When an Orthodox prays he/she often make the sign of the cross. Holding the thumb and first two fingers of the right hand bunched together while the remaining two fingers are held close to the palm. The three fingers are then brought to the forehead, the chest , the right shoulder and the left. In this way, the shape of the cross is drawn over a person's mind (the head), bodily strength (the shoulders), feelings and innermost, self (the heart).
The divine services at New Skete are the single most important work of the members in common. They are sung for the spiritual benefit of all who participate in them and for all who are commemorated during our celebrations.
These offices are not museum reproductions of religio-ethnic practices from some previous century. Rather, they are heartfelt expression of our community of American Orthodox believers, as we bring the Christian message to the people of today.
Two important aspects are immediately obvious to the listener. First, most of the priest's prayers are sung aloud for all to hear. Second, all the services have been translated into contemporary American literary English.
As with the layout, design, and furnishing of the church building, both music, and texts, and the structure and movement, of the liturgical services, form an integral whole. Every element of it must help lead the worshipper to a further experience of the presence of Christ in our midst.
All are welcome to join us in worship.
"Music gives access to the heart's deepest emotions, bringing them to light in a natural flowering that creates a deep sense of unity and peacefulness."
This Lectionary of readings from the sacred Scriptures for liturgical use represents our effort to expand the proclamation of Holy Writ in the course of our formal worship throughout the year. Every monastic by nature uses Scripture in private meditation and prayer, and every community, from the time of the desert monks and nuns, has devised a system for reciting the one hundred and fifty Psalms of David in common.