste... and they don’t participate... thus also lacking their job of responding... so the problem can be fixed... if people know what their duty for the liturgy.
  • I dont think the church is that long, this is coming from a deacon, I dont know I guess I dont feel really the time,

    yes i agree with need 4 speed as a deacon i think so to maybe its because its usually the the deacons who say alhan but the people dont say at all! well this happens in my church but i dunno about others ???
  • well..Church is intself is not boring, and it's not us...because even if you are close to God...there is that certain thing that will bring you down...the devil that is. What I am about to say is coming from someone who used to LOVE church but now ya i think of it as "boring". Well in my church..there is very few people and we all know each other so whoever u talk to will know everything abt u and even stuff u didn't know abt is a lot of gossiping. Anyway, in that you think you could actually concentrate on praying..when you feel that everyone around you is talking about you or what they will think if u wear such as such. I know people are gonna be like well u don't have to care about what other people think...but when it comes to human reality...that's all what we think about, and we tend to ignore other things that we should care God.
    We had a talk about this not so long ago, and the overall question that was asked was what does the church mean to YOU, and most of the answers were comes down to it being a Christian duty or you do it just because your parents forced you too or just to meet ur friends, it was never about I am coming to church to seek my Lord and My Saviour. And I don't think we should lie in order to avoid what is happening or we should try to be hypocrite about it...we just need to be taught. And I think if someone was to teach people what the church is all about..then we will care more..we will pay attention to our spiritual life more. If we are knowledgable in everything in life but we lack knowledge about the church..then why are even Christians.
  • In philosophy, we talk about the difference between "form" and "substance." Liturgies don't have to be three hours long to be liturgies. There are many historical "accidentals" that have accreted in many Orthodox communities and traditions. However, we moderns find everything longer than a sound-bite "boring." Be honest. A fifty-minute class in high school is "boring" because it doesn't shift quickly with lights and noise like some mass-media product. So before we ask ourselves what in the Coptic liturgies are "substantial" versus merely "formal," we must first face the fact that we are programmed to be bored easily. Is this a problem with the liturgy or is it our problem?
  • I think we should have classes for the liturgy...
  • So, you ARE cool, Bishoy! I have been saying this in the various churches I have attended for a long time. Your parents grew up in a different environment in every possible way that can be understood. We need some bold leadership (preferably from Coptic youth raised outside Egypt) who would take on the task of creating guides or helps that would explain the liturgy not only thematically or even historically, but even more importantly, THEOLOGICALLY. The best way to have the Bible opened up to your understanding is to see it in the light of the Liturgy, the heart of the Chrisitian mystery.

  • Personally speaking, when I was a little girl, I thought that the mass was incredibly boring and dreaded going to church on sunday. As I got older, and I learned alhan, and I learned the differences in the tunes and feasts, I grew to love it, and now I'm the one who begs my parents to go to every service. Like it was mentioned before by CopticChica21, if you participate and join along, it all goes by really quickly because you're enjoying yourself and you're enjoying what you're doing. Just like a TV program. When you turn on the TV, if you find your favorite sitcom on, you can sit down and enjoy it for however long it may be. On the other hand, if you find something that you're not into you might think that the show is extremely boring and therefore think that it's extremely long, because you're not following along with the plot and what the whole thing means and how it started, etc, etc. It all depends on the person, and the sooner they realize this, the sooner they'll come to enjoy it, in my opinion.

  • I love speaking to others about what is right from wrong, everyone else doesn't speak bad in front of me, but they do when there not with me, I taught all my friends almost, that it's bad to swear, if I could do it, you could do it, I would have to answer the question about the ill, I don't think it would be boring, it would get tiring because you have to take one pill after the other, so ya, but make sure you take cover for the Coptic Church, say what's right!

    Coptic Servent
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