When Should One Depart From Liturgy? 
20/10/21, 06:00 PM

St. Anatoly of Optina said that it is better to come late and stay to the end of Liturgy than to come early and leave early. As a parish we are very good at the come late part. :) But that is not what this little instruction is about. Oddly,in the last couple of months we have picked up the bad habit of leaving immediately after Holy Communion rather than staying to the very end of the Divine Liturgy on Sundays. It is not clear where that came from. In the 40 year history of our parish that has never been a problem. Until now. So let us kill this weed immediately by supporting each other to stay until the end of the Divine Liturgy. That is, until the Thanksgiving Prayers after Communion have concluded and the Royal Doors are closed. There are only two types of people that need to listen to the Thanksgiving Prayers: those that communed should thank God for the great gift that He has given them as they listen to the prayers, and those who did not commune should ask God to help them to partake at the soonest opportunity. All others may ignore these prayers. Let us be diligent to stay until the end of the Divine Liturgy to receive the blessing of having fully participated in our community worship on Sunday morning. Yes undoubtedly there will come a time when you have to leave early. But that should be the exception and not the rule. Let us make our rule to stay until the very end of the Divine Liturgy!

Fr. Gregory

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