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Author Topic: Question about what to do on Sundays, &c  (Read 4557 times) Average Rating: 0
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brittrossiter
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« on: October 30, 2007, 10:12:11 AM »

First, THANK YOU to those of you who have also been posting in other various and sundry Roman Catholic forums.  Your persistence has finally prompted me to investigate Orthodoxy, and what a wonderful discovery it has been.  I attended my first Divine Liturgy on Sunday and am meeting with a priest, most likely next week, to discuss things further. 

I come from a Roman Catholic background, but as I stated above I am seriously investigating Orthodoxy, though not quite yet to the point of becoming a catechumen.  This coming Thursday (1 Nov.) is a day of obligation for RC, meaning that they/we are required to attend Mass else be in a state of mortal sin.  Ditto for every Sunday.  I am still technically an RC, but am becoming more and more drawn to Orthodox theology and am becoming more and more convinced that the Roman church's claims of exclusivity are not true.  I would also very much like to continue attending Divine Liturgy at my local Orthodox church, but practical issues such as the scheduling of Divine Liturgy compared to Mass make attending both difficult if not impossible on most weekends. 

In light of all that, should I go to Mass on Thursday, and continue attending RC Mass on Sundays and days of obligation while I am pursuing my investigation of Orthodoxy?  If so, for how long should I continue doing so?  If not, why not?  If I can only attend either Mass or Divine Liturgy because of scheduling issues, which should I attend?  What is the Orthodox position on the value, usefulness, benefits, &c., of the RC Mass? 

Forgive me if the question sounds too pedestrian.  I am a true newbie in every sense of the word.  Please pray for me as I go further down this road.
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« Reply #1 on: October 30, 2007, 11:36:14 AM »

Welcome to the OC Net and the Convert Forum.

My first recommendation is to contact an Orthodox Priest and arange for him to start instructions as an inquiror and then when you are ready ask to be made a catechumen, pose you question of Mass attendance to him at that time. I personally think it is important to attend the Orthodox services as frequently as possible as the services will give you a deeper understanding of Orthodoxy and what it means to exhibit  "True Belief" or Orthodoxy. If you feel attendnace at Mass is needed to complete you Sunday Obligation, I believe that current Roman Catholic teachings allow for attendance at Mass on Saturday evening to meet the obligatory mass and will still leave you time to experience Orthodox Worship.

Once again, Welcome!

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #2 on: October 30, 2007, 11:49:36 AM »

First of all, welcome to the OC.net forum, brittrossiter.  I hope you'll find your time here very rewarding and maybe even a bit enlightening as you continue to investigate the Orthodox Christian faith.

The first thing that comes to mind as I consider your question of scheduling conflicts is this: Most Orthodox parishes pray the Saturday night Vespers service as the beginning of the Sunday cycle of services.  If the closest parish to you does so, then I don't see why you couldn't go to Vespers at the Orthodox church on Saturdays AND go to Mass at your church on Sunday morning.  I've found that many newbies to the Orthodox faith find Vespers a less assuming, less stressful way to introduce themselves to the faith, anyway.  Just something else you might consider.

I will pray for you as you make your journey to salvation.


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« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2007, 01:30:16 PM »

Welcome to the Forum, brittrossiter!

I agree with PetertheAleut about Saturday Vespers being a less stressful way to introduce themselves to the faith as that is how I began acclimating myself to Orthodoxy (along with Wednesday Vespers/Bible Study).  I would also contact an Orthodox Priest about becomming an inquirer; his parish may have an inquirer/catechumen class or it may be just a one on one with him.  I would attend as many services as you feel comfortable with so that you may get a 'feel' for what's going on as well as a deeper understanding.

My personal feelings about attending the obligatory Thursday Mass is for you to go ahead and attend.  Afterall, you still consider yourself a Roman Catholic right?  I wouldn't delay talking to an Orthodox Priest about your questions and concerns though.

 In Christ,
Gabriel 
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« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2007, 02:01:01 PM »

ps.  As I think about this more, my own experience has shown me that the richer hymnography of Vespers--the hymns of the Divine Liturgy are much less tied to the commemoration of the day--will likely give you a much fuller sense of what we believe and whom we venerate.
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« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2007, 02:54:29 PM »

Vespers is a fantastic idea.  The Orthodox parish nearest me does have Vespers on Saturday evenings.

I'm not sure whether I consider myself Catholic anymore or not.  I certainly do not perceive any spiritual fulfillment at RC Masses.  If I went it would only be out of a sense of quasi-obligation (quasi- in the sense that I'm no longer certain it's something Christ would want me to do or not).
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« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2007, 03:24:12 PM »

I'm not sure whether I consider myself Catholic anymore or not.  I certainly do not perceive any spiritual fulfillment at RC Masses. 
Well then, if that's the case, why not visit with an Orthodox Priest tonight? Wink
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« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2007, 03:26:12 PM »

^^ Yes, Britt, there's plenty of Orthodox priests in your neck of the woods, and even some Forum members!
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« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2007, 04:12:00 PM »

Greater Cleveland Council of Orthodox Clergy website:
http://orthodoxcleveland.us/

Gives a breakdown of where the parishes are, and some of the events going on around the Cleveland area.

{Edit} - Ooo!  I just noticed a pan-Orthodox Unction service will be held November 15th at one of the Churches.  I don't know which one, but it would be a good service to attend.  Those who are not Orthodox may not received the Unction Oil, but it would be a good opportunity to hear the prayers and hymns associated with one of our under-appreciated sacraments.
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« Reply #9 on: October 31, 2007, 06:59:50 PM »

Thank you all so much for your guidance.  Continue keeping me in your prayers. 

Right now I am inclined not to attend Mass tomorrow.  I am also inclined to tell the Orthodox Priest with whom I've been communicating that I'd like to begin the process of formally joining Christ's church.
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« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2007, 07:35:52 PM »

brittrossiter,

Just my 2 cents.  Since right now you are officially Roman Catholic (and not a catechumen in the Orthodox Church), you are still bound by the rules of the RC Church and as such you should attend Mass tomorrow, since it is a Holy Day of Obligation.  I think you should continue as a practicing RC while you "investigate" the Orthodox Faith.  I agree with other posters that you should attend Vespers in the Orthodox Church - since the hymnography contained in Vespers will acquaint you with what we as Orthodox believe.  As they say, "lex orandi, lex credendi".  You can certainly attend an Orthodox Liturgy without missing a RC Mass (since, at least in my area, Masses on Sunday seem to be almost every hour on the hour on Sunday mornings and 2 on Saturday evening and at least one on Sunday evening.  Go slow.  You may run into stumbling block in the Orthodox Church which you may not be able to climb over.  I have several friends who converted from Roman Catholicism who found that giving up the idea of the supremacy of the Pope of Roman to be the major hurdle to cross in converting.  There is no reason why you can't start adapting certain Orthodox practices in your life while still being a RC.  November 15th starts the Nativity Fast (Advent).  Try a modified fast for the entire period.  Pick up a copy of an Orthodox Prayer Book and add some of our prayers to your daily prayer routine.  And most definitely, talk to an Orthodox priest.

Praying for you on your journey...

CR (A born Orthodox so I've never had to confront a situation like yours but on the other hand, I have seen some of the best and worst in the Orthodox Church - our grass may look greener but it can be brown and dry underneath!)
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« Reply #11 on: October 31, 2007, 09:38:15 PM »

I say go for it. Since your feeling the urge now. A month or months my go by and your feelings may cool. Strike while the iron is hot.
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« Reply #12 on: October 31, 2007, 11:42:24 PM »

I say go for it. Since your feeling the urge now. A month or months my go by and your feelings may cool. Strike while the iron is hot.
Patience, my friend, patience. Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2007, 04:38:53 PM »

Thank you all for your counsel.  I did attend Mass today, but prayed constantly for God's guidance throughout.  I will attend Vespers this Saturday at my local Orthodox church and will be speaking with a priest, hopefully early next week.
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« Reply #14 on: November 04, 2007, 12:54:57 PM »

Just a welcome for brittrossiter. Pray for me please.
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« Reply #15 on: November 16, 2007, 01:48:15 PM »

brittrossiter,

Just my 2 cents.  Since right now you are officially Roman Catholic (and not a catechumen in the Orthodox Church), you are still bound by the rules of the RC Church and as such you should attend Mass tomorrow, since it is a Holy Day of Obligation.  I think you should continue as a practicing RC while you "investigate" the Orthodox Faith.  I agree with other posters that you should attend Vespers in the Orthodox Church - since the hymnography contained in Vespers will acquaint you with what we as Orthodox believe.  As they say, "lex orandi, lex credendi".  You can certainly attend an Orthodox Liturgy without missing a RC Mass (since, at least in my area, Masses on Sunday seem to be almost every hour on the hour on Sunday mornings and 2 on Saturday evening and at least one on Sunday evening.  Go slow.  You may run into stumbling block in the Orthodox Church which you may not be able to climb over.  I have several friends who converted from Roman Catholicism who found that giving up the idea of the supremacy of the Pope of Roman to be the major hurdle to cross in converting.  There is no reason why you can't start adapting certain Orthodox practices in your life while still being a RC.  November 15th starts the Nativity Fast (Advent).  Try a modified fast for the entire period.  Pick up a copy of an Orthodox Prayer Book and add some of our prayers to your daily prayer routine.  And most definitely, talk to an Orthodox priest.

Praying for you on your journey...

CR (A born Orthodox so I've never had to confront a situation like yours but on the other hand, I have seen some of the best and worst in the Orthodox Church - our grass may look greener but it can be brown and dry underneath!)


Please explain this thing obligation,plus why is a mortal sin attached to it...i allways thought one goes to chuch out of great love of God..obligation to me seems to force people into  chuch to worship...what happened to free will...

Do we orthodox have our own version of obligation...i heard or did i read it can't remember not going to church we deprive our self of the food of imortality holy communion which is bad enought  ..but isn't considered a sin not going to church..  Smiley stashko
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« Reply #16 on: November 16, 2007, 02:06:05 PM »

If you're going to follow the traditional Orthodox translation/meaning of the Greek word for sin, harmatia, or "missing the mark", then not going to Church is indeed a sin. 

When one looks at sees words such as "obligation" when reading about the Roman Catholic church's proscriptions, one has to remember that the various words used to translate harmatia into Latin (such as pecco), come by way of a very juridical and precise language.  The Greek of St. Paul and the rest of the New Testament is philosophical, almost abstract, in nature.  Whereas the Greeks would see one not going to church on Sunday as "missing the mark" (eg. not living up to one's potential), in addition to de facto excommunicating oneself, a Latin would see not going to church on Sunday as not fulfilling one's duty (which, in a sense, is "missing a mark"), which was a very serious civil and captial offense in the ancient Latin world.  Christians were persecuted not necessarily because they believed in Christ Jesus, but because they would not fulfill their civil duty by sacrificing to the Emperor.  This mindset, so ingrained in the language itself, simply carried over into the post-Constantine Latin-speaking world.
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« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2007, 06:46:23 AM »

If you're going to follow the traditional Orthodox translation/meaning of the Greek word for sin, harmatia, or "missing the mark", then not going to Church is indeed a sin. 

When one looks at sees words such as "obligation" when reading about the Roman Catholic church's proscriptions, one has to remember that the various words used to translate harmatia into Latin (such as pecco), come by way of a very juridical and precise language.  The Greek of St. Paul and the rest of the New Testament is philosophical, almost abstract, in nature.  Whereas the Greeks would see one not going to church on Sunday as "missing the mark" (eg. not living up to one's potential), in addition to de facto excommunicating oneself, a Latin would see not going to church on Sunday as not fulfilling one's duty (which, in a sense, is "missing a mark"), which was a very serious civil and captial offense in the ancient Latin world.  Christians were persecuted not necessarily because they believed in Christ Jesus, but because they would not fulfill their civil duty by sacrificing to the Emperor.  This mindset, so ingrained in the language itself, simply carried over into the post-Constantine Latin-speaking world.

Brother thank you for your reply..if  your a eastern catholic ,,like the orthodox ,i believe it's not a sin ,mortal or otherwise ...for the latins i believe they made it into a mortal sin ...and that means hell if one dies  unconfessed...why burden people with something like that ...dosn't that make people into scripture lawyers by them trying all kinds of different  ways of justifying avoiding there burden[obligation]..  Christ wants our true and sincere love and worship ,thats freely given,,i would assume not under a threat of hell .....Christ says his yoke is light...stashko
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« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2007, 06:57:56 PM »

Brother thank you for your reply..if  your a eastern catholic ,,like the orthodox ,i believe it's not a sin ,mortal or otherwise ...for the latins i believe they made it into a mortal sin ...and that means hell if one dies  unconfessed...why burden people with something like that ...dosn't that make people into scripture lawyers by them trying all kinds of different  ways of justifying avoiding there burden[obligation]..  Christ wants our true and sincere love and worship ,thats freely given,,i would assume not under a threat of hell .....Christ says his yoke is light...stashko

Stashko, were you or are you Catholic? 
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2007, 07:14:33 AM »

Stashko, were you or are you Catholic? 

 no only orthodox catholic cradle,,,stashko
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« Reply #20 on: November 18, 2007, 07:18:01 AM »

no only orthodox catholic cradle,,,stashko

Were you Orthodox cradle or Catholic cradle?
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« Reply #21 on: November 18, 2007, 05:45:06 PM »

Were you Orthodox cradle or Catholic cradle?

Both    how  else can i  say it , im cradle  eastern orthodox catholic under his Holiness Patriarch Pavle...stashko


Before we got the Roman Catholic big Boot on catholic answers forum, there was a discussion on this subject ,Father Ambrose participated .. so my understanding has become better,that  its  not a sin to miss sundays.    i know this wasn't your question...stashko
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« Reply #22 on: November 19, 2007, 01:21:37 AM »

Brittrossiter,

I agree that you should continue attending Mass on Sunday and Holy Days of obligation at least until you are officially Orthodox otherwise if you do not find Orthodoxy to be the One holy, catholic, and apostolic church you may have the feeling that you sinned. Also I would recommend that since you are investigating the Orthodox Church, and are no longer certain about whether or not you believe certain Catholic dogmas you should abstain from receiving communion.

Catholig
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« Reply #23 on: November 30, 2007, 05:19:10 PM »

Vespers is a fantastic idea.  The Orthodox parish nearest me does have Vespers on Saturday evenings.

I'm not sure whether I consider myself Catholic anymore or not.  I certainly do not perceive any spiritual fulfillment at RC Masses.  If I went it would only be out of a sense of quasi-obligation (quasi- in the sense that I'm no longer certain it's something Christ would want me to do or not).

When a catechumen myself, there was an interim period where I would attend a Mass and Liturgy because I wanted to make absolutely sure of my commitment to Orthodoxy.  I even used the RC confessionals in the beginning thinking it was mostly all the same. But, I soon came to realize that you cant have one foot in Roman Catholicism and the other in Orthodox Catholicism.   I had to choose one or the other and I choose the later simply because I felt a certain calling and I felt the Orthodox church to be a fuller expression of Christian faith.

But thats me.

PS I wasnt receiving in either church at this time.

 Cool
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« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2007, 06:44:11 AM »

First, THANK YOU to those of you who have also been posting in other various and sundry Roman Catholic forums.  Your persistence has finally prompted me to investigate Orthodoxy, and what a wonderful discovery it has been.  I attended my first Divine Liturgy on Sunday and am meeting with a priest, most likely next week, to discuss things further. 

I come from a Roman Catholic background, but as I stated above I am seriously investigating Orthodoxy, though not quite yet to the point of becoming a catechumen.  This coming Thursday (1 Nov.) is a day of obligation for RC, meaning that they/we are required to attend Mass else be in a state of mortal sin.  Ditto for every Sunday.  I am still technically an RC, but am becoming more and more drawn to Orthodox theology and am becoming more and more convinced that the Roman church's claims of exclusivity are not true.  I would also very much like to continue attending Divine Liturgy at my local Orthodox church, but practical issues such as the scheduling of Divine Liturgy compared to Mass make attending both difficult if not impossible on most weekends. 

In light of all that, should I go to Mass on Thursday, and continue attending RC Mass on Sundays and days of obligation while I am pursuing my investigation of Orthodoxy?  If so, for how long should I continue doing so?  If not, why not?  If I can only attend either Mass or Divine Liturgy because of scheduling issues, which should I attend?  What is the Orthodox position on the value, usefulness, benefits, &c., of the RC Mass? 

Forgive me if the question sounds too pedestrian.  I am a true newbie in every sense of the word.  Please pray for me as I go further down this road.
Hello...
Theres no sin in not attending mass or liturgy,,,we attend because out great love of God not because it 's a obligation .. it seem obligation is forcing you to attend,,, don't we have free will...Just living life everyday people aquire enough sin....As a orthodox christian i heard by not attending liturgy we deprive our self from the food of imortality [holy communion] brother stashko
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« Reply #25 on: December 01, 2007, 08:24:31 PM »

How long have you been attending the Orthodox church? 
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« Reply #26 on: December 18, 2007, 12:07:36 AM »


Please explain this thing obligation,plus why is a mortal sin attached to it...i allways thought one goes to chuch out of great love of God..obligation to me seems to force people into  chuch to worship...what happened to free will...

Do we orthodox have our own version of obligation...i heard or did i read it can't remember not going to church we deprive our self of the food of imortality holy communion which is bad enought  ..but isn't considered a sin not going to church..  Smiley stashko

Unless a lot of things have changed since I was Roman Catholic, Sunday and Holy Days have always been Holy Days of OBLIGATION.  In other words, unless you are ill, or have a darn good excuse for not being in church you are commiting a Mortal Sin by not being there.   The obligation part is to insure that a warm body is there and present during the Mass. Wanting to be there was optional.

Has this changed and become more relevant in our modern times?

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« Reply #27 on: December 18, 2007, 02:04:42 AM »

Unless a lot of things have changed since I was Roman Catholic, Sunday and Holy Days have always been Holy Days of OBLIGATION.  In other words, unless you are ill, or have a darn good excuse for not being in church you are commiting a Mortal Sin by not being there.   The obligation part is to insure that a warm body is there and present during the Mass. Wanting to be there was optional.

Has this changed and become more relevant in our modern times?



Hi....i was in your church on division and levitt last Good friday and saturday before resurrection sunday....i hope im  not giving bad advice to Brittrossiter.......stashko..........<a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZS%2526i%253D36%252F36%255F15%255F17%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank">SmileyCentral.com" border="0<img border="0" src="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fimgfarm%252Ecom%252Fimages%252Fnocache%252Ftr%252Ffw%252Fsmiley%252Fsocial%252Egif%253Fi%253D36%252F36_15_17/image.gif">[/url]
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« Reply #28 on: December 18, 2007, 02:08:12 AM »

Yes it is a sin to miss Church.  In fact, if you miss three in a row without good reason, you are excommunicated.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2007, 02:17:53 AM by Anastasios » Logged

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« Reply #29 on: December 18, 2007, 02:18:17 AM »

Of course it is a sin to miss Church.  In fact, if you miss three in a row without good reason, you are excommunicated.

Hi; Brother from the eastern  or western church ,,if eastern then i must of been  excommunicated ..i missed a whole lot of sundays ..iv never ever heard any sermons on this subject in church ,,,and i was alter boy with my brother for a long time.....stashko.....<a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZS%2526i%253D36%252F36%255F1%255F38%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank">SmileyCentral.com" border="0<img border="0" src="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fimgfarm%252Ecom%252Fimages%252Fnocache%252Ftr%252Ffw%252Fsmiley%252Fsocial%252Egif%253Fi%253D36%252F36_1_38/image.gif">[/url]
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« Reply #30 on: December 18, 2007, 09:53:34 AM »

One excommunicates himself/herself from the church by failing to attend regularly (i.e. three times in a row according to the canons) whether the priest or bishop actually declares it or not.  One re-enters communion by going to confession  and confessing the non-attendance without good cause thus resolving the voluntary excommunication (the non reciept of communion with the Church). When blessed to partake of communion by your father confessor---you re-enter communion. It really is that simple.

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« Reply #31 on: December 18, 2007, 03:29:18 PM »

One excommunicates himself/herself from the church by failing to attend regularly (i.e. three times in a row according to the canons) whether the priest or bishop actually declares it or not.  One re-enters communion by going to confession  and confessing the non-attendance without good cause thus resolving the voluntary excommunication (the non reciept of communion with the Church). When blessed to partake of communion by your father confessor---you re-enter communion. It really is that simple.

Thomas

Thank you ..For letting me know this ...stashko.....<a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZS%2526i%253D36%252F36%255F1%255F67%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank">SmileyCentral.com" border="0<img border="0" src="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fimgfarm%252Ecom%252Fimages%252Fnocache%252Ftr%252Ffw%252Fsmiley%252Fsocial%252Egif%253Fi%253D36%252F36_1_67/image.gif">[/url]
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« Reply #32 on: December 23, 2007, 08:58:24 PM »

Hi....i was in your church on division and levitt last Good friday and saturday before resurrection sunday....i hope im  not giving bad advice to Brittrossiter.......stashko..........<a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZS%2526i%253D36%252F36%255F15%255F17%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank">SmileyCentral.com" border="0<img border="0" src="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fimgfarm%252Ecom%252Fimages%252Fnocache%252Ftr%252Ffw%252Fsmiley%252Fsocial%252Egif%253Fi%253D36%252F36_15_17/image.gif">[/url]

Thats very coincidential that you mention Division and Levitt, Holy Trinity OCA cathedral in Chicago, IL. is at Division and Levitt (1121 N. Levitt)
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« Reply #33 on: December 23, 2007, 09:27:35 PM »

Thats very coincidential that you mention Division and Levitt, Holy Trinity OCA cathedral in Chicago, IL. is at Division and Levitt (1121 N. Levitt)
hello:

It's a beautiful Church ..im not use to english in the services though..as a serb it seemed a little bit different in the services .....beautiful never the less..I kissed bishop Jobs hand in respect..i also kissed a readers hand that wore a black robe and a cross thinking he was a father by mistake...<a href="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fwww.smileycentral.com%252F%253Fpartner%253DZSzeb008%255FZS%2526i%253D4%252F4%255F1%255F219%2526feat%253Dprof/page.html" target="_blank">SmileyCentral.com" border="0<img border="0" src="http://plugin.smileycentral.com/http%253A%252F%252Fimgfarm%252Ecom%252Fimages%252Fnocache%252Ftr%252Ffw%252Fsmiley%252Fsocial%252Egif%253Fi%253D4%252F4_1_219/image.gif">[/url] stashko
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