Click here for a 360’ tour
This morning I decided to attend Divine Liturgy at Christ the Savior Orthodox Church in Chicago. I visited there once a few years ago, before I lived here - and it was kind of run down and appeared to be in need of some loving care.
Well, that has changed. The whole church has been re-furbished with beautiful Icons on the walls and re-finished floors. It was beautiful to behold.
But, my visit was a disappointment. Unfortunately, like many Orthodox Churches that hold strongly to their Russian or Greek heritage, there is a somewhat casual atmosphere amongst the “faithful,” that gather. I was concerned that I was walking in 15 minutes late for the start of the Liturgy - but there were people arriving over an hour later. Apparently, “popping in” to grab a share of the “mysteries.” A kind of "drive thru" approach to the sacraments I suppose!!
To be fair, I think the presiding priest was a “stand in.” So it may not have been a good representation of how the membership typically behaves. But, I was saddened by the whole “casualness” of the liturgy. It was as if the priest, deacon and altar boys, were holding a service while a loose social gathering was happening out front.
I don’t know if I’ll go back to this Church again soon. Its beauty is breathtaking, but its not about appearances, its about the timeless spiritual reality that’s going on when the Liturgy is proclaimed. I missed that. I got the sense that the general feeling among the parishioners would be a sigh of relief when the service was over - and not a sense of overwhelming peace and joy that the gospel has been proclaimed and re-presented again.
The Orthodox Church is the most ancient and timeless - without a doubt it’s the Original Church of Jesus Christ. I just didn’t see it being re-presented well today.