RESOURCES

 
 

morning & evening prayers

prayer rule is the outline, a plan, of a daily routine for prayer. The rule should first specify the places and times of prayer and then continue with the specific prayers to be said in an outline of the sequence of these prayers. A prayer rule for one who is on the path of a God-pleasing life and may include memorizing the Psalms. It may include replacing long prayers with short ones and the use of a prayer rope. It may not be static.

It is good to have a prayer rule on account of our weakness so that on the one hand one does not give in to laziness, yet on the other hand restrain any enthusiasm to its proper level. The greatest practitioners of prayer kept a prayer rule. They would always begin with established prayers, and if during the course of these a prayer started on its own, they would put aside the others and pray that prayer. If this is what the great practitioners of prayer did, all the more reason for us to do so. Without established prayers, we would not know how to pray at all and would be left entirely without prayer.

However, one does not have to do many prayers. It is better to perform a small number of prayers properly than to hurry through a large number of prayers, because it is difficult to maintain the heat of prayerful zeal when prayers are performed to excess.


praying the liturgy

This guide is meant for personal reflection, not as a means of judging others. Keep in mind that there are different traditions among the Orthodox faithful. In Orthodoxy there is a wider acceptance of individualized expressions of piety, rather than a sense that people are watching you and getting offended if you do it wrong. Variations in behavior with pious intent should not be confused with disrespectful behavior. If you are uncertain about something, ask Father. We come to church to pray and worship God above all else, and that should be our focus. 



PARISH ETIQUETTE

This guide is meant for personal reflection, not as a means of judging others. Keep in mind that there are different traditions among the Orthodox faithful. In Orthodoxy there is a wider acceptance of individualized expressions of piety, rather than a sense that people are watching you and getting offended if you do it wrong. Variations in behavior with pious intent should not be confused with disrespectful behavior. If you are uncertain about something, ask Father. We come to church to pray and worship God above all else, and that should be our focus. 



A PREPARATION FOR CONFESSION

This guide is to the Holy Mystery of Repentance. It is in truth another baptism. It is the power of God to forgive and cleanse us from all sin and to grant us the knowledge and strength to live the life into which we have been baptized, the life of Christ. It is therefore essential that we understand this mystery, inasmuch as we are able, and that we accept this great gift of God for our salvation, approaching it as often as we should.


parish ministry resources

The Department of Christian Service and Humanitarian Aid promotes the involvement of clergy and laity in caring for the needs of others according to the Gospel teachings and Tradition of the Church. Resources are developed for ministry programs by and for people of all ages.

The department focuses on four areas: Parish Life, ministering to one another within our faith communities; Matthew 25 Outreach Ministries, serving those in need in the local, national and international communities; Senior Life, addressing the needs of both active and frail seniors; and Family Life, supporting parents and children in everyday life and in times of challenge.

Central to the work of the department is the OCA Parish Ministry Resources. It contains teachings on the theology of lay ministry and a wealth of articles written by clergy and laypeople describing their successful charitable outreach and ministry programs.  Practical applications are provided for parishes, parish organizations, deaneries and dioceses. New articles are posted on a regular basis.
  
The department collaborates with other OCA Church Ministries, members of the Orthodox jurisdictions in North America, and U.S. and worldwide humanitarian organizations on joint service projects. Large or small, every action taken in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ will bring human dignity and blessings both to those being served and to the servants.