Hoping to attend a DL- what to expect?

Let me preface this by asking you to forgive my ignorance of the subject and probably butchered use of terminology. I’m interested in Eastern spirituality, and I want to attend a Liturgy to see what it’s like. Unfortunately, I’m clueless as to what to expect. I found a nearby Eastern parish, and would like to attend soon, so if someone could give me a summary of what to expect, that would be great.

Also, I have a few specific questions:
I know that in the Latin rite there are often cards and the like with the responses on them-would there be something similiar at an Eastern parish?
Also, I’m a somewhat recent convert and unable to recieve the Eucharist, but I was validly Baptized, so is there anything else I’m not allowed to do during the Liturgy?
Since I’m not allowed to recieve, do I just stand in my pew (or lack thereof) when it’s time for Holy Communion?


If this is a parish with pews, there’ll most certainly be pew books in there. You can ask around which one they will be using.

Just Communion. If they come up to kiss the book of Gospels, you may kiss the book of Gospels. If they have antidoron, you may receive the antidoron. You will recognize the antidoron as the bread does not come from the priest, but from an altar server or sometimes in a table at the side.

Yes. Feel free to join the singing if you can follow.

There are some things I’d advise you about…
Dress modestly.
We bow (metania) crossing ourselves instead of genuflect, but don’t worry about that if you feel uncomfortable as we are used to Roman Catholics, that all ok.
The tabernacle is front and center at the altar as opposed to on the side.
There is usually no talking in church before the liturgy. That is time spent in private prayer-though some do but it is usually frowned upon.

Hope you like it . Most people I know we’re truly inspired.

Call ahead, explain your situation to the pastor and ask him to put you in touch with someone in the parish that would pray the Divine Liturgy with you. Let the Holy Spirit work from there.
D. Luke


I did get inspired by the DL - been going back for over a year! One big difference for me was no choir or organ. Everybody sings. Also, there isn’t a lot of time for a private thanksgiving after communion like at Roman rite, and no one stays after liturgy is over to pray.

The Divine Liturgy isn’t time for personal petitions. It is for everybody gathering together and praying with one voice.

You don’t have to if you don’t want to. My experience is that people do stay 5-10 minutes to pray.

Our parish and the Orthodox parishes I’m familiar with have a cantor praying the Sixth Hour after Liturgy. That lasts about 8-10 minutes. We eat together after liturgy and for those following the presecibed fast, from midnight, by 11:30AM when we’re typically done with Liturgy and Sixth Hour, people are plenty hungry and ready to nosh and visit. :slight_smile:

I’m almost never in a DL in the Greek Orthodox Church on a Sunday to know how they end things, but the local Orthodox Christian Fellowship which uses a Greek DL also chants the Hours after DL and before gathering for dinner.

Also, there isn’t a lot of time for a private thanksgiving after communion like at Roman rite, and no one stays after liturgy is over to pray.

At our UGCC mission, one person reads Psalm 33 and the after-communion prayers or chants them *recto tono *after the dismissal and any final hymns.

I would recommend to take it all in, experience the Liturgy with all of your senses and not be too distracted with trying to follow the pew book too closely.


My Orthodox parish has post-communion prayers immediately following Liturgy. I imagine some EC parishes practice it as well.

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