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But not only is there symbolism, there are hidden mysteries which we cannot see. For example, here's a question: At what point during the Liturgy does The Holy Spirit come down and make the Bread and Wine into Christ's Holy Body and Honoured Blood? There's a specific time when this happens.... and once you realize when this happens exactly, you'll appreciate that moment and respect it and show reverence & worship.
God Bless and Pray for me
Here's what i think:
Ask your local priest to pray the Gregorian Liturgy; take a course in arabic of course because its much better in arabic [very poetic], and ask that he takes his time and not to cut corners or anything.
If you really want to gain: go early to the mass and attend the psalms during the vespers in the morning. The pslams are excellent.
The entire mass celebrates the life of christ, from His birth, baptism to his suffering on the cross, His death and resurrection. So, to be part of that, and finally have communion at the end is fantastic. I envy everyone that has a Coptic Church in the city they are in.
This may be getting way off topic but I really don't enjoy much of the Tasbeha especially "Shasf en sop en mini," in any language but Coptic. In Coptic there is a certian rhyme scheme within each stanza. This is totally lost in translation.
Bravo Monsieur if u can read and understand Coptic. Its great!
I understand some Coptic, some Greek, but obviously English and French are de facto ISO standards in communication.
I think the main thing is to participate and pray in the Mass. Of course well done if u can speak Coptic or understand it, but the majority of us perhaps would find it quite hard.
But at the end of the day, i've never heard anything as more beautiful as the Coptic Orthodox Gregorian mass.
I hate it when Abouna rushes in the mass ... or when the deacons go too fast so they finish on time.
Listen, i don't know how to benefit from the Mass at all, but here's what i was taught:
Before going to the mass, go and confess the day before.
Voila. Whatever works for you, great.
DOn't u feel u are gaining in the mass??
You know what? I just had a great idea. Surely your church must organise some kind of spiritual retreat somewhere?? I mean somewhere like a monastery or something? I went to a Coptic Church where they stayed in a CatholiC monastery. They booked rooms for everyone, and we did our thing. You can ask your priest if its possible to do something like that?
Why arent you gaining in the mass?? Even when i don't feel like praying, i find the mass very compelling even, and its easy to pray just listening to what's being said? No?
ummmmmmm i feel like a loser ,but i would really like to change that, God can read ur mind right? so it wouldnt matter if i just spit it out, im usually bored in mass , and drift off thinking about skool n exetira. i dont understand the english ,arabic or coptic at my church so it really doesnt matter to me how they say it. I think this is mainly because i dont know any of the symbolisms (any books ? ) and i dont understand the words , im not stupid i just dont understand th ebig words ,im not gonna go to church with a dictionary . Other then the menawla, communion, which i shouldnt have on account of ive never confessed, i dont know what else i benefit .
The confession thing is pretty easy to solve - go to confession! Its not difficult to arrange this with a priest.
There is a pretty good video series - I think its on this site - called explaining the liturgy. It talks you through a lot of the symbolism and stuff. I can't remember where I got it from - Iqbal will probably be able to tell you.
If you have problems understanding what is being said in church, you can get the text of the different liturgies from the internet:
And any words you don't understand you can look them up on dictionary.com
I know it may seem boring to sit at home and read through the liturgy - but once you've done it you will find church much more rewarding - and not so boring.
well thanks and god bless
I'm glad you brought this up Youstina... I was thinking about this recently, and one of the reasons I think I don't benefit is when the Liturgy becomes a "routine" from week to week. And that worries me.. Do you guys feel that it has become a routine? If so, what can we do to break away from this routine feeling?
I liked the ideas mentioned so far in this topic. And I agree with the Coptic (Greek) Amen Amen Amen ton-thanaton.. it sounds ... how can i explain it... so spiritually comforting.
A few things that help me are:
* To follow in the Liturgy book; sometimes it has notes and mentions things that Abouna does, and that helps me to understand and live the Liturgy.
* To go early. If I go late, i feel like i missed alot, and it's not as beneficial. If i go early, it's a blessing. But of course "late" is better than not going at all... at least to get some blessing.
* To learn Coptic... at least start with some common words. So when we say important things like "Ameen tee-nahty" you can understand that we're saying "Amen, I believe". Or "Kyria-leyson" = "Lord have mercy", or "Ten-ouwsht" = "We worship". It makes a big difference when you realize what you're saying.
* Symbolism: To read at home about the Liturgy. Just like others have already said, the Liturgy is filled with symbolism.. and if you don't understand the meaning behind these symbols you feel really lost... and bored, and i think that's what leads to the "routine" feeling. But once you understand the symbols, you can appreciate the Liturgy more, and enjoy it more too :)
Here's a link about:
THE SPIRITUALITY OF THE RITES OF THE HOLY LITURGY (by Bishop Mettaous)
Ask Abouna or your sunday school servant about any symbolism questions you might have.
* Mysteries: But not only is there symbolism, there are hidden mysteries which we cannot see. For example, here's a question: At what point during the Liturgy does The Holy Spirit come down and make the Bread and Wine into Christ's Holy Body and Honoured Blood? There's a specific time when this happens.... and once you realize when this happens exactly, you'll appreciate that moment and respect it and show reverence & worship.
(oh.. this turned out to be longer than anticipated :) )
Please add more ideas and share experiences about how we can benefit from the Liturgy, and how we can enjoy it more, and live through it, and break away from any "routine" feelings we have about it.
ok, thanks & i hope the Liturgy can be a blessing & source of joy to us all...
2) For boys[me=Bespetna]I recomend BECOMING A DECON! For wemon its good to go with your friends and sit as close as you can to the decons. You can also go to sunday school or become a sunday school teacher.[/me]
At this point the bread is no longer bread but the Holy Body of Christ, and the wine with water has now become the Holy Blood of Christ.
I believe to truly benefit from the Divine Liturgy, you must feel the words, you must feel what the priest is praying. I personally love the Gregorian Liturgy (I can't be present at one without crying). Even the Basillian Liturgy which isn't the poetic is very very spiritual. It is very important to understand feel what happens during the Liturgy. Also, if you weren't present during the reading of the Bible (if you didn't understand it than I think they fall under the same category), you are not supposed to take communion. To truly understand and comprehend that what is on the altar is the Holy Body and Blood of Christ- to whom all glory is due- I believe you must understand what is happened during every second of the Liturgy.
There is a link explaining every second of the Liturgy, from Matins to Communion... I will provide link in my next post, I have to go find it. Sorry for such a long post.