Faith & Worship
"O Come, let us Worship and bow down before our King and God. O Come, let us worship and bow down before Christ, our King and God. O Come, let us worship and bow down to Christ Himself, our King and God." (Psalm 95:6)
Worship is an experience which involves the entire Church. When each of us comes together for worship, we do so as members of a Church which transcends the boundaries of society, of time, and of space. Although we gather at a particular moment and at a particular place, our actions reach beyond the parish, into the very Kingdom of God. We worship in the company of both the living and the departed faithful.
There are two dimensions to Orthodox worship which are reflected throughout the many Services of the Church. First, worship is a manifestation of God’s presence and action in the midst of His people. It is God who gathers His scattered people together, and it is He who reveals Himself as we enter into His presence. The worship of the Orthodox Church very vividly expresses the truth that God dwells among His people and that we are created to share in His life. Second, worship is our corporate response of thanksgiving to the presence of God and a remembrance of His saving actions – especially the Life, Death, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Orthodox worship is centered upon God. He has acted in history, and He continues to act through the Holy Spirit. We are mindful of His actions and we respond to His love with praise and thanksgiving.
Expressions of Worship
Worship in the Orthodox Church is expressed in four principal ways:
The Eucharist, which is the most important worship experience of Orthodoxy. The word, 'Eucharist,' means thanksgiving and is known in the Orthodox Church as the Divine Liturgy.
The Sacraments, which affirm God’s presence and action in the important events of our Christian lives. All the major Sacraments are closely related to the Eucharist. These are: Baptism, Chrismation, Confession, Marriage, Holy Orders, and Anointing of the sick.
Special Services and Blessings, which also affirm God’s presence and action in all the events, needs and tasks of our life.
The Daily Offices, which are the services of public prayer which occur throughout the day. The most important are Matins, which is the morning prayer of the Church, and Vespers, which is the evening prayer of the Church.