Practical Tips for Orthodox Living
The following tips are excerpted from Mother Pelagia of Lesna Convent, who prefaces them with the remark: “Orthodox families train their children from a very early age to acquire religious habits, in some of which I was myself, as a Protestant, brought up.”
1 – Prayers are said morning and evening, either together as a family or individually.
2 – A blessing (grace, we called it) is said by the head of the family before a meal, and a prayer of thanks afterward.
3 – On entering a room where there is an icon, cross yourself before it and say a brief prayer.
4 – When leaving one’s dwelling, make the sign of the cross over the door and pray for its protection.
5 – On seeing a priest, abbot or abbess, or even when phoning them or writing to them, always ask their blessing.
6 – Before going to bed, make the sign of the cross over it and pray for protection during sleep.
7 – When you hear of anyone’s death, immediately say a prayer for their eternal memory.
8 – If discussing or planning the future say: “As God wills.”
9 – If you offend or hurt anyone, say as soon as possible, “Forgive me,” always trying to take the blame yourself.
10 – If something turns out well, say “Praise be (to God).”
11 – If something turns out badly, if there is pain, sickness or any kind of trouble, say “Praise be to God for all things,” since God is all good and, though we might not understand the purpose of these things, undoubtedly they have been permitted by God.
12 – If you begin some task, say, “God help me,” or of someone else’s working: “May God help you.” (How sad that this expression is so perverted in the modern exclamation “God help you!”)
13 – Cross yourself and say a brief prayer before even the shortest journey by car.
14 – When you receive a blessing after prayer, always remember to thank God; it if is a small thing, you may add a prayer of thanksgiving to your daily prayers or make and offering. For matters of greater import, ask a priest for a special Thanksgiving prayer. But NEVER neglect to give thanks.
Compiled from The Shepherd.