Friday, August 28, 2015

An Introduction to the Orthodox Worship Space

Earlier this month I had the privilege of spending some time with Frederica Matthewes-Green while filming a video series to complement her new book, Welcome to the Orthodox Church. The entire video series will be offered for free on the Theoria Youtube Channel and can be viewed as standalone videos or as a visual aid for the book. Since Orthodoxy is something I am particularly interested in sharing, I will be writing a bloggity-kind-of-blog, like this one, for each video release.

Our trip to Maryland was a whirlwind to say the least. We arrived on a Saturday and immediately filmed Great Vespers. The next day we filmed Divine Liturgy, a Memorial Service, and Coffee Hour. Beginning on Monday we set up our in the nave of the Church to film Frederica speaking. By Wednesday evening we had packed up and Thursday morning around 4:15AM we hit the road. It was a positive experience! I particularly enjoyed getting to know the Holy Cross community in Linthicum, Maryland. The temple, and people, wonderful!

In the first video, entitled An Introduction to the Orthodox Worship Space, Frederica introduces the basics of of the Orthodox worship space—the altar, the iconostasis, and iconography—in order to help orient those who have never been in, or are confused by, the parts of an Orthodox Church.

Orthodox architecture is quite specific, but there is also room for variation. You will notice, in America particularly, that many Orthodox Churches are housed in former Protestant churches—and so the overall shape of the Church can vary radically.

Watch the video below and let me know what you think. And, as always, if you have any questions feel free to ask! Here is a playlist where all the Welcome to the Orthodox Church videos will be hosted as they are released. Be sure to share the video with your friends, family, and parishes—facebook, twitter, email . . . anyway you can! Also, feel free to embed these videos on your parish website for inquirers.

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