I visited the Russian Orthodox church in Munich this evening. I learned quite a bit from my colleague about:
- the significance of the church’s foundations/location (alter faces the east because that’s where the sun rises; we the people come from the west)
- signing/crossing oneself (3x, then bowing or touching the ground)
- kissing the icons (or pressing one’s cheek to it)
- difference between and the significance of the different Mary & Jesus icons
This service was for the asking of forgiveness before Lent. If I remember correctly, Russian Orthodox Christians begin Lent that day (as opposed to Ash Wednesday – on the 8th of March this year).