Orthodoxy in the World: Liturgical Worship

This is the 15th blog in this introductory series to the Orthodox Faith.  The First blog is Orthodoxy in the World & Light to the World.   The previous blog is Orthodoxy in the World:  Key Practices (C).

Orthodoxy tends to view the Christian life not as some juridical way to salvation through obedience to law, but rather a way of love through self-denial, in order to re-establish the relationships in the world which were destroyed by human sin.   In Eastern Christian piety Christ is more the victor over death, than the victim of justice.

            The liturgical worship of the church is  essential to all Orthodox Christians, for in this worship we experience community (humanity in relationship to others), the natural life-giving goodness of the created physical world, and the divine love of the Persons of the Holy Trinity.    In this worship we experience ourselves as relational beings, the very way in which we were created by God.   We come face to face with how evil in the world is real –  sin causing separation which is death (physical and spiritual).   In worship we also experience the  victory of Christ over all forms of separation and death.  In worship we realize our soul is not in opposition to our body, but rather for humans we experience the spiritual life through the physical body.    We experience the life-giving sacraments which unite us to God.  We see the Icons, that particularly Orthodox art form in which lines and colors are used to reveal the truth of the incarnation of God and the deification of humanity.   In Orthodoxy salvation is union with God, Theosis.      Union with God  occurs not in some future heaven, nor merely in the human mind, but rather is  both  restoration of the wholeness of the human being (body, soul and spirit) and the transfiguration of this life and the created human.   Salvation itself is not some juridical overcoming of broken laws so that justice is restored, but is rather the transformation of the separated and broken human being into a relational being in love with God and neighbor.

Nativity of Christ

Next:   Orthodoxy in Relationship to the World