Author Topic: Question for inquirers/catechumens  (Read 1054 times)

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Offline TheodoraElizabeth3

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Question for inquirers/catechumens
« on: April 10, 2011, 03:17:56 PM »
Bit of quick background - I'm beginning (with my priest's blessing) to do some informal work with inquirers in my parish.

We had a first time visitor this morning with an Protestant background, recommended to our parish by someone she knows who is Orthodox. She's already talked with our priest a bit.

She had a copy of our monthly calendar with all the services and she asked about Holy Week/Pascha - them's a lot of services! :o

Anyway, I went through the week with her, telling her length of each service, so she would know what to expect, if she was able to attend.

Something someone else said prompted this post - as an inquirer/catechumen, would you prefer to be told the length of special services, brief bit on what to expect, which ones out of Holy Week she might be interested in attending (for example, I told her the Bridegroom services are all very similar and she could pick one night if she was interested)?

Or would you prefer not to be told?

I remember inquirers in my first parish saying they wished they had known how long Holy Week/Pascha services were.

Offline ElizabethanElizabeth

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2011, 03:52:44 PM »
I'd want to know all of that.

My priest gave me a run down of what to expect for Divine Liturgy through email before my first time so between that and my own research, I wasn't too worried when going in. For other services not as well known as Divine Liturgy, being told what to expect, length, and which ones are most important would be an amazing help.

Is there maybe someway you could make inquirer papers. They can include the main types of services and info. about each one? They don't have to be passed out to the public, but if your priest points you in a particular person you could have it on hand and just explain to them off of the paper and they could keep it. Just a thought.
 ;D

Offline TheodoraElizabeth3

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2011, 04:11:05 PM »
I'd want to know all of that.

My priest gave me a run down of what to expect for Divine Liturgy through email before my first time so between that and my own research, I wasn't too worried when going in. For other services not as well known as Divine Liturgy, being told what to expect, length, and which ones are most important would be an amazing help.

Is there maybe someway you could make inquirer papers. They can include the main types of services and info. about each one? They don't have to be passed out to the public, but if your priest points you in a particular person you could have it on hand and just explain to them off of the paper and they could keep it. Just a thought.
 ;D


Inquirer papers? Now that's a good idea! :)  The someone else said, in presence of visitor, maybe she's committed for other things and can't come? I said if visitor had info, she could make her own decisions, based on her schedule. She happened to first visit at a rather intense time of the Church year. Might as well make it as user friendly as possible!

Offline Justin Kissel

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2011, 04:13:00 PM »
I would have preferred as much info as possible.  Also, if priests would return telephone calls, that'd be really cool as well.  :angel:

Offline TheodoraElizabeth3

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2011, 04:16:55 PM »
I would have preferred as much info as possible.  Also, if priests would return telephone calls, that'd be really cool as well.  :angel:

Well, now, it certainly depends on the priest, but I always suggest inquirers/catechumens contact the priest via email with questions. One, that puts less pressure on the priest if you're calling when he's in the midst of something. Two, it's helpful for you because you then have the email with the priest's response for future reference. I found that very helpful myself when I was a catechumen.

Offline ElizabethanElizabeth

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2011, 04:26:55 PM »
I would have preferred as much info as possible.  Also, if priests would return telephone calls, that'd be really cool as well.  :angel:

Well, now, it certainly depends on the priest, but I always suggest inquirers/catechumens contact the priest via email with questions. One, that puts less pressure on the priest if you're calling when he's in the midst of something. Two, it's helpful for you because you then have the email with the priest's response for future reference. I found that very helpful myself when I was a catechumen.

I agree. I'm still an "inquirer" but email has always been most helpful. I hate being put on the spot but especially with some of the questions that will be directed towards the priest, I would definitely need to think on a lot of those! Of course, if you'd just like hours and they don't have a website, that's different.

Offline quietmorning

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 04:38:58 PM »
I needed to know . . . And was very glad that others were willing to inform me of what to expect, what was an "If you can at all help it, don't miss this. . . You won't regret it!!"  Which services need comfy shoes is a must. 
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Offline Ebor

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 06:27:59 PM »
I think that letting the lady know the length of services was a good and helpful thing.  It is possible that she might like to attend but has other obligations or responsibilities such as children or some other duty or a job or any number of things that also need to be part of her time.

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Offline Veronika

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2011, 02:46:11 AM »
ditto what everyone else said. I also would have appreciated knowing which services have more community participation and what was expected well in advance. For example, forgiveness vespers was really uncomfortable the first time I attended.

Offline Poppy

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2011, 09:33:33 AM »
I want to know EVERYTHING not just how long things are but where to stand... what to wear... how to do things etc... When i first went i never knew if i was supposed to copy people or not, some things yes like standing and sitting and turning around or kneeling and some  defo NOT like eucharist haha.... Stay PUT!!! I went to join the line on my first time at church and a lady behind me grabbed my shirt and waist and pulled me back lolOl im glad she did i would have been way embarrassed if i had got to the front. But i didn't know that there are things ONLY orthodox can do. I do now  ;)

Churches should put all this stuff on their website if they got one.

Offline Thankful

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Re: Question for inquirers/catechumens
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2011, 08:56:39 PM »
I want to know EVERYTHING not just how long things are but where to stand... what to wear... how to do things etc... When i first went i never knew if i was supposed to copy people or not, some things yes like standing and sitting and turning around or kneeling and some  defo NOT like eucharist haha.... Stay PUT!!! I went to join the line on my first time at church and a lady behind me grabbed my shirt and waist and pulled me back lolOl im glad she did i would have been way embarrassed if i had got to the front. But i didn't know that there are things ONLY orthodox can do. I do now  ;)

Churches should put all this stuff on their website if they got one.

Looking back, I'll say that I appreciate that we were not told all the "do this," "don't do this" etc. stuff ahead of time, through paper handouts.  I think asking people and talking with them is part of the passing on of our tradition, and that passing on happens much through the ask/answer format.  It also builds humility (the asking) and relationships (the conversation that follows).  Just some thoughts for this thread (not specifically directed at you, Poppy).  
« Last Edit: June 19, 2011, 08:56:57 PM by Thankful »