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Re: pews within the Church

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January 29, 2002 06:33AM
Gregory,

Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory now and forever!

Certainly, your priest makes a very good point about Tradition. Pews are not traditional in Orthodox churches, but are a western influence upon Orthodoxy. One who studies the history of our church for the first time would be shocked to learn what reforms have come from wanting to "fit it" with our western brothers and sisters in Christ. There are various reasons why we don't see pews in Orthodox churches, too many to list in this forum, but essentially it boils down to: How does one WORSHIP the most appropriately? In the west, church has become less and less proactive on the part of the people, more a theater where a few leaders put on a show for the audience. In Orthodoxy, however, each and every worshiper is a Priest before God, and the clergy are just leaders in this common prayer. How would one feel to see the Priest sitting in a chair before the Altar during the Consecration of the Holy Gifts? Just as one would always stand before a king or queen, we should all stand in proper reverence before the King of Glory during worship.

Seraphim makes a wonderful point too, that the very nature of the Orthodox church is one that preserves Tradition, otherwise we wouldn't be called Orthodox (which, in a paraphrased translation from the original Greek, means correct belief). The reason we are seeing so many converts come to the light of the Holy Church, is that She doesn't change, doesn't compromise beliefs in order to satisfy fallen human desires. The question becomes: Are we unable, or unwilling, to stand before Christ?

Lastly, James brings to attention the needs of those who are truly unable to stand. We should have some sort of seating for the eldery and infirm, as they are there to worship, not to be in pain. I certainly agree with his suggestion. However, I must mention that in my parish pews are a hot-button issue, in that there are people concerned for the welfare of those unable to stand. The funny thing is that the grandmas, the ones who truly need the pews, are the ones who stand for the whole service, wheras the younger people who claim to be advocates for the aged and infirm are the ones who sit whenever they feel appropriate. Does this show proper reverence for God?

I agree with your Priest, that the Tradition of The Church must be kept, lest we be led astray from Christ. However, we must not do things which will lead to schism within a community. If pews are necessary to maintain your parish, then one must consider the action accordingly. If, however, the issue is more of people who are unwilling to follow the ancient Traditions of our Church, then perhaps it's time to educate them. Serve those who need to sit, but also serve those who COULD stand, by encouraging them to be ACTIVE participants in the Glory of Our Lord, God, and Savior, Jesus Christ!

With love in Christ,
Reader Alexander
Subject Author Posted

pews within the Church

Gregory January 12, 2002 05:56PM

Re: pews within the Church

Seraphim January 14, 2002 01:00AM

Re: pews within the Church

James January 24, 2002 05:48PM

Re: pews within the Church

Arsenio January 03, 2003 08:00PM

Re: pews within the Church

James January 09, 2003 09:18PM

Re: pews within the Church

John March 09, 2002 02:59PM

Re: pews within the Church

James March 10, 2002 02:26PM

Re: pews within the Church

Reader Alexander January 29, 2002 06:33AM

Re: pews within the Church

James January 29, 2002 04:07PM

rdslc

Phillip March 17, 2007 09:30PM

ecxkr

Mercedes March 17, 2007 10:14PM

Re: pews within the Church

Ron March 22, 2002 02:56AM

Re: pews within the Church

James March 22, 2002 06:25PM

Re: pews within the Church

Ron March 23, 2002 01:29PM

Re: pews within the Church

michael September 17, 2002 03:56AM

Re: pews within the Church

Thomas September 18, 2002 03:55AM

Re: pews within the Church

Ron September 20, 2002 05:19PM

Re: pews within the Church

Kirsten July 07, 2003 06:40AM

Re: pews within the Church

Kirsten July 07, 2003 06:43AM