“When you, like, leave your shoes somewhere, if they are facing upwards… so the sole of your shoe is facing upwards, you have to go turn it over. Um, so it, as if—so the bottom of your shoe is the dirtiest part and you don’t want that facing up to face God. Um, so you always turn it back over so that the top of your shoe is facing upward. Um, even if it’s on the side, normally you’d flip it to the– flip it down, so that the bottom doesn’t face up. Um, other things like that….
You never cross your legs in Church. Um, I mean, like, possibly you can do your ankles if it’s- you’re just really uncomfortable, um, but normally you’d never, ever, really cross your legs. Men or women, can’t cross their legs. Um, it’s just a sign of respect, um, things like that.
Also, a lot of, it’s much more common now for any churches, you can kind of go in very casually dressed, um, maybe, you know, look a little nicer, but in the Orthodox church, you get dressed up every week. So you see a lot of people with heels, like women with heels, um, or nice dresses all the time. Um, if you don’t you kind of stick out. Um, you know the men always wear, like, a nice shirt and khakis and things like that, um, Sunday best definitely applies.
Um, and it’s different also with communion. Um, I know a lot of protestant churches don’t have communion every week, Catholic churches do, we do have communion every week, um, but its not, like, you don’t have to have a first communion for it, you don’t have to have, um, any sort of like training or preparation for it. Um, they’ll give it straight to, like, infants, um, and also it’s not grape juice, like a lot of churches use, it’s wine. Um, and there’s also a tradition, I don’t know if this is true in the Catholic Church or not, um, but if there’s any leftover wine, or communion, you can’t just get rid of it, um, you have to drink it. The priests always drink it, so in the back of the church it’s always a little funny to just watch the priest, like, chugging bottles of wine.”
My informant is a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, a faith she inherited from her mother’s family. My informant is well versed on the practices in the Catholic Church as she attended a Catholic high school. All these small details are things my informant picked up from her mother and grandmother as she was growing up. She says that she is always aware of how shoes are lying on the floor, even in her college apartment. The rest of these details are only important when she is in church.