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Author Topic: How Are ROCOR Different?  (Read 5937 times) Average Rating: 0
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St. Christopher
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« on: June 07, 2007, 11:06:23 PM »

I just found out there is a ROCOR church in my area.  How would it be different than the Antiochian parish I'm part of?  Please be polite.
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« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2007, 11:36:42 PM »

They chant funny...then again, so do the Antiochians at times Wink
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« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2007, 11:40:57 PM »

They chant funny...then again, so do the Antiochians at times Wink

Hey, I've heard some pretty bad Byzantine chant come from the mouths of current GOA seminary students.  Grin
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« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2007, 01:45:50 AM »

Hey, I've heard some pretty bad Byzantine chant come from the mouths of current GOA seminary students.  Grin

Quite true...but there is a difference between bad and funny. Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2007, 07:54:03 AM »

I've seen ROCOR Churches where the priest wears a collar and has a goatee, where their are pews, etc.; and then I've also been in ROCOR Churches where the priest had a beard over a foot long, there are no pews, etc.  The picture normally painted of ROCOR is the latter type of parish, but there is actually a variety, though they probably bend more towards the conservative/traditionalist side than most other jurisdictions. I've found them to be generally welcoming of outsiders, and less apt to be wary of outsiders than other jurisdictions (though the Antiochians I've met have probably been the best at being open). Obviously these are just generalizations based on limited experience, but there it is fwiw.
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« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2007, 08:56:38 AM »

Having served as a Sub-deacon in both ROCOR and Antiochian Parishes, I think you will find both very open and welcoming to  you.  Generally women in a ROCOR parish are expected to wear dresses and wear a head scarf when in the Church Services. In the Antiochian Church that is left up generally to the woman. You will be expected to attend the Vigil the evening before Liturgy and go to confession within 1 week prior to communing.  As all priests should do, a ROCOR priests will usually ask you for a letter from your priest or ask to see your baptismal records before communing you. Some ROCOR priests may ask you to confess to them prior to communing. The services I have attended in ROCOR parishes have always been moving and beautifully done. Enjoy!

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« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2007, 11:31:53 AM »

I've seen ROCOR Churches where the priest wears a collar and has a goatee, where their are pews, etc.; and then I've also been in ROCOR Churches where the priest had a beard over a foot long, there are no pews, etc.  The picture normally painted of ROCOR is the latter type of parish, but there is actually a variety, though they probably bend more towards the conservative/traditionalist side than most other jurisdictions. I've found them to be generally welcoming of outsiders, and less apt to be wary of outsiders than other jurisdictions (though the Antiochians I've met have probably been the best at being open). Obviously these are just generalizations based on limited experience, but there it is fwiw.

Seeing as your former ROCOR parish was almost 100% Carpatho-Russian (and former members of my parish), it's no wonder it displayed your first described features, Asterikos. The parish in Clymer/Indiana is unusual in ROCOR.
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« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2007, 03:05:19 PM »

That's true, though I was also thinking of the ROCOR (former OCA) parish in McKeesport, PA.
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« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2007, 03:10:24 PM »

That's true, though I was also thinking of the ROCOR (former OCA) parish in McKeesport, PA.

::ears perk up::

Sorry, I have nothing to say, but its just not every day that "Our Fair City" gets a mention! Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2007, 03:13:54 PM »

That's true, though I was also thinking of the ROCOR (former OCA) parish in McKeesport, PA.

Yes, there have been several outright flock trades in the past. The big ACROD one in Rahway, NJ was ROCOR at one time. The mission in Va Beach (now in Chesapeake, Va) was ACROD, now ROCOR. I expect a lot of this stuff will end now.
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« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2007, 04:43:16 PM »

ACROD?  Is there another Russian Orthodox group I don't know about?

We have four Orthodox churches in our area.  I've been to the Russian (MP) and Antiochian churches.  I also want to visit the ROCOR and Greek ones.
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« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2007, 04:51:19 PM »

ACROD?  Is there another Russian Orthodox group I don't know about?

American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2007, 05:12:44 PM »

Great resource for parish locating:

http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.com/
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« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2007, 05:31:37 PM »

I also don't know what part of the country you are part of, but the closer you get up north and to the coasts, there also tends to be more Russians in ROCOR (imagine that).  That said, I've found them to be very friendly to converts and non-Russians and are usually very interested in converts that come to the church.

They will tend to be more conservative but there are exceptions and if a man I'd suggest slacks and a butten down shirt, and woman skirt or dress along with a head scarf or hat.  The liturgies are usually very beautiful and I find the funny music to be wonderful to my ears. Wink And most important, don't forget comfortable shoes. 
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« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2007, 05:37:44 PM »

Though there are exceptions as has been pointed out here thanks in part to parishes switching jurisdictions, in general the Antiochians are more americanised (fewer and smaller clerical beards, Western clergy shirts on bishops, priests and deacons etc.), ROCOR more traditionally Byzantine Rite and Russian (most of their people are Russian exiles from just after World War II). That's also the big cultural divide with the old Russian dioceses in America that are now the OCA - they're obviously Russian-based in their religious practice but more American, for example using the Gregorian dates for fixed-date feasts whilst ROCOR retains the Julian calendar used in the mother country.

American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese under the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

ACROD is a 1930s split from the Ruthenian Byzantine Catholic Church a generation after other Ruthenians left for the Russian dioceses (the Alexis Toth split). This split was really nothing to do with religion and was caused by people on the Roman side: the Irish-American clergy succeeded in getting Rome to enforce a ban on the Ruthenians' ordaining married men in America. Also the Ruthenian bishop began taking ownership of parish properties. The Ruthenians had been through attempted property grabs by hostile local RC bishops (that and the row over married Byzantine priests being unwelcome in RC dioceses caused the Toth split) so many were scared away by this. They said they didn't go to the Russians this time because they didn't want to be russified like the other generation were.

So in 1938 they went under the EP where they remain.

Carpatho-Russian/Ruthenian recension of the Byzantine Rite: three-bar Russian crosses and Slavonic but their own chant (простопѣнiе, plainsong) sung in their accent (вѣки sounds like 'veekee'); Matins in the morning before Liturgy like the Greeks and Antiochians - not the night before like the Russians.
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« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2007, 11:29:10 AM »

What do ROCOR believe about divorce and remarriage?  Is it any different than other Orthodox?
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« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2007, 12:52:09 PM »

. That's also the big cultural divide with the old Russian dioceses in America that are now the OCA - they're obviously Russian-based in their religious practice but more American, for example using the Gregorian dates for fixed-date feasts whilst ROCOR retains the Julian calendar used in the mother country.

Not entirely true.  Parishes in the OCA can opt to be either old-calendar or new-calendar.  St. John of Kronstadt down in Lincoln, NE is an example of an old-calendar OCA church.  In their case, they came over from ROCOR, but any new mission church is given that option especially since the OCA has synods for the Bulgarians, Ukranians and Romanians most of whom are still Old-calendar, though I know that it was only recently that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church opted for the New Calendar.
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« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2007, 02:32:55 PM »

What do ROCOR believe about divorce and remarriage?  Is it any different than other Orthodox?

AFAIK they're the same as other Orthodox - they rarely grant church divorces and only for serious reasons such as adultery (the exception allowed in the Gospel). I think abandonment is another reason. The wronged party then can marry again in church. The reason behind this was in traditional societies abandoning a wife with young children put them in mortal danger; in some places it still does! So the wronged party was given another chance to marry so they'd be cared for. The same holds true for men - the idea was that a man with young children needed another wife to keep house and raise the children while he made money from his job.

Not entirely true.  Parishes in the OCA can opt to be either old-calendar or new-calendar.  St. John of Kronstadt down in Lincoln, NE is an example of an old-calendar OCA church.  In their case, they came over from ROCOR, but any new mission church is given that option especially since the OCA has synods for the Bulgarians, Ukranians and Romanians most of whom are still Old-calendar, though I know that it was only recently that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church opted for the New Calendar.

Sure, there are exceptions. Their Diocese of Alaska, largely Alaskan natives (Tlingit Indians for example), is conservative (it is still the Russian Orthodox Diocese of Alaska) and so is Julian-calendar.

I don't think the OCA has a synod for Ukrainians. I know they have special dioceses (ethnic ones overlapping the territorial Russian/Ruthenian ones) for Bulgarians, Romanians and Albanians.
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« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2007, 03:06:41 PM »

Not entirely true.  Parishes in the OCA can opt to be either old-calendar or new-calendar.  St. John of Kronstadt down in Lincoln, NE is an example of an old-calendar OCA church.  In their case, they came over from ROCOR, but any new mission church is given that option especially since the OCA has synods for the Bulgarians, Ukranians and Romanians most of whom are still Old-calendar, though I know that it was only recently that the Bulgarian Orthodox Church opted for the New Calendar.

I don't believe that the St. John parish came over from ROCOR.  I had spoken with the priest about doing so some years back, but he was reluctant.  It was my belief that both St. John in Lincoln and the OCA parish in Omaha both came over from Pangratios and his group.  It is entirely possible, however, that I missed something in the last 10 years as I have not had any real contact with non-ROCOR Churches in that period of time, but I am sure that there were, and are, no ROCOR parishes in either Lincoln or Omaha.  The nearest parish that I am aware of is in Sioux Falls, SD. and a couple of missions in Kansas.

For my part, the differences that I have seen between ROCOR and Antioch (American) are similar to what has been stated already.

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« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2007, 03:15:25 PM »

I don't believe that the St. John parish came over from ROCOR.  I had spoken with the priest about doing so some years back, but he was reluctant.  It was my belief that both St. John in Lincoln and the OCA parish in Omaha both came over from Pangratios and his group.

Right, the Pangratios group is a source of the old-calendar OCA churches in the lower 48 US states: they were allowed to keep that. Easy to mistake these for ex-ROCOR as their practice was/is a lot like English-speaking ROCOR whence some of them came. (Visited a Pangratios convent and parish in northern California nine years ago; they used English-language ROCOR books.)
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« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2007, 03:58:31 PM »

My opinion: Strange (but beautiful) chanting and aching feet aside, I really miss my english speaking ROCOR parish.  Go and enjoy ROCOR. You are blessed to have one in your area!  I recently relocated to FL where the closest ROCOR parish is more than 50 miles away and all slavonic.  It is an old school Russian parish with no English spoken anywhere.  Beautiful but I can't speak Russian or understand Slavonic.  I have been attending other parishes in the area for English liturgy and I have come to the conclusion that I just don't feel comfortable outside of the ROCOR/traditional setting.  I have been to OCA, UOA, Antiochians and others and there just seems to be something missing.  I am certainly not doubting the grace of those jurisdictions but - as far as aesthetics go - there is something that just feels right about the traditional worship with no pews, women with head coverings standing on the left, men seperated to the right, the priest looking like Gandalf, Russian and Georgian chant, etc.
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« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2007, 10:29:26 PM »

Do ROCOR allow female chanters?
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« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2007, 10:31:59 PM »

There are mixed choirs and women choir directors but no women readers - that's a minor order related to the priesthood so no.
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« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2007, 11:54:52 PM »

Christopher,
I'll qualify Serge's comment a bit.  Women may chant when there's a lack of trained men chanters, but they are not tonsurened. 
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« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2007, 02:17:27 PM »

Thank you to everyone for your answers.
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« Reply #25 on: June 02, 2009, 04:38:24 PM »

Have you also noticed that ROCOR is the most universal jurisdiction?

They are almost everywhere (North America, South America, Western Europe, Russia, Morocco, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand). They use three liturgical rites (Byzantine Rite, Western Rite, Old Rite). They accept clergy from different ethnic backgrounds (Indonesian, Anglo-Saxon and even Russian).

There must be something Smiley

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« Reply #26 on: June 02, 2009, 05:01:53 PM »

It's not perfect, but it has the most beautiful services. Beautiful church singing and women are taught to dress properly and in a feminine fashion with heads covered and modestly otherwise. I've visited other jurisdictions but usually never have a desire to repeat the visit because of how modern they are compared to ROCOR.
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« Reply #27 on: June 02, 2009, 05:12:35 PM »

Have you also noticed that ROCOR is the most universal jurisdiction?

They are almost everywhere (North America, South America, Western Europe, Russia, Morocco, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand). They use three liturgical rites (Byzantine Rite, Western Rite, Old Rite). They accept clergy from different ethnic backgrounds (Indonesian, Anglo-Saxon and even Russian).

There must be something Smiley

They are both inclusive and exclusive at one time! Smiley
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« Reply #28 on: June 02, 2009, 09:47:48 PM »

For my part, I never really took to the ROCOR churches. I've visited their seminary in Jordanville twice, eaten with the monks, been refused communion since I was (at that time) a member of the Antiochian Church (an ecumenist, modernist church in their estimation [at the time]), had the honor of venerating the Kursk Root icon, venerated the relics of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco in the Joy of All Who Sorrow church on Gary Avenue and been scandalized in a local ROCOR church. It's a mixed bag. It's not been my experience that their services were any more beautiful than those of the Greek, Antiochian, OCA, Byelo-Russian or Carpatho-Russian. Each church had its own unique beauty and I appreciated them all although I must admit to loving the Byzantine chant of the Antiochians. Anyway... this is an old thread I see. Wonder why it was dug up? Today ROCOR is again in communion with the rest of Orthodoxy. Glory to Jesus Christ!   Smiley
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« Reply #29 on: June 02, 2009, 09:58:55 PM »

For my part, I never really took to the ROCOR churches. I've visited their seminary in Jordanville twice, eaten with the monks, been refused communion since I was (at that time) a member of the Antiochian Church (an ecumenist, modernist church in their estimation [at the time]),

WOW!!!!!!! I never knew that ROCOR refused communion to Antiochians... HuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuh??
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« Reply #30 on: June 02, 2009, 10:10:22 PM »

For my part, I never really took to the ROCOR churches. I've visited their seminary in Jordanville twice, eaten with the monks, been refused communion since I was (at that time) a member of the Antiochian Church (an ecumenist, modernist church in their estimation [at the time]),

WOW!!!!!!! I never knew that ROCOR refused communion to Antiochians... HuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuhHuh??


Well... they did me. That was back in 1993. The monk with whom I spoke told me point blank that he considered my baptism suspect since I was baptized in a Protestant church. When I told him that it was in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, that I was brought into the Church through Chrismation, that my baptism satisfied my bishop and priest and that if it was, in fact, lacking in some way that it had more than been made up for in my reception of the Holy Eucharist over several years, that didn't seem to phase him. I suspect he may have been an anomaly and that doubtless things have changed today but that was what happened then. Needless to say, it didn't leave a pleasant taste in my mouth. BTW... I became very good friends with a ROCOR editor and have had "other" better experiences since that time.
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« Reply #31 on: June 02, 2009, 10:13:47 PM »

WOW!!!!!!! I never knew that ROCOR refused communion to Antiochians...

I think that was when they were still in schism from World Orthodoxy, much like if an Antiochian tried to receive communion today at a Greek Old Calendarist church.  It probably wouldn't go well.
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« Reply #32 on: June 02, 2009, 10:26:30 PM »

WOW!!!!!!! I never knew that ROCOR refused communion to Antiochians...

I think that was when they were still in schism from World Orthodoxy,

We were not in schism from Orthodoxy. 

For a fuller explanation please see message #35 in

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20240.msg302267/topicseen.html#msg302267

and message #94 in
http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,20504.msg313696/topicseen.html#msg313696
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« Reply #33 on: June 02, 2009, 10:34:21 PM »

I was received into the Church by baptism even though I had been "baptized" before and thought nothing of it at all! I had no idea that some Orthodox don't do this! And I would never consider receiving Holy Communion in another jurisdiction without blessings from both sides. I don't know-that's just me-I'm cautious about such things...
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« Reply #34 on: June 03, 2009, 12:27:38 AM »

I would, of course, make certain that the priest knew I was Orthodox and generally speaking, I have had my home priest either phone, write a letter of introduction or e-mail the "other" priest in order that I might receive Holy Communion. There has never been an issue other than in the ROCOR church (back in the early 90's). Orthodoxy is Orthodoxy. We are one across jurisdictions and if this is not so, then frankly, I would not care to be in such a Church that is divided asunder like this. But thankfully, that is not the case. I've been communed in Carpatho-Russian churches, Greek churches, OCA churches, Serbian churches and Antiochian churches. Some of these churches have been Old Calendar and most New. My godfather is a Ukrainian Old Calendar priest, the church into which I was brought into Orthodoxy is New Calendar church. The Faith is the same. I'm confused as to why you would never receive the Lord's Body and Blood in another Orthodox church? We are one family. Oh... there are a few churches who are not in communion with the rest of the Orthodox Church but that is an entirely different case.

Anyway... I diverge. My experience has been a very mixed one with ROCOR... both high and low (currently quite high). As I mentioned previously, it was our great privilege to venerate the relics of St John of Shanghai and San Francisco in his reliquary in the church in San Francisco. It was a life-changing experience for us both. Glory to Jesus Christ.
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« Reply #35 on: June 03, 2009, 12:52:38 AM »

I guess I feel most comfortable doing so in my own parish (where people and the priest know me). I don't commune every Sunday, and so if I'm just visiting, I wouldn't feel an urgent need to commune. I usually only attend other churches for other services anyhow (vespers and such). It's just my habit, that's all.
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« Reply #36 on: June 03, 2009, 01:02:48 AM »

I'm confused as to why you would never receive the Lord's Body and Blood in another Orthodox church? We are one family...

There is one Church in our country where the parish priests of the Russian Church Abroad would, generally speaking, advise their parishioners to avoid communing.  The reason is the eucharistic hospitality extends beyond the Orthodox family and you can find a Roman Catholic ahead of you in the communion line and Catholic Melkites and Maronites behind you.

Another consideration is that converts, especially those who have sometimes made  great efforts and sacrifices to convert from Catholicism, can find this upsetting.

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Jake
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« Reply #37 on: June 03, 2009, 09:55:45 AM »

Have you also noticed that ROCOR is the most universal jurisdiction?

They are almost everywhere (North America, South America, Western Europe, Russia, Morocco, Southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand). They use three liturgical rites (Byzantine Rite, Western Rite, Old Rite). They accept clergy from different ethnic backgrounds (Indonesian, Anglo-Saxon and even Russian).

There must be something Smiley


In terms of georgraphy, you could say the same thing about the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

By the way, since the former ROCOR re-joined the MP, I am wondering how long we can speak of it as a separate entity? 
Should we not be talking about the Moscow Patriarchate here?
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Irish Hermit
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« Reply #38 on: June 03, 2009, 02:36:23 PM »

By the way, since the former ROCOR re-joined the MP, I am wondering how long we can speak of it as a separate entity? 
Should we not be talking about the Moscow Patriarchate here?

In May 2007 the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was accorded the status of a self-governing Church. 

It shares this status with 4 other Churches:

1. The Church of Estonia
2. The Church of Moldova
3. The Church of Latvia
4. The Ukrainian Orthodox Church.

However, the Ukrainian Orthodox Church has been given some rights and privileges which belong to an autonomous Church.

An example of a truly autonomous Church under the Moscow Patriarchate is the Autonomous Church of Japan.

The provisions which govern Self-Governing Churches of the Church of Russia are given in Chapter VIII of the Ustav. See
http://www.patriarchia.ru/db/text/133132.html
(in Russian)

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« Reply #39 on: June 03, 2009, 05:25:56 PM »

I lived in Chicago for many years and obviously there are several ROCOR Churches there...as you all may know from my other posts my great grandmother fled Russia during the Revolution but she was VERY American after she moved to America from Paris,France,,once and still is a center of Russian Orthodoxy..she did not like ROCOR as she said they wanted to be more Russian than ,her term, Blood Russians.
I never felt comfortable in ROCOR either.
There used to be a small ROCOR Church near here in Wilmer, Al but it was very small and felt very culty. The priest would not commune persons who were not members.
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Jake
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« Reply #40 on: June 03, 2009, 09:11:51 PM »

There are mixed choirs and women choir directors but no women readers - that's a minor order related to the priesthood so no.

I have seen women readers in the ROCOR.

Also in Russia itself, women readers are known.  In fact beginning in communist times there were special courses in the seminaries specifically for women cantors and choir directors.
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Jake
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« Reply #41 on: June 03, 2009, 09:15:49 PM »

By the way, since the former ROCOR re-joined the MP, I am wondering how long we can speak of it as a separate entity? 
Should we not be talking about the Moscow Patriarchate here?

In May 2007 the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad was accorded the status of a self-governing Church. 




Yes, but currently there is an anomoly with both ROCOR and MP parishes in the same country.  For example in Canada,  Western Europe and so on.
My point was that in time surely, all these parishes will unite and will just be called MP parishes and not ROCOR.  Surely there will no longer be a need for two sets of hierachies and eparchies in each country.
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« Reply #42 on: June 03, 2009, 10:56:16 PM »

Yes, but currently there is an anomoly with both ROCOR and MP parishes in the same country.  For example in Canada,  Western Europe and so on.
My point was that in time surely, all these parishes will unite and will just be called MP parishes and not ROCOR.  Surely there will no longer be a need for two sets of hierachies and eparchies in each country.

One of the great internal ecumenical moments for Orthodoxy was the unification on Ascension Thursday 2007 of the Russian Patriarchate and the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad.   The latter forms a gobal Church of parishes and monasteries wherever Russians displaced by the Revolution settled and it has also been engaged in mission among local peoples. 

It has been proposed that,  with the integration of the two Churches,  the Russian Church in the West would be well placed for mission by creating three major administrative areas:

 
R.O.M.E.   ............ Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Europe

R.O.M.A.   ............ Russian Orthodox Metropolia of the Americas

R.O.M.A.N.Z.  ......  Russian Orthodox Metropolia of Australia and New Zealand

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« Reply #43 on: October 09, 2013, 08:01:47 PM »

Irish Hermit's statement makes sense. There might need to be new dioceses involved to accommodate the faithful, but if the experiment worked before the Revolution, why shouldn't it work now?
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« Reply #44 on: October 09, 2013, 08:07:24 PM »

ROME, ROMA, and ROMANZ?

Something smells fishy and yet I haven't been on a boat for several weeks.
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Quote from: The Excess of Blessed Constantine's Pious Concern
For while the people of God, whose fellow servant I am, are thus divided amongst themselves by an unreasonable and pernicious spirit of contention, how is it possible that I shall be able to maintain tranquility of mind?
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