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Re: the calendar issue

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OC
July 09, 2003 04:26AM
I've heard a lot of comments from various people regarding the calendar issue. I was baptised Greek Orthodox Christian and a follower of the "Gregorian Calendar". The last few years however, my mother has been attending services with the "Julian Calendarist" Greek Orthodox. I've attended services in both churches and I must say, I have noticed some differences. I find that when I attend church with the Old Calendarists, it really feels like I'm attending church and not some kind of conference, or fashion show. People there appear pious and yes, head coverings, and men separated from women, etc. etc. is the norm. At first, I too may have questioned these practices but in monasteries of new calendarists, they follow these same practices, so why not practice the same way at every local community church on Sundays. I may be wrong, but these people seem to go to church to focus on their prayers, not on the "hot chick" that's sitting beside them. Again, I'm not bashing new calendarists, because I'm really sitting on the fence and don't know myself where to turn. I just feel sometimes that I get more spiritual fullfillment when I attend services at the Old Calendar church service. For one thing, their service seems longer (no short-cuts). I went this past Sunday to a wedding ceremony at a New Calendar church and no word of a lie, it was only 30 minutes in length. Weddings seem to be churned out of an assembly line. You go to an Old Calendar Church wedding service and it's 1 hour and 30 minutes. What's up with that? Something ain't right here. As far as I'm concerned, you should go to church and listen to the gospel reading and then receive holy communion. At the new Calendar Churches, the priest may do 2 services back to back and people will arrive to church at the tail end of the the first service, not hear a word of the gospel, receive holy communion, and leave. The priest however, doesn't seem to be strict about this and let's it occur. There's people who fast for like a day and then go to receive communion the next day. Now I know what you're probably thinking, this is not the church's fault, but rather the faults of individuals who haven't taken the time time truly follow orthodox practices. However, I feel that it's up to the church to teach us what is correct practice and what isn't. I feel that we (new calendarists) have become way to laxidazical and have permitted everything. We need to be stricter with our teachings to the public and make people understand to respect the church as a sacred place, not a coffee shop where people come to see what others are wearing and to gossip. I wish that the priest take some time out at the end of the service to educate the public on proper Orthodox practices and not spend so much time on ways of raising money for the next festival, or trip or whatever.

Anyhow, I know that I'm not well versed in my Orthodox words, but I thought I'd express my observations as a lay person.

Sinner,
OC +
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