Laities Role in Church Liturgy
July 9, 2021
Laities within the public service or ministry “Liturgy” shares Divine election and services from God, a special gift and privilege of membership of Holy Church. Akin to Church Liturgy, is a corporate religious service offered to God by laities, including worship, baptism and communion. Thus, Laities shall understand as a solemn including God and his worshippers, consisting of an exchange of prayers, praise and graces since it is a sacred time rendered in a sacred space.
The Divine Services as such as a work of worship, Holy Gospel and the Divine Liturgy are Holy and shall be performed respectably in accordance to the ordered of the Church. In performing and respecting the Divine services, laities shall keep and preserve the following conducts.
Wearing a proper, neat and long white clothes
Laities need to wear proper clothes in honor for God’s Glory. Accordingly, women shall wear long white dresses without revealing their body at any state of affairs. Laities wearing white to the Church is the resemblance of pure soul. At the Apostasy era, our Lord Jesus Christ wore a white that showed His perfection and glory.
Holy Angels are seen in glory, dressed in white than snow. After the Lord Jesus shattered the grave and conquered death, Angels appeared to the Holy Females in white robes as they went to the tomb to anoint their Lord. (Matthew 28:2-6)
The same is true of the Saints, the Righteous, and the Martyrs who have gone through the glorious past and inherited kingdom of heaven. Their white clothes are the symbolization of their pure soul. Hence, Laities shall enter with pure mind and soul as well as with personal hygiene. Entering without washing our body or with liquids liking from the body such as spit salvia and women’s Menstruation, wearing night gowns, with sexual and devious thoughts (especially Men) with a loam heart and umbrage, drunk or after committing fraud and other crimes if forbidden.
Applause with the sign of the Holy Cross at the gate of the Holy Church
The sign of the Holy Cross is the symbolization of the work of Lord Jesus Christ descendent form Heaven, His crucifixion and salvation of human race.
Saluting the Holy Temple, taking off our shoe and bowing after entering in the interior
Holy Temple is the place for the Divine Liturgy and Holy Communion (Eucharist) partakes. Thus, we need to bow in respect our Lord God, Saint Mary, Martyrs and all other Saints and Righteous people.
Giving different kinds of offering (present) to the house of God
It is improper for Laities to go to church empty-handed. They shall offer incense, candles, and candles should be given as a gift.
Attending the Divine Liturgy with conscious mind and patience
It is off the essence to acknowledge the rule in partaking in the whole Divine Liturgy with patience and walking out of the service is forbidden unless and other wise due to illness.
During the Divine Liturgy all present must stand with reverence and join in the common prayer. Prayer in the church elevates the soul, diverts the mind from worldly things, and gives the soul peace and contentment. Prayer must be taught in childhood. One who does not know how to pray, cannot be a real Christian. The Apostles command us to pray continually, everyday, at home and in traveling, working or resting. In church, prayer has a special significance because a person here prays not alone but with many others. A public prayer is a very important part in the Divine Liturgy as well as at all Divine Services, which are celebrated in the Church. Common prayer of the faithful in the church is offered in the litanies. Common prayer cultivates Christian sentiments of love, faith and hope.
However, the Divine Liturgy prohibits each laity to pray individually during the prayer in unison as Prophet David said, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is
for brethren to dwell together in unity!” We should imitate them, especially in prayer and the sacrament, in unity and order. (Psalm 133:1)
Partaking the Holy Communion (Eucharist)
When an Orthodox Christian is preparing to partake of the Holy Communion, he must first of all cleanse his soul through repentance and confession. Without these, the Orthodox Church will not allow the faithful to Commune. Confession is a whole- hearted acknowledgement of all our sins, errors, and faults, together with a determination to be good and to live according to the commandments of Christ. At confession, absolution is received, which is the Church’s assurance of God’s forgiveness. Repentance is joined with fasting, and on the day that we receive the Sacrament we must abstain from food until we have communed.
Christians in particular to Laities should hold fast to the Orthodox Apostolic Faith and Liturgy in becoming true children of God as our forefathers thought and persevered it; so disrupting its Liturgy leads to eternal punishment.
So brethren, let’s keep and preserve Church Liturgy for our grand children inherit and merits for their eternal life.
May it be God’s will to live in His home, Holy Church; Amen!