Author Topic: Considering the Orthodox Church  (Read 1697 times)

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Offline Johannes Blomberg

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Considering the Orthodox Church
« on: March 08, 2009, 12:07:43 AM »
I was raised a pentecostal from a very young age, and was eventually baptised as one. I don't believe I ever liked church very much, except for some sort of need to be there instilled in me, and by a very fire and brimstone-style fear of hell. I went to the same pentecostal church most of my life, and regularly, until my family started going less and less. I was very happy for this because by that time I felt completely ostracised by everyone my age in the church. I was very uncomfortable going there towards the end, no one really seemed to notice or speak to me and I was quite shy. Leaving was a relief. I did not return to any church for several years, during which time my alcoholism began to develop during my latter teenage years and I eventually ended up in Alcoholics Anonymous. Having to choose a spiritual way of life or an alcoholic death, I slowly came to return my faith in God.

I found myself attending a Roman Catholic church here, and I spoke to the priest who is a very wonderful man. While I would have liked to stay and become a confirmed Catholic, I have various disagreements with the doctrine (such as the infallibility of the pope) which make me hesitant. I haven't been back for awhile now, as I've been researching and considering this. During that time I found these boards and they have been a great help to beginning my understanding of the Orthodox Church. I find myself very eager and willing to find out more about this. Unfortunately, I currently have no car and have to depend upon others for rides, and my parents are protestant and would likely not accompany me. I

I am going to make my best attempt at going sometime, and if anyone has any advice for me to keep in mind (or anything on the customs involving entering the church and) it would be greatly appreciated, along with your prayers for my transportation problem.

EDIT: I am not too clear on this but, as with catholicism, I must be a confirmed member before I am permitted to take communion, yes? If so, what is the proper manner to refuse?
« Last Edit: March 08, 2009, 12:15:17 AM by Johannes Blomberg »

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2009, 12:14:39 AM »
I was raised a pentecostal from a very young age, and was eventually baptised as one. I don't believe I ever liked church very much, except for some sort of need to be there instilled in me, and by a very fire and brimstone-style fear of hell. I went to the same pentecostal church most of my life, and regularly, until my family started going less and less. I was very happy for this because by that time I felt completely ostracised by everyone my age in the church. I was very uncomfortable going there towards the end, no one really seemed to notice or speak to me and I was quite shy. Leaving was a relief. I did not return to any church for several years, during which time my alcoholism began to develop during my latter teenage years and I eventually ended up in Alcoholics Anonymous. Having to choose a spiritual way of life or an alcoholic death, I slowly came to return my faith in God.

I found myself attending a Roman Catholic church here, and I spoke to the priest who is a very wonderful man. While I would have liked to stay and become a confirmed Catholic, I have various disagreements with the doctrine (such as the infallibility of the pope) which make me hesitant. I haven't been back for awhile now, as I've been researching and considering this. During that time I found these boards and they have been a great help to beginning my understanding of the Orthodox Church. I find myself very eager and willing to find out more about this. Unfortunately, we only have a single orthodox church in town, and they only have Orthros and Divine Liturgy in the early mornings. I currently have no car and have to depend upon others for rides, and my parents are protestant and would likely not accompany me. I don't know of anyone else who would be willing to take me. However, the church has Great Vespers on sunday afternoons, but I would really enjoy going more than once a week.

I am going to make my best attempt at going tomorrow afternoon, and if anyone has any advice for me to keep in mind (or anything on the customs involving entering the church and) it would be greatly appreciated, along with your prayers for my transportation problem.

EDIT: I am not too clear on this but, as with catholicism, I must be a confirmed member before I am permitted to take communion, yes? If so, what is the proper manner to refuse?

If you are going tommorrow, it is the Feast of Orthodoxy, so the Vespers might be moved  to a common location for all the Orthodox in the area (I don't know where you are, so I don't know the odds of this).  The service will have a lot of emphasis on the icons, so yes, that might be a bit much for your parents.

In the convert and faith issue sections are a number of threads on questions by others in your situation.

Welcome.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Johannes Blomberg

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2009, 12:16:06 AM »
Sorry, I was confused about their schedule, and have edited my post.

Offline ialmisry

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #3 on: March 08, 2009, 12:39:55 AM »
I was raised a pentecostal from a very young age, and was eventually baptised as one. I don't believe I ever liked church very much, except for some sort of need to be there instilled in me, and by a very fire and brimstone-style fear of hell. I went to the same pentecostal church most of my life, and regularly, until my family started going less and less. I was very happy for this because by that time I felt completely ostracised by everyone my age in the church. I was very uncomfortable going there towards the end, no one really seemed to notice or speak to me and I was quite shy. Leaving was a relief. I did not return to any church for several years, during which time my alcoholism began to develop during my latter teenage years and I eventually ended up in Alcoholics Anonymous. Having to choose a spiritual way of life or an alcoholic death, I slowly came to return my faith in God.

I found myself attending a Roman Catholic church here, and I spoke to the priest who is a very wonderful man. While I would have liked to stay and become a confirmed Catholic, I have various disagreements with the doctrine (such as the infallibility of the pope) which make me hesitant. I haven't been back for awhile now, as I've been researching and considering this. During that time I found these boards and they have been a great help to beginning my understanding of the Orthodox Church. I find myself very eager and willing to find out more about this. Unfortunately, I currently have no car and have to depend upon others for rides, and my parents are protestant and would likely not accompany me. I

I am going to make my best attempt at going sometime, and if anyone has any advice for me to keep in mind (or anything on the customs involving entering the church and) it would be greatly appreciated, along with your prayers for my transportation problem.

EDIT: I am not too clear on this but, as with catholicism, I must be a confirmed member before I am permitted to take communion, yes? If so, what is the proper manner to refuse?

Just don't go up to receive.  You go up to the priest to receive (he comes out saying "In Faith and in love draw near"), it is not like some Protestant churches, where it is passed around.  Btw, someone might give you/you may take the antidoron, which comes in a basket.  It is blessed bread, the leftovers which were not consecrated into the Eucharist.
Question a friend, perhaps he did not do it; but if he did anything so that he may do it no more.
A hasty quarrel kindles fire,
and urgent strife sheds blood.
If you blow on a spark, it will glow;
if you spit on it, it will be put out;
                           and both come out of your mouth

Offline Starlight

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #4 on: March 08, 2009, 01:57:19 AM »
Johannes,
Indeed, Sunday of Orthodoxy is a perfect time to start the journey. May God help you. By the way, welcome to the forum.
If you are in USA, as for the location of closest Orthodox parishes, you may check out these links:

http://www.scoba.us/directory.html
http://www.orthodoxyinamerica.org/lr_v10/locator.php

Offline Riddikulus

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #5 on: March 08, 2009, 05:45:43 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Johannes. May the Lord guide you on your journey into Orthodoxy.
I believe in One God, maker of heaven and earth and of all things visible and invisible.

Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.
Theodosius Dobzhansky, Russian Orthodox Christian (1900-1975)

Offline Heorhij

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2009, 08:32:41 AM »
Welcome to the forum, Johannes.

Remember that in an Orthodox parish, when you do not go to the Eucharist, you are not offending anyone. People will certainly understand.

In the early Church, there was a custom that the Divine Liturgy was divided into two parts, "the Liturgy of Catechumens" (you) and "the Liturgy of the Faithful" (those who are already received into the Church). The Eucharist was celebrated always during the second part, and before it would start, the priest would even announce, three times, that now it is the time for the catechumens (inquirers, those who are preparing themselves to become Orthodox) to leave. Also, there was a special liturgical prayer for the catechumens. More recently, in many parishes this rite is omitted; yet, the people certainly remember and understand that among them, not all are necessarily baptised and chrismated Orthodox, so when you remain seated when others go to the Chalice will most definitely be taken with understanding and respect.
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #7 on: March 08, 2009, 04:50:31 PM »
Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum Johannes.  Feel free to ask any questions you have, the members of the Convert Issues Forum have been there and know what you are going through and is a supportive group. Once again, Welcome to the Convert Issues Forum Johannes!

Thomas
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Your brother in Christ ,
Thomas

Offline Rosehip

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2009, 05:10:19 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Johannes! I wish you the very best of everything on your journey!
+ Our dear sister Martha (Rosehip) passed away on Dec 20, 2010.  May her memory be eternal! +

Offline rwprof

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #9 on: March 09, 2009, 03:25:55 PM »
Welcome to the forum, Johannes.

Remember that in an Orthodox parish, when you do not go to the Eucharist, you are not offending anyone. People will certainly understand.

In the early Church, there was a custom that the Divine Liturgy was divided into two parts, "the Liturgy of Catechumens" (you) and "the Liturgy of the Faithful" (those who are already received into the Church). The Eucharist was celebrated always during the second part, and before it would start, the priest would even announce, three times, that now it is the time for the catechumens (inquirers, those who are preparing themselves to become Orthodox) to leave. Also, there was a special liturgical prayer for the catechumens. More recently, in many parishes this rite is omitted

Not in ours, and our catechumens go to the iconostasis to stand in front of the priest when he prays for them. He liturgically dismisses them, but they are not expected to leave the church.

And welcome, Johannes!


Mark (rwprof) passed into eternal life on Jan 7, 2010.  May his memory be eternal!

Offline cholmes

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2009, 10:49:35 AM »
Not in ours, and our catechumens go to the iconostasis to stand in front of the priest when he prays for them. He liturgically dismisses them, but they are not expected to leave the church.


The same is true for my parish.

Offline Alpo

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Re: Considering the Orthodox Church
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2009, 12:19:57 PM »
Johannes,

May I inquire whether you are a Finn since you seem to have a Finnish name?