Author Topic: Taking A New Name  (Read 30506 times)

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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #90 on: June 16, 2011, 01:12:56 PM »
When a man named William at church was chrismated he asked the priest to choose a name for him. The priest, after study and prayer, decided on Alexander Nevsky, since William was an army officer. So not just a similar name can be chosen but something else to match the saint with the person.

There's at least one Orthodox St. William, Bishop of Regensburg.
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Offline Xenia1918

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #91 on: June 25, 2011, 10:08:23 PM »
When I was baptized in the Roman church, I chose Annette as my baptismal name, since its my birth name anyway, and Joan as my confirmation name (St Joan of Arc).

When I join the Orthodox Church, what do I do? Just keep "Annette" for St Anna?
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Offline blackincense

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #92 on: June 26, 2011, 03:39:01 AM »
I was given my baptismal name by my godmother and my priest, who acted in concert.  (Like a symphony on a discordant note, but still...)

Anyway, I just wanted to say that "James" is my priest's name...I loveit.  "James" was the first bishop of jersusalem.  You can't get much more Orthodox than that.  Don't worry about it.  It will all come together in God's time.  In the meantime, have FUN.  Enjoy your catechumenate.  Don't waste it on legalism and the Philokalia.  Enjoy learning from the people in your parish who will become your extended family.  Enjoy dinners out with your priest and Matushka (or Popadija, or Presbytera or whatever).  Enjoy coffee hours at Starbucks with people in your parish you "click" with.. Have a good time, and remember that martyrdom is a split-second away always...so cherish the moment of every day you breathe.  Whether you "breathe" it as "James" or "Theophan" or "Silouan" or whatever....cherish your time and  your life in the Church.  God knows your name and He will call it out when the time comes....rest assured.

I am praying for you...
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Offline biro

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #93 on: June 26, 2011, 12:28:51 PM »
Funny thing from a book I read a while ago: "Contrary to popular belief, there is no St. Cheryl."  ;) :D
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Offline Irish Hermit

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #94 on: June 26, 2011, 10:24:00 PM »
Quite often when a person goes through a tonsuring ceremony, whether it is baptism or monastic tonsuring (as well as elevation to the episcopate), they are given a new name.

The change of name signifies that a new life has begun.

However, when people receive a new name at Baptism, I make sure to tell them that they ought to go on venerating the Saint whose name they used to have.  After all,  it is by his holy prayers and guidance and nudging that they reached their new life in Baptism or in monasticism.  
« Last Edit: June 26, 2011, 10:25:45 PM by Irish Hermit »

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Re: What name to use?
« Reply #95 on: June 27, 2011, 12:26:37 AM »
To Peter:

What do you think of the idea of striving to sanctify your old name?

Not a problem since my old name was Joanna and my baptismal name is Joanna, but now it is sanctified in the Truth.  BTW.  Joanna is one of the myrrbearing women that went to the tomb of Christ; in case you didn't know.  But if your old name is non-Christian then it should become a Christian name.  But, I believe that there was always an effort to find the equivalent Christian name since we are being baptised in Christ.  Is Trevor a Christian name?  How do you sanctify that name?
By becoming a saint

When one comes into the Church from a heterodox Christian tradition, does the Christian life one lived before becoming Orthodox, the Christian life that may very well have brought one to Orthodoxy, suddenly count for nothing?

Only Jesus Christ brings one to Orthodoxy.  The Christian life we led was an illusion, but I believe that all who came to Orthodoxy were not influenced by their "Christian" life, but that they were seeking the truth.  Something in us kept questioning our circumstance.
That's certainly your opinion, the validity of which I'm not questioning, but it is merely your opinion. Personally, I don't share it. I will not believe that my earlier life as a Protestant was nothing more than a sham. It certainly was never as full of spirit and of truth as my life now in the Orthodox Church, but it was never a mere illusion, either. No opinion you share is going to change my mind on that.

Does the albeit heterodox Christian heritage of my birth family, the family that gave me my name after my very Christian grandfather, suddenly count for nothing?

The only name that matters is your baptismal name which is SANCTIFIED by GOD by Holy Baptism..  Your last name is a matter of pride.  It is not sanctified.
I'm not talking about my surname. I'm talking about the first name (e.g., Frank, Jason, Edward, Norman, etc.) I was given at birth.

Point in case, when a woman marries, she takes the man's name.  So did she lose her identity?  No!  Because her identity and the name that her guardian angel will call her is by her BAPTISMAL NAME, not her married or maiden name.

He will say:  Joanna come forth and face your Lord.  He will not say, Ms. Smith come and face your Lord.

Seriously,  how can you trace your ancestry through so many generations.  But, you can always trace your link to the saint you were named after.  Does God bless last names or the names we are baptised in?  Are there Name's Days for last names?
What about first names? The only time I had someone address me by my last name only was in the Marine Corps.
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Offline myrrhbear

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #96 on: June 27, 2011, 06:41:26 AM »
"Not a problem since my old name was Joanna and my baptismal name is Joanna, but now it is sanctified in the Truth.  BTW.  Joanna is one of the myrrbearing women that went to the tomb of Christ; in case you didn't know."

By the way, Happy Name Day, today! :)
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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #97 on: June 27, 2011, 11:11:22 AM »
Quite often when a person goes through a tonsuring ceremony, whether it is baptism or monastic tonsuring (as well as elevation to the episcopate), they are given a new name.

The change of name signifies that a new life has begun.

However, when people receive a new name at Baptism, I make sure to tell them that they ought to go on venerating the Saint whose name they used to have.  After all,  it is by his holy prayers and guidance and nudging that they reached their new life in Baptism or in monasticism. 
Are any of these names considered the same as the name on the white stone in Revelation?
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Offline Monk Vasyl

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #98 on: June 27, 2011, 11:21:48 AM »
When I was baptised in the Catholic church, I was given the name Ronald by my parents.  In our parish school, the nun that taught us was asking us to give a talk about the saint whose name we bore.  I cried since I couldn't find a St. Ronald.  The kids made fun of me, but the nun was quick to say that it was then my vocation to make it a saint's name.  When I was christmated in the Orthodox church I was allowed to pick my own name and it was St. Vlodymyr.  Finally when I was tonsured a monk, I hated giving up the name Volodymyr, so I took Vasyl.  Vasyl was the baptismal name of St. Volodymyr.
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Offline Xenia1918

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #99 on: June 27, 2011, 01:14:28 PM »
Just so you know, Joasia, not all women who marry take their husband's last name. I didn't, and our children in fact have both our names, joined by a hyphen (no, I'm not a feminist in any way, shape or form....I did it to honor my father's memory and that of my father in law, both of whose family names would have died out if we had not done it this way.)
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Offline tuesdayschild

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #100 on: June 27, 2011, 01:37:30 PM »
When I was baptised in the Catholic church, I was given the name Ronald by my parents.  In our parish school, the nun that taught us was asking us to give a talk about the saint whose name we bore.  I cried since I couldn't find a St. Ronald.  The kids made fun of me, but the nun was quick to say that it was then my vocation to make it a saint's name.  When I was christmated in the Orthodox church I was allowed to pick my own name and it was St. Vlodymyr.  Finally when I was tonsured a monk, I hated giving up the name Volodymyr, so I took Vasyl.  Vasyl was the baptismal name of St. Volodymyr.

Too bad Google wasn't around when you were a kid.
Quote
Saint Ronald - Feastday: August 20, 1158. A warrior chieftain in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. According to tradition, he made a vow to build a church, fulfilling the pledge by erecting the cathedral of St. Magnus at Kirkwall. Ronald was later murdered by a group of rebelling warriors and was venerated as a martyr at Kirkwall.
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4643

Offline Hermogenes

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #101 on: June 27, 2011, 02:00:46 PM »
When I was baptised in the Catholic church, I was given the name Ronald by my parents.  In our parish school, the nun that taught us was asking us to give a talk about the saint whose name we bore.  I cried since I couldn't find a St. Ronald.  The kids made fun of me, but the nun was quick to say that it was then my vocation to make it a saint's name.  When I was christmated in the Orthodox church I was allowed to pick my own name and it was St. Vlodymyr.  Finally when I was tonsured a monk, I hated giving up the name Volodymyr, so I took Vasyl.  Vasyl was the baptismal name of St. Volodymyr.

Too bad Google wasn't around when you were a kid.
Quote
Saint Ronald - Feastday: August 20, 1158. A warrior chieftain in the Orkney Islands, Scotland. According to tradition, he made a vow to build a church, fulfilling the pledge by erecting the cathedral of St. Magnus at Kirkwall. Ronald was later murdered by a group of rebelling warriors and was venerated as a martyr at Kirkwall.
http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=4643
Wouldn't help him in the Orthodox church, unfortunately.

Offline primuspilus

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #102 on: July 01, 2011, 12:07:37 PM »
Well, Im in luck!

St. Henry (which is my name too) - Check!
Pre Schism - Check!
Holy Roman Emperor - Che...oh..wait....

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #103 on: July 11, 2012, 12:27:21 AM »
In the Greek use, anyone who does not bear the name of a Saint celebrates on All Saint's Day.
What do they do at Communion when the priest asks for the Saint's name?
« Last Edit: July 11, 2012, 12:27:57 AM by rakovsky »

Offline Cymbyz

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #104 on: July 11, 2012, 01:08:24 AM »
I have a friend named Electra (and it's not that unusual a name among Greeks).  She gives that name at Communion.
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Offline LBK

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #105 on: July 11, 2012, 01:53:08 AM »
I have a friend named Electra (and it's not that unusual a name among Greeks).  She gives that name at Communion.

There are a good number of Orthodox saints who bear pre-Christian Greek and Roman names, such as Tatiana, Aphrodite, Euterpe, Antigone, Socrates, Priscilla, Cleopatra, Themistokles, Hermes, and Augustus.
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Offline Subdeacon Michael

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #106 on: July 16, 2012, 09:29:20 AM »
Much like Cyprian1975, I have a very great affection for and devotion to St Cyprian of Carthage.

Unfortunately, there was a misunderstanding due to unspoken, different expectations between my parish priest and me.  The custom of my priest was to follow the widespread custom of not giving a new name to someone who already has a saint's name.  He innocently assumed that this is what I wanted, so never brought it up.  However, even though it is very common, I had never heard of this custom as I was still very new.  In exploring Orthodoxy, I had come across many converts talking about taking a new name and had thought that this was the norm.  I assumed that this would be discussed at the appropriate time, so I never brought it up either.  So neither one of us brought up the subject of a new name in my preparation for baptism, and by the time I asked about it, it was too late.

That was nobody's fault: it is just that we both had our own expectations and had made the assumption that the other person was thinking the same thing.  However, the lesson here is that, if you are considering taking a new name upon reception into the Church, you should make a point of discussing this with your priest.  Do not assume anything.

As it happens, my parish priest had commissioned for me a lovely icon of St Cyprian, holding a scroll with a quotation that I myself chose from his writings.  :)

In the Greek use, anyone who does not bear the name of a Saint celebrates on All Saint's Day.
What do they do at Communion when the priest asks for the Saint's name?

The priest doesn't ask for the saint's name.  He isn't giving Communion to the saint: he is giving Communion to the communicant, so it is the communicant's name for which he asks.

M
« Last Edit: July 16, 2012, 09:32:45 AM by Subdeacon Michael »
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Offline michigander

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #107 on: December 13, 2012, 12:36:27 PM »
If you already have a Saint's name, it's probably best to keep that name. After all, that Saint has been praying for you for your whole life. Why turn your back on him now? Ultimately, though, you should follow the advice of the priest who is Baptizing you.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #108 on: December 13, 2012, 01:04:04 PM »
Holy Roman Emperor - Che...oh..wait....



What's wrong with him?

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #109 on: December 14, 2012, 12:14:48 AM »
Holy Roman Emperor - Che...oh..wait....



What's wrong with him?

Well, he wasn't as eastern friendly as the Ottonians, but nothing much other than that, and flioque, but that's a minor issue before the 12th century.

Do you have a link for a larger image of St. Henry?
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Offline Alpo

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #110 on: December 14, 2012, 02:13:47 AM »
Well, he wasn't as eastern friendly as the Ottonians.

Do you have a link for a larger image of St. Henry?

Thou shalt not confuse Orthodoxy with politics of Roman Empire.

Unfortunately no. I copied it from here and the site doesn't seem have any larger versions.

Offline Deep Roots

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #111 on: February 02, 2013, 09:11:52 PM »

Has a discussion been had here on the boards about the logic of taking new saints names? My "saints" name is Gregory, for St. Gregory of Nyssa.  Of course, I find the practice quite beautiful.

However, I always find it odd when I hear of Orthodox folks (layfolk, priests, monks, etc.) in African nations, Indian, Japanese, etc...with a name like Alexi, Constantine, etc.

Shouldn't there be a process by which new ethnic names can be allowed amongst clergy and others?  Is it not a bit troublesome that all Orthodox who take xian names end up with essentially Greek-ish or Slavic sounding names, for the most part? 

This is less about the sound of the names, than it is about what I see as a kind of soft ethno-theological colonialism.
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Offline Maria

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #112 on: February 02, 2013, 09:42:13 PM »
oops.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 09:46:31 PM by Maria »
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #113 on: February 02, 2013, 10:02:07 PM »
If you already have a Saint's name, it's probably best to keep that name. After all, that Saint has been praying for you for your whole life. Why turn your back on him now? Ultimately, though, you should follow the advice of the priest who is Baptizing you.

I have never heard of this before.  Can you provide information on this for me to read?

Offline Hermogenes

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #114 on: February 05, 2013, 01:24:14 AM »

Has a discussion been had here on the boards about the logic of taking new saints names? My "saints" name is Gregory, for St. Gregory of Nyssa.  Of course, I find the practice quite beautiful.

However, I always find it odd when I hear of Orthodox folks (layfolk, priests, monks, etc.) in African nations, Indian, Japanese, etc...with a name like Alexi, Constantine, etc.

Shouldn't there be a process by which new ethnic names can be allowed amongst clergy and others?  Is it not a bit troublesome that all Orthodox who take xian names end up with essentially Greek-ish or Slavic sounding names, for the most part? 

This is less about the sound of the names, than it is about what I see as a kind of soft ethno-theological colonialism.

Hmmm…not entirely sure what the objection is here. The Latins give baptismal names. Even Buddhists give special religious names. Most people I know like the practice. I never heard anyone complain about reactionary neo-colonialism.

Offline JamesR

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #115 on: February 05, 2013, 01:50:38 AM »
My Priest told me that I could pick my own Patron as long as he approved and thought that the Saint had something in common with me. I knew from day one though that it would be St. Augustine of Hippo, however, St. James of Jerusalem would be a close second; I find myself similar to him as well. I like how James was so hyperdox and strict on adhering to the faith.
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Offline mike

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #116 on: February 05, 2013, 05:06:09 AM »
If you already have a Saint's name, it's probably best to keep that name. After all, that Saint has been praying for you for your whole life. Why turn your back on him now? Ultimately, though, you should follow the advice of the priest who is Baptizing you.

I have never heard of this before.  Can you provide information on this for me to read?

What's so surprising?

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #117 on: February 05, 2013, 05:07:11 AM »
If you already have a Saint's name, it's probably best to keep that name. After all, that Saint has been praying for you for your whole life. Why turn your back on him now? Ultimately, though, you should follow the advice of the priest who is Baptizing you.

I have never heard of this before.  Can you provide information on this for me to read?

What's so surprising?

Nothing.  I am just curious.
« Last Edit: February 05, 2013, 05:08:20 AM by Kerdy »

Offline mike

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #118 on: February 05, 2013, 05:08:54 AM »
If you already have a Saint's name, it's probably best to keep that name. After all, that Saint has been praying for you for your whole life. Why turn your back on him now? Ultimately, though, you should follow the advice of the priest who is Baptizing you.

I have never heard of this before.  Can you provide information on this for me to read?

What's so surprising?

Nothing.  I am just curious.

But about what?

Offline Kerdy

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #119 on: February 05, 2013, 05:14:35 AM »
If you already have a Saint's name, it's probably best to keep that name. After all, that Saint has been praying for you for your whole life. Why turn your back on him now? Ultimately, though, you should follow the advice of the priest who is Baptizing you.

I have never heard of this before.  Can you provide information on this for me to read?

What's so surprising?

Nothing.  I am just curious.

But about what?

The portion I bolded.  I have not heard this before and am genuinely curious.  If it is true, I want to read up on it a little bit.  I think it is a very nice thought.  Is this accepted throughout Orthodoxy?

Offline Deep Roots

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #120 on: February 05, 2013, 09:31:53 AM »

Hmmm…not entirely sure what the objection is here. The Latins give baptismal names. Even Buddhists give special religious names. Most people I know like the practice. I never heard anyone complain about reactionary neo-colonialism.
Sure, as I said, I think it's beautiful.  I'm just saying that it's a shame that so many cultures across the world end up taking a name that isn't even remotely related to their culture.

Why should a Kenyan priest be named Demitrios? 

The more I think about it, the more I see that the Copts and many of the indigenous Holy Land Orthodox don't have this problem as much, since the Church grew into their culture from a very early period.

But it seems that there should be some flexibility on names, even with bishops.  You might not think so, but it's very important to a culture to hear themselves (granted, an elevated version of themselves) when it comes to issues like this. 
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Offline Velsigne

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #121 on: February 05, 2013, 10:28:03 AM »

Hmmm…not entirely sure what the objection is here. The Latins give baptismal names. Even Buddhists give special religious names. Most people I know like the practice. I never heard anyone complain about reactionary neo-colonialism.
Sure, as I said, I think it's beautiful.  I'm just saying that it's a shame that so many cultures across the world end up taking a name that isn't even remotely related to their culture.

Why should a Kenyan priest be named Demitrios? 

The more I think about it, the more I see that the Copts and many of the indigenous Holy Land Orthodox don't have this problem as much, since the Church grew into their culture from a very early period.

But it seems that there should be some flexibility on names, even with bishops.  You might not think so, but it's very important to a culture to hear themselves (granted, an elevated version of themselves) when it comes to issues like this. 

Greek names are commonplace anyway, like Ted is short for Theodore, etc.  A lot of Greeks in the US use an Americanized version of their name, Bess for Vasiliki, etc. 

There are Greeks who don't have the name of a saint, and it is said their goal should be to make that a saint's name. 

From an Orthodox info site:

"...The traditional Catechetical texts on Baptism date to the first four centuries of Christianity and are called collectively, in Greek, 'Katechetikai Diatribai.' There are literally scores of works, both by Eastern and Western Fathers, that address the Baptismal and mysteriological traditions of the Church. Let us simply quote an excellent work by Metropolitan Augoustinos of Florina, Eis ten Theian Leitourgian, Praktikai Homiliai (Athens, 1977), in which he summarizes one aspect of the catechetical instructions in the Early Church:

'...In the ancient Church, the Church of the first centuries of Christianity, ...when the catechumens had been taught all that they were to learn, their instructors would take them back to the Bishop, and the Bishop would recommend that they change their pagan names and adopt Christian ones; these names were to remind them of holy personages or virtues (e.g., Agapios, from agape, 'love ...).'"


Offline Velsigne

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #122 on: February 05, 2013, 10:33:49 AM »
Here's another snippet from the same site to a different query:

In placing such great emphasis on this tradition and in expressing our regret that so many converts to the Orthodox Church ignore it—see, for example, our remark in this regard about Frank Shaeffer in the foregoing question—, we mean no disrespect. Rather, our comments are centered on the concern that we have for the cultivation of a genuine Orthodox spirit in the West, and especially in America. It is essential, indeed, that converts take the name of an Orthodox Saint, use it in all circumstances, and begin their journey towards spiritual maturity with this spiritual weapon in their basic arsenal of safeguards against sin and spiritual delusion. Such an act of humility and spiritual submission was so important to St. John of Shanghai and San Francisco, a man committed to the rebirth of Orthodoxy in the West—even to the point of such an excess as experimentation with the Western Rite, which he deeply regretted in later life—that he refused to commune converts who used their pre-Orthodox names or ethnic Orthodox who dishonored the names of their patron Saints by using impious diminutives and nicknames.

Offline Deep Roots

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #123 on: February 05, 2013, 10:48:06 AM »
I'm aware of the practice.  I'm also aware that there is not total agreement at the parish level about how to use the Orthodox name in convert life.  I am communed as Gregory.  My family and friends still call me Lee.  I am usually referred to as Lee Gregory by many in my parish.  Frankly, I don't care.

But I'm still uncomfortable with the dearth of indigenous African (non-Coptic) and East Asian names from which those folks can choose.  There has to be a better mechanism to use in order to "open up" new names for converts in these nations.

Some folks might not understand why this matters, but it does.  Especially if the Church is trying to make more inroads into counties like Kenya or Japan....an intelligent, culturally proud Kenyan is going to occasionally have some difficulty going by "George" -- and why shouldn't he, given the history of colonialism in the continent?
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Offline mike

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #124 on: February 05, 2013, 11:29:23 AM »
Some folks might not understand why this matters, but it does.  Especially if the Church is trying to make more inroads into counties like Kenya or Japan....an intelligent, culturally proud Kenyan is going to occasionally have some difficulty going by "George" -- and why shouldn't he, given the history of colonialism in the continent?

I've met a Kenyan priest named George. 3rd generation Orthodox.

Offline Deep Roots

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #125 on: February 05, 2013, 11:38:59 AM »
Some folks might not understand why this matters, but it does.  Especially if the Church is trying to make more inroads into counties like Kenya or Japan....an intelligent, culturally proud Kenyan is going to occasionally have some difficulty going by "George" -- and why shouldn't he, given the history of colonialism in the continent?

I've met a Kenyan priest named George. 3rd generation Orthodox.

Don't miss the overarching point I'm making.
Peace.

Offline Velsigne

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #126 on: February 05, 2013, 07:08:46 PM »
I'm aware of the practice.  I'm also aware that there is not total agreement at the parish level about how to use the Orthodox name in convert life.  I am communed as Gregory.  My family and friends still call me Lee.  I am usually referred to as Lee Gregory by many in my parish.  Frankly, I don't care.

But I'm still uncomfortable with the dearth of indigenous African (non-Coptic) and East Asian names from which those folks can choose.  There has to be a better mechanism to use in order to "open up" new names for converts in these nations.

Some folks might not understand why this matters, but it does.  Especially if the Church is trying to make more inroads into counties like Kenya or Japan....an intelligent, culturally proud Kenyan is going to occasionally have some difficulty going by "George" -- and why shouldn't he, given the history of colonialism in the continent?

It's nice you're concerned about the feelings of possible converts to Orthodoxy, but if we all used history and our own cultural background as a standard we could find a reason to all hate each other forever, and never be anywhere close to God.  Just ask the Chinese about how intelligent and culturally proud the Japanese are, for instance.  Colonialism is a method of wealth extraction for the benefit of the metropole, which still goes on today in various guises.  This does not seem to be the Orthodox missionary agenda, and one would hope a person would realize that before they ever got remotely close to converting.

I guess a person has to decide what is more important to them, and as you've stated yourself, they don't have to use their baptismal name for day to day affairs.  As far as I know it isn't a Tradition, but people far more holy and knowledgeable than I have said it is a good idea.  Some people only use their Baptismal name when they take Communion and Confession.  Conversion doesn't require throwing off one's culture, which is probably impossible anyway.  It can sanctify and improve that culture though.

Changing names has a long tradition even in Judaism.  Years ago I read somewhere there is a belief, I don't know where it comes from, but if you change your name, you change your fate.  An elderly Jewish man explained this as he had come close to death, and when he survived, he changed his name, and many of his priorities in life changed as well. 

It may help people to leave behind their old way and take up Christ's Way. 

Anyway, it seems like it bothers you, and that's the way it is until you decide that other people can make decisions for themselves, and no one is holding a gun to their head to convert and take the name Polyeuctus or Thalelaeus or Audifax or Phileortus.

And who know, maybe they will be moved by God to love their saint and be so happy to bear their name, and try all the more to not sully their good name.   With God, all things are possible.

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #127 on: February 07, 2013, 10:33:05 AM »
I'm aware of the practice.  I'm also aware that there is not total agreement at the parish level about how to use the Orthodox name in convert life.  I am communed as Gregory.  My family and friends still call me Lee.  I am usually referred to as Lee Gregory by many in my parish.  Frankly, I don't care.

But I'm still uncomfortable with the dearth of indigenous African (non-Coptic) and East Asian names from which those folks can choose.  There has to be a better mechanism to use in order to "open up" new names for converts in these nations.

Some folks might not understand why this matters, but it does.  Especially if the Church is trying to make more inroads into counties like Kenya or Japan....an intelligent, culturally proud Kenyan is going to occasionally have some difficulty going by "George" -- and why shouldn't he, given the history of colonialism in the continent?

One possibility is that if we were to canonize some African saints,  we could use their given names rather than their Christian names. This is the case, for example, with St. Vladimir, who received the Christian name Basil.
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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #128 on: February 07, 2013, 11:13:36 AM »
I'm aware of the practice.  I'm also aware that there is not total agreement at the parish level about how to use the Orthodox name in convert life.  I am communed as Gregory.  My family and friends still call me Lee.  I am usually referred to as Lee Gregory by many in my parish.  Frankly, I don't care.

But I'm still uncomfortable with the dearth of indigenous African (non-Coptic) and East Asian names from which those folks can choose.  There has to be a better mechanism to use in order to "open up" new names for converts in these nations.

Some folks might not understand why this matters, but it does.  Especially if the Church is trying to make more inroads into counties like Kenya or Japan....an intelligent, culturally proud Kenyan is going to occasionally have some difficulty going by "George" -- and why shouldn't he, given the history of colonialism in the continent?

One possibility is that if we were to canonize some African saints,  we could use their given names rather than their Christian names. This is the case, for example, with St. Vladimir, who received the Christian name Basil.
A very reasonable approach
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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #129 on: February 07, 2013, 11:20:35 AM »
When I converted to the catholic church, I was asked to take a saint name from the day I was taken into the church and chose Johannes after one of the Vietnam martyrs in the 18th century.

I do have new name in mind for the due time to come, but the priest might have other plans for me.
Time will tell.
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Offline Kerdy

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #130 on: February 08, 2013, 12:26:15 AM »
If you already have a Saint's name, it's probably best to keep that name. After all, that Saint has been praying for you for your whole life. Why turn your back on him now? Ultimately, though, you should follow the advice of the priest who is Baptizing you.

I have never heard of this before.  Can you provide information on this for me to read?

What's so surprising?

Nothing.  I am just curious.

But about what?

The portion I bolded.  I have not heard this before and am genuinely curious.  If it is true, I want to read up on it a little bit.  I think it is a very nice thought.  Is this accepted throughout Orthodoxy?
I guess not. :-[

Offline michigander

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #131 on: February 22, 2013, 05:30:50 PM »
If you already have a Saint's name, it's probably best to keep that name. After all, that Saint has been praying for you for your whole life. Why turn your back on him now? Ultimately, though, you should follow the advice of the priest who is Baptizing you.

I have never heard of this before.  Can you provide information on this for me to read?

What's so surprising?

Nothing.  I am just curious.

But about what?

The portion I bolded.  I have not heard this before and am genuinely curious.  If it is true, I want to read up on it a little bit.  I think it is a very nice thought.  Is this accepted throughout Orthodoxy?
I guess not. :-[
Sorry it took a long time to respond; I hadn't been checking this thread. It's just something I was told during my catechumenate. It seems to make sense to me; if you're named after a particular saint, then that saint is your patron whether you like it or not.

Offline Ersaia

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #132 on: February 22, 2013, 06:19:16 PM »
I hope I will help and not make new problems :P

In Greece

1) the name Christos with accent at i is common (Christ is Christos with accent at o), for women is Christina  with accent at second i. Also we have the name Christoforos

2) we baptize children with ancient names also, we had problems in past with this but finally we had told that we can do it in the hope that he or she would become a Saint (my nephew has the ancient name of my mother and we had her vow (I hope is the correct word for tama)) to baptize her in a monastery because of a dream. (well many ancient names have  feast-days someway even Aphrodite or Athina, names from ancient greek goddesses :P)

3) We don't use the word saint for the archangels usually, I search in google to see about this and I found a church who use the word saint, but I don't think anybody use it as we don't use the word saint for Maria the mother of Jesus.

4) for some reason the monks in monasteries many times choose to change their names  in strange uncommon names  we don't know :P
« Last Edit: February 22, 2013, 06:20:45 PM by Ersaia »

Offline Cymbyz

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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #133 on: February 23, 2013, 02:25:21 AM »
I have a friend named Electra, whose mother is Melpomeni (but also goes by Anna), both names appear to be the legacies of Greek naming conventions, and so get perpetuated from generation to generation.  But I find, in reading the most ancient of the Church Fathers, lists of very early Martyrs who bore pre-Christian names, and who's ti say that among that sacred throng there might not have been at least one Electra or Melpomeni?
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Re: Taking A New Name
« Reply #134 on: February 23, 2013, 03:02:44 AM »
I have a friend named Electra, whose mother is Melpomeni (but also goes by Anna), both names appear to be the legacies of Greek naming conventions, and so get perpetuated from generation to generation.  But I find, in reading the most ancient of the Church Fathers, lists of very early Martyrs who bore pre-Christian names, and who's ti say that among that sacred throng there might not have been at least one Electra or Melpomeni?

According to namedays.gr, St. Melpomeni is commemorated on September 1.  There is no St. Elektra.