In a recent service, the Deacon exited the north door of the altar and proceeded to intone the Small Litany in Greek. In the second petition, the deacon forgot “Eleison imas”, thus omitting the mercy of God!

As faithful servants in the Lord’s House, we are prone to mistakes due to fatigue, lapse of faith, or inattentiveness. The divine services were revealed to the Fathers and given to the Church to instruct the faithful to a life of godliness. Lack of attention to detail can be a nuisance in the simplest case – to a real distraction and temptation in the most severe cases.

The divine services lead the faithful in prayer and the clergy are instruments in this aim. Properly rendered services are prayerful, quiet, and free of distraction. The proper service of the clergy builds an environment of prayer.

It could be also said that the inattentive service of the clergy can also be a rather religious occurrence as it leads the faithful into deep prayer begging to Lord, “please make it stop!”