Sunday, September 8, 2013

Attend or not attend Church?

Before attempting to make an argument here on our question, it is important to identify what the Church (Ecclesia) truly is. The Church is not merely a human society; it uniquely has a human and a divine character. It is the Body of Christ, i.e. it is all the faithful who believe in the Holy Trinity and who gather, forming thus the Ecclesia, in order to be in communion with God. It is true that the Church is in the world; however it is not of the world. Christianity does not emphasise knowledge of Theology, but it does point out the experience and life with Christ, i.e. being in communion with Him, in order to achieve the ultimate objective which is salvation and communion with God.

That is why it is important to attend Church, the Holy Sacraments and evidently its whole life. Living apart from it denies the person of his or her ultimate aim, i.e. salvation. Since we are all part of the Body of Christ, we cannot live apart from it. Also one needs to be in communion, participating in the life of the Body in order to be considered a member of the Church. In order to achieve these objectives, we all need to be part of the Ecclesia, living therefore a distinct way of life, in comparison to the modern epochal secular society that prevails around us. This life within the Body of the Church gives us the opportunity to participate in the life giving unity of the unified body.
Salvation is not attained only by our own merits, but by the life and communion of the Body of Christ. This unification is established and emphasised during the Divine Liturgy, where we share the body and blood of Christ. We, hence, become one with Christ and with each other. Concluding, it is evident that in order to live a true Christian life it is imperative we all partake in its mysteries, celebrations and life. Without this communion we miss the true nature and objectives given to us by God.  


  1. Before reading through, I thought you might be criticising the use of this verb and saying something like 'neither "attend" nor "not attend"'. I commonly use it too, but on a second thought it seems not an apt way to put it, since we do not 'attend' as in any other event; we rather create what's going on there by our very presence and participation. Just a thought...(?) E.Gr.

  2. Thank you for your comment. I can agree with you on your point...However, i do feel that most people merely attend. Our Liturgies are celebrated in such a way, where most people just attend, not taking part in the Liturgy, being passive. On the other hand, I understand your point..!