The Importance of Attending Church Cycles of Services in Orthodoxy

Nothing is so spiritually uplifting, and so rewarding then prayer before God in the Church. The Orthodox Church has a cycle of services, and all of us should make every means to attend these services. It’s not really how long are these services, but what we put into them that is spiritually rewarding.

When the Church calls us to prayer, we should rush with great Christian love to go to these services, and give our Lord God due honor and worship, at the same time we should think about our spiritual relationship with our God, and our path to our salvation. During these cycle of services we begin to realize how much our Lord God loves us, and wants us to be a part of His Kingdom. We can participate in His Kingdom in prayer, and we can behold His great spiritual beauty as we gaze around the Church and behold Him, as well as the opening arms of the Mother of God, the saints, the prophets, the apostles, and the martyrs all surrounding us with their prayers and intercession on our behalf, what a blessing!

Then again preparations before the Divine Liturgy are spiritually necessary, and that is if when we will go to Holy Communion, we should consider speaking to our priest about going to Holy Confession. We also should fast from certain foods anticipation of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, i.e. at the least, fast from meats on Wednesday and Friday, and all foods and liquids the morning of the liturgy unless these are deemed necessary for medical reasons.

We also have prayers to be read before taking Holy Communion, they are called Prayers in Preparation for Holy Communion, or prayers before Holy Communion, should speak to our parish priest about these prayers. Some of the faithful begin reading these prayers on Thursday, so that we do not have to wait to the last minute. Then again we have prayers of Thanksgiving after Holy Communion, eventually throughout the day we should read these prayers of thanksgiving, some parishes read these prayers of Thanksgiving at the end of the Divine Liturgy, as well as the faithful who took Holy Communion remain in the church until these prayers are finished.

Attend these services with your children, and rush with great love to the Church and pray. Let us make every effort to go to the Church in prayer, and let us realize when we come to late, we miss many blessings, after we leave we shall be spiritually rewarded.

Love to pray in the Temple of our Lord God His Church, and when we pray, let us pray with all our heart, mind, and soul! Well aware of the work at hand, we should attend services prepared to labor as unique members of the body of Christ. Ultimately, each of us, that is every man, woman, and child, should be ready to “put aside all the cares of life, and receive the King of all…”

I am humbly presenting to you the Cycle of Services that are celebrated in the Orthodox Church, which by understanding these services we begin to realize how important these services are in our Church, and how rewarding spiritually they can be for us all!

May our Lord God bless you!

By Archimandrite Nektarios (Serfes)

Source: http://www.serfes.org/orthodox/cycleofservices.htm