One of the most beautiful things I have found about Eastern Orthodox worship is its ability to transcend time. Not just time as in this moment but time as in space. The Liturgy (church service) is constructed in such a way that it takes us out of this world and into the world unseen. It’s focus is to allow us, the faithful, to join in the continuous worship of the Triune God.The church is eternal because God is eternal, thus we as the body of Christ are fashioned with a longing for eternity. The church not only allows us to experience earthly worship but even more than that is the vessel for us to worship in spirit.
Worship of the Eastern Orthodox Church is in fact other worldly or spiritual in nature. This idea of other worldly or our ability to be apart of the unseen is difficult for many to understand or comprehend. But, if we do in fact as Christians believe in a Savior who died and then was raised in three days or that a virgin gave birth to a child it should not be too far-fetched for us to dive into the idea that our worship of an unseen God can and should be mystical in nature.
What we do each week is a foretaste of heaven. Rev. 4:8 reads “the four living creatures, each having six wings, were full of eyes around and within. And they do not rest day or night, saying: Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty, Who was and is and is to come”.
Through Eastern Orthodox worship we emulate the worship of heaven and in doing so enter into the presence of God. Since we know that this earth is not our end, we worship and emulate the worship of heaven so to prepare for our new home in eternity.
How exactly do we do this? Worship is not confined to only singing. In fact, in Eastern Orthodox worship singing is just a small part of what we do as worshipers. Incense, communion, prayers, scripture read out loud, chanting, and at times, prostrations are all apart of the total worship of the Father.
Worship in the Eastern Orthodox Christian Church does not just move our mind to sing but it invokes all of our senses. We hear the scripture and prayers being read or being chanted. We taste when we receive communion. We see the church and it’s life before us in icons. We use our sence of smell in the incense (Psalm 141:2Let my prayer be set forth before thee as incense; and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice) . It is a total body experience. A beautiful and most appropriate way to worship an eternal being.