From a reader:
I thought you’d be interested in the observations of a Baptist pastor who, on sabbatical, visited an Orthodox church. I think his observations, excerpted below, hold true, as well, about the TLM. His blog posting is titled "Not for lightweights".
So what did I think about my experience at Saint Anthony the Great Orthodox Church?
I LOVED IT. Loved it loved it loved it loved it loved it.
In a day when user-friendly is the byword of everything from churches to software, here was worship that asked something of me. No, DEMANDED something of me. [Ah the power of liturgy. When we get ourselves out of the way and let worship be worship, it overcomes us.]
“You don’t know what Theotokos means? Get a book and read about it. [One thing leads to another. It was the same thing in my own conversion. It began with an experience of liturgical worship. Then the questions and the exploration simply had to begin.] You have a hard time standing for 2 hours? Do some sit ups and get yourself into worship shape. It is the Lord our God we worship here, mortal. What made you think you could worship the Eternal One without pain?"
See, I get that. That makes sense to me. I had a hard time following the words of the chants and liturgy, but even my lack of understanding had something to teach me. [This, friend, is the encounter with mystery which must be at the core of liturgy. This is the via negativa.]
“There is so much for you to learn. There is more here than a person could master in a lifetime. THIS IS BIGGER THAN YOU ARE. [Ahhhhh…. yes!] Your understanding is not central here. These are ancient rites of the church. Stand with us, brother, and you will learn in time. Or go and find your way to an easier place if you must. God bless you on that journey. We understand, but this is the way we do church.”
This is what the fullness of the Roman liturgy accomplishes as well.
This is also why we needed Summorum Pontificum.