Published in Church and Life (1845-46) 20.12.2012 -30.1.2013 No 1-2
Each Sunday the church asks her believers to come to worship. The use of ancient and very colourful rites is full of symbolism and ritual. Many non-church goers reject these rites as being out of touch. Even those who do appear in church on Sunday usually go home and, from Monday to Saturday, live lives which might not be related to the worship on Sunday.
This is a problem. People like to understand and categorise things between, let’s say, the sacred and the worldly, the natural and supernatural. Instead of seeing that the relationship between Sunday and the rest of the week is in fact very real and a source of strength and inspiration, they tend to look at it in another way. They may see the church rituals as being too old and traditional and to make any change to them almost impossible and therefore, useless.
Worship of itself is actually an act of gratitude and thanksgiving to God for all the many gifts we receive in life. Looking at life as a gift from God shapes the way in which we live our lives. Secularists actually live a heresy, a lie, a blasphemy. They believe that they, themselves, their knowledge, science in general, can control life and give it its order. That is the sin of the whole thing. People make themselves into a god-like creature and see no need to have a Divine person or a Divine order. Therefore, there is no need to worship.
It is indeed Christians who defend secularism and then live by its rules instead of the rules of faith and tradition.
We really do not need to reinvent worship, piety and thanksgiving in order to survive in the secular world. We need to rediscover the true meaning, beauty and power of the worship we already have. Our ancient Ukrainian tradition is in fact very profound and has stood the test of time. To start understanding everything properly again will take a lot of work, study, education and effort. There might be elements of our practices which are not actually part of our tradition and, therefore, can be improved upon.
However, if we are to defeat the secularist tendencies of our society we will have to rediscover the life giving nature of worship.
In a sense it is not so much a return to the past, because we are in the present, it is a return to the light and life, the energy, the truth of being reunited with Jesus Christ. Knowing Him and loving Him gives us grace and purpose in our life in this world and the next. This is what we all want.
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