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Author Topic: Antochian Vs ROCOR Differences  (Read 1996 times) Average Rating: 0
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David 2007
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« on: December 07, 2010, 02:07:40 AM »

These are the two choices I'm facing about approaching an Orthdoox Church that does their liturgy in English.

Here in Melbourne Australia.

Could someone explain the differences between a ROCOR and Antiochian church in terms of teachings/liturgy etc?
« Last Edit: December 07, 2010, 02:16:34 AM by David 2007 » Logged
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« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2010, 02:34:51 AM »

These are the two choices I'm facing about approaching an Orthdoox Church that does their liturgy in English.

Here in Melbourne Australia.

Could someone explain the differences between a ROCOR and Antiochian church in terms of teachings/liturgy etc?
The teaching is the same. That is why we are all Orthodox. ROCOR is more rigorist in practice (on a practical level, it means longer services).
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« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2010, 07:53:18 AM »

These are the two choices I'm facing about approaching an Orthdoox Church that does their liturgy in English.

Here in Melbourne Australia.

Could someone explain the differences between a ROCOR and Antiochian church in terms of teachings/liturgy etc?
The teaching is the same. That is why we are all Orthodox. ROCOR is more rigorist in practice (on a practical level, it means longer services).
I'd call ROCOR traditionalist in tone and culture.  We don't have pews or electric icon lamps, and yes our services tend to follow the Typikon more closely, but in faith we share the same undivided Orthodoxy.  Maybe Antioch use more English, but ROCOR has dozens of Anglo priests in the US, UK and Australia, mixed language parishes, straight English....... you could try out the Antiochian mission at Monash University Clayton Campus in Melbourne, and the ROCOR Australian Orthodox Mission in Spring Street in Melbourne which uses all English and has services 5 days a week morning and evening.
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« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2010, 07:54:58 AM »

For Slavonic ROCOR you could go to Dandenong to Dormition of Our Lady - the parish priest is our Dean, Mitred Archpriest Michael Protopopov, a very gifted spiritual father, who also appreciates the place of English and Greek within ROCOR's modern language traditions. 
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« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2010, 08:37:32 AM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!
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« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2010, 10:28:24 AM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!

Good advice. You may also just find an affinity to the mode of singing and tones used in one tradition over the over as well. That is a matter of personal choice - not dogma or theology.
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« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2010, 11:59:29 AM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!

Good advice. You may also just find an affinity to the mode of singing and tones used in one tradition over the over as well. That is a matter of personal choice - not dogma or theology.

It's going to be more of a decision about the commuity you would be joining. See where your click best with the other folks.

The other thing is if you have a penchent for strictness and rigor. When I left the OCA for Rocor it was for all kinds of reasons. However my son once said to me the reason I went to Rocor was because "They are more Hard-Core". He knows my personality well.

On the other hand sometimes converts go right for the Hard-Core choice while still wrapped up in their initial enthusiasm. Hard-Core is not always better or more beneficial. Just be aware of your own personality and capacity.
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« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2010, 03:19:47 PM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!

Good advice. You may also just find an affinity to the mode of singing and tones used in one tradition over the over as well. That is a matter of personal choice - not dogma or theology.
The Antiochian  Melbourne Uni Mission use English and sing in Russian tones in the main.  They have some video on their site.http://www.australianorthodox.org.au Good Russian Church in Australia info is at www.rocor.org.au.  The Melbourne Cathedral of ROCOR have an English mission that uses both the new Brunswick and old Collingwood Cathedrals. 
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« Reply #8 on: December 07, 2010, 10:17:31 PM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!

Good advice. You may also just find an affinity to the mode of singing and tones used in one tradition over the over as well. That is a matter of personal choice - not dogma or theology.

I am having this very same dilemma, and I've attended both the Rocor and Antiochian churches in my new city. As for singing and tones, I definitely feel far more drawn to the Rocor services. They are like none I've ever attended!My heart is on fire there. The Antiochian singing feels a bit forced or off kilter, and the somewhat eastern sounding melodies being sung by western converts come off as kind of unnatural to me. Being musical by nature, I find this distracting. That said, the Rocor church is very cultural, the services are primarily in Church Slavonic, and nobody has really tried to make me feel welcome. The people at the Antiochian church, on the other hand, are super friendly, and the priest is very kind and welcoming. Not sure where to be...
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« Reply #9 on: December 08, 2010, 12:32:17 AM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!

Good advice. You may also just find an affinity to the mode of singing and tones used in one tradition over the over as well. That is a matter of personal choice - not dogma or theology.

I am having this very same dilemma, and I've attended both the Rocor and Antiochian churches in my new city. As for singing and tones, I definitely feel far more drawn to the Rocor services. They are like none I've ever attended!My heart is on fire there. The Antiochian singing feels a bit forced or off kilter, and the somewhat eastern sounding melodies being sung by western converts come off as kind of unnatural to me. Being musical by nature, I find this distracting. That said, the Rocor church is very cultural, the services are primarily in Church Slavonic, and nobody has really tried to make me feel welcome. The people at the Antiochian church, on the other hand, are super friendly, and the priest is very kind and welcoming. Not sure where to be...

That's a tough situation, no doubt. I am partial myself to the Russian tones. Fortunately for me, we use both types in our services!
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« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2010, 12:43:59 AM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!

Good advice. You may also just find an affinity to the mode of singing and tones used in one tradition over the over as well. That is a matter of personal choice - not dogma or theology.

I am having this very same dilemma, and I've attended both the Rocor and Antiochian churches in my new city. As for singing and tones, I definitely feel far more drawn to the Rocor services. They are like none I've ever attended!My heart is on fire there. The Antiochian singing feels a bit forced or off kilter, and the somewhat eastern sounding melodies being sung by western converts come off as kind of unnatural to me. Being musical by nature, I find this distracting. That said, the Rocor church is very cultural, the services are primarily in Church Slavonic, and nobody has really tried to make me feel welcome. The people at the Antiochian church, on the other hand, are super friendly, and the priest is very kind and welcoming. Not sure where to be...

That's a tough situation, no doubt. I am partial myself to the Russian tones. Fortunately for me, we use both types in our services!
I like Russian choirs and Antiochian/Greek cantors.
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« Reply #11 on: December 08, 2010, 02:29:40 AM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!

Good advice. You may also just find an affinity to the mode of singing and tones used in one tradition over the over as well. That is a matter of personal choice - not dogma or theology.

I am having this very same dilemma, and I've attended both the Rocor and Antiochian churches in my new city. As for singing and tones, I definitely feel far more drawn to the Rocor services. They are like none I've ever attended!My heart is on fire there. The Antiochian singing feels a bit forced or off kilter, and the somewhat eastern sounding melodies being sung by western converts come off as kind of unnatural to me. Being musical by nature, I find this distracting. That said, the Rocor church is very cultural, the services are primarily in Church Slavonic, and nobody has really tried to make me feel welcome. The people at the Antiochian church, on the other hand, are super friendly, and the priest is very kind and welcoming. Not sure where to be...

Stavros... are you an Orthodox?  I didn't quite get that from your posts - I'd say you're on your way.  If you're not yet Orthodox, go where you're welcome, because that's obviously important.  After you're welcome, convicted, and dripping with (Holy Water and) Holy Chrism, your place will become clear.
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« Reply #12 on: December 08, 2010, 05:29:49 AM »

How is there any choice between music and community? We become and grow as Orthodox Christians in a community. We could attend the biggest cathedrals with the best choirs but if were not able to participate in community there then we would only be spectators. I'd rather folk sang off key and were welcoming than sang faultlessly and did not make people feel part of the family.

I am speaking generally.
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« Reply #13 on: December 08, 2010, 05:46:04 AM »

How is there any choice between music and community? We become and grow as Orthodox Christians in a community. We could attend the biggest cathedrals with the best choirs but if were not able to participate in community there then we would only be spectators. I'd rather folk sang off key and were welcoming than sang faultlessly and did not make people feel part of the family.

I am speaking generally.

Dear Father,

I know just what you mean.  In our parish everybody sings the Creed and the Our Father.
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« Reply #14 on: December 08, 2010, 07:20:11 AM »

I wish we sang the creed. Rather, we just speak it. I think it is much easier to remember and more joyful to express the creed in singing.
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« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2010, 11:55:29 AM »

Try them both and see where you feel more at home!

Good advice. You may also just find an affinity to the mode of singing and tones used in one tradition over the over as well. That is a matter of personal choice - not dogma or theology.

I am having this very same dilemma, and I've attended both the Rocor and Antiochian churches in my new city. As for singing and tones, I definitely feel far more drawn to the Rocor services. They are like none I've ever attended!My heart is on fire there. The Antiochian singing feels a bit forced or off kilter, and the somewhat eastern sounding melodies being sung by western converts come off as kind of unnatural to me. Being musical by nature, I find this distracting. That said, the Rocor church is very cultural, the services are primarily in Church Slavonic, and nobody has really tried to make me feel welcome. The people at the Antiochian church, on the other hand, are super friendly, and the priest is very kind and welcoming. Not sure where to be...

Stavros... are you an Orthodox?  I didn't quite get that from your posts - I'd say you're on your way.  If you're not yet Orthodox, go where you're welcome, because that's obviously important.  After you're welcome, convicted, and dripping with (Holy Water and) Holy Chrism, your place will become clear.

I am in fact (technically) Orthodox, but it hasn't come naturally to me. The fact is, I was Baptised and Chrismated almost three years ago, following no real Catechumen instruction (except several years of self-instruction... pretty un-Orthodox, I know) and due to cirumstances, have lived in several different towns and cities since, often very far from a parish. Therefore I have yet to really settle into a routine with a community or receive personal spiritual guidance for any length of time. I found myself at home at one parish, which was an hours drive from my home, but after being hospitalized, my faith took a big hit, and I stopped attending altogether for about 6 months. Then I moved abroad, where I began to attend services again (all in a foreign language, though). I admit, I struggle with faith (or lack thereof) a lot.

We moved recently to my wife's hometown and our intention is to stay here permanently. We just had a baby and it's time to settle down. My wife is secular/agnostic, so that makes it difficult, too. My entire family is agnostic/atheist, as are most of my friends, and I have very few Orthodox (or even Christian) friends at all. Before being Baptised, I approached Orthodoxy for several years, but mostly through books and with very little human contact, so some of my views have been, let's say, unrealistic from the get-go. I hope that I can get settled into a community here and achieve some spiritual stability. I, frankly, have been sampling both parishes but kind of keeping my distance for now.

I honestly think a lot of this has do to with having adult ADD, which I was very recently diagnosed with. I have always had a terrible time with follow-through and consistency. This could explain why I haven't held a steady job or lived in the same place for more than a year or two at a time for the past 20 years or so. I seem to be 'always on the run', and it's very hard for me to stop, commit, and repeat. My mind is always hungry for something different. I have changed religious / philosophical orientation several times in my life, and have never remained still long enough to develop any true conviction. Orthodoxy has held my interest, albeit intermittently, for 10 years now, and I can't say that for many things.

I'm not sure what I need more of: prayers or ritalin. Smiley
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« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2010, 12:15:34 PM »

Well, you definitely need prayers, as all of us do, and ritalin is overprescribed (only sometimes needed).
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« Reply #17 on: December 08, 2010, 12:51:07 PM »

Well, you definitely need prayers, as all of us do, and ritalin is overprescribed (only sometimes needed).

I agree. I have never tried it (ritalin), but am at the point where I'd be willing to give it (or something similar) a try.

BTW, sorry for the thread highjack, OP. I should have perhaps shared my story elsewhere, but it seemed an opportune moment.
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« Reply #18 on: December 08, 2010, 09:07:08 PM »

How is there any choice between music and community? We become and grow as Orthodox Christians in a community. We could attend the biggest cathedrals with the best choirs but if were not able to participate in community there then we would only be spectators. I'd rather folk sang off key and were welcoming than sang faultlessly and did not make people feel part of the family.

I am speaking generally.

My little mission parish in Virginia is just what you described, and also a good sense of sacramental and liturgical life, too.  Wink I prefer it that way. Smiley

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« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2010, 09:52:36 PM »

Well, you definitely need prayers, as all of us do, and ritalin is overprescribed (only sometimes needed).

I agree. I have never tried it (ritalin), but am at the point where I'd be willing to give it (or something similar) a try.

BTW, sorry for the thread highjack, OP. I should have perhaps shared my story elsewhere, but it seemed an opportune moment.


Not a problem.  Btw, a friend of mine with the same condition was helped with ritalin.
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« Reply #20 on: December 08, 2010, 11:45:46 PM »

Stavros,

You've got a lot of stamina for such a tough lot!  Keep it up, the Lord will help you.

I think you should make connecting with a parish your priority, for the baby's sake.  Babies aren't raised by one small family alone!  The parish can greatly help you if you are willing to accept the help.  I know at my parish, the young parents all meet up throughout the week to support each other.  I hope to join them soon!

Once you're connected, and have confessed and communed, you should have a clear feeling about getting the baby baptized.  It takes a while to get to that point, though.

Go with your first gut instinct, then stick with it.  Ignore the other instincts that come your way, lest you be swayed!

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« Reply #21 on: December 09, 2010, 09:12:35 AM »

Stavros,

You've got a lot of stamina for such a tough lot!  Keep it up, the Lord will help you.

I think you should make connecting with a parish your priority, for the baby's sake.  Babies aren't raised by one small family alone!  The parish can greatly help you if you are willing to accept the help.  I know at my parish, the young parents all meet up throughout the week to support each other.  I hope to join them soon!

Once you're connected, and have confessed and communed, you should have a clear feeling about getting the baby baptized.  It takes a while to get to that point, though.

Go with your first gut instinct, then stick with it.  Ignore the other instincts that come your way, lest you be swayed!

~authio

Thanks for that.
I did decide to make contact with the Antiochian priest here yesterday and set up a confession date.
My wife would never allow our baby to be baptised. Not until he's old enough to make his own decisions.
I appreciate the encouragement though, and can certainly see how parish support would be a real blessing.
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« Reply #22 on: December 09, 2010, 02:49:02 PM »

Stavros,

You've got a lot of stamina for such a tough lot!  Keep it up, the Lord will help you.

I think you should make connecting with a parish your priority, for the baby's sake.  Babies aren't raised by one small family alone!  The parish can greatly help you if you are willing to accept the help.  I know at my parish, the young parents all meet up throughout the week to support each other.  I hope to join them soon!

Once you're connected, and have confessed and communed, you should have a clear feeling about getting the baby baptized.  It takes a while to get to that point, though.

Go with your first gut instinct, then stick with it.  Ignore the other instincts that come your way, lest you be swayed!

~authio

Thanks for that.
I did decide to make contact with the Antiochian priest here yesterday and set up a confession date.
My wife would never allow our baby to be baptised. Not until he's old enough to make his own decisions.
I appreciate the encouragement though, and can certainly see how parish support would be a real blessing.


She wouldn't allow it? How could she stop it? If your wife is agnostic what possible difference could it make if you have the child baptized? In her belief system it's really nothing more than a really elaborate bath. Either way as the husband you are the head of the household and you have a right, even an obligation to raise the child in the Orthodox faith. I recommend you speak to the priest about this issue.


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« Reply #23 on: December 09, 2010, 03:09:03 PM »

Stavros,

You've got a lot of stamina for such a tough lot!  Keep it up, the Lord will help you.

I think you should make connecting with a parish your priority, for the baby's sake.  Babies aren't raised by one small family alone!  The parish can greatly help you if you are willing to accept the help.  I know at my parish, the young parents all meet up throughout the week to support each other.  I hope to join them soon!

Once you're connected, and have confessed and communed, you should have a clear feeling about getting the baby baptized.  It takes a while to get to that point, though.

Go with your first gut instinct, then stick with it.  Ignore the other instincts that come your way, lest you be swayed!

~authio

Thanks for that.
I did decide to make contact with the Antiochian priest here yesterday and set up a confession date.
My wife would never allow our baby to be baptised. Not until he's old enough to make his own decisions.
I appreciate the encouragement though, and can certainly see how parish support would be a real blessing.


She wouldn't allow it? How could she stop it? If your wife is agnostic what possible difference could it make if you have the child baptized? In her belief system it's really nothing more than a really elaborate bath. Either way as the husband you are the head of the household and you have a right, even an obligation to raise the child in the Orthodox faith. I recommend you speak to the priest about this issue.
Is she waiting until your child talks to decide what language it will speak?
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« Reply #24 on: December 09, 2010, 03:49:44 PM »

Stavros,

You've got a lot of stamina for such a tough lot!  Keep it up, the Lord will help you.

I think you should make connecting with a parish your priority, for the baby's sake.  Babies aren't raised by one small family alone!  The parish can greatly help you if you are willing to accept the help.  I know at my parish, the young parents all meet up throughout the week to support each other.  I hope to join them soon!

Once you're connected, and have confessed and communed, you should have a clear feeling about getting the baby baptized.  It takes a while to get to that point, though.

Go with your first gut instinct, then stick with it.  Ignore the other instincts that come your way, lest you be swayed!

~authio

Thanks for that.
I did decide to make contact with the Antiochian priest here yesterday and set up a confession date.
My wife would never allow our baby to be baptised. Not until he's old enough to make his own decisions.
I appreciate the encouragement though, and can certainly see how parish support would be a real blessing.


She wouldn't allow it? How could she stop it? If your wife is agnostic what possible difference could it make if you have the child baptized? In her belief system it's really nothing more than a really elaborate bath. Either way as the husband you are the head of the household and you have a right, even an obligation to raise the child in the Orthodox faith. I recommend you speak to the priest about this issue.
Is she waiting until your child talks to decide what language it will speak?

We are unanimous about our child's language. In fact, as exclusively English speaking parents, there really is no choice to be made regarding what language he will speak. The baby baptism issue is much more complicated and delicate. My wife has an uncle who joined some kind of Christian cult, an action which caused, and still causes, a good deal of turmoil and discord in the family. Incidentally, my initially enthusiastic and naive plunge into Christianity many years ago involved a fortunately very brief encounter with a Christian cult (they do exist). Due to these experiences, and for various other reasons, she has a general distrust of religion, particularly Christianity (although I've tried, with partial success, to warm her to Orthodoxy).
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« Reply #25 on: December 09, 2010, 04:11:07 PM »

Stavros,

You've got a lot of stamina for such a tough lot!  Keep it up, the Lord will help you.

I think you should make connecting with a parish your priority, for the baby's sake.  Babies aren't raised by one small family alone!  The parish can greatly help you if you are willing to accept the help.  I know at my parish, the young parents all meet up throughout the week to support each other.  I hope to join them soon!

Once you're connected, and have confessed and communed, you should have a clear feeling about getting the baby baptized.  It takes a while to get to that point, though.

Go with your first gut instinct, then stick with it.  Ignore the other instincts that come your way, lest you be swayed!

~authio

Thanks for that.
I did decide to make contact with the Antiochian priest here yesterday and set up a confession date.
My wife would never allow our baby to be baptised. Not until he's old enough to make his own decisions.
I appreciate the encouragement though, and can certainly see how parish support would be a real blessing.


She wouldn't allow it? How could she stop it? If your wife is agnostic what possible difference could it make if you have the child baptized? In her belief system it's really nothing more than a really elaborate bath. Either way as the husband you are the head of the household and you have a right, even an obligation to raise the child in the Orthodox faith. I recommend you speak to the priest about this issue.

And it's not that she wouldn't allow it, or that she would stop me. It's rather that I wouldn't go ahead and do something so significant without her blessing. And at this point, it isn't forthcoming.

We are, for better or for worse, a modern family, both raised in modern, secular families, and I certainly would not presume to begin telling her what to do or how our child is to be raised without her consent. We work things out quite well diplomatically. Anyway, the relationship between my marriage and my religion is a very delicate kind of balancing act. I do the best I can with what I am blessed enough to have.

I'm sure my priest and I will be speaking of this in the future.





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« Reply #26 on: December 09, 2010, 04:39:07 PM »

It would be unfortunate to have something happen to your child in an unbaptized state.  It is one thing when one has not had an opportunity to baptize their child.  It is quite another when they have refused to do so.  This is one case to where there can be no discussion.  As the head of your family, you do not need "permission" to baptize your child, you have that obligation.  I would hope that being "modern" is not more important than the salvation of your child.  As to the relationship with your wife, God will bless you for doing what he has commanded.  Pray to God that the following of his commandment is not adverse to your marriage.  However, keep in mind that the Scriptures also say that if an unbeliever wants to leave, let them go.  Your wife has the choice to believe or not.  Your child did not have a choice of coming into this world; that was your doing.  Why deny him the Grace of Holy Baptism?
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« Reply #27 on: December 09, 2010, 05:15:27 PM »

It would be unfortunate to have something happen to your child in an unbaptized state.  It is one thing when one has not had an opportunity to baptize their child.  It is quite another when they have refused to do so.  This is one case to where there can be no discussion.  As the head of your family, you do not need "permission" to baptize your child, you have that obligation.  I would hope that being "modern" is not more important than the salvation of your child.  As to the relationship with your wife, God will bless you for doing what he has commanded.  Pray to God that the following of his commandment is not adverse to your marriage.  However, keep in mind that the Scriptures also say that if an unbeliever wants to leave, let them go.  Your wife has the choice to believe or not.  Your child did not have a choice of coming into this world; that was your doing.  Why deny him the Grace of Holy Baptism?

What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Scritpures say that too.

Let's just look at it from a practical matter. If his wife divorces him, odds are she will get the child with sole custody, which means making religious decisions for the child, and dad's ability and chance to influence and raise the child Orthodox will be dramatically reduced if not eliminated. I have a friend who is exactly in this situation right now.  There was a another father, who got away with it only because the press picked up his cause.

Myself, I was a nerveous wreck since my sons were born which only started to cease once they were baptized. I had to fight with their mother often about raising them as we vowed at their baptism, and now, since our divorce (not caused by this, but contributing to it) I've had to repeatedly risk contempt of court to bring them to services.

Unfortunately, married to a non-believer is how he was found.  Should he try to convert his wife and baptize their children? Of course. there is no doubt of that.  Will he be able to?  With patience, may God grant it.  Should he confront her assertion of a veto? Yes. Should he push it into an issue to break up the marriage. No. Should he baptize the children without his wife's knowledge or consent? If the priest is willing, it might come to that. But better to win them over with his example of living Orthodoxy than imposing it on them with little chance of success.
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« Reply #28 on: December 09, 2010, 05:19:58 PM »

Stavros,

You've got a lot of stamina for such a tough lot!  Keep it up, the Lord will help you.

I think you should make connecting with a parish your priority, for the baby's sake.  Babies aren't raised by one small family alone!  The parish can greatly help you if you are willing to accept the help.  I know at my parish, the young parents all meet up throughout the week to support each other.  I hope to join them soon!

Once you're connected, and have confessed and communed, you should have a clear feeling about getting the baby baptized.  It takes a while to get to that point, though.

Go with your first gut instinct, then stick with it.  Ignore the other instincts that come your way, lest you be swayed!

~authio

Thanks for that.
I did decide to make contact with the Antiochian priest here yesterday and set up a confession date.
My wife would never allow our baby to be baptised. Not until he's old enough to make his own decisions.
I appreciate the encouragement though, and can certainly see how parish support would be a real blessing.


She wouldn't allow it? How could she stop it? If your wife is agnostic what possible difference could it make if you have the child baptized? In her belief system it's really nothing more than a really elaborate bath. Either way as the husband you are the head of the household and you have a right, even an obligation to raise the child in the Orthodox faith. I recommend you speak to the priest about this issue.
Is she waiting until your child talks to decide what language it will speak?

We are unanimous about our child's language. In fact, as exclusively English speaking parents, there really is no choice to be made regarding what language he will speak. The baby baptism issue is much more complicated and delicate.

more complicated and delicate, but no less certain.

Quote
My wife has an uncle who joined some kind of Christian cult, an action which caused, and still causes, a good deal of turmoil and discord in the family. Incidentally, my initially enthusiastic and naive plunge into Christianity many years ago involved a fortunately very brief encounter with a Christian cult (they do exist). Due to these experiences, and for various other reasons, she has a general distrust of religion, particularly Christianity (although I've tried, with partial success, to warm her to Orthodoxy).
Do keep on trying. I've known many men who took years to convert their wives. But I agree, from what you describe, that it will take the surgeon's skill rather than the mason's might to deal with your situation.

But do not, however, for a moment, accept the "argument"-or rather assertion-that the child will choose. You may have to agree to disagree, work out a modus vivendi, compromise, whatever, but do not accept it as a valid premise.  Those who say such things do not let the children choose their own language, their diet (if they did, it would be all cake no vegetable), whether they will go to school, bathe etc.

On a practical matter, get your wife to defend why your child should choose their religion when your wife has no problem deciding these other matters for them.
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« Reply #29 on: December 09, 2010, 05:38:31 PM »

It would be unfortunate to have something happen to your child in an unbaptized state.  It is one thing when one has not had an opportunity to baptize their child.  It is quite another when they have refused to do so.  This is one case to where there can be no discussion.  As the head of your family, you do not need "permission" to baptize your child, you have that obligation.  I would hope that being "modern" is not more important than the salvation of your child.  As to the relationship with your wife, God will bless you for doing what he has commanded.  Pray to God that the following of his commandment is not adverse to your marriage.  However, keep in mind that the Scriptures also say that if an unbeliever wants to leave, let them go.  Your wife has the choice to believe or not.  Your child did not have a choice of coming into this world; that was your doing.  Why deny him the Grace of Holy Baptism?

What God has joined together, let no man put asunder. Scritpures say that too.

Let's just look at it from a practical matter. If his wife divorces him, odds are she will get the child with sole custody, which means making religious decisions for the child, and dad's ability and chance to influence and raise the child Orthodox will be dramatically reduced if not eliminated. I have a friend who is exactly in this situation right now.  There was a another father, who got away with it only because the press picked up his cause.

Myself, I was a nerveous wreck since my sons were born which only started to cease once they were baptized. I had to fight with their mother often about raising them as we vowed at their baptism, and now, since our divorce (not caused by this, but contributing to it) I've had to repeatedly risk contempt of court to bring them to services.

Unfortunately, married to a non-believer is how he was found.  Should he try to convert his wife and baptize their children? Of course. there is no doubt of that.  Will he be able to?  With patience, may God grant it.  Should he confront her assertion of a veto? Yes. Should he push it into an issue to break up the marriage. No. Should he baptize the children without his wife's knowledge or consent? If the priest is willing, it might come to that. But better to win them over with his example of living Orthodoxy than imposing it on them with little chance of success.


I was possibly too forceful about this, but like you, I did not sleep after my children’s birth until they were Baptized.  I was thinking along the lines of a secret Baptism, even if he had to do it himself in the bathtub as was done by many parents during the Soviet yoke (I have actually known some of these people).  I agree that the issue should not be pushed with the wife, but I also strongly believe that the responsibility to get this done is the fathers, and it needs to be done with or without the wife’s agreement, even if it means being done in secret.  Once baptized and becoming a vessel of the Holy Spirit, I believe that God would watch over the child even if the wife leaves and takes him.  Unbaptized, we have no confidence in anything, particularly if the child would perish between the years of innocence and the years of reason.
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« Reply #30 on: December 09, 2010, 06:01:28 PM »

I do appreciate your concern, gentlemen. To be honest, I've been rather busy just trying to get my own faith sorted and I hadn't given this much thought. My wife would certainly need to see more consistency from me regarding my religious life before she would take a request to have our son baptised very seriously. It's more complicated than you all know, alas! I will certainly think and pray on the issue, and bring it up with my priest.

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« Reply #31 on: December 09, 2010, 08:01:20 PM »

I do appreciate your concern, gentlemen. To be honest, I've been rather busy just trying to get my own faith sorted and I hadn't given this much thought. My wife would certainly need to see more consistency from me regarding my religious life before she would take a request to have our son baptised very seriously. It's more complicated than you all know, alas! I will certainly think and pray on the issue, and bring it up with my priest.




Whether or not you take the faith seriously is totally irrelevant. In fact, whether or not you take the child to church ever again is really secondary to what we are talking about. It is an article of our faith that baptism is necessary and efficacious for our salvation. It is a non-negotiable. Baptizing the child does not remove their free will to choose their own faith as an adult. Failure to baptize may have eternal consequences.

Either way, if your wife is a non-believer this should be a non-issue. If she doesn't believe baptism is efficacious for anything then it should make no difference to her one way or the other. Really, what is she worried about?
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« Reply #32 on: December 09, 2010, 09:01:38 PM »

I do appreciate your concern, gentlemen. To be honest, I've been rather busy just trying to get my own faith sorted and I hadn't given this much thought. My wife would certainly need to see more consistency from me regarding my religious life before she would take a request to have our son baptised very seriously. It's more complicated than you all know, alas! I will certainly think and pray on the issue, and bring it up with my priest.




Whether or not you take the faith seriously is totally irrelevant. In fact, whether or not you take the child to church ever again is really secondary to what we are talking about. It is an article of our faith that baptism is necessary and efficacious for our salvation. It is a non-negotiable. Baptizing the child does not remove their free will to choose their own faith as an adult. Failure to baptize may have eternal consequences.

Either way, if your wife is a non-believer this should be a non-issue. If she doesn't believe baptism is efficacious for anything then it should make no difference to her one way or the other. Really, what is she worried about?

You're making assumptions about my wife, of whom you next to nothing, and who - being a woman - is a rather complicated human being! It's certainly not as simple as you seem to think. Again, thanks for your concern for my son.
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« Reply #33 on: December 09, 2010, 09:07:53 PM »

Quote
I agree that the issue should not be pushed with the wife, but I also strongly believe that the responsibility to get this done is the fathers, and it needs to be done with or without the wife’s agreement, even if it means being done in secret.

Substitute "wife" and "husband" in the above. Sometimes it's the mothers and grandmothers who need to act.

One of my dearest and closest friends was baptised Orthodox through the action of his mother and grandmother, who had the bub baptised while the non-Orthodox father was at work, with the consent of the priest. But, it must be said, that this marriage was already showing signs of strain, and it ended a few years later, for reasons quite unconnected with this baptism. Fifty years later, this "bub" is still a pillar of his parish, and a model of Orthodox faith and service.
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« Reply #34 on: December 10, 2010, 12:14:47 AM »

Quote
I agree that the issue should not be pushed with the wife, but I also strongly believe that the responsibility to get this done is the fathers, and it needs to be done with or without the wife’s agreement, even if it means being done in secret.

Substitute "wife" and "husband" in the above. Sometimes it's the mothers and grandmothers who need to act.


Yes, absolutely. 
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« Reply #35 on: December 10, 2010, 08:23:38 AM »

Quote
I agree that the issue should not be pushed with the wife, but I also strongly believe that the responsibility to get this done is the fathers, and it needs to be done with or without the wife’s agreement, even if it means being done in secret.

Substitute "wife" and "husband" in the above. Sometimes it's the mothers and grandmothers who need to act.


Yes, absolutely. 

I wonder if any of the clergy who follow the board might be willing to weigh in on this from a pastoral perspective?
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