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Author Topic: Outline of the conversion process  (Read 1072 times) Average Rating: 0
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andrewdodd
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« on: October 17, 2010, 11:44:31 AM »

 Could someone please outline the conversion process? I am still doing internet inquiry of the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, and haven't learned too much yet, but I would appreciate if someone could give me an outline of the process, and how it relates to RCIA in the Roman Catholic Church. Thanks!
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« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2010, 01:00:40 PM »

We don't have a formal, church-wide process like RCIA. It always begins, though, with talking to the priest. You will probably start meeting with the priest on a regular basis, or, if the parish has inquirers' classes, you'll attend those. You'll be given books to read. At some point, you may be formally made a catechumen (my priest didn't perform this rite but some do) and then you'll set a date for your baptism or chrismation.
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« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2010, 01:41:03 PM »

In my parish we use this outline for a personalized Catechumen program for each catechumen:

1. Attend at least 20 sessions of Orthodox Instruction on Saturday afternoons.  Our priest has weekly Catechism classes that are given over a two year period and are important to learn the basics of Orthodoxy. The Orthopraxis Classes that I teach monthly helps to learn the practical aspects of living a traditional Orthodox Christian life---it can be taken both before and after the catechumen is chrismated and consists of 12 monthly meetings. We often have other special presentations by special speakers at our parish that will add additional depth to the catechumen studies  and adult book studies/ Bible studies that we the catechumen to attend.

2. Attend the services for 8 out of the 12 great feasts during the liturgical year. The services of the Great Feasts include the Vespers of the Feast, Orthros, and the Divine Liturgy. Attendance at any of these services will count as attending the services of the feast. If the Feast happens on a Saturday or Sunday, the Catechumen are expected to attend as many of the services as possible. The Twelve Great Feasts are:

a. Nativity of the Virgin Mary-September 8th

b. Elevation of the Precious Cross - September 14th

c. Entrance of the Virgin Mary into the Temple - November 21st

d. Nativty of Our Lord – December 25th

e. Theophany of Our Lord –January 6th

f. Meeting of Our Lord into the Temple –February 2

g. Annunciation of the Virgin Mary –March 25th

h. Entry of Our Lord into Jerusalem – Sunday before Pascha

i. Ascension of Our Lord –40 days after Pascha

j. Pentecost –50 days after Pascha

k. Transfiguration of Our Lord –August 6th

l. Dormition of the Virgin Mary-August 15

[Note Pascha is the Feast of Feasts and is not included as one of the Great Feasts as it outranks all of them---it will however count as one for the task purpose]

3. Read four books about the Orthodox Church or the Orthodox Christian life. We assign books based upon Catechumen interests and books that will round out thier studies.

 4. Participate in the services of the Church on a regular basis. This of course is without need to explain, attend Church services when you are able to, and participate to your best ability singing, praying, and supporting others in prayer.

5. Contribute to the life of the parish through gifts of time, talents, and money. Establish a regular giving of alms to the poor, fasting, donating of your surplus to the church general fund, look at your talents and offer the organizations of the church your services and blessings of your talents.

I am sure each parish has something in place either formally or informally---your priest will know how to procede with you.

THOMAS
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« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2010, 04:56:37 PM »

My parish's general practice is simply this:

After the period of inquiry, when a formal decision is made, then the inquirer is made a catechumen by an initiatory rite.

After this, the catechumen is expect to attend as many services as reasonably possible for one year. This whole year allows the catechumen to experience the full cycle of seasons. It's also usually enough time to weed out any overly zealous anxiousness or for those with a mere curiosity to lose steam, but more than that, it calms your nerves a bit and gets you into the rhythm of things.

I know that a year is excessive in many circle these days, and receptions are more likely to happen in 3-6 months in a lot of churches, but in the ancient church the catechumenate lasted for three years, and after the liturgy of the catechumens (the first half of the liturgy), then catechumens were expected to leave and wait out in the narthex and listen to the prayers. They weren't even allowed to be around the Eucharist, let alone those who had not been initiated!

No set rules on classes or anything. Just come to what you can, when you can.

All of this will be different in your specific parish, so just go straight to a local priest and ask him.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2010, 04:59:34 PM by Alveus Lacuna » Logged
brittrossiter
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« Reply #4 on: October 27, 2010, 08:01:10 PM »

My parish's general practice is simply this:

After the period of inquiry, when a formal decision is made, then the inquirer is made a catechumen by an initiatory rite.

After this, the catechumen is expect to attend as many services as reasonably possible for one year. This whole year allows the catechumen to experience the full cycle of seasons. It's also usually enough time to weed out any overly zealous anxiousness or for those with a mere curiosity to lose steam, but more than that, it calms your nerves a bit and gets you into the rhythm of things.

I know that a year is excessive in many circle these days, and receptions are more likely to happen in 3-6 months in a lot of churches, but in the ancient church the catechumenate lasted for three years, and after the liturgy of the catechumens (the first half of the liturgy), then catechumens were expected to leave and wait out in the narthex and listen to the prayers. They weren't even allowed to be around the Eucharist, let alone those who had not been initiated!

No set rules on classes or anything. Just come to what you can, when you can.

All of this will be different in your specific parish, so just go straight to a local priest and ask him.
This has been my experience as well in my OCA parish.  I'm actually in the middle of the process right now.  I will remember you in my prayers tonight.

in Christ,
Britt
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