The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

13 Jul

Matthew, Adeline, and I headed out Sunday morning to The Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Milwaukee.  We’d been past the building before but had never been in it.  The building is super interesting – it’s a Frank Lloyd Wright with an amazing  iconostasis from Greece.  It looks far different from any church I have been in as it is a circular building. The fact that it is circular made for a confusing start to the worship.

Upon entering the church we were quickly spotted and labeled “visitors” by a member of the Welcoming Committee.  We were handed a small pamphlet that would help us navigate the Divine Liturgy.  We watched as members venerated the icons and lit candles. Matthew and I immediately went for the back, closest to the door (you know, moms, that’s the direction we all gravitate toward!) only to find that there is no back closest to the door.  So instead we found a seat near the cry room.

The service was a different experience than any we have been to, differing even from the other Greek Orthodox church we attended.  The service was done in more Greek than I expected, but it was beautiful.  Matthew leaned in at one point and said, “If you knew even just a little Greek, this would make a lot of sense to you.” So, I’m considering either auditing Greek 1 this next semester or doing some sort of teach-yourself Bibical Greek program.  I think that I followed along reasonably well but am sure looking forward to having a few weeks worth of experience.

One of the things that I remember most vividly from the service really wasn’t even part of the service.  After the Eucharist, Fr. Dokos mentioned that His Eminence wanted to remind the people not to wander in too late after Divine Liturgy had started and if they hadn’t heard the Gospel reading that morning, they were not to partake in the Eucharist. Also, those who hadn’t kept the fasts, especially on Friday, oughtn’t to partake either.  The Orthodox church isn’t a “feel good” church and has a very high view of the Sacraments.  I appreciated the honesty and love with which Fr. Dokos spoke – it’s something that I’ve not seen very often.

Ultimately, the experience was an interesting and enjoyable one.  We are looking forward to worshiping there as we prayerfully consider becoming catechumens.

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