Finally Orthodox

Pantheon

Pigeon
This year, I moved to Latvia from Sweden to work. The reason I chose Latvia is because Riga has the best supply of Russian Orthodox churches in Europe, and I wanted to explore Orthodoxy more intimately. The first time I entered an Orthodox cathedral in Riga I was overwhelmed with emotion, and instantly knew I had come home.

It was difficult to move to a new country with a new language and find a priest who even speaks English, but by God's grace everything went well and I was recently baptized. The timing was perfect, and I was able to take my first communion on the Midnight Liturgy during Easter. I found my first confession extremely difficult, but humbling. I can now see that it is spiritually essential in the salvific process.

For many years I contemplated whether to take the Latin Catholic path, or the Eastern Orthodox path. Both appeal to me in their own ways, and in a way Orthodoxy was the difficult decision (because of the culture and language barrier), but ultimately what I feel was the more spiritually rewarding decision.
 

Aboulia

Woodpecker
Congratulations and welcome.

While you have convert zeal, I hope you're considering learning the language, as if you don't, you're missing out of so much of the Orthodox worldview which is laid out, as well as instruction/theology. You will get out of Orthodoxy what you put in.
 

Pantheon

Pigeon
Congratulations and welcome.

While you have convert zeal, I hope you're considering learning the language, as if you don't, you're missing out of so much of the Orthodox worldview which is laid out, as well as instruction/theology. You will get out of Orthodoxy what you put in.

Well, I'm trying to learn the language. You won't find any English signs or a catering attitude to tourists here. Rather, people are sceptical of strangers and it's up to you to adapt yourself to the ways of the church. I like this, since it's a refreshing contrast from the liberal west with its fake smiles and where "the customer is always right".

It struck me however is that Orthodoxy is more than language. It's about exalting the senses and being fully physically and mentally immersed in the worship. As you get to know the faith and develop your relationship to God, even the icons become alive. It feels great to come to a church where everyone prostrates before God (apparently a thing that the Muslims once learned from early Christians). Right now, being able to partake in the Holy Communion and being in the presence of God in such an authentic church is enough for my unworthy soul.
 
Welcome to the lifeboat. You have come full circle to the Truth. He is eager to introduce you to our Father. God bless.

It struck me however is that Orthodoxy is more than language. It's about exalting the senses and being fully physically and mentally immersed in the worship. As you get to know the faith and develop your relationship to God, even the icons become alive. It feels great to come to a church where everyone prostrates before God (apparently a thing that the Muslims once learned from early Christians). Right now, being able to partake in the Holy Communion and being in the presence of God in such an authentic church is enough for my unworthy soul.

You're going to excel.
 
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