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Author Topic: Question on Joining An Orthodox Church  (Read 7044 times) Average Rating: 0
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Dean
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« on: December 16, 2003, 05:26:46 PM »

Hi, my name is Dean and this is my first post.

For some time I've been wanting to go to Orthodox services but I don't know how to go about it. I know Orthodoxy is traditional and I doubt someone just walzes in on a Sunday out of nowhere. Could someone give me some advice?

Thanks,

Dean
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« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2003, 05:30:12 PM »

Don't worry - you're welcome to visit an Orthodox church 'just waltzing in on a Sunday out of nowhere'. Just don't go to Communion.
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« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2003, 05:41:13 PM »

Dean,

What I did was to contact the priest of the parish I intended to visit ahead of time.  He emailed me back with directions to the church, etc, and introduced himself to me before the baptismal service that day (he thought I might be interested in attending) which preceded the Divine Liturgy.

This past Sunday, I went to that parish for my third time and was blessed.  (I'm going to post more details later in separate thread about where I am in my "journey").

DT
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« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2003, 06:10:14 PM »

Welcome Dean,

Waltzers are more than welcome Smiley  Just follow Serge's advice about Communion.  If you are offered a piece of blessed bread (antidoron) afterwards, that is OK to accept, and is a sign of welcome and fellowship.
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« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2003, 06:13:42 PM »

First Visit to an Orthodox Church--Twelve Things I Wish I'd Known

A somewhat simplistic quick primer on visiting.
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« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2003, 09:05:13 PM »

Thank you all for your replies. The "12 things I wish I knew" was very helpful and I'll definitely call first.

Thanks also for the welcome, Vicki. The kind of parish is Synodal Orthodox. The two closest ones are St Nicholas in Binghamton, NY at 1 hour away and Holy Trinity Monastery in Jordanville, NY at 1 1/2 hours away. The distance isn't the only reason I've waited so long, I also don't speak Russian. These are the only two choices because I was baptized at birth, by tradition more than religion, and the priest (bishop) is an Old Believer but part of the Synodal Church. The nearest Old Believers church is I think five hours away. I did take part in my nephews baptism and caught the tail end of the service, needless to say, I've been wanting to go back. Oh, yeah, one more thing, I've never been to church really, always been a Christian though.

Dean

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« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2003, 06:48:39 AM »

 Smiley Hi Dean,

I am new to this forum and have been attending services here in the Albany area for a few months now.  I contacted our local Priest before attending and met with him.  I attend a Greek Orthodox church and felt a little out of place for the first few times, but you will find that if you try to follow the service book , it will begin to become clear.  A lot of the service is also in English- but in our service book, it is also in Greek and English. You will be surprised by how much you absorb as time passes.

I am so moved by the reverence and beauty of the service and have never felt closer to God.  I have attended many different churches over the years, but believe I have with God's grace found a home.  By the way, I have never been pressured to join the church by anyone which is refreshing.

May God bless yoy in your search for truth.

John
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2003, 08:43:53 AM »

Hi Dean,
You are fortunate to have the choices you've stated. I'd go to both!
There is also another Orthodox church in Binghampton - St.  Michael's Greek Catholic Church at 280 Clinton Street. They're Orthodox but never changed the parish name.

http://www.saintmichaels.info/

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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2003, 09:35:58 AM »

Dean

Welcome to the board!  May your spiritual journey be blessed.
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2003, 02:02:34 PM »

Dean, my wife and I just "waltzed in" to our first service with no idea of what to expect and were greeted very warmly despite our skeptical, puzzled looks! Cheesy

After 18 months of instruction, we've been members of the Church three years now!
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« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2003, 07:59:49 PM »

Thanks again to everyone. I decided to go to the Holy Trinity Monastary service since I've visited there before. I have only one more question, I know this may sound strange but I really don't know: How should I dress? What do men usually wear? This is the seat of our denomination and an important place, I don't want to stand out.

Dean
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« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2003, 09:24:08 PM »

Thanks again to everyone. I decided to go to the Holy Trinity Monastary service since I've visited there before. I have only one more question, I know this may sound strange but I really don't know: How should I dress? What do men usually wear? This is the seat of our denomination and an important place, I don't want to stand out.

Dean

Hi, Dean, and welcome! Cheesy

Clothes to wear?  I've seen people come to church in rags.  Why?  It was the best they had!  Maybe, they were wearing ALL they had!  So, my answer for you , is just simply wear your best.  Always try your best, in all things, for God.  God knows when you're trying your best.

- Karamazov
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« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2003, 01:01:17 PM »

Why is it that way in the USA? It seems that your parish communities are very closed.. I mean.. asking you thinks when you go to Church for first time? "parish council"? That would scare or give a very bad impression (at least here in Mexico).

If you did that here the person would most likely not return. Why not saying the Communion rules before the Liturgy begins and say "If some people are new to our parish welcome to the Divine Liturgy" or something like that, welcoming people.

Contacting the priest before going to Church? I would say it's good because he may be able to talk with the person and introduce him about the faith, help him... but I have never heard of priests who do not like visitors. I wold say that the Church must be open to al kind of people. I would feel like in an immigration office with those questions.

Now, if someone aproaches for the Holy Mysteries it must mean he/she is Orthodox. I mean, what kind of person would go to a service of another religion and take communion? I have Protestant friends and they would never approach for Communion in a Roman Church, and Romans would never partake in the communion of Evangelicals when they attend services. Most Catholics would probably not do so in an Orthodox Church because of respect.
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« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2003, 01:17:35 PM »

Do some parishes take attendance? When I was going to join the OCA I remember someone came up to me with a notebook and asked for my name. There were a bunch of other names in the book with dates of the Sundays and check marks next to the names.

In Christ,
Anthony

Regrettably, Mexican, people DO do that...we have Protestants here who say they can commune anywhere, and try to...and Catholics who are of the same mind...AND ROTFLMAO...WHAT makes you think more than three people are there at the beginning of Hours/Matins to hear ANY announcement concerning welcome??? VERY FUNNY!!!! Don't you know most parishioners aren't there till after the Great Entrance?Huh

I told Dean WHAT I did because I DID NOT want him to be put off by the same thing that happened to me when I got put through the Inquisition in an OCA parish I visited...I am cradle Orthodox, and expected to be asked who I was, as I was not Russian, but it still caught me by surprise...different jurisdictions are more agressive about it.
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« Reply #14 on: December 19, 2003, 01:22:40 PM »

I have Protestant friends and they would never approach for Communion in a Roman Church, and Romans would never partake in the communion of Evangelicals when they attend services. Most Catholics would probably not do so in an Orthodox Church because of respect.


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My ex-girlfriend's father, evangelical "Non-denominational type" but never a Catholic, ALWAYS went to Communion when they visited us in Baltimore (they live in Massachusetts and their daughter went to Loyola).  I gave up telling him to knock it off.  On the other hand, my ex, even though she went to church with me most every week and desperately wanted to receive Communion, NEVER went.  Her father used to say to her, "You know, you can go.  The person giving Communion doesn't know if you're Catholic or not..."

He just didn't get it, or maybe did get it and went out of spite or pride.  A lovely, wonderful man, but that one thing always upset me.
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« Reply #15 on: December 19, 2003, 01:30:43 PM »

Now, if someone aproaches for the Holy Mysteries it must mean he/she is Orthodox. I mean, what kind of person would go to a service of another religion and take communion? I have Protestant friends and they would never approach for Communion in a Roman Church, and Romans would never partake in the communion of Evangelicals when they attend services. Most Catholics would probably not do so in an Orthodox Church because of respect.

Mex,

Maybe in Mexico, but not in the states.  Many Protestants (probably some Catholics too) will just blindly go up for Communion, not thinking about th serious impacts of doing so (i.e. the meaning behind it and such).  Many think they're entitled and that no one should be able to question their personal relationship with God - hence the usual warning in many (maybe predominantly OCA) churches for visitors just before Communion.
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« Reply #16 on: December 19, 2003, 01:54:48 PM »

Do some parishes take attendance? When I was going to join the OCA I remember someone came up to me with a notebook and asked for my name. There were a bunch of other names in the book with dates of the Sundays and check marks next to the names.

In Christ,
Anthony

Regrettably, Mexican, people DO do that...we have Protestants here who say they can commune anywhere, and try to...and Catholics who are of the same mind...AND ROTFLMAO...WHAT makes you think more than three people are there at the beginning of Hours/Matins to hear ANY announcement concerning welcome??? VERY FUNNY!!!! Don't you know most parishioners aren't there till after the Great Entrance?Huh

I told Dean WHAT I did because I DID NOT want him to be put off by the same thing that happened to me when I got put through the Inquisition in an OCA parish I visited...I am cradle Orthodox, and expected to be asked who I was, as I was not Russian, but it still caught me by surprise...different jurisdictions are more agressive about it.

Interesting.  In my (OCA) parish, we have kids go around with clickers to count attendance and Communion attendees, but nothing as overt as that.  That sounds like a really aggressive priest.  I know my priest emphasizes that the same # of people who attend Great Vespers/Vigil the night before should be going to Communion the next morning.  Of course some may attend Great Vepers elsewhere, but the deviance should be few.  Unfortunately, this usually falls on deaf ears, as the ones to follow the rule/advice usually continue and those that don't, continue to follow the status quo.
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« Reply #17 on: December 19, 2003, 01:56:57 PM »

I mean, what kind of person would go to a service of another religion and take communion?
It happens all the time at our parish.  I'd say non-Orthodox trying to commune happens at least every other month and probably monthly.
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« Reply #18 on: December 19, 2003, 01:59:09 PM »

Maybe our parish is too small, but I've never  seen anyone taking attendance or anything like that.  I'm sure our priest counts how many commune.  We aren't big on "paperwork" Cheesy
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« Reply #19 on: December 19, 2003, 02:26:17 PM »

I wish RC's were less afraid of offending, and more concerned with the Holy Mysteries.  :'(.
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« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2003, 05:25:43 AM »

Why is it that way in the USA? It seems that your parish communities are very closed.. I mean.. asking you thinks when you go to Church for first time? "parish council"? That would scare or give a very bad impression (at least here in Mexico).

If you did that here the person would most likely not return. Why not saying the Communion rules before the Liturgy begins and say "If some people are new to our parish welcome to the Divine Liturgy" or something like that, welcoming people.

Contacting the priest before going to Church? I would say it's good because he may be able to talk with the person and introduce him about the faith, help him... but I have never heard of priests who do not like visitors. I wold say that the Church must be open to al kind of people. I would feel like in an immigration office with those questions.

Now, if someone aproaches for the Holy Mysteries it must mean he/she is Orthodox. I mean, what kind of person would go to a service of another religion and take communion? I have Protestant friends and they would never approach for Communion in a Roman Church, and Romans would never partake in the communion of Evangelicals when they attend services. Most Catholics would probably not do so in an Orthodox Church because of respect.

In my parish here on the West Coast, we have had people who have gone up to receive Holy Communion and have become very upset when the priest would ask them "Are you an Orthodox Christian?" They have told the priest that they are a baptized Christian and that the Catholic Church never questions them but offers them communion so why do the Orthodox have closed communion? It's a pretty tense situation at times

To avoid this, most Antiochian Churches print a warning in the bulletin. Some Greek priests will announce, "Only baptized Orthodox Christians, who if married have been married in the Orthodox Church and are not separated or divorced, and who have prepared themselves by fasting from food and drink from midnight, prayer, and recent reception of Holy Confession should approach Holy Communion." The Russians almost never make an announce prior to distributing Holy Communion, but the priest will question any newcomer.

Dean, were you baptized an Orthodox Christian? If so, ask the priest to give you instructions so that you can make your first confession and start receiving Holy Communion.  In Russia, some babies were baptized by their grandparents during the communist era, but were never chrismated, so they have to go through an instructional period before their reception of first Confession, Chrismation and Holy Communion.

Hope this helps.
Elizabeth-Maria

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« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2003, 05:49:39 AM »

Maria,

What do you mean by "the Russian's"?  If you mean ROCOR, I'd be surprised if any non-Orthodox would dare go up for Communion since 1) the service is usually in Slavonic and non-Orthodox might be uncomfortable to begin with, 2) not everyone - not even half probably even go of the parish since they don't feel that they have prepared themselves and 3) since they are usually more strict, the priest would be more likely to question a visitor and make sure they are Orthodox and have had confession recently (usually the night before).  Do you mean OCA?  At my parish and others I've been to, someone announces just before Communion that it is only for Orthodox - and only for those that have prepared themselves by prayer, fasting and a recent confession.

Again, there are several in the OCA (me included) who take offense to being referred to as "the Russians" - we're not.  Should I call the Antiochian's "the Arabs" or the GOA "the Greeks" (probably still accurate but we still shouldn't say so)?  The OCA is the Orthodox Church in America.  Our parish is actually convert dominated and many more are becoming that way.  I'm not angry - I just want people to not develop bad habits or have misconceptions.
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« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2003, 01:31:45 PM »

Yes I knew that Catholics were more liberal about it, for example, the American wife of my grand-grandfather who belongs to a kind of strange Christian mystic religion of the USA, when we brought them to a liturgy celebrated in a Catholic Cathedral here, approached to the Holy Mysteries as if it was a very normal thing and he priests did not say anything.

At the same time, I know a Romanian (Orthodox) family that often approaches for mysteries in Roman parishes and the priests do not say anything either. And they tell me that in Romania is common to find Catholics in Orthodox parishes and in Hungary the opposite.

However this is not in all cases. In Monterrey there's a Roman parish where they have services in English for many American workers and their famillies. A Mexican priest who went there to celebrate dismissed many Protestants.
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« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2003, 02:34:28 PM »

Maria,

What do you mean by "the Russian's"?  If you mean ROCOR, I'd be surprised if any non-Orthodox would dare go up for Communion since 1) the service is usually in Slavonic and non-Orthodox might be uncomfortable to begin with, 2) not everyone - not even half probably even go of the parish since they don't feel that they have prepared themselves and 3) since they are usually more strict, the priest would be more likely to question a visitor and make sure they are Orthodox and have had confession recently (usually the night before).  Do you mean OCA?  At my parish and others I've been to, someone announces just before Communion that it is only for Orthodox - and only for those that have prepared themselves by prayer, fasting and a recent confession.

Again, there are several in the OCA (me included) who take offense to being referred to as "the Russians" - we're not.  Should I call the Antiochian's "the Arabs" or the GOA "the Greeks" (probably still accurate but we still shouldn't say so)?  The OCA is the Orthodox Church in America.  Our parish is actually convert dominated and many more are becoming that way.  I'm not angry - I just want people to not develop bad habits or have misconceptions.

I was referring to the ROCOR. However, if you do approach and haven't just received Holy Confession, they will deny you, at least here on the West Coast, because that is the decision of the local bishop. Even the OCA here on the West Coast doesn't make pre-communion announcements in the parishes that I have visited. I guess Bishop Tikhon leaves it up to the individual parish council and the priest.

I've heard some priests of the Greek Archdiocese make a pre-communion announcement, but there doesn't seem to be a mandatory rule. On the other hand, every Antiochian parish that I have attended are quite consistent in posting a warning in their bulletins (which is handed to every person entering the church) about the reception of the Eucharist. Anyone who is separated or divorced cannot receive Holy Communion until their situation is rectified by the Spiritual Court, etc. The Antiochians stress that the Orthodox Christians who want to receive Holy Communion must be prepared though prayer, fasting and recent reception of Holy Confession. And, they cannot arrive late (after the reading of the Epistle).
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« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2003, 02:45:11 PM »

Maria,

What do you mean by "the Russian's"?  If you mean ROCOR, I'd be surprised if any non-Orthodox would dare go up for Communion since 1) the service is usually in Slavonic and non-Orthodox might be uncomfortable to begin with, 2) not everyone - not even half probably even go of the parish since they don't feel that they have prepared themselves and 3) since they are usually more strict, the priest would be more likely to question a visitor and make sure they are Orthodox and have had confession recently (usually the night before).  Do you mean OCA?  At my parish and others I've been to, someone announces just before Communion that it is only for Orthodox - and only for those that have prepared themselves by prayer, fasting and a recent confession.

Again, there are several in the OCA (me included) who take offense to being referred to as "the Russians" - we're not.  Should I call the Antiochian's "the Arabs" or the GOA "the Greeks" (probably still accurate but we still shouldn't say so)?  The OCA is the Orthodox Church in America.  Our parish is actually convert dominated and many more are becoming that way.  I'm not angry - I just want people to not develop bad habits or have misconceptions.

I was referring to the ROCOR. However, if you do approach and haven't just received Holy Confession, they will deny you, at least here on the West Coast, because that is the decision of the local bishop. Even the OCA here on the West Coast doesn't make pre-communion announcements in the parishes that I have visited. I guess Bishop Tikhon leaves it up to the individual parish council and the priest.

I've heard some priests of the Greek Archdiocese make a pre-communion announcement, but there doesn't seem to be a mandatory rule. On the other hand, every Antiochian parish that I have attended are quite consistent in posting a warning in their bulletins (which is handed to every person entering the church) about the reception of the Eucharist. Anyone who is separated or divorced cannot receive Holy Communion until their situation is rectified by the Spiritual Court, etc. The Antiochians stress that the Orthodox Christians who want to receive Holy Communion must be prepared though prayer, fasting and recent reception of Holy Confession. And, they cannot arrive late (after the reading of the Epistle).

Oh contraire.  I'm in a west coast OCA parish and there is ALWAYS an anouncement.  I assure you Bishop Tikhon is VERY strict about this.  People in the parishes in the area take this very seriously (mostly with regards to the non-Orthodox).  There may be something in the bulliten in the Antiochian church in SoCal I grew up in, but usually the whole parish goes up for Communion - the "recent Confession" part is not dealt with as seriously.
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« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2003, 02:51:45 PM »

Maria,

What do you mean by "the Russian's"?  If you mean ROCOR, I'd be surprised if any non-Orthodox would dare go up for Communion since 1) the service is usually in Slavonic and non-Orthodox might be uncomfortable to begin with, 2) not everyone - not even half probably even go of the parish since they don't feel that they have prepared themselves and 3) since they are usually more strict, the priest would be more likely to question a visitor and make sure they are Orthodox and have had confession recently (usually the night before).  Do you mean OCA?  At my parish and others I've been to, someone announces just before Communion that it is only for Orthodox - and only for those that have prepared themselves by prayer, fasting and a recent confession.

Again, there are several in the OCA (me included) who take offense to being referred to as "the Russians" - we're not.  Should I call the Antiochian's "the Arabs" or the GOA "the Greeks" (probably still accurate but we still shouldn't say so)?  The OCA is the Orthodox Church in America.  Our parish is actually convert dominated and many more are becoming that way.  I'm not angry - I just want people to not develop bad habits or have misconceptions.

I was referring to the ROCOR. However, if you do approach and haven't just received Holy Confession, they will deny you, at least here on the West Coast, because that is the decision of the local bishop. Even the OCA here on the West Coast doesn't make pre-communion announcements in the parishes that I have visited. I guess Bishop Tikhon leaves it up to the individual parish council and the priest.

I've heard some priests of the Greek Archdiocese make a pre-communion announcement, but there doesn't seem to be a mandatory rule. On the other hand, every Antiochian parish that I have attended are quite consistent in posting a warning in their bulletins (which is handed to every person entering the church) about the reception of the Eucharist. Anyone who is separated or divorced cannot receive Holy Communion until their situation is rectified by the Spiritual Court, etc. The Antiochians stress that the Orthodox Christians who want to receive Holy Communion must be prepared though prayer, fasting and recent reception of Holy Confession. And, they cannot arrive late (after the reading of the Epistle).

Oh contraire.  I'm in a west coast OCA parish and there is ALWAYS an anouncement.  I assure you Bishop Tikhon is VERY strict about this.  People in the parishes in the area take this very seriously (mostly with regards to the non-Orthodox).  There may be something in the bulliten in the Antiochian church in SoCal I grew up in, but usually the whole parish goes up for Communion - the "recent Confession" part is not dealt with as seriously.

I'm not going to argue with you, but the local oca parishes that I visit have yet to make an announcement, so it must be left up to the local pastor.
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« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2003, 09:24:35 PM »

It is common for the priest to make such announcements in the diocese of the South, but it is even more common for the priest simply to make inquiry discretely of anyone approaching the chalice with whom he is unfamiliar.  Either way works.
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« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2003, 11:56:37 PM »

I am sure this thread has now confused of original poster, Dean, but one might expect some differences in how the "closed" Communion is safe-guarded. In the early days of the Church, most likely this was not a big problem - virtually no non-Christians were even present for this part of the Liturgy (they being asked to leave before the Great Entrance). And with very small exception, non-Orthodox were rare except in some defined geographic areas in the east; i.e., there were no "denominations". Even for a long period after 1054, the amathemas East and West were not applied to the faithful of other side and thus the issue was not big even then.
But I am sure travelers in all ages have faced these questions about preparation from the priests, but non-Orthodox "visitors" I don't think was an issue.

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« Reply #28 on: December 22, 2003, 02:15:29 AM »

Somehow in Eastern Orthodox countries, priests and the Church in general are more open about "eucharistic hospitality". My (RC) aunt was in Syria recently and as there was no Catholic Church, she was allowed to take communion, the priest said Catholics could do so. I've also heard that in Romania for example, local Catholics can receive communion in RO parishes, but I'm not sure.
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« Reply #29 on: December 22, 2003, 03:39:03 AM »

Somehow in Eastern Orthodox countries, priests and the Church in general are more open about "eucharistic hospitality". My (RC) aunt was in Syria recently and as there was no Catholic Church, she was allowed to take communion, the priest said Catholics could do so. I've also heard that in Romania for example, local Catholics can receive communion in RO parishes, but I'm not sure.

That's interesting. I have never heard of an Orthodox Church communing Roman Catholics, but, then again, I've been surprised before.
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« Reply #30 on: December 22, 2003, 08:14:54 AM »

I know ROCOR that have communed Coptic Orthodox. And Coptic Orthodox that have communed Russians. The world is a lot less polemical than some of us would like. And that gives me hope. Not that I am in favour of eucharistic promiscuity.

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« Reply #31 on: June 08, 2004, 12:05:12 AM »

When I was a member of an Anglican parish here in Malaysia, I knew of a non Christian man in his mid-thirties who actually went up to take communion...it went on and on for weeks and weeks -  he was not keen to attend any instruction nor did the parish wise up to the fact that he wan unchurched and not baptised.... I was leading a group of working adults and we tried to reach out to him...thst's how I know he was not baptised.... I'd say something similar might happen in an Orthodox parish too?
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« Reply #32 on: June 08, 2004, 12:18:20 AM »

When I was a member of an Anglican parish here in Malaysia, I knew of a non Christian man in his mid-thirties who actually went up to take communion...it went on and on for weeks and weeks -  he was not keen to attend any instruction nor did the parish wise up to the fact that he wan unchurched and not baptised.... I was leading a group of working adults and we tried to reach out to him...thst's how I know he was not baptised.... I'd say something similar might happen in an Orthodox parish too?

Only when irresponsible priests who don't take their oaths seriously are in charge.
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« Reply #33 on: June 08, 2004, 01:28:13 PM »

Interesting.  In my (OCA) parish, we have kids go around with clickers to count attendance and Communion attendees, but nothing as overt as that.  That sounds like a really aggressive priest.  I know my priest emphasizes that the same # of people who attend Great Vespers/Vigil the night before should be going to Communion the next morning.  

Clickers?  

How large is that Parish? As far as vespers attendence. In my OCA Parish it is in the parish bylaws that parishioners are required to give confession at least once per year during Lent.

We have Parishioeners who travel great distances, work Saturdays, etc. it would be unreasonable to expect them to come every Saturday night...drive all the way home again -- only to return Sunday -- EVERY WEEK!

Parishes should be of a size that the priests can recognize people if they do not know their names, and indeed the priests should know people by their first name. My Parish has about 600+ regularly attending Parishioners and 4-5 priests. The priests all recognize the regulars, and know most of their names. No one takes attendence, but visitors are asked to fill out a guest card.

Pascha saw us with close to one thousand people in our temple and bursting out the doors. Only at Pascha was there a general announcement letting people know that only those who have properly prepared themselves should approach for Holy COmmunion. During Lent at every DIvine Liturgy people were encouraged to confess and there were also 1 or 2 reminders as to the Parish bylaws.

Orthodox need to be reasonable in how they defend the Chalise and not do so in such a manner that it makes an inquirer feel excluded -- while at the same time making inquirers aware of the reasons.

Yes, in almost every Roman Catholic Parish anyone can walk right up and receive Holy COmmunion. The parishes tend to be so large and priests so few....In the RCC receiveing Holy COmmunion no longer means that one is "in communion" with the Church. -- at least in the US.
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« Reply #34 on: June 08, 2004, 01:31:53 PM »

When I was a member of an Anglican parish here in Malaysia, I knew of a non Christian man in his mid-thirties who actually went up to take communion...it went on and on for weeks and weeks -  he was not keen to attend any instruction nor did the parish wise up to the fact that he wan unchurched and not baptised.... I was leading a group of working adults and we tried to reach out to him...thst's how I know he was not baptised.... I'd say something similar might happen in an Orthodox parish too?

I don't see that hapening in any US Orthodox parishes. Newcomers are usually very warmly greeted and in so doing their church status is discerned. Based on what we see in the US about Anglicans though -- where an anglican Bishop lives openly with his homosexual lover and some parishes conduct marriage services of homosexuals -- I think just about anything goes for the Anglicans here.
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« Reply #35 on: June 08, 2004, 01:41:19 PM »

[Interesting.  In my (OCA) parish, we have kids go around with clickers to count attendance and Communion attendees, but nothing as overt as that.  That sounds like a really aggressive priest.  I know my priest emphasizes that the same # of people who attend Great Vespers/Vigil the night before should be going to Communion the next morning.]

We do the same thing in my OCA parish.  Use clickers to count the number of people present for Vespers and Liturgy.  The count comes in hady when looking for trends etc.  Example:  Because we are so centraly located to NYC, Atlantic City, Washington, Poconos our attendance goes down during the summer months.

The number of people present along with the total collection for the previous Sunday is posted in every Sunday bulletin.  This allows everyone in the parish to get a better idea on how we are doing financially.

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« Reply #36 on: June 08, 2004, 11:39:24 PM »

I'm not sure what clickers are.  Anyone have a link?
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« Reply #37 on: June 08, 2004, 11:43:25 PM »

I'm not sure what clickers are.  Anyone have a link?

Little devices you "click" for the purpose of counting. Click once, and the number "1" appears. Click twice, and there's the number "2"...and so on.
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« Reply #38 on: June 08, 2004, 11:57:17 PM »

Ah...I don't think I have ever seen one before.  Thanks!
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« Reply #39 on: June 09, 2004, 10:21:53 AM »



The number of people present along with the total collection for the previous Sunday is posted in every Sunday bulletin.  This allows everyone in the parish to get a better idea on how we are doing financially.



Most Churches of all faiths have collections go down in the summer .Church attendance goes down as well. As people go on vacations, spend time at summer cottages and other summer ativities takeover -- many people are less-inclined to worship.

Parishes need to remind parishioners of their obligations. In our OCA parish are only perceptible drop so far this summer has been with families taking vacations. We are also encouraged to remember our stewardship obligations and continue to contribute even if we are absent.
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