The Temptations of Evangelical Worship

The absolute best worship service I have ever been to was in an Orthodox church in downtown Chicago. It was full of evangelical converts to Orthodoxy, and so it had the rich, historic liturgy and singing combined with evangelical fervor. I dare say I felt lifted into the presence of God, or better, that the presence of God had descended on us.

The absolute worst worship service I have ever attended was an Orthodox church in Philadelphia. The priests led the liturgy from behind the iconostasis—a screen of icons separating the sanctuary (where the altar sits) from the nave (where the congregation sits). The only response we in the congregation were called to make was the occasional "Amen." We didn't even join the priests in singing as I recall. My Protestant sensibilities were so offended, I walked out in the middle of the service.

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