I have just returned from a Pascha service at my dear friend's Orthodox church. It was very beautiful and her spiritual father reminds me alot of the ones I'll be returning to shortly.
I was pleased to be able to follow the liturgy quite well and pick up the chant decently by the end. Most of the chanted texts were familiar to me - well, the ones in English, that is. (I've also learned that in an unfamiliar chanted liturgy, if you simply lag about one second behind a clear singer, you can get the pitch of the next note and clue into the word from the first phonetic syllable and the context.)
Needless to say, I was enjoying the liturgy, incense, prayers, candles, beautiful icons, etc so much that I my analyzing awareness had relaxed by the time we entered the Divine Liturgy. Not being on my toes, I started into the Nicene Creed as I normally do, stumbling a bit because the translation being recited (no handouts or hymnals) was somewhat different than the typical Western rendition. That should have clued me into other differences between West and East surrounding the Creed, but nooo. I keep stumbling on...
..."the Holy Spirit, the Lord and Giver of Life, who proceeds from the Father and the..... Oh!"
Suddenly, I felt a sharp elbow jab on my arm from Zack. I stopped, then realized what I had done! The Filioque in Orthodox Divine Liturgy! I almost burst out laughing, but jabbed Zack back instead. When I'd composed myself I snuck a peek at his face to see almost as big a grin as I had had on my own.
I'm still here. Nobody noticed the Western trespass on Eastern ground and I even got a blessing from Father M-- despite.
The Pascha service was beautiful and I'm very glad to have had this opportunity to attend such an important Christian service with my Orthodox friend, but all the same, I'll be glad to be back at my home parish in a week with my own dear Pastors and well-beloved liturgy.
Now to sleep before church tomorrow!