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Author Topic: Converts to the Coptic Church  (Read 5092 times) Average Rating: 0
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mtmamma
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« on: March 05, 2011, 01:27:50 PM »

I would like to know if any successfully converted to the Coptic Church. By that I mean have you found that once converted you feel at home there? Was the language barrier easy to overcome? Were you and your children able to make friends? Do you now understand whats going on during the Divine Liturgy? I really like the Coptic Church but I am concerned that we might not belong there.
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copticuser20
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« Reply #1 on: March 09, 2011, 10:15:52 PM »

The Coptic Church is very open.  You will definitely feel like you are at home. Maybe not at first, but you will eventually. We are supposed to resemble Christ; Christ always has his arms open for anyone that is seeking him. The Coptic Church does as well. There will be a small language barrier but almost every church has at least one priest that speaks English because of the growing youth. Along with that, most churches now have 2 Liturgies on Sundays: One Arabic and One English. I think you should talk to mabsoota or Father Peter Farrington....They are the only converts that I know of on the forum and they are very nice. Mabsoota is very sweet and it seems like she blended in pretty well (I thought she was Egyptian just by reading her posts on another forum!). I hope God guides you to the right place Smiley
« Last Edit: March 09, 2011, 10:41:18 PM by copticuser20 » Logged
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« Reply #2 on: March 09, 2011, 10:27:45 PM »

copticuser, I hate to have to say it, but a number of both converts and cradle Copts I have talked to are nowhere near as optimistic about the supposed openness of Coptic Orthodox culture as you.

I'm not saying this because I want to dissuade people from joining the Church. I'm saying this because if they do they should know that they are in for a rough journey.
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« Reply #3 on: March 09, 2011, 10:40:27 PM »

Really? My church has many converts in our church. We have many Muslim converts and many Protestant converts. My church is the second oldest in America (Coptic church at least) and we have many old people in it. They are very accepting. Many of the protestant converts are now high ranking deacons that serve in other churches and the muslim converts participate in the Sunday School service. Priests also love converts because the converts actually see the truth. Most of us (including myself) were born into the faith and do not appreciate it as much as we should.

No one said converting is easy...the process and the transition will be difficult as this is the case for many churches.  As stated in our Liturgy, "The Holies are for the holy" and only those in the faith and those who truly believe in it can partake of the Holies.

To tell you the truth, it depends where you are. If you are converting in Egypt, the church will love you and you will most likely be shot or hanged by the Muslims the next day if you aren't hiding already.  If you are in NJ (where I am), you won't have too much of a hard time because the churches are big and most people won't know others in the church as it is. In the UK, converts are very common from what I hear (you can talk to Father Peter about that). The Coptic church is very open. The doors are always open in the Coptic Church. And if you have any doubt, go to one and check it out! I assure you that you will receive some stares the first day but everyone will eventually love you.
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« Reply #4 on: March 09, 2011, 10:57:03 PM »

Really? My church has many converts in our church. We have many Muslim converts and many Protestant converts. My church is the second oldest in America (Coptic church at least) and we have many old people in it. They are very accepting. Many of the protestant converts are now high ranking deacons that serve in other churches and the muslim converts participate in the Sunday School service. Priests also love converts because the converts actually see the truth. Most of us (including myself) were born into the faith and do not appreciate it as much as we should.

No one said converting is easy...the process and the transition will be difficult as this is the case for many churches.  As stated in our Liturgy, "The Holies are for the holy" and only those in the faith and those who truly believe in it can partake of the Holies.

To tell you the truth, it depends where you are. If you are converting in Egypt, the church will love you and you will most likely be shot or hanged by the Muslims the next day if you aren't hiding already.  If you are in NJ (where I am), you won't have too much of a hard time because the churches are big and most people won't know others in the church as it is. In the UK, converts are very common from what I hear (you can talk to Father Peter about that). The Coptic church is very open. The doors are always open in the Coptic Church. And if you have any doubt, go to one and check it out! I assure you that you will receive some stares the first day but everyone will eventually love you.

Westside Church....(second oldest is a big giveaway...lol)

I'm from Holmdel Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2011, 12:31:09 AM »

I do feel welcomed at the church I have been attending, the people are really nice. It sort of hard for me to know whats going on because 95 percent of it is not in English. I try and follow along on the projector, but I am not too successful. During the week they don't use the projector so it's really hard. It seems as if the divine liturgy is nice..... I think the Sat. morning service is in English I haven't made it there yet but the kids have been attending the Sunday School on Saturday nights.

Maybe it's harder because I was very active in my parish. I went to Daily Mass and helped teach CCD and Vacation Bible School etc.
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« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2011, 04:44:26 PM »

I do feel welcomed at the church I have been attending, the people are really nice. It sort of hard for me to know whats going on because 95 percent of it is not in English. I try and follow along on the projector, but I am not too successful. During the week they don't use the projector so it's really hard. It seems as if the divine liturgy is nice..... I think the Sat. morning service is in English I haven't made it there yet but the kids have been attending the Sunday School on Saturday nights.

Maybe it's harder because I was very active in my parish. I went to Daily Mass and helped teach CCD and Vacation Bible School etc.
You should try talking to the Church priest about this. I am sure that you are not the only who is having difficulty with the language. Many of the Coptic Youth have a hard time and they grew up around Arabic.  You should also try to attend the English liturgies until you understand it. Or you can buy a Kholagi (a liturgy book) and follow along from there at your own pace.
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« Reply #7 on: March 10, 2011, 07:24:45 PM »

Hi there,

I am a cradle Copt, but my husband is a convert to Coptic Orthodoxy.  We can appreciate your question and concerns! If you PM me, I think he would be glad to share his experience with you.  BTW, would agree with trying the English liturgy, or ask the priest if someone could stand with you to explain what's going on.

Prayers!
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« Reply #8 on: March 10, 2011, 07:46:37 PM »

I plan on attending the next English liturgy. I hesitate as it requires to travel to the church twice on Saturdays over an hour in each direction. So that would be over four hrs in the car for the kids and I and then we would have to go back on Sunday as well. If I understand correctly the Sat and Sun liturgies are different.
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« Reply #9 on: March 10, 2011, 07:50:58 PM »

Really? My church has many converts in our church. We have many Muslim converts and many Protestant converts. My church is the second oldest in America (Coptic church at least) and we have many old people in it. They are very accepting. Many of the protestant converts are now high ranking deacons that serve in other churches and the muslim converts participate in the Sunday School service. Priests also love converts because the converts actually see the truth. Most of us (including myself) were born into the faith and do not appreciate it as much as we should.

No one said converting is easy...the process and the transition will be difficult as this is the case for many churches.  As stated in our Liturgy, "The Holies are for the holy" and only those in the faith and those who truly believe in it can partake of the Holies.

To tell you the truth, it depends where you are. If you are converting in Egypt, the church will love you and you will most likely be shot or hanged by the Muslims the next day if you aren't hiding already.  If you are in NJ (where I am), you won't have too much of a hard time because the churches are big and most people won't know others in the church as it is. In the UK, converts are very common from what I hear (you can talk to Father Peter about that). The Coptic church is very open. The doors are always open in the Coptic Church. And if you have any doubt, go to one and check it out! I assure you that you will receive some stares the first day but everyone will eventually love you.
All Coptic Churches I have been to outside of Egypt are in the process of transition, being actively immigrant Churches (people are still coming regularly), so there is some difficulty in that they are coming from the opposite direction.
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« Reply #10 on: March 10, 2011, 09:06:08 PM »

Welcome, cs!
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copticuser20
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« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 09:39:43 PM »

I plan on attending the next English liturgy. I hesitate as it requires to travel to the church twice on Saturdays over an hour in each direction. So that would be over four hrs in the car for the kids and I and then we would have to go back on Sunday as well. If I understand correctly the Sat and Sun liturgies are different.
What do you mean by different? There is not much different rite wise. Other than that, they are pretty much the same.
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mtmamma
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« Reply #12 on: March 10, 2011, 11:54:58 PM »

I mean different as the Sat liturgy isn't the same as the one on Sunday. There are different readings, etc. or maybe I misunderstood.  In the Catholic Church the Sat. Mass would be the exact same as the Sunday Mass, the readings, responses and songs. So you can attend either, I was under the impression that it was different in the Coptic Church.
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« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 04:12:14 PM »

The readings are different every day of the year. Some repeat but they aren't the same during the week. The Sunday readings reflect on monthly theme. The weekday readings (including Saturday) have to do with the Saints of that day or week. During Lent and the Holy 50 days, the readings for each day reflect on a theme that can be found here (for Lent): http://saint-mary.net/readings%20Holy%20Fast.pdf. Other than that...there is not anything different between the two liturgies Smiley
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« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2011, 11:52:09 PM »

What a nice resource. Thank you.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2011, 11:52:28 PM by mtmamma » Logged
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2011, 08:07:02 PM »

Dear mtmamma,

I am a convert to the Coptic Orthodox Church. I was originally a Protestant, but I spent a year preparing to join the Catholic Church before being shown the Orthodox Church.

If I might address the issue of Saturday vs Sunday Liturgy (disclaimer, this is just my opinion, and of course it is better to take the advise of a priest if you can):

In the Catholic Church, Sunday is a day of obligation, meaning that it is considered a mortal sin to miss Sunday without a valid reason. I'm wondering if this is what you are thinking of when you ask if it is considered the same Liturgy? In the Orthodox Church, as you're probably aware, there is no concept of days of obligation or even or mortal vs venial sins.

This doesn't mean we can just skip Church on Sunday. We should respect Sunday as a commemoration of the Resurrection. However, if there is a valid pastoral reason to go a different day instead, then that isn't considered a sin. Normally a person would make such a decision under the direction of the Father in confession (spiritual guide), however, since you don't have that type of relationship with a priest yet I think most people would consider it a reasonable decision considering the distance you have to drive, and your need and your children's need to participate in a language you can understand.

What is more pleasing to God? For you to go on Sunday because it is Sunday, and not understand anything, or to go on Saturday instead, but to understand? Especially if you are taking children, it's important for them to be able to understand and learn. For another example, in Egypt, Sunday is not part of the weekend, it is like Monday here. Most people have to work, so more people actually go to Church on Friday because that's the day they have off. It is unfortunate that this is necessary, but it is reality.

Now, if you do go on Saturdays you miss out on the Sunday cycle of readings (although if you go on Sundays, you miss out on it too since it's in Arabic). But you can easily read the daily readings, and even pray the Agpeya (book of canonical hours) at home as a family on Sunday if the only available English Liturgy is on a Saturday. The readings for the day are always posted on this website in NKJV: http://copticchurch.net/classes/getLectionary.php , and you can download the whole lectionary in PDF in KJV here: http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/publications/lectionary/lectionary.html

You can download the Agpeya and the Liturgy book here: http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/publications/servicebooks/servicebooks.html

If you need help with navigating the Agpeya or any other questions like that please feel free to ask.
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2011, 09:03:26 PM »

I've just recently started going to a Coptic church with the intention of converting, although culture is different and many do not speak english and both priests (while speaking english) struggle with the language and while parts of the language of the liturgy are in arabic and coptic (other parts in english), I have only felt welcomed and accepted. My Abouna is very caring and loving, many in the congregation are very interested in me and always willing to explain the faith and all are very hospitable. I have already been told that following my baptism I will be ordained a chantor to learn the basics of the liturgy and start on the path of the diaconate.

Of course church to church differs but as long as you have the true faith thats what matters, anything extra is a rich blessing.

Trust in God and love the people of God and all will be well.
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« Reply #17 on: March 13, 2011, 05:33:15 PM »

Yes Jonathan I think you hit the nail on head, it my mind it's like I am some how committing a mortal sin. I found out that the English DL is on the first Saturday of each month , so that actually makes it easier for me. I bought a Liturgy book and the Agpeya at the monastery yesterday and this Saturday one of the ladies is going to sit down with me and show me the order of the service and I will use post it notes and/or bookmarks to mark the pages and also to take notes. Yesterday on the bus ride I was able to talk talk to a couple of people and everyone was generous in offering to help me so the kids and I can feel comfortable.  Will the Liturgy ever be in English? I am not sure but as long as they are willing to help me learn so I can adapt I am good with that.
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2011, 08:42:54 PM »

So did you like the monastery?   Smiley
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« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2011, 11:24:45 PM »

Will the Liturgy ever be in English? I am not sure but as long as they are willing to help me learn so I can adapt I am good with that.

I would be surprised if it isn't one day. I think that in the Southern U.S. diocese, H.G. Anba Youssef has mandated that English be the primary language on Sundays. Here in Canada, most Churches do at least 50% english, and I think the majority do primarily English, if there is only one Liturgy. It sounds like you are going to a small church. It will probably grow, and get more than one priest, at which time one will pray in Arabic in one church or chapel, and another will pray in English in another in the same building or complex, or across town. Even if it stays small, as the congregation ages they will probably find that they must pray in English or lose their children to marriages outside the church that cannot bring the other party into the Church without English. There will always be some churches to cater to Arabic speakers, as there should be. But it is uncommon, and will probably become increasingly uncommon for the only church in a large geographic region to be primarily Arabic.
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« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2011, 11:54:38 PM »

Will the Liturgy ever be in English? I am not sure but as long as they are willing to help me learn so I can adapt I am good with that.

I would be surprised if it isn't one day. I think that in the Southern U.S. diocese, H.G. Anba Youssef has mandated that English be the primary language on Sundays. Here in Canada, most Churches do at least 50% english, and I think the majority do primarily English, if there is only one Liturgy. It sounds like you are going to a small church. It will probably grow, and get more than one priest, at which time one will pray in Arabic in one church or chapel, and another will pray in English in another in the same building or complex, or across town. Even if it stays small, as the congregation ages they will probably find that they must pray in English or lose their children to marriages outside the church that cannot bring the other party into the Church without English. There will always be some churches to cater to Arabic speakers, as there should be. But it is uncommon, and will probably become increasingly uncommon for the only church in a large geographic region to be primarily Arabic.

I remember going on a weekday morning service in a Coptic Church in Dallas.  As soon as the priest saw "youth," he decided to continue to pray the rest of the liturgy in English.  I was well pleased.  I pray all churches can follow the Southern Diocese rule.
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« Reply #21 on: March 14, 2011, 12:19:12 AM »

Yes English would be nice, but I am however attend their church  Wink. If more English gets added I won't complain though.

@Salpy Yes I did, thanks for asking. Can you explain to me about the new church they are building am I correct in saying that Moses appeared there? I was pleased to have access to the bookstore, I was shocked that they carried many Catholic things I didn't realize the Coptic Church had that much in common with Catholicism.
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« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2011, 12:43:40 AM »

Regarding the new church:  Yes, St. Moses the Ethiopian appeared to a group of monks at that spot a number of years ago.  Behind the church there is a group of trees.  They say that after the apparition, oil was pouring from one of the trees for a while. 

Regarding the Catholic items in the bookstore, I know what you mean.  Theologically, the Copts have no more in common with the Catholics than any other OO's, but I think in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries a lot of Orthodox were influenced by the West in terms of art.  You still see a lot of that in certain places.
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« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2011, 01:39:27 AM »

Thanks for the clarification I thought they meant Moses of the O.T.

I didn't realize that the Orthodox were influenced that much by the West, but they most of been to sell statues of Our Lady ......
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« Reply #24 on: March 14, 2011, 05:11:56 PM »

Regarding the new church:  Yes, St. Moses the Ethiopian appeared to a group of monks at that spot a number of years ago.  Behind the church there is a group of trees.  They say that after the apparition, oil was pouring from one of the trees for a while. 


Also to add, Saint Moses also appears periodically there to groups of visitors. I remember when I visited, it was the day after the Feast of the Apostles (July 13) and one of the other visitors who celebrated the feast the night before told us that Saint Moses was peeking through the windows of the cafeteria while they were eating. Someone saw him but only told a few people around him. They went outside and saw him sitting on that tree and then he disappeared and they saw incense. If only I was there a day earlier...
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« Reply #25 on: March 14, 2011, 11:34:15 PM »

Here is a video of a teaching Liturgy, where the priest stops periodically to explain what is going on:
http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/media/video/video.html

Just thought it might be helpful to get to know the Liturgy more easily so it's easier to follow in another language. The ideo quality is pretty poor, but it's helpful.
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« Reply #26 on: March 16, 2011, 12:46:14 PM »

What an awesome link! I am thankful for the Internet these days.
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« Reply #27 on: March 16, 2011, 01:59:03 PM »

Will the Liturgy ever be in English? I am not sure but as long as they are willing to help me learn so I can adapt I am good with that.

I would be surprised if it isn't one day. I think that in the Southern U.S. diocese, H.G. Anba Youssef has mandated that English be the primary language on Sundays. Here in Canada, most Churches do at least 50% english, and I think the majority do primarily English, if there is only one Liturgy. It sounds like you are going to a small church. It will probably grow, and get more than one priest, at which time one will pray in Arabic in one church or chapel, and another will pray in English in another in the same building or complex, or across town. Even if it stays small, as the congregation ages they will probably find that they must pray in English or lose their children to marriages outside the church that cannot bring the other party into the Church without English. There will always be some churches to cater to Arabic speakers, as there should be. But it is uncommon, and will probably become increasingly uncommon for the only church in a large geographic region to be primarily Arabic.

I remember going on a weekday morning service in a Coptic Church in Dallas.  As soon as the priest saw "youth," he decided to continue to pray the rest of the liturgy in English.  I was well pleased.  I pray all churches can follow the Southern Diocese rule.

Since, it was brought up, Anba Youssef in his own words:
Quote
Question: Why doesn’t Your Grace want the Church Readings to be read in Arabic on the Sundays? I am sure Your Grace has justified reasons for such a decision. However, there are some people especially among the elderly who do not understand English. Some of them cannot even read Arabic. Please, reconsider your decision.

Arabic is my native language; and that of  of preference. Although I feel much more comfortable communicating in  Arabic; it is not the language of this country in which I am to serve the Lord. Therefore, I had to adapt and train myself to using the English language.

In the Holy Book of Acts 2: 1-11 we are told the disciples received the Holy Spirit and then spoke in many languages. If the One Church had spoken only ‘one language’ in Biblical time, there would have been only a few converts other than those in Jerusalem and the surrounding areas. In fulfillment of the prophecy of the prophet Joel (Joel 2:28,29) concerning the Holy Spirit, the words spoken by the Apostles were in the actual languages of the people who had come to Jerusalem from all over the empire for the Feast at that time. I believe that there was a very valid reason for the ‘many languages’.  God had meant that at the time of the Feast, those of other languages would come to learn of the Lord Jesus Christ in their respective languages. Then further on in biblical history, those people had established new churches as recorded later on in the Holy Book of Acts.

When people immigrated to this country, they understood fully well that it would require learning a new culture and language. Arabic is not a fluently spoken language in any city here in the States. If our beloved Church is to grow in this land and if we are to evangelize others, we must also speak their language. Gradually adapting the Divine Liturgy (part Arabic, part English) had a two-fold purpose. One, was to slowly acclimate Arabic speakers to the English language. The second purpose was, to also give a chance to  those who spoke only English (particularly young children who knew English only) to begin to comprehend the Divine Liturgy.  Part English, Part Arabic was in no way intended as a comprise between the two languages; nor a goal in itself.

The younger generation and new converts and those ‘testing the waters’ of our faith need to understand the entire Divine Liturgy in the English language.

As for those who prefer the Arabic language, I whole-heartedly encourage and endorse a special Divine Liturgy for them. The Divine Liturgy could be scheduled to begin before work on a working day for those who work. For the elderly who want and need the comfort of an Arabic liturgy, they can attend the Wednesdays or Fridays Divine Liturgies in Arabic. Most of them do not work; and all they need to attend the Divine Liturgy is transportation.This is a simple thing, which with little patience and continued prayer, can be worked out to everyone's satisfaction. I would encourage any Church to serve the needs of its congregation.

If the deacons do not have a good command of the English language, there are many practical solutions for this other than just refusing to attend or compromising the Readings. These deacons could attend the Hymns Retreat and eventually teach  others. The Diocese holds these retreats annually for such purposes. If this is not feasible; or no one wants to make the effort required, then you can seek out the help of those in your church who do know the Hymns in English and ask them to teach those who do not. They can do that individually or in groups.

A lot of those who complain about the use of English in Church rituals occupy jobs which demand both written and spoken English.

A lot of people are complaining about feeling isolated and un-welcomed. Also,what about  the many, many youth who grew up here and do not know Arabic? The stranger that frequently walks in the church invited or uninvited? The new converts who do not know the Arabic language nor the congregation present in church? Remember that to those entering newly into the faith, not only Arabic is unfamiliar; but the Divine Liturgy as well; unfamiliar in many aspects to the youth who are just beginning to learn the meaning our Coptic Church places on the word "mystery".

There is no easy solution to transition. It is accomplished gradually by accepting changes. It has taken more than 10 years to move to praying completely in English in our Churches. I think it is now the "Time of the Children" and "The Time for Evangelism".

Please pray with me that the Coptic Church will continue to grow in the United States, with members from Egyptian origin as well as American converts. The future of our Coptic Church also depends upon the youth of today. I pray that we all realize that in order for the youth to truly love the Coptic Church and grow spiritually, they must understand its teachings.
(btw, I hope Coptic is retained as a heritage of the Church's origin)
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Many Years!
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« Reply #28 on: March 16, 2011, 02:27:01 PM »

What an awesome link! I am thankful for the Internet these days.

If you liked that one, there is also a sermon on symbolism in the Liturgy:
http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/sermons/frathanasius/misc/AthanasSG0405-symbolismInLiturgy.mp3

And a book on Understanding the Liturgy:
http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/books/liturgy.pdf

That go along with it.

A book introducing Orthodox spirituality is also useful:
http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/content/books/spirituality.pdf

And it has a set of sermons summarizing it:
http://www.stmaryscopticorthodox.ca/media_sermons/spirituality/spirituality.html
« Last Edit: March 16, 2011, 02:27:21 PM by Jonathan » Logged
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« Reply #29 on: March 12, 2014, 07:41:17 AM »

I'm a convert from rcc and a Irish gypsy. Welcomed me with open arms, plus we have the British Orthodox church.
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« Reply #30 on: March 12, 2014, 06:26:41 PM »

Glory to God!  Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: March 12, 2014, 06:45:18 PM »

That's good!  Smiley
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« Reply #32 on: March 12, 2014, 07:30:33 PM »

I'm giving hard thought to trying the COC....so paranoid about being white, though.
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« Reply #33 on: March 12, 2014, 07:33:00 PM »

I'm giving hard thought to trying the COC....so paranoid about being white, though.

The local parish has whites, blacks, and a recurring visitor who's Indian.  Wink  All are made to feel welcome.  Just this morning, a tiny Egyptian baby smiled at me!
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« Reply #34 on: March 12, 2014, 07:33:53 PM »

I'm giving hard thought to trying the COC....so paranoid about being white, though.

It was the first Orthodox Church that I thought about. Though, not the one I am choosing.
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« Reply #35 on: March 12, 2014, 07:39:11 PM »

I'm giving hard thought to trying the COC....so paranoid about being white, though.

You shouldn't sweat that at all.  Generally speaking, Copts are among the warmest and most welcoming people you're likely to meet.  It's not at all uncommon to see non-Egyptians (black, white, and other) in any given parish.
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« Reply #36 on: March 12, 2014, 08:59:15 PM »

I'm giving hard thought to trying the COC....so paranoid about being white, though.

You shouldn't sweat that at all.  Generally speaking, Copts are among the warmest and most welcoming people you're likely to meet.  It's not at all uncommon to see non-Egyptians (black, white, and other) in any given parish.

I posted around a year ago about a pretty weird experience I had at one in WA state. I know 99% aren't like that but the 1% chance that it could happen again still freaks me out. Oh, and the Church is 55-60 some miles away.   Cry
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« Reply #37 on: March 12, 2014, 09:06:18 PM »

I'm giving hard thought to trying the COC....so paranoid about being white, though.

You shouldn't sweat that at all.  Generally speaking, Copts are among the warmest and most welcoming people you're likely to meet.  It's not at all uncommon to see non-Egyptians (black, white, and other) in any given parish.

I posted around a year ago about a pretty weird experience I had at one in WA state. I know 99% aren't like that but the 1% chance that it could happen again still freaks me out. Oh, and the Church is 55-60 some miles away.   Cry

Pray and let God guide you.  Remember, all things work together for the good.  Maybe you had that experience so that you could be a guide and a comfort to someone else who will come along later looking to find a home in the Church.

Also, if distance is a huge issue for you, remember that the Coptic Orthodox Church is just one part of the Oriental Orthodox Church.  Maybe there is an Ethiopian, Eritrean, Syriac, Armenian, or Malankara Church near you?

Here is an Oriental Orthodox parish locator you can try:

http://www.scooch.org/explor/find-a-parish/

Maybe you can find an Oriental Orthodox parish - Coptic or otherwise - closer to home?

God bless you and guide you, and please remember your weak brother Antonious Nikolas when you pray.  Smiley
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« Reply #38 on: March 12, 2014, 09:14:23 PM »

I'm giving hard thought to trying the COC....so paranoid about being white, though.

You shouldn't sweat that at all.  Generally speaking, Copts are among the warmest and most welcoming people you're likely to meet.  It's not at all uncommon to see non-Egyptians (black, white, and other) in any given parish.

I posted around a year ago about a pretty weird experience I had at one in WA state. I know 99% aren't like that but the 1% chance that it could happen again still freaks me out. Oh, and the Church is 55-60 some miles away.   Cry

Pray and let God guide you.  Remember, all things work together for the good.  Maybe you had that experience so that you could be a guide and a comfort to someone else who will come along later looking to find a home in the Church.

Also, if distance is a huge issue for you, remember that the Coptic Orthodox Church is just one part of the Oriental Orthodox Church.  Maybe there is an Ethiopian, Eritrean, Syriac, Armenian, or Malankara Church near you?

Here is an Oriental Orthodox parish locator you can try:

http://www.scooch.org/explor/find-a-parish/

Maybe you can find an Oriental Orthodox parish - Coptic or otherwise - closer to home?

God bless you and guide you, and please remember your weak brother Antonious Nikolas when you pray.  Smiley

Thank-you Antonious. OO churches are hard to come by in my state, even EO are. I'm sure me living in a rural are doesn't help my cause. Word is there may be an Ethiopian Church the next city over....but no website to be found.

I will surely check out that site!

 
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« Reply #39 on: March 13, 2014, 07:59:53 AM »


Thank-you Antonious. OO churches are hard to come by in my state, even EO are. I'm sure me living in a rural are doesn't help my cause. Word is there may be an Ethiopian Church the next city over....but no website to be found.

I will surely check out that site!
 

If you want to pm me with the supposed location of the Ethiopian Church, I will track it down for you (if it indeed exists).
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