8.Intercession for the whole creation
Intercession for the living and the departed was practiced in the Church from the very beginning. If it is alright to ask a living person to pray for us without violating the principle of one unique Mediator , it cannot be wrong to ask a departed saint to pray for us. We also pray for them. Even the relics of the departed saints can do miracles. See 2 kings 13:20, 21. The rich man in hades prays for his five brothers who are living Luke 16:27,28. The Orthodox Church believes that the range of Christ’s saving activity is the whole creation at large. The creation is based on the will, wisdom and power of God. Purpose of the creation is to glorify God. With our prayers and intercession we transfigure the world for the glorification of God.
9. Liturgical hymns with diversity of tunes
The highest form of worship is to use hymns with diversity of tunes as in the Psalms. Through liturgical hymns we are getting into the horizon of the fact of incarnation. We are exploring the divine mysteries through our hymns. Music is the human response to divine love. Music transforms human mind. It is the highest form of devotion and the strongest mental shock absorber. With the heavenly angels who stand in rows and repeat the chanting of melodious prayers, the earthly beings participate in the worship with melodious songs. In the book of psalms there are directions to lift up the voice of the choir. The word “sela” means “lift up” . In the communal worship and singing , the choir members are reminded here to raise and lower down the voices and tunes. Worship is our state of being immersed into the ocean of God. We feel relaxed when our burdens, problems, afflictions and aspirations are submitted before God. Worship is the state of our relaxation before God.
10. Strong Biblical basis
The apostles and the early disciples described the mystery of early Incarnation based on the law of Moses, prophets and other writings. See Acts 28:23. The worship and liturgical practice of the early Church were developed with the contents of Synagogue worship and Temple worship. The worship in the Jerusalem Temple followed morning and evening sacrifice , offering of the incense and Hanukah processions with lighted candles. The synagogue worship followed readings from the Old Testament, verses of blessings, singing of Psalms, exegetical sermons by religious scholars and Aaronic benediction. Assimilating these ancient practices of worship , the Church developed and regularized readings from the Old Testament, New Testament, songs, offering of incense and the holy Eucharist which is the liturgy of the sacrifice (Jn 6:53 ,1 Cor. 11:23-32, Heb 9: 15-22,). The worship of the Orthodox Church is saturated with verses from the Holy Bible.