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You should always contact you local priest in the parish you are attending and he will advise you on what he requires for a person to become an Orthodox Christian.
Historically, catechumens were divided into mere inquirers (audientes, akromeni) and catechumens proper. If a person came to the church to inquire, he was given some elementary instruction in the fundamental doctrines and practices of the Church, once he had shown by his conduct that he was in earnest about the step he was about to take and appeared that he was likely to persevere, the inquirer was promoted to the rank of catechumen. This indicates that the first stage of training is attendance at church services, going to education classes or reading specifically assigned readings, and changing one’s life more in conformity to that of an Orthodox Christian lifestyle.
When this is done to the satisfaction of the priest, the person is deemed ready to become a Catechumen. The catechumen is made through a very specific ritual of the Orthodox Church in which he is prayed for by the priest and receives three exorcisms, The Catechumen then declares publicly his joining of self to Christ and states the Nicene Creed . At this point he becomes the newly illumined, a catechumen. The catechumen is expected to attend to the services of the church regularly, to continue his/her education in Orthodox Christianity (either in classes or by study), and to exhibit a dedication to the Orthodox Christian lifestyle that includes fasting, prayer, and almsgiving.
Normally after 6-12 months of devoutly attending to his catechesis, the catechumen will be advised by the Priest that he may be baptized/chrismated into the Church. This Liturgical act formalizes the acceptance of the Catechumen of the waters of baptism and the gift of the Holy Spirit given at Chrismation. Once a member of the body of Christ, the newly illumined in Christ may now receive all the sacraments of the Church.
As each pastor/priest has his own interpretation on what it takes, you should discuss the matter with your pastor. He will direct your readings, probably teach all or most of the classes you will need to take to eventually become an orthodox Christian. In my parish I am the catechumen director, I work with each inquirer and catechumen under the direction of my pastor to create an individualized reading program to go with the required classes taught be our priest. As our parish is almost entirely 1st generation Orthodox Christians at the request of my pastor I teach a class on Orthopraxis over twelve months time that assists the catecumen and newly illumined Orthodox Christian to learn the Traditions and traditions of the church---things like lighting charcoal and placing incense, prepparing and maintaining oil lampadas---things my cradle born Godparents taught me but that is often missing in a convert parish.
Feel free to ask questions of us on the forum but remember that the key thing is to talk everything over with your priest and start your Christian education.
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