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An Orthodox Liturgy is unlike any other form of worship you have ever experienced. Whether you’re a regular church-goer, someone brand new or anyone in-between there are spiritual blessings in store for you.
Blessed be the Kingdom
The first words of the Divine Liturgy are:
Blessed be the Kingdom of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit: now and ever, and unto the ages of ages.
These words mirror the content of Jesus’ first message to the world, “the Good News of the Kingdom” (Matthew 4:23). Jesus said that the “Kingdom of God is near” (Mark 1:15). It was so close that people could reach out and touch it.
Since then the Kingdom of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit have been growing in the lives of men and women around the world. It has been drawing men and women in bonds of love, spreading throughout the world and changing the shape of entire societies (Matthew 13:33; Daniel 2:34–35).
This Kingdom of Christ—the Kingdom that the Gospels declare is the Good News—we bless. We express our devotion and love for God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit by blessing His Kingdom, sanctifying it within our hearts, and declaring our allegiance towards Him Who sanctifies us.
Leading the congregation in prayer
Prayer for the World
The heart of the Divine Liturgy is prayer. Prayer that reflects the heart and mind of Christ.
Just as Christ humbly interceded for the world, so too the congregation functions as an intercessor, praying for the poor, the needy, the downtrodden; praying for those in positions of authority in church and society; praying for those who sin and transgress, as do we.
We gather together in separation from the world: not because we are better than it; but because we recognise Him who truly loves the world, and desire His action to be ours.
Hymns for the Heart
The Liturgy is filled with “psalms, prayers and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19). We sing to express the melody of love the Holy Trinity plays in our heart.
Our hymns are drawn from Scripture, from History, and from the lives of the Saints.
The purpose of our song is to praise the Majesty of God, as revealed in the glory that shone forth His humiliation on our behalf.
Scripture for the Soul
The Liturgy is awash with Scripture. Not only does it contain hundreds of quotations, but its entire ethos has been shaped and formed through centuries of interaction with Holy Scripture.
The purpose of Scripture transcends mere recitation of facts or proof-texts for beliefs. The focal point of Scripture is to make available the mind of Christ in the life of the faithful.
Scripture washes and reshapes the mind, heart and soul. The Scripture that shaped and formed the mind of Christ cleanses, purifies and reshapes our own. In hearing Scripture read Christ is made present within us.
The word “Evangel” or “Gospel” means “Good News.” When emperors achieved military victories in the ancient world they used to lead a procession into the city. The proclamation of the emperor's victory was the Good News and the procession is what demonstrated it.
So true evangelical worship simply has to include a procession!
The Orthodox Liturgy is centred on a procession that declares the Good News of the Victory of our King. Orthodox worship proclaims Jesus to be a Conquering Hero.
The Liturgy is thoroughly and truly evangelical.
The focal point of the Liturgy is the Eucharist: receiving communion with Jesus through His Body and Blood; the Life of the Holy Trinity intermingling with ours.
Even more, communion unites us with everyone who has communion with Jesus: Mary the Mother of God, the Apostles, all the Saints and the Church eternal whose life is hidden in Christ.
The Eucharist represents the loving unity of all who receive Jesus as their Lord, no matter what their nationality or language. In Christ, all are one.
Sunday morning in 90 seconds
A brief glimpse of worship on a Sunday morning.
The Good Shepherd Orthodox Church, located in Clayton, Melbourne, is a living witness to the power of the Gospel and the fullness of the Christian Faith in modern, secular Australia.
We are a vibrant Australian Christian community under the direction of the Antiochian Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia, New Zealand & the Philippines, which belongs to the jurisdiction of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch and All the East.
The Church of Antioch is the continuation of the Christian community founded in Antioch by the Apostles Peter (who served as its first bishop) and Paul. The Patriarchate of Antioch is the oldest of the ancient Patriarchates constituting the one Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church of Jesus Christ.
All services are in the English language and the Divine Liturgy is held in the Main Chapel of the Religious Centre at Monash University, Clayton Campus, conveniently located in the centre of Melbourne’s residential population.
Parking in the University car parks is free on weekends—but please take note of all signs regarding Loading Zones, No Standing and Disabled Parking—these restrictions apply and are enforced, even on weekends. Permit zones do not apply at the weekends but apply until 7:00 pm every weekday.