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Author Topic: Catechumen Classes  (Read 3668 times) Average Rating: 0
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Seamus
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« on: April 27, 2008, 07:24:46 PM »

Catechumen classes for my church being next month. I'm just curious, what will it be like? For instance, will there be tests, like in an actual class, etc?
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« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2008, 09:17:05 PM »

For starters, it'll be the longest class you've ever had! Cheesy Typically, the catechumenate lasts between 1 - 3 years, depending on your priest.  I say 'typically' becuase it's been known to be shorter or longer.   The format will depend on your Priest/ Catechumen Teacher.  Sometimes the 'classes' are simply informal one-on-one with your priest once a week and sometimes classes can be very formal (including exams!)  But as my priest says, "We never stop being catechumens!", meaning we never stop learning.

In Christ,
Gabriel
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« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2008, 09:18:42 PM »

For starters, it'll be the longest class you've ever had! Cheesy Typically, the catechumenate lasts between 1 - 3 years, depending on your priest.  I say 'typically' becuase it's been known to be shorter or longer.   The format will depend on your Priest/ Catechumen Teacher.  Sometimes the 'classes' are simply informal one-on-one with your priest once a week and sometimes classes can be very formal (including exams!)  But as my priest says, "We never stop being catechumens!", meaning we never stop learning.

In Christ,
Gabriel

That's interesting. My Priest said it would last from about 6 months to a year.
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« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2008, 11:26:49 PM »

Personally, mine have been very informal.  Sitting down with one of the two Priests after the Liturgy and talk/discuss, or go to the bookstore next door and have coffee/cookies and talk.  No tests/exams, etc.  Maybe since it is more informal, it will be on the longer side.  He said from 3 - 5 years.
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« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2008, 11:44:43 PM »

I had very little formal instruction. My priest did tell me which books he felt were essential reads and we did sit down and talk about things periodically. He also runs a weekly bible study and let me know he wanted to see me there. So he definitely kept tabs on where I was. But, he said he never wants me to feel I've learned enough.

Then again, when I was becoming RC we had a very formal year long catechism process called RCIA. All in all it was a totally different experience.

Incidentally, it took me a little over a year from the time I first visited an Orthodox church locally to the time I decided to take the plunge.

Bridget
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« Reply #5 on: April 28, 2008, 01:56:46 AM »

Personally, mine have been very informal.  Sitting down with one of the two Priests after the Liturgy and talk/discuss, or go to the bookstore next door and have coffee/cookies and talk.  No tests/exams, etc.  Maybe since it is more informal, it will be on the longer side.  He said from 3 - 5 years.

The first time I met my Priest I asked him about Catechumen classes. I think he said it would be pretty informal.
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« Reply #6 on: April 29, 2008, 09:29:46 AM »

As a Catechumen Director of my Church, I have learned that the process varies from priest to priest unless given specific guidelines by his bishop.  Our Bishop , for example has advised that  the catechumenate should be no shorter than 9 months.  To this minimum requirement our priest has added the attendance at 12 of the major feasts, attendance at 20 catechumen classes, the reading fo four Orthodox Books, as well as attending the services of the Church, meeting with myself and the priest to discuss where they are in their process, and assisting them in the selction of their sponsors or Godparents. We develop  a personalized catechumen program for each catechumen looking to assign books, pamphlets etc that meet their needs or desires for better understanding of an area of Orthodox theology (i.e. prayer,  holy fathers, desert wisdom, iconography, the Theotokos, saints etc.) Some are  baptised or  Chrismated at the conclusion of the above period, others continue until their testimony of Christ in the Orthodox Church has developed enough to desire  Baptism or Chrismation. Our Catechism Cycle of classes lasts about two years.  There are 2 different classes held on most Saturdays with Bible Studies  interdispersed throughout the month for members, catechumen, and inquirors.

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« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 08:25:47 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2008, 12:42:34 AM »

My classes took about 6 months.
One-on-one classes for about two hours, every week.

I had been a "seeker" for about 10 years.

I like to say that "I came to the East from the East."

I started out as a Lutheran. Then I had a "religious encounter" that did not fit neatly into the box of "Lutheran mindset" so I spent a full 7 years just attempting to answer the question:
"What was that?"

There were no words in the English language that I could find which would allow me to get a handle on it.  I finally found the vocabulary in Jnana Yoga and Hinduism. My path also lead me through Tibetan Buddhism and Taoism. I had been scouring the planet for writings about my spiritual experience. Then one day last September I went to a Greek Festival at a local church. I took the church tour which included a trip through the bookstore. There I found everything that I had been looking for in the writings of Orthodoxy.

My priest said: "You have been 'orthodox' for quite some time, only you didn't know it!"

My search had convinced me of the fact that "I don't know squat!" so I was at a stage where I did not have to unlearn anything.

Now I am Orthodox rather than "orthodox" (as of April 6.)
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 01:01:35 AM by howdydave » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: May 02, 2008, 01:15:28 AM »

My classes took about 6 months.
One-on-one classes for about two hours, every week.

I had been a "seeker" for about 10 years.

I like to say that "I came to the East from the East."

I started out as a Lutheran. Then I had a "religious encounter" that did not fit neatly into the box of "Lutheran mindset" so I spent a full 7 years just attempting to answer the question:
"What was that?"

There were no words in the English language that I could find which would allow me to get a handle on it.  I finally found the vocabulary in Jnana Yoga and Hinduism. My path also lead me through Tibetan Buddhism and Taoism. I had been scouring the planet for writings about my spiritual experience. Then one day last September I went to a Greek Festival at a local church. I took the church tour which included a trip through the bookstore. There I found everything that I had been looking for in the writings of Orthodoxy.

My priest said: "You have been 'orthodox' for quite some time, only you didn't know it!"

My search had convinced me of the fact that "I don't know squat!" so I was at a stage where I did not have to unlearn anything.

Now I am Orthodox rather than "orthodox" (as of April 6.)
Glory to God!  What an amazing story!  Thanks for sharing it with us.  Your experience slightly resembles my own experience with Eastern religions.  And welcome to the form! Smiley
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 01:32:16 AM by GabrieltheCelt » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: May 02, 2008, 08:27:51 AM »

Christ is Risen!Howdy Dave

Welcome home to the Orthodox Church, your true home. Welcome to the Forum. Hope to see more of you here!

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« Last Edit: May 05, 2008, 09:02:15 AM by Thomas » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: May 02, 2008, 01:11:30 PM »

Truly, He is risen!

(As a Lutheran I would have said: "He is risen indeed!")

See -- I'm learnin', I'm learnin'!  Wink
« Last Edit: May 02, 2008, 01:13:54 PM by howdydave » Logged

Dave

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« Reply #11 on: May 02, 2008, 05:38:24 PM »

Truly, He is risen!

(As a Lutheran I would have said: "He is risen indeed!")

See -- I'm learnin', I'm learnin'!  Wink

In our parish we do say "He is risen indeed!" or sometimes "Indeed He is risen!" The difference between "truly" and "indeed" is insignificant, IMO.

Eh, just follow what your parish's practice is.
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« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2008, 09:43:38 PM »

Since I don't know Greek, when I went to church I said:

Kristus er oppstanden!
Han er sannelig oppstanden!
(Which is Norwegian.) 

That way people wouldn't know how to respond to me either!  Cheesy
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« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2008, 09:03:00 AM »

Truly, He is risen!

(As a Lutheran I would have said: "He is risen indeed!")

See -- I'm learnin', I'm learnin'!  Wink


Our Parish also uses "He is risen indeed"

Thomas
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« Reply #14 on: May 06, 2008, 01:57:45 AM »

Since I don't know Greek, when I went to church I said:

Kristus er oppstanden!
Han er sannelig oppstanden!
(Which is Norwegian.)

That way people wouldn't know how to respond to me either!  Cheesy

Heh. This was my third Pascha at my parish (where Gabriel, Mr. Y, Eofk, and a few others here attend). I think I've almost mastered all of the greetings we typically use. For fun, here they are:

Hristos a înviat! Adevărat a înviat! [Romanian]

Христос воскрес! Воістину воскрес! (Chrystos voskres! Voistynu voskres!) [Ukranian]

Христос воскресе! Воистину воскресе! (Hristos voskrese! Voistinu voskrese!) [Bulgarian]

Χριστός ἀνέστη! Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστη! (Khristós Anésti! Alithós Anésti!) [Greek]

I've thought about teaching everyone how to say it in the Elven language Quenya, but given up on it. In case you are wondering, it is Ortanne Laivino! Anwa ortanne Laivino! Grin
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órë: noun \"heart"\ (inner mind),   laurëa: adjective \"golden, like gold"\ http://www.uib.no/People/hnohf/quenya.htm
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