Author Topic: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer  (Read 932 times)

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Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« on: July 08, 2010, 06:30:34 AM »
Some things I'm trying to wrap my head around, as an early potential inquirer:

During a period of inquiry into Orthodoxy, as a current Roman Catholic, does it behoove me to
A) Go to RC Mass and take communion there, as well as somewhat observantly attend some DL's
B) Not go to RC Mass for a time, and go to DL's (of course not taking communion)

If I'm uncertain, how do I know how to properly fulfill my obligation, and more complex still, how do I confess: presumably my inquiry into Orthodoxy is at least marginally sinful to the RC church, but I cannot be perfectly contrite for it assuming I intend to continue it...

I suppose I don't confess or commune anywhere, right now, but does that just leave me perpetually out of a state of grace? Yikes!
It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Offline AWR

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2010, 08:54:32 AM »
I think that until you decide to become a catechumen, it would not be wrong to partake of the sacraments at your present church.  I would be honest in confusion and listen to what your priest says.  Also talk to an Orthodox priest for advice.

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2010, 12:36:30 PM »
Well, God's grace is with those who seek Him. You need to look into your heart, into your reasons for becoming Orthodox. I had to do this, so did a lot of people. For over a year, I attended Orthodox services and Lutheran services, but did not commune at either. I wasn't a catechumen yet, but I knew that communing in the Lutheran church would still violate my conscience. This may not be a rule for everyone, but I think one needs to reflect and think about what it is that one is looking for. I was looking for Christ. He wasn't in the Lutheran church the way that He was in the Orthodox Church, in His fullness. If one does not come to the Orthodox Church for the sake of God, then I would question the motive for conversion. People come to the Orthodox Church, but they also, unfortunately for them, leave, even after converting. I think one big reason many leave is because they allowed themselves to be carried along by emotion, without a deep introspection--and, of course, repentance and humility.
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Online genesisone

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2010, 12:54:42 PM »
For several months I attended an Orthodox church and also the Evangelical church I had always known. I really had no desire to leave the only church I had always known, but found myself being drawn more steadily and firmly into the Orthodox Church. One of those draws was Communion. It bothered me somewhat that during my lifetime, communion (change from upper to lower case is deliberate) had changed from a highly reverent act to almost "let's just pass the crackers and juice and get on with it". The denomination has a formal ritual for communion that was always used until about twenty-five years ago when pastors were given the OK to make adjustments for pastoral reasons. Basically, it meant they could ad lib the whole thing. Some instances were pretty pathetic. However, back to my own story: during the time I was attending both churches (and receiving Protestant communion), the pastor ad libbed: "And Jesus said, This is a symbol of my body...a symbol of my blood." I immediately realized that if you have to misquote Scripture to make a point, there's a big problem. I chose to not receive communion that morning, and knew that the next time I would receive, it would be as an Orthodox Christian - even though at that time I had no idea how long it would be (it turned out to be about six months).

I think my point here is that something is going to happen that will make you realize you can't stay where you are and you will begin to pull back. Don't force the issue. That might leave you with regrets. But you will know when only one choice remains.

Offline JimCBrooklyn

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2010, 01:22:12 PM »
Certainly don't want to force anything. My journey in the RC church has been too profound to just say "oops, there that goes!" I sense that RC converts to Orthodoxy tend to go either hardline anti-Rome, or always have a place in their hearts for it. I could never be the former.

The biggest part of this is my wife and I learning one another's faiths of origin, and discerning where our family belongs, that is to say what is Christ's church, as we don't believe in the idea that different churches are right for different people.

I suppose I just realize the significance of the Eucharist (and Penance), and  that right now I'm one of the following:
A) In communion with the One True Church (Rome), but questioning it seriously, therefore possibly making me unfit to receive/confess, if I have no intent to cease my investigations
B) Out of communion with the One True Church (Orthodoxy), but searching for it, and committing a grave wrong by receiving in the RC church if it is indeed heretical and I have some notion of that.

Either way, I want to minimize the negative aspect, but of course, we always do when God wants otherwise. This is just a very odd place to be, and not one I particularly expected.


Pray for us!
It is not the task of Christianity to provide easy answers to every question, but to make us progressively aware of a mystery. God is not so much the object of our knowledge as the cause of our wonder.
-Metropolitan Kallistos Ware

Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2010, 03:29:00 PM »
You have to come to an understanding. That takes time. Sometimes a lot of time. An honest, thoughtful search for truth is the main thing. Everyone's spiritual journey is different. Commend yourself to God and everything will be all right no matter what you do.
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Offline stashko

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2010, 06:54:12 PM »
Certainly don't want to force anything. My journey in the RC church has been too profound to just say "oops, there that goes!" I sense that RC converts to Orthodoxy tend to go either hardline anti-Rome, or always have a place in their hearts for it. I could never be the former.

The biggest part of this is my wife and I learning one another's faiths of origin, and discerning where our family belongs, that is to say what is Christ's church, as we don't believe in the idea that different churches are right for different people.

I suppose I just realize the significance of the Eucharist (and Penance), and  that right now I'm one of the following:
A) In communion with the One True Church (Rome), but questioning it seriously, therefore possibly making me unfit to receive/confess, if I have no intent to cease my investigations
B) Out of communion with the One True Church (Orthodoxy), but searching for it, and committing a grave wrong by receiving in the RC church if it is indeed heretical and I have some notion of that.

Either way, I want to minimize the negative aspect, but of course, we always do when God wants otherwise. This is just a very odd place to be, and not one I particularly expected.


Pray for us!


The Orthodox Church doesn't add a Mortal sin of obligation for not Attending thou one excommunicates him /herself by missing a few,,confession corrects it and one is in good graces again...Holy Orthodoxy Is A Hospital For the body and soul.It not our judge and Jury..It Doesn't burden us by creating sin or throwing Yokes around our necks...
We worship God  in free will, because we love God ,,It saves us a lot of time of becoming  scripture Lawyers and trying to Justify coming up with some duzzie excuses getting out of Church and avoiding Mortal sin  in the process.... Latin Christians got that part down to a fine art how to avoid a mortal sin and still, not go to church.... ;D
ГОСПОДЕ ГОСПОДЕ ,ПОГЛЕДАЈ СА НЕБА ,ДОЂИ И ПОСЕТИ ТВОЈ ВИНОГРАД ТВОЈА ДЕСНИЦА ПОСАДИЛА АМИН АМИН.

Offline deusveritasest

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2010, 09:00:40 PM »
It really depends on why you are inquiring, how you feel about the Roman and Byzantine communions, and how close you are to one and the other.

For instance, if you are far enough that you are seriously questioning whether the Roman church or the Byzantine church is the Church of Christ, then I would not think it appropriate to be any longer taking communion at your Roman church.

On the other hand, if you, for the most part, confidently believe that the Roman church is the Church and you just have some doubts with regard to Byzantine claims, then I would think it still appropriate to be taking communion at your church.
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Offline Shanghaiski

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2010, 10:09:23 PM »
The process of making up one's mind takes time, study, prayer. At least from the Orthodox Church's point of view, since that is what you are currently looking at, there's not some expectation for you to sever communion with the Roman Catholic Church until you become a catechumen. And there's no pressure on you to make up your mind on that right away. God forbid we should rush people into making such a momentous decision. You have a lot to think about without being pressured. There is also, most especially, the feelings of your wife to consider. While matters of faith are personal, you share a profound relationship with another person and one thus has two persons to consider. This requires a lot of prayer, discussions with your wife, and study. I don't say anything about conversations with Roman Catholic or Orthodox priests. That is for you to make use of as you see fit. From my point of view, conversations with clergy or even other religious partisans (myself included) might not be helpful.
Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.

Offline Shlomlokh

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Re: Confession, Mass for an Inquirer
« Reply #9 on: July 09, 2010, 07:44:39 PM »
Some things I'm trying to wrap my head around, as an early potential inquirer:

During a period of inquiry into Orthodoxy, as a current Roman Catholic, does it behoove me to
A) Go to RC Mass and take communion there, as well as somewhat observantly attend some DL's
B) Not go to RC Mass for a time, and go to DL's (of course not taking communion)

If I'm uncertain, how do I know how to properly fulfill my obligation, and more complex still, how do I confess: presumably my inquiry into Orthodoxy is at least marginally sinful to the RC church, but I cannot be perfectly contrite for it assuming I intend to continue it...

I suppose I don't confess or commune anywhere, right now, but does that just leave me perpetually out of a state of grace? Yikes!

Before I converted from Roman Catholicism, I felt like much how you feel now. I still attended Mass until I became a catechumen, but I chose not to receive or partake of the sacraments in the RCC. As my beliefs and stances in regards to key issues that have been brought up here and in other threads you have posted (Papal Supremacy and Infallibility, filioque, et al.) started to change, I felt like it would be dishonest to me and those around me if I received Communion.

I know that it's hard to feel like this, but do realize that God can and does operate outside of the Sacraments, meaning that He will give His grace to whom He wills. He's brought you this far. :) My prayers are with you and your wife.

In Christ,
Andrew
"I will pour out my prayer unto the Lord, and to Him will I proclaim my grief; for with evils my soul is filled, and my life unto hades hath drawn nigh, and like Jonah I will pray: From corruption raise me up, O God." -Ode VI, Irmos of the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos