FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
By participating in the life of the Church. The rhythm of the Church calendar, the regular rituals of worship (liturgies), the prayers of the Church, recitation of Psalms, Rule of Life assist our endeavors. Truthfully, it takes training and self-discipline in order to do so. In writing his “Rule”, St. Benedict talks about the monastery as a “school for God’s service.” The Church functions much in the same way. We are better in the service of God when we grow spiritually.
Technically, the word means ‘the work of the people’. By “work,” we mean praying the prescribed prayers which the Church has given us. Most of all, these ‘prayers’ are grounded in the Bible and have been passed on to us within our long tradition. When one prays them long enough they begin to shape the character of the individual and the church in a Christ shaped manner.
Our first suggestion is that you come and experience the worship several times. Take some time to meet some of the people. If you are still interested you can make an appointment with the priest who will be happy to help.
Ancient people understood the necessity of what is called embodied knowing. Ritual is not merely a mental event, but involves the whole body and includes all of our senses. God has created us to know Him through ritual in mind and in body, hence the liturgies of the Church. Classically we understand ourselves to be embodied souls. It is why what we do with our bodies is important. We don’t just learn with our minds.
No. Ritual is a deeper part of the human experience and is greatly downplayed as “inauthentic” in modern times. Ritual cannot be separated from the human experience. We all have rituals we follow that are gateways to next phases in our lives or deeper relationships. Job Interviews. Birthdays. Graduations. Marriage Proposals. A scripted prayer is also actively done in unity with each other as there is spiritual power in people praying together as one.
Authenticity in Christianity takes on two modes. The first is, is the Christianity proclaimed and lived by the Church authentic? That means, is it grounded in the faith ‘once delivered to the saints?’ The answer is yes. We have a genealogical linage, if you will, back to the first Christians. The second mode has to do with the authentic practice of the faith by the individual Christian. A person’s Christianity can be said to be authentic if he/she is open to transformation through regular practice of the prayers of the Church and the spiritual disciplines which derive from it. A person can be said to be authentically Christian when his or her life begins to take on a Christ shape. That however, doesn’t mean perfection, just more and more Christ shaped.
We are Christians who live in community and that community includes those who have gone before us in centuries past. The saints are men and women across the centuries who have been transformed by Christ through embracing Him even at the expense of their lives. We not only celebrate their memory throughout the church calendar, we recognize their intercession in the presence of the living God.
From the most ancient of times the life and activity of the Church was based around the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, as the first Christians were a praying Church and received their foundation and rhythm for prayer from their Jewish practices the Church developed what is called a ‘liturgy of time’. This process of the sanctification of time enabled the Church to view all time as oriented toward God in His Kingdom. Hence, the Church not only developed daily, weekly liturgy, but a broader pattern was given in a yearly Calendar where significant events in the life of Christ, His mother Mary, and martyrs was put in place.