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texasgypsy
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« on: December 27, 2007, 05:55:50 AM »

I may not be able explain this issue very well,I can't locate the appropriate thread where I ran across a  confusing ritual, and it bothers me. It was something along the lines that when you formally get accepted as a catechuman (or maybe it's the actual Chrismation) there's a ritual where you have to get up and renounce your formal beliefs or "heresies''. This is the first I'd ever heard about this. So,I've been a Methodist going on 30 years (becoming less and less fulfilled in last 5 or so but that's anther story).  I  worry because I have  a teenage child who's pretty involved in every aspect. raised, confirmed a in very consertative Methodist church a few years ago. How do I stand up and renounce everything that's dear to an innocent 15 year old who loves God and loves people. Is she going to be hurt, confused with me?  What is it you have to get up and recounce or denounce,anyway?

I mean, what exactly does this involve? What heresies would I expect to denounce?  It feels weird.  I'm interested in Orthodoxy because I'm drawn to to good things, the focus on the Lord Jesus Christ,the positive things,the liturgy, not "Welcome home,you confused, ungodly heretic."  Can anyone explain this to me or did I misinterpret what read? Thanks for your patience with my confusion.

{Edit - removed large amount of blank space only.  Cleveland, GM}
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« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2007, 09:36:08 AM »

I may not be able explain this issue very well,I can't locate the appropriate thread where I ran across a  confusing ritual, and it bothers me. It was something along the lines that when you formally get accepted as a catechuman (or maybe it's the actual Chrismation) there's a ritual where you have to get up and renounce your formal beliefs or "heresies''. This is the first I'd ever heard about this. So,I've been a Methodist going on 30 years (becoming less and less fulfilled in last 5 or so but that's anther story).  I  worry because I have  a teenage child who's pretty involved in every aspect. raised, confirmed a in very consertative Methodist church a few years ago. How do I stand up and renounce everything that's dear to an innocent 15 year old who loves God and loves people. Is she going to be hurt, confused with me?  What is it you have to get up and recounce or denounce,anyway?

I mean, what exactly does this involve? What heresies would I expect to denounce?  It feels weird.  I'm interested in Orthodoxy because I'm drawn to to good things, the focus on the Lord Jesus Christ,the positive things,the liturgy, not "Welcome home,you confused, ungodly heretic."  Can anyone explain this to me or did I misinterpret what read? Thanks for your patience with my confusion.

IIRC, the renunciation is along the lines of "Do you renounce all heresies contrary to the teachings and Tradition of the Orthodox Church?" with the response being, "I do."  (Or something along those general lines.)  I do remember that when I became a catechumen, I did not have to make a specific listing of what heresies I was renouncing.  Also, I think it might help to keep in mind that while Orthodoxy retains the fullness of the truth, other Christian groups are not completely devoid of it.  If Orthodoxy contains the fullness, then others contain the truth in degrees that don't reach completion.  Thus, a renunciation of former heresies is not a renunciation of everything you learned and did, but only those things that are contrary to Orthodoxy, while those things that were Orthodox all along can be seen as the foundation of your own Orthodox faith.
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« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2007, 11:48:38 AM »

I may not be able explain this issue very well,I can't locate the appropriate thread where I ran across a  confusing ritual, and it bothers me. It was something along the lines that when you formally get accepted as a catechuman (or maybe it's the actual Chrismation) there's a ritual where you have to get up and renounce your formal beliefs or "heresies''. This is the first I'd ever heard about this. So,I've been a Methodist going on 30 years (becoming less and less fulfilled in last 5 or so but that's anther story).  I  worry because I have  a teenage child who's pretty involved in every aspect. raised, confirmed a in very consertative Methodist church a few years ago. How do I stand up and renounce everything that's dear to an innocent 15 year old who loves God and loves people. Is she going to be hurt, confused with me?  What is it you have to get up and recounce or denounce,anyway?

I mean, what exactly does this involve? What heresies would I expect to denounce?  It feels weird.  I'm interested in Orthodoxy because I'm drawn to to good things, the focus on the Lord Jesus Christ,the positive things,the liturgy, not "Welcome home,you confused, ungodly heretic."  Can anyone explain this to me or did I misinterpret what read? Thanks for your patience with my confusion.


I think the rite you are talking about is the office of reception of converts (you can find it in Hapgood).  I have a copy somewhere of the specifics, but can't lay my hand on it.  In my case, and others I've seen, if there was a problem (my Lutheran mother was going to come to my chrismation), the priest separate the service into two, doing the confession at one time and then the chrismation, the reasoning that the chrismation is proclaiming Orthdooxy, no reason to rub non-Orthodox noses in the renouncing part.

The renunciations in your case would be those for the Calvinists.  It is something like renouncing that there is only 2 sacraments and denying the priesthood "the fount of the others," rejecting sola scriptura, rejecting the denial of the Real Presence, renouncing the destruction of icons, etc. so mostly it is rejecting criticisms of Orthodoxy.  There is a renunciation of the filioque (most Protestants don't have a clue about it anyway), and I believe predestination.

You're not going to have to anathematize John Wesley.

I couldn't find the Calvinist one, but this is the Lutheran one.  There are other things for the Calvinists, but this gives you an idea of the office, if you havn't seen it.
http:
//orrologion.blogspot.com/2006/01/renunciations-required-of-convert-to.html

As found in the Service Book of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church. Tr. Isabel Florence Hapgood. (Englewood, NJ: Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America, 1996), pp. 454-461.


After the Prayer, the Bishop (or Priest) shall say to the convert:

Wherefore renounce now, with all thy heart, thine errors, and false doctrines, and mistakes of judgement, and confess the Orthodox-Catholic Faith.

(or, without specific renunciations: Hast thou renounced)…

The Bishop questioneth the convert from the Lutheran Confession thus:

Dost thou renounce the false doctrine that, for the expression of the dogma touching the Procession of the Holy Ghost the declaration of our Savious Christ himself: 'who proceedeth from the Father': doth not suffice; and that the addition, of man's invention: 'and from the Son': is required?

Answer: I do.

Bishop: Dost thou renounce the erroneous belief that in the Sacrament of he Holy Eucharist the bread is not transmuted into the Body of Christ, and doth not become the Body of Christ; and that the wine is not transmuted into the Blood of Christ, and doth not become the Blood of Christ; but that the presence of Christ’s Body only for a short time doth touch the bread, which remaineth simple bread?

Answer: I do.

Bishop: Dost thou renounce the erroneous belief of the teachers who do not accept as Sacraments Chrismation, Marriage, Anointing with Oil, and the Priesthood itself, which administereth the other Sacraments, and presume to administer Baptism and the Eucharist, never having received, through the laying-on of hands by a Bishop, that Ordination which hath been transmitted from one to another, even from the Apostles?

Answer: I do.

Bishop: Dost thou renounce the erroneous belief of the teachers who receive not the traditions of the Holy Churchm reverence not the Saints, and deprive the dead of spiritual aid and the living of spiritual consolation, in that they reject prayers for the dead?

Answer: I do.

After these special questions, appointed for the converts from different Confessions, the Bishop shall proceed with the catechizing which is common to all, and shall ask:

Bishop: hast thou renounced all ancient and modern heresies and false doctrines which are contrary to the teachings of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Eastern Church?

Answer: I have.

Bishop: Dost thou desire to be united unto the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Eastern Church?

Answer: I desire it with all my heart.

Bishop: Dost thou believe in one God, who is adored in the holy Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit: and dost thou worship him as thy King and thy God?

Answer: I believe in one God who is glorified and adored in the Trinity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit; and I worship him as my King and my God.

Then he maketh one lowly reference, kneeling and bowing his head to the earth, and reciteth the Creed [without the filioque, of course]….

And again the Bishop saith:

Dost thou accept the Apostolical and Ecclesiastical Canons framed and established at the Seven Holy Universal and Provincial Councils, and the other traditions and ordinances of the Orthodox Church?

Answer: I do.

Bishop: Dost thou acknowledge that the Holy Scriptures must be accepted and interpreted in accordance with the belief which hath ben handed down by the Holy Fathers, and which the Holy Orthodox Church, our Mother, hath always held and still doth hold?

Answer: I do.

Bishop: Dost thou believe and confess that there are seven Sacraments of the New Testament, to wit: Baptism, Chrismation, the Eucharist, Confession, the Priesthood, Marriage, and Anointing with Oil, instituted by the Lord Christ and his Church, to the end that, through
their operation and reception, we may obtain blessings from on high?

Answer: I do.

Bishop: Dost thou believe and confess that it is proper to reverence and invoke the Saints who reign on high with Christ; and that their prayers and intercessions before god avail with the beneficient God unto our salvation: and that it is well-pleasing in the sight of God that we should do homage to their relics, glorified though incorruption, as precious memorials of their virtue?

Answer: I believe and confess it.

Bishop: Dost thou confess that the images of our Saviour Christ; and of the Ever-virgin Mother of God, and of the other Saints are worthy of being possessed and honoured; not unto idolatry, but that, through contemplation thereof, we may be incited unto piety, and unto emulation of the deeds of the holy persons represented by these images?

Answer: I do.

Bishop: Dost thou confess that the prayers of the faithful which are offered up to God, and more especially when accompanied by the oblation of the unbloody sacrifice, for the salvation of those who have departed this life in the faith, are favourably received, through the mercy of God?

Answer: I do.

Bishop: Dost thou believe and confess that power hath been given by our Saviour Christ unto the Orthodox-Catholic Church to bind and to loose: and that whatsoever, by virtue of that power, is bound or loosed on earth will be bound or loosed in heaven?

Answer: I believe and confess it.

Bishop: Dost thou believe and confess the Foundation, Head, and Great High Priest and Chief Shepherd of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church is our Lord Jesus Christ; and that Bishops, Pastors, and Teachers are appointed by him to rule the Church; and that the Guide and Pilot of this Church is the Holy Spirit?

Answer: I believe and confess that this Church is the Bride of Christ, and that therein is true salvation, which was in the Ark of Noah at the Flood.

Bishop: Dost thou promise true obedience, unto thy life’s end, in guidance which is salutary unto the soul, to the Most Holy Synod; to the Most Holy Patriarch, the Equal-of-the-Apostles (or to the Ecclesiastical Authorities of the Autocephalous Provincial Church); and to the Bishop of this Diocese, as the true Pastors appointed by the Holy Spirit; and to the Priests ordained by them?

Answer: I promise it, with heart unfeigned.


+

Or the Bishop (or Priest) may, at his discretion, use the Shorter Office, as followeth:

Tell us of the other dogmas of our Orthodox Church, its traditions and ordinances; how thou holdest concerning them?

And he replieth:

I accept and confess the Apostolic and Ecclesiastical Canons, established at the Seven Holy Ecumenical and Provincial Councils, and the other traditions of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Apostolic Church of the East, its rules and ordinances; and I likewise will accept and understand Holy Scripture in accordance with the interpretation which the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church of the East, our Mother, hath held, and doth hold.

I believe and confess that there are Seven Sacraments of the New Testament, to wit: Baptism, Chrismation, the Eucharist, Confession, the Priesthood, Marriage, and Anointing with Oil, instituted by the Lord Christ and his Church, to the end that, through their operation and reception, we may receive blessings from on high.

I believe and confess that, in the Divine Liturgy, under the mystical forms of bread and wine, the faithful partake of the true Body and Blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, unto the remission of their sins, and unto life eternal.

I believe and confess that it is proper to reverence and invoke the Saints who reign on high with Christ, according to the interpretation of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church of the East; and that their prayers and intercessions avail with the beneficient God unto our salvation: Likewise that it is well-pleasing in the sight of God that we should do homage to their relics, glorified through incorruption, as the precious memorials of their virtues.

I acknowledge that the images of our Saviour Christ, and or the Ever-virgin Mother of God, and of the other Saints are worthy to be possessed and honoured; not unto idolatry, but that, through contemplation thereof, we may be incited unto piety, and unto emulation of the deeds of the holy persons represented by those images.

I confess that the prayers of the faithful, which are offered up to God for the salvation of those who have departed this life in the faith, are favourably received, through the mercy of God.

I believe and confess that the power hath been given by our Saviour Christ unto the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church, to bind and to loose: and that whatsoever, by virtue of that power, is bound or loosed on earth will be bound r loose in heaven.

I believe and confess that the Foundation, Head, and Great High Priest and Chief Shepherd of the Holy Orthodox-Catholic Church is our Lord Jesus Christ: and that Bishops, Pastors, and teachers are appointed by him to rule the Church: and that the Guide and Pilot of this Church is the Holy Spirit.

I confess that this Church is the Bride of Christ, and that therein is true salvation.

I promise true obedience, unto my life’s end, to the Most Holy Synod (if it be in a Diocese, then the Bishop of that Diocese is named), as the true Pastor of the Orthodox Church, and to the Priests appointed by them.
+

Then the Bishop giveth him the end of his pall (if a Priest officiate, he giveth him the end of his priestly stole) in his right hand, saying:

Enter thou into the Orthodox Church; and cast away all the errors and false doctrines wherein thou hast dwelt: and honor the Lord God, the Father Almighty, and his only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit, one true and living God, the holy Trinity, one in essence and indivisible….
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« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2007, 12:49:05 PM »

Well, I was a Baptist when I converted, and I do not remember renouncing that formally. . . though I am sure that my priest was convinced that I did in fact renounce my past beliefs.  Huh
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« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2007, 01:06:55 PM »

My observation is that in practice many priests simply use the formula that is used with everyone in which one renounces Satan and all of his works and feel that this is sufficient. 

I have heard that some bishops when accepting a former clergyman into the Church may request that the formal renounciations be done, due to their  theological training and understanding of theology being greater than that of a layman, but even then  not all bishops require this in all cases.

Some priests do the long or the short form in Hapgood as that was the practice in Imperial Russia at the time of her translation.  Most service books used in the U.S. simply delete the practice. A priest with good pastor skills will know when to use the renunciations and when it would or would not be appropriate in view of non-orthodox present.

Ask your priest what his practice is before you get too worried and let him know of your concerns about your non-Orthodox family members who may be present.

Thomas
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« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2007, 06:36:40 PM »

Yes, I do remember renouncing Satan and spitting on him. I just did it again last week when my goddaughter was baptized. Whew! Glad everything is the way it ought to be. Cheesy
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« Reply #6 on: January 01, 2008, 05:37:48 AM »

Ialmisry, thank you very much for the long text, it was very informative.  I'm printing it up and will bring it for discussion points with a priest, if I can ever overcome my fear of approaching one, and unfortunately I mean that literally. (What if I'm poised on making some terrible,even salvation endangering, mistake, etc.) But you have all been more than helpful. 

It's like my heart is torn painfully in half between almost 30 years of being "Protestant to the bone" as I once firmly characterized it, but then out of the clear blue, serendipitously discovered Something I didn't even know I was looking for.  Maybe 2008 will open the church doors  ever further. It's like I trust my God and His wisdom, but NOT my well-proven propensity to make wrongheaded decisions, and this is too important to get it wrong. Sorry for the rambling, I literally can't sleep at night going over all the doctrines, questions, longings, and haunting sense of guilt. But then I do unexpected things like cross myself when I get anxious or in a stressful situation, it seems so natural and gives me this instant feeling of protection,or "rightness".  I've just got to find a way out of this divided heart and loyalty.   Well, a blessed New Year to the community out there, you are most kind.

Tx Gypsy
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« Reply #7 on: January 01, 2008, 09:40:22 AM »

Tx Gypsy,

My pastor, Father Aidan Wilcoxson of St John the Forerunner Orthodox Church in Cedar Park is not too far from San Antonio and is a former Methodist Minister.  I am sure he would be willing to discuss any issues you have on this, if you are uncomfortable in approaching another priest.  He has been where you are coming from and is an easy person to speak with about these issues according to the catechumen in the classes I teach at church.

Thomas
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« Reply #8 on: January 01, 2008, 04:15:43 PM »

Is the rite of renunciations used if a person is being baptized into the Church?  Or is it only for those who are chrismated alone? I was baptized, and almost everyone at my parish was too, and it has never been used for any of us. In fact, I don't think I have ever witnessed anyone be received into Orthodoxy via chrismation alone.
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« Reply #9 on: January 03, 2008, 02:25:08 PM »

Yes, I do remember renouncing Satan and spitting on him. I just did it again last week when my goddaughter was baptized. Whew! Glad everything is the way it ought to be. Cheesy

Did you really "spit"?
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« Reply #10 on: January 03, 2008, 02:32:26 PM »

texasgypsy

I am blessed to know that you have taken on the life of Orthodoxy.

May God bless you and keep you.

I pray also that your family will accept your faith in a way that is fruitful.

I think you know (and they should know) that you do not have the same faith as they do anymore.

This will come to light regardless of what is or is not said out loud during your chrismation.

Let Gods' will be done...Amen
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« Reply #11 on: January 03, 2008, 02:40:30 PM »

Did you really "spit"?

The Greek practice (and perhaps others) is to say 'ptou' three times while in the narthex, same as you would if someone was praising a beautiful child or something like that (wasn't this on the Greek wedding movie when the bride walked down the aisle, btw?)

If any saliva is expectorated, it is a minimal amount, at least in my experience. However, the rubrics are very clear: we are 'to blow and spit upon' the Devil, and we do the 'ptou' instead of making a big mess in the narthex.

However, I do have to admit that I have never examined the narthex after a baptism to determine the amount of spit actually generated through this process.

Let me guess...the Ethiopians do not do this?  Wink
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« Reply #12 on: January 03, 2008, 02:47:03 PM »

Ethiopian Orthodox Catachumen recieve a (temporary) new name upon being offiicially entitled to study for baptism.

They are only called by this 'new' name until they are baptised.

We hope that this provides them a since of frienship and acceptance form the start. All of our converts light up with excitement when they get the new name. Upon baptism the priest will provide a holy baptismal name which will be permanent

The new baptismal name takes the place of the birth name in useage. Thus converts do not use their first name in or around the church or in the presence of faithful anywhere they may be. The converts love this. It helps them be mindful of the new life they have in Christ and that the new baptismal name is the name that the angles refer to regarding them. Also Christ willl call the baptismal name upon His second advent. Not the birth name. Plus there is the added bonus of assimilation with Ethiopian culture having a name that is native to Ethiopian Language. Not that this is necessary with all of our comverts. It is bonus you can take or leave.
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« Reply #13 on: January 03, 2008, 03:00:56 PM »

The Greek practice (and perhaps others) is to say 'ptou' three times while in the narthex, same as you would if someone was praising a beautiful child or something like that (wasn't this on the Greek wedding movie when the bride walked down the aisle, btw?)

If any saliva is expectorated, it is a minimal amount, at least in my experience. However, the rubrics are very clear: we are 'to blow and spit upon' the Devil, and we do the 'ptou' instead of making a big mess in the narthex.

However, I do have to admit that I have never examined the narthex after a baptism to determine the amount of spit actually generated through this process.

Let me guess...the Ethiopians do not do this?  Wink

No...

I must say that spitting in any place is very very impolite and is frowned upon severely.

Spitting in the presence of the church or on or near the property of the church only magnifies the situation.

Ethiopian Christians believe that any act of offence (real or otherwise) is not good for the soul. In our tradition God is our defender and thus we rely on His 'love' to over come and defeat our enemies including satan and his angles not any act of our own and certainly not hitting him with stricks (as some people do). Spitting to me seems to be an act of aggression or defence. But I do not understand what your tradition is. 

It seems symbolic only?
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« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2008, 11:02:35 AM »

The Greek practice (and perhaps others) is to say 'ptou' three times while in the narthex, same as you would if someone was praising a beautiful child or something like that (wasn't this on the Greek wedding movie when the bride walked down the aisle, btw?)

If any saliva is expectorated, it is a minimal amount, at least in my experience. However, the rubrics are very clear: we are 'to blow and spit upon' the Devil, and we do the 'ptou' instead of making a big mess in the narthex.

However, I do have to admit that I have never examined the narthex after a baptism to determine the amount of spit actually generated through this process.

Let me guess...the Ethiopians do not do this?  Wink

I walked to the door and spit outside, just as I was instructed (and did) when I was baptized and chrismated. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2008, 11:04:21 AM »

No...

I must say that spitting in any place is very very impolite and is frowned upon severely.

Spitting in the presence of the church or on or near the property of the church only magnifies the situation.

Ethiopian Christians believe that any act of offence (real or otherwise) is not good for the soul. In our tradition God is our defender and thus we rely on His 'love' to over come and defeat our enemies including satan and his angles not any act of our own and certainly not hitting him with stricks (as some people do). Spitting to me seems to be an act of aggression or defence. But I do not understand what your tradition is. 

It seems symbolic only?

My priest, Fr. Andrew explained at the baptism of my goddaughter that spitting is the most profound expression of disrespect, and by spitting on the ground we show just how vehemently we deny Satan.
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