Author Topic: Is it okay to go to Divine Liturgy at a Convent?  (Read 483 times)

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Offline yeshuaisiam

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Is it okay to go to Divine Liturgy at a Convent?
« on: March 06, 2011, 03:45:55 PM »
Here in Texas there are not MANY Orthodox churches in more or less rural areas.

However there just happens to be an Orthodox Convent nearby that has a divine liturgy stated on their web site.

My wife and I are in our mid to early 30's and have 5 younger children.   We are pretty sure that this convent would be happy to open its doors for us to attend liturgy (they have a priest that visits weekly), but we don't know how to ask them, nor would we want to create any awkward situation for any nuns.

I guess I'll just put it bluntly what my concern is.... Basically most (not all but most) women have maternal instincts and we have so many young kids.  We just don't want to make any of them feel awkward.  I'll just leave it at that.

I mean they are such nice people... Even though they'd let us I just would hate it to be the cause of anybody having "strange feelings" or question themselves being nuns.  Week after week, visit after visit with a married family with kids...  I'm sure you get the point ;O)

Thanks
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Offline bogdan

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Re: Is it okay to go to Divine Liturgy at a Convent?
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 04:30:19 PM »
Typically if you were to go to a monastery for services, you would want to contact the Abbess just as a courtesy to let them know you're coming (especially since a meal is often served after Liturgy). It wouldn't hurt to ask, so they aren't caught off-guard or something, but I can't imagine it would be an issue.

I've been to services at a womens' monastery before, and the nuns were lovely to the children. I'm sure they love seeing them, and I think it's good to expose kids to monastic life, because monasticism or priesthood may be their life's calling.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 04:32:04 PM by bogdan »

Offline Thankful

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Re: Is it okay to go to Divine Liturgy at a Convent?
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2011, 08:28:32 PM »
We have visited a monastery a few times, and it had never occurred to be to be concerned about bringing children (like it might be create a struggle).  The nuns seem thrilled to have us there, and our monastery (in the past) has had girls camps in the summer, and they've been oh, so gracious and wonderful to our children. 

When it comes to attending a monastery regularly, we had a mini-retreat last year and the archimandrite who was speaking said that a monastery was never intended to serve as a home parish for non-monastics.  (We know a few people who do attend a monastery this way, so I believe he was referring to this situation that has developed at this monastery.)  I don't know all the ins and outs of that, but it did seem to make some sense.  The laity at a monastery will never be able to participate in the life of the monastery like they would in a regular parish.  Anyway, something to consider and ask locally about. 

Offline Fr. George

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Re: Is it okay to go to Divine Liturgy at a Convent?
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2011, 09:35:30 PM »
Here in Texas there are not MANY Orthodox churches in more or less rural areas.

However there just happens to be an Orthodox Convent nearby that has a divine liturgy stated on their web site.

My wife and I are in our mid to early 30's and have 5 younger children.   We are pretty sure that this convent would be happy to open its doors for us to attend liturgy (they have a priest that visits weekly), but we don't know how to ask them, nor would we want to create any awkward situation for any nuns.

I guess I'll just put it bluntly what my concern is.... Basically most (not all but most) women have maternal instincts and we have so many young kids.  We just don't want to make any of them feel awkward.  I'll just leave it at that.

I mean they are such nice people... Even though they'd let us I just would hate it to be the cause of anybody having "strange feelings" or question themselves being nuns.  Week after week, visit after visit with a married family with kids...  I'm sure you get the point ;O)

Thanks

Get the permission of the Abbess; they usually say "yes," especially if they know that there are no parishes nearby.

If the monks are seriously questioning their vocation because of the presence of your children, then they were already losing that battle long before you set foot in there.  Go, pray, be friendly, be respectful of the monastery's rules and routine.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2011, 09:36:05 PM by Fr. George »
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