Worship as an image of the Kingdom
Hebrews 8:5 – Tabernacle as image of heaven
They serve at a sanctuary that is a copy and shadow of what is in heaven. This is why Moses was warned when he was about to build the tabernacle: “See to it that you make everything according to the pattern shown you on the mountain.”
Rev 8:3 And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.
Rev 8:4 And the smoke of the incense, which came with the prayers of the saints, ascended up before God out of the angel’s hand.
Hymn at the Great Enterance: “Let us, who represent the cherabum and seraphim…”
Times of Prayer
“Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous laws.”-Psalm 119:164
“Evening, and morning, and at noon will I pray, and cry aloud; and he shall hear my voice.”-Psalm 55:17
Orthodox are at times accused of having ‘vain’ (or at least boring) repetition. If the goal of worship is to teach us how to live in the kingdom, this repetition is similar to practicing musical scales when learning piano. It can seem boring at times, but we need the practice. We have to see the goal, we need to hear a virtuoso like Horowitz, and also know that he practices scales his whole life.
I find my mind often wandering with the familiarity of the services, but the exceptions bring me up short. Fr. Roman Bragga use to do a hymn to Jesus every Sunday as a part of the prayers before Liturgy, and he always read it from a book. He must have read it several thousand times. But listening to him, I always felt as if I was overhearing a very intimate conversation, almost more intimate than I was comfortable with. It was no more boring than hearing my wife say “I love you”.