On Sunday, on a visit to the Estonian capital of Tallinn, Patriarch Kirill Gundyaev of Moscow and all the Russias urged Estonian believers to attend church more often. He said, after a service in a newly-consecrated church, whose foundation was laid in 2003 by his predecessor, the late Patriarch Aleksei Ridiger, “You can certainly pray at home. Some people say, ‘I’m a believer but I don’t go to church’. So, why is it necessary to attend church? Because the Gospel contains very important words… For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them (The Gospel according to Matthew 18.20)”. The patriarch said, “Prayer is hard work” because it’s difficult for people to focus on it even in church. However, the more common prayer unites believers, the stronger that prayer is, he said, noting, “Like a pillar of fire, the energy of our prayer reaches the throne of God. So, don’t be reluctant to come to church. Remember that there, the power of another person you probably don’t know… will make up for your weakness in prayer. This is the Church’s common prayer that reaches the Lord, and the Lord answers it”.
17 June 2013
Nicky and I don’t attend liturgy weekly, but we do it more frequently than many do. I’ll say this… I go when I feel the need to pray. There’s something special about praying in the company of other Orthodox believers, and that’s that. Remember, the people are the Church… not the clergy, not the buildings. That’s the long and the short of it.