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Author Topic: Eastern Orthodox becoming Armenian Orthodox  (Read 3131 times) Average Rating: 0
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« on: March 20, 2009, 04:50:52 AM »

Dear Armenian Orthodox forum members:

If a member of a canonical Byzantine Orthodox Church such as the OCA desires to enter the Armenian Orthodox Church what is the manner of reception, baptism, chrismation, confession?  Do they have to be of Armenian descent to become AO, is it preferred, and if not is there a long period of catechesis before reception?  Are there special holy days that Armenians receive converts and what is the ritual text for reception of Eastern Orthodox if any and can you provide it here or refer me to a website that shows the text?

Thank you.

Alaskan Orthodox
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« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2009, 07:35:34 AM »

Where you going to find the Armenians in Alaska?

This topic was discussed here, but I can't find it now.
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2009, 07:40:47 AM »

I just would like to have the answers in a general way, not related to a particular experience or example of a person converting.  Currently, I live in Florida, but from a level of interest I would like to know the answers to the questions I posted.  I think this really leads up to, can a Byzantine Orthodox Christian practice as a Armenian Orthodox in the domestic Church and liturgically before they are received in the Armenian Church?  Could anyone please answer my first set of questions?  Thank you. 
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« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2009, 07:42:46 AM »

If I'm not mistaken Armenians consider Eastern Orthodox Orthodox, that is they don't consider your change as a "conversion".  So no chrismation or anything else is required.  Perhaps, maybe a statement of faith.  Salpy can better answer your question.

Try contacting the nearest priest.
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« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2009, 07:50:04 AM »

If I'm not mistaken Armenians consider Eastern Orthodox Orthodox, that is they don't consider your change as a "conversion".  So no chrismation or anything else is required.  Perhaps, maybe a statement of faith.  Salpy can better answer your question.

Try contacting the nearest priest.

A lot of us Eastern Orthodox consider Miaphysites Orthodox (yes, I know, but not all of us).
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2009, 07:58:43 AM »

Thank you for your responses.  Do any of you know the answers to these questions, specifically:

1.  How is an Eastern Orthodox Christian received into the Armenian Church?  Is it done by Chrismation, Confession or Profession of Faith or are they just allowed to register and communicate?

2.  What specific ritual text is used for conversions or receptions into the Armenian Church and can you post it? 

3.  If Eastern Orthodox Christians are already seen as Orthodox, may a Byzantine Orthodox Christian practice as a Armenian Christian without a formal change of Churches?

I have tried to contact a priest, but have received no response.

Thank you for your continued help.

In Christ,


Robert
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« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2009, 10:11:56 AM »

I'd never thought of that.

My guess is today the Armenians consider themselves and the EO Orthodox, as many/most EO do; at least the Antiochians wouldn't mind as I understand they commune Copts, also Oriental Orthodox (my understanding is the churches of the OO communion are less to do with each other than even the EO churches with each other - understandable as the OO churches have different rites from each other). The OCA might consider one out of communion even though like Antioch they're Orthodox.

You don't have to be Armenian to be Armenian Apostolic just like you don't have to be Greek to be Greek Orthodox. AFAIK there is no OO convert boomlet but like the Greeks and other Orthodox, Armenians get a share of marriage converts (still the majority of EO converts?).
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« Reply #7 on: March 20, 2009, 07:03:41 PM »

You can find Armenian parishes in Florida here:

http://www.armenianchurch.net/parishes/index.php

All the Armenian priests I know will just commune an Eastern Orthodox (EO) without any conversion process.  I would imagine it would be the same in Florida.  I do know one EO who wanted to make a formal conversion to the Armenian Church and it was by chrismation.

With regard to your question about ethnicity, you don't have to be ethnically Armenian to be Armenian Orthodox.  However, if you are in an area where most of the population consists of recent immigrants, you will come across a little xenophobia.  A parish with second or third generation Armenians would probably be easier.  Also, you should know that all Armenian Orthodox liturgies are in Classical Armenian.

If you are looking for an OO Church with English liturgies and that is a little more convert oriented, the Coptic Church may be a better fit.  However, they would require a formal conversion.  I can't recall if it would be baptism or chrismation.

Of course this is none of my business, but I would just like to warn you to examine your reasons for wanting to convert and make sure you are doing it for the right reasons.  You want to make certain that it will be a decision you will want to stick with.  Even though the Armenian Church is open about communing EO's, most EO Churches are not that open about communion with the Oriental Orthodox.  When you commune in the Armenian Church you may be in effect excommunicating yourself from your current EO Church.  That is not a step to take lightly.  Your reasons for wanting to leave your Church are private and you don't have to share them here.  Just make sure it is not a rash decision.

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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2009, 08:33:11 PM »

I think I would like to practice as an Armenian Christian and incorporate aspects of its liturgical and devotional life at the home altar or icon corner, at least until I can meet with a priest and discuss this further.  I am reading everything I can about the Armenian Church and asking for the intercession of Her Saints at the prayer corner each day, especially St. Vartan.  I understand I may not be able to commune in the OCA again, but I would like to follow my conscience in this regard.  I would not be leaving the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church for something else, just another "mansion" in the Father's house. (John 14:2). 

The Coptic Church is wonderful, but I feel the Lord calling me to the Armenian Church.  I have been investigating the Armenian Church for about 5 years now.  I love Her Liturgy, History, People, and Spirituality.  I love all the Apostolic Churches of Christ, but something inside of me says "YES!" when I hear or see a recording of the Soorp Badarak or any of the Armenian chants.  Of course with any decision there is time and I look forward to spending precious time learning and growing in the Armenian Faith, I place this journey in God's hands.  I was a little afraid of being looked down on for being non-ethnic Armenian, but I would want to show that I do not want to Americanize the Armenian Church, but respect and enjoy the Sacred Traditions of Armenia, both religious and cultural.  I hope God will lead me where I should go.

Can any of you recommend Armenian traditions for the home altar or any translations of the Office for me to use everyday?  Is there a place where I can order Armenian Icons or sacramentals.

Thank all of you for your help.

Robert
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Salpy
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« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2009, 08:49:50 PM »

One of the most basic set of prayers said by Armenian Christians is the set of 24 short prayers by St. Nerses Shnorhali, known as "I Confess with Faith."  I'm pretty sure I posted them in the OO prayer thread.  If you want a little booklet with the prayers in them, the bookstores of the Western and Eastern Armenian Diocese will probably have it, and perhaps some other small prayer books as well.  You may want to e-mail them to ask:

http://www.stvartanbookstore.com/

http://www.armenianchurchwd.com/

The guy to e-mail at the Eastern Diocese is Nazareth.  At the Western Diocese, you should contact Remo.  Tell them you want English prayer books for daily devotions, as well as St. Nerses' 24 prayers.

Armenian icons are hard to come by.  Eastern Orthodox icons or Coptic icons would be perfectly fine to use.  If you want something specifically Armenian, I can pm you the name and e-mail address of a woman I know who prepares icons in the Armenian style.

You may also want to ask St. John Church in Michigan if they still sell their "icon tiles."  They were reproductions of the icons they have inside their church.  They are approximately six inches high and are quite beautiful.  I think they have one of Sts. Vartan and Ghevont.

http://www.stjohnsarmenianchurch.com/
« Last Edit: March 20, 2009, 08:54:35 PM by Salpy » Logged

Salpy
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« Reply #10 on: March 20, 2009, 09:06:40 PM »

There is also St. Gregory of Nareg's famous book of prayers:

http://www.amazon.com/Armenian-Prayer-Book-Gregory-Narek/dp/9993085340/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1237597382&sr=1-1

That's heavy duty stuff, though.   Smiley   Very deep.

Here is a website that actually has all the prayers on line:

http://www.stgregoryofnarek.am/book.php
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AlaskanOrthodox
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« Reply #11 on: March 20, 2009, 09:10:47 PM »

Thank you so much for the resources.  I will incorporate these prayers into my daily practices slowly.  I found the post on this forum where you posted the prayers also.  I printed them off.  Thank you.

In Christ,


Robert
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« Reply #12 on: June 10, 2009, 12:48:05 PM »

Dear Robert

It's really not difficult for an EO to become a full member of the Armenian Church. In Armenia there are people who were baptized in the Russian Orthodox Church but they go to the Armenian church, not Russian, and no one demands them to be re-baptized or chrismated.

I have heard that there are non-Armenians in Russia and Ukraine who also have become members of the Armenian Church but I don't know how they were accepted into the Armenian Church. I'm almost sure they were not re-baptized if they were members of other traditional churches.
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