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Author Topic: "Quickie" conversion to Orthodoxy?  (Read 3919 times) Average Rating: 0
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Xenia1918
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« on: July 10, 2011, 08:33:42 PM »

I have something that has been bothering me for some time, I suppose I should be happy that things are moving along so quickly for me in becoming Orthodox, but I'm not, I'm concerned.

I became involved with an Orthodox parish near me, and the priest is an absolutely wonderful, engaging, kind person. We've had many long chats about theological issues (he knows my entire background with Orthodox Judaism, Traditional RC, etc)...we've discussed issues such as RC pre-V2 moral theology, the Divine Liturgy, the Eastern Catholics and their history with Orthodoxy vs Rome, the LXX vs the Masoretic, modalism, the Talmud, the Zohar, early Jewish and Christian differences, notably Justin the Philosopher's Dialogue with Trypho the Jew...and a lot more. He knows all the books I've read on Orthodoxy (The Orthodox Church; A Second Look at the Second Coming, the Catechism of the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Study Bible, lots more)....and he is very eager to chrismate me ASAP.

Shouldn't I actually go through a course in Orthodoxy first? Isn't that what catechumens do?

When I became a (Traditional) Roman Catholic, I studied with a priest each week for about a year. Isn't that how its done in Orthodoxy too?

I feel very embarassed because Father often introduces me to people as someone who "knows everything", but really, I'm not. I know I have to have gaps in what I know, its only natural.

How do I handle this situation? Is it right for me to suggest to a priest that maybe he isn't handling things the right way? Isn't he supposed to know?
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 08:35:18 PM by Xenia1918 » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: July 10, 2011, 08:38:38 PM »

I have something that has been bothering me for some time, I suppose I should be happy that things are moving along so quickly for me in becoming Orthodox, but I'm not, I'm concerned.

I became involved with an Orthodox parish near me, and the priest is an absolutely wonderful, engaging, kind person. We've had many long chats about theological issues (he knows my entire background with Orthodox Judaism, Traditional RC, etc)...we've discussed issues such as RC pre-V2 moral theology, the Divine Liturgy, the Eastern Catholics and their history with Orthodoxy vs Rome, the LXX vs the Masoretic, modalism, the Talmud, the Zohar, early Jewish and Christian differences, notably Justin the Philosopher's Dialogue with Trypho the Jew...and a lot more. He knows all the books I've read on Orthodoxy (The Orthodox Church; A Second Look at the Second Coming, the Catechism of the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Study Bible, lots more)....and he is very eager to chrismate me ASAP.

Shouldn't I actually go through a course in Orthodoxy first? Isn't that what catechumens do?

When I became a (Traditional) Roman Catholic, I studied with a priest each week for about a year. Isn't that how its done in Orthodoxy too?

I feel very embarassed because Father often introduces me to people as someone who "knows everything", but really, I'm not. I know I have to have gaps in what I know, its only natural.

How do I handle this situation? Is it right for me to suggest to a priest that maybe he isn't handling things the right way? Isn't he supposed to know?
Maybe he does, and thinks you know more than you think you do.  but I would bring it up with him for his thoughts.
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Xenia1918
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« Reply #2 on: July 10, 2011, 08:44:35 PM »

I have something that has been bothering me for some time, I suppose I should be happy that things are moving along so quickly for me in becoming Orthodox, but I'm not, I'm concerned.

I became involved with an Orthodox parish near me, and the priest is an absolutely wonderful, engaging, kind person. We've had many long chats about theological issues (he knows my entire background with Orthodox Judaism, Traditional RC, etc)...we've discussed issues such as RC pre-V2 moral theology, the Divine Liturgy, the Eastern Catholics and their history with Orthodoxy vs Rome, the LXX vs the Masoretic, modalism, the Talmud, the Zohar, early Jewish and Christian differences, notably Justin the Philosopher's Dialogue with Trypho the Jew...and a lot more. He knows all the books I've read on Orthodoxy (The Orthodox Church; A Second Look at the Second Coming, the Catechism of the Orthodox Church, the Orthodox Study Bible, lots more)....and he is very eager to chrismate me ASAP.

Shouldn't I actually go through a course in Orthodoxy first? Isn't that what catechumens do?

When I became a (Traditional) Roman Catholic, I studied with a priest each week for about a year. Isn't that how its done in Orthodoxy too?

I feel very embarassed because Father often introduces me to people as someone who "knows everything", but really, I'm not. I know I have to have gaps in what I know, its only natural.

How do I handle this situation? Is it right for me to suggest to a priest that maybe he isn't handling things the right way? Isn't he supposed to know?
Maybe he does, and thinks you know more than you think you do.  but I would bring it up with him for his thoughts.

He quizzed me on the catechism I studied, and seemed satisfied, but I have not been studying Orthodoxy as long as I feel I should have been. I don't feel something like this should be rushed into.
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2011, 08:54:50 PM »

Xenia, some parishes don't have "Orthodoxy 101" courses for inquiriers or catechumens. The priest will just meet with inquirers/catechumens on a regular basis, assign readings, talk with them, and of course, regular church attendance is a must.

How long have you been studying Orthodoxy?

You'd best tell the priest you'd like to just attend services longer and go from there.

The only "quickie" conversions I know of are at parishes that are, um, more ethnic without a lot of converts, mostly those due to marriage.
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2011, 09:06:13 PM »

If you're priest says your ready, you're probably ready. It sounds like you've done your homework, but Orthodoxy doesn't end at the catechumen stage, it keeps growing.

I almost got baptised in less than 2 months. That was way too soon and fast for me.
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Xenia1918
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2011, 09:12:45 PM »

Xenia, some parishes don't have "Orthodoxy 101" courses for inquiriers or catechumens. The priest will just meet with inquirers/catechumens on a regular basis, assign readings, talk with them, and of course, regular church attendance is a must.

How long have you been studying Orthodoxy?

You'd best tell the priest you'd like to just attend services longer and go from there.

The only "quickie" conversions I know of are at parishes that are, um, more ethnic without a lot of converts, mostly those due to marriage.

Well, actually, in a sense I've been studying Orthodoxy for 20 years, because 20 years ago I met a very good friend (a convert to Russian Orthodoxy from Anglicanism), who has continuously taught me much about Orthodoxy, and it has only been in the last few months that I began actively reading and studying on my own, almost non-stop.

The thing I find weird is that my friend Masha talked to me a lot about Orthodoxy, all the time, even when I thought I wasn't interested years ago, but I seem to have retained everything she told me! She had a way of explaining things and telling stories about Orthodoxy, that really sunk in with me (she would have made a great teacher!) She also had given me a lot of icons, which I still have, stored away (my husband said he's going to dig them out.) I was a practicing Roman Catholic at the time, and I remember how upset she was with me when I decided to leave the traditional RCC for Eastern Catholicism.
When I do become Orthodox I would love it more than anything if she could be my godmother, but she is in her 80s now, so that's unlikely. Sad
« Last Edit: July 10, 2011, 09:15:07 PM by Xenia1918 » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 09:18:01 PM »

If you don't have a godmother yet, you can tell the priest that you want to become more a part of church life and get to know the people in the church before taking a step forward.

But I mean, if he thinks you're ready...you can tell him you feel like you want to know more before you take the step. If YOU Feel like you're not ready, you aren't ready.

I was apparently ready for chrismation after a few months of being a catechumen. We're still praying about who is going to be my godparents, and I'm thankful for the time for growth in church life, study, prayer, and getting to know everyone. I'd love to take communion ASAP, but I don't want to rush into it. But what Aposphet said is true too: you don't stop growing once you're chrismated. And you don't need to know EVERYTHING right away. My priest said that sadly enough, we could put some of the cradles to shame (and that's really saying a lot, because we just started learning a few months ago. But our hearts are in the church already and we agree with the tenets.)
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« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 09:19:52 PM »

Xenia1918,

Quote
   "In the ancient Church, the catechumenate, or time during which one is a catechumen, often lasted for as much as three years and included not only participation in the divine services but also catechesis, formal instruction from a teacher, often the bishop or appointed catechist. Exorcists often performed the catechetical role, as well, following their initial prayers of exorcism over the one being made a catechumen, which is the traditional manner of receiving a catechumen into the community of the Church.

    Catechumens are understood to be Christians upon beginning their catechumenate, (Marc1152) and should they die before baptism, they are traditionally given an Orthodox funeral.

    As the Church eventually became the majority religion of the lands in which it sojourned, the catechumenate as an institution gradually died out in many places, as most Christians were being baptized shortly after birth. As Orthodoxy has moved into the West and Far East and begun gaining converts to the faith, the catechumenate has been significantly rejuvenated.

    Catechetical instruction in Orthodoxy in America does not typically last the three years which was common in the time of St. John Chrysostom, but typically can last from six months to a year, depending on the practice of the bishop, his jurisdiction, and the level of spiritual maturity of the catechumen. Local parish priests typically oversee the catechesis of those preparing to be received into the Church."

From http://orthodoxwiki.org/Catechumen

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« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 09:54:23 PM »

I have experience of some not so swift priests misinterpreting intellectual knowledge of Orthodoxy as a sign of spiritual maturity. So you need to be sure to speak with him about your spiritual life and be very clear about it and its independence from your intellectual knowledge.
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 10:08:09 PM »

I have experience of some not so swift priests misinterpreting intellectual knowledge of Orthodoxy as a sign of spiritual maturity. So you need to be sure to speak with him about your spiritual life and be very clear about it and its independence from your intellectual knowledge.

Thanks to everyone for all the good advice and comments! The above comment is actually what I was thinking in my mind and heart. I think Deusveritasest nailed it for me. This is my "issue". I want to spend more time growing in the spiritual life; Father may feel I have the head knowledge, and maybe I do....but I want to spend more time growing spiritually. Maybe I can do that after I'm chrismated, but I feel I'd like to do a lot of that growing beforehand, too.
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« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2011, 10:10:25 PM »

I have experience of some not so swift priests misinterpreting intellectual knowledge of Orthodoxy as a sign of spiritual maturity. So you need to be sure to speak with him about your spiritual life and be very clear about it and its independence from your intellectual knowledge.

Thanks to everyone for all the good advice and comments! The above comment is actually what I was thinking in my mind and heart. I think Deusveritasest nailed it for me. This is my "issue". I want to spend more time growing in the spiritual life; Father may feel I have the head knowledge, and maybe I do....but I want to spend more time growing spiritually. Maybe I can do that after I'm chrismated, but I feel I'd like to do a lot of that growing beforehand, too.

Please talk to your spiritual father about your spiritual issues. It's very important for him to know. Actually, dealing with your spiritual life is really his #1 job, so if you're not talking to him about it then you are missing out on the most important dimension of your relationship.
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« Reply #11 on: July 10, 2011, 10:12:21 PM »

I have experience of some not so swift priests misinterpreting intellectual knowledge of Orthodoxy as a sign of spiritual maturity. So you need to be sure to speak with him about your spiritual life and be very clear about it and its independence from your intellectual knowledge.

Thanks to everyone for all the good advice and comments! The above comment is actually what I was thinking in my mind and heart. I think Deusveritasest nailed it for me. This is my "issue". I want to spend more time growing in the spiritual life; Father may feel I have the head knowledge, and maybe I do....but I want to spend more time growing spiritually. Maybe I can do that after I'm chrismated, but I feel I'd like to do a lot of that growing beforehand, too.

Please talk to your spiritual father about your spiritual issues. It's very important for him to know. Actually, dealing with your spiritual life is really his #1 job, so if you're not talking to him about it then you are missing out on the most important dimension of your relationship.

I have been talking to him, actually....I asked him for help with a certain spiritual issue I have, and he has been very helpful.
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« Reply #12 on: July 10, 2011, 10:14:25 PM »

I have experience of some not so swift priests misinterpreting intellectual knowledge of Orthodoxy as a sign of spiritual maturity. So you need to be sure to speak with him about your spiritual life and be very clear about it and its independence from your intellectual knowledge.

Thanks to everyone for all the good advice and comments! The above comment is actually what I was thinking in my mind and heart. I think Deusveritasest nailed it for me. This is my "issue". I want to spend more time growing in the spiritual life; Father may feel I have the head knowledge, and maybe I do....but I want to spend more time growing spiritually. Maybe I can do that after I'm chrismated, but I feel I'd like to do a lot of that growing beforehand, too.

Please talk to your spiritual father about your spiritual issues. It's very important for him to know. Actually, dealing with your spiritual life is really his #1 job, so if you're not talking to him about it then you are missing out on the most important dimension of your relationship.

I have been talking to him, actually....I asked him for help with a certain spiritual issue I have, and he has been very helpful.

Wonderful!  Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: July 10, 2011, 10:21:41 PM »

There's also a great deal to be said for experiencing more of liturgical life. Some priests have a standard of people experiencing a full liturgical year before baptism/chrismation. Especially with the Orthodox rhythm of feasts and fasts. I personally think that everyone needs to experience at least one Great Lent before becoming Orthodox, but that's just my opinion.  I've known people to kind of freak, in a spiritual way, during their first Great Lent and needed time to settle down and into things, if you know what I'm trying to say, although not doing it very well.

As a previous poster said, head knowledge is one thing, but you also have to pay attention to your spiritual life. Your priest also needs to see your way of life, so to speak, do you attend services on a regular basis (of course, there are people who miss because of work or other reasonable issues), etc. Someone could have all the head knowledge, but if their spiritual life isn't in the right place, and they don't bother to attend church much because they don't feel like it - well, I think pretty much all of us would agree in that case, someone wouldn't be ready to enter the Church.
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« Reply #14 on: July 10, 2011, 11:10:09 PM »

Just tell him you don't think you're ready and you need more time. If he's listening, he'll probably slow things down. Trust me, there is no rush. In Orthodoxy, slow and steady wins the race.
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« Reply #15 on: July 10, 2011, 11:31:51 PM »

There's also a great deal to be said for experiencing more of liturgical life. Some priests have a standard of people experiencing a full liturgical year before baptism/chrismation. Especially with the Orthodox rhythm of feasts and fasts. I personally think that everyone needs to experience at least one Great Lent before becoming Orthodox, but that's just my opinion.  I've known people to kind of freak, in a spiritual way, during their first Great Lent and needed time to settle down and into things, if you know what I'm trying to say, although not doing it very well.

As a previous poster said, head knowledge is one thing, but you also have to pay attention to your spiritual life. Your priest also needs to see your way of life, so to speak, do you attend services on a regular basis (of course, there are people who miss because of work or other reasonable issues), etc. Someone could have all the head knowledge, but if their spiritual life isn't in the right place, and they don't bother to attend church much because they don't feel like it - well, I think pretty much all of us would agree in that case, someone wouldn't be ready to enter the Church.

One thing I already discussed with Father, because I was concerned about it, is Great Lent. I know that meat, dairy, fish, wine and oil are prohibited. The problem is, because of a health issue I have where I can't have a lot of high fat foods, I already avoid oil, and also alcohol (I can have a little of high fat foods and alcoholic drinks, but not much or it triggers a GI attack.)

And I'm already a vegan (no animal products of any kind)...so he joked that "maybe we'll have to make you eat meat for Lent, as a sacrifice". lol But basically it means I'll have to give something else up since not eating meat, dairy, wine and oil is not really a sacrifice for me. I bought a cookbook for Lent put out by St Nectarios Press and to be honest, I'm really looking forward to Great Lent! (I know I sound insane to everyone else though. lol)
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« Reply #16 on: July 10, 2011, 11:41:03 PM »

There's also a great deal to be said for experiencing more of liturgical life. Some priests have a standard of people experiencing a full liturgical year before baptism/chrismation. Especially with the Orthodox rhythm of feasts and fasts. I personally think that everyone needs to experience at least one Great Lent before becoming Orthodox, but that's just my opinion.  I've known people to kind of freak, in a spiritual way, during their first Great Lent and needed time to settle down and into things, if you know what I'm trying to say, although not doing it very well.

As a previous poster said, head knowledge is one thing, but you also have to pay attention to your spiritual life. Your priest also needs to see your way of life, so to speak, do you attend services on a regular basis (of course, there are people who miss because of work or other reasonable issues), etc. Someone could have all the head knowledge, but if their spiritual life isn't in the right place, and they don't bother to attend church much because they don't feel like it - well, I think pretty much all of us would agree in that case, someone wouldn't be ready to enter the Church.

One thing I already discussed with Father, because I was concerned about it, is Great Lent. I know that meat, dairy, fish, wine and oil are prohibited. The problem is, because of a health issue I have where I can't have a lot of high fat foods, I already avoid oil, and also alcohol (I can have a little of high fat foods and alcoholic drinks, but not much or it triggers a GI attack.)

And I'm already a vegan (noi animal products of any kind)...so he joked that "maybe we'll have to make you eat meat for Lent, as a sacrifice". lol But basically it means I'll have to give something else up since not eating meat, dairy, wine and oil is not really a sacrifice for me. I bought a cookbook for Lent put out by St Nectarios Press and to be honest, I'm really looking forward to Great Lent! (I know I sound insane to everyone else though. lol)

A better cookbook, and much more recent, is When You Fast: Recipes for Lenten Seasons by Catherine Mandell from SVS Press.

Or just find a favorite ethnic cuisine, get a cookbook for that and look through it. I love Middle Eastern and that's my primary fasting food.

I stopped watching TV right before the Nativity Fast right before I become Orthodox eight years ago, and I ended getting rid of my TV - for good!

So, maybe you give up TV. Or reading non-Orthodox books. Or music stations on the radio and only listen to the news and Ancient Faith Radio. Or maybe have silence at home. This is in addition to increased prayer. Or maybe you don't talk so much at work (I've done that and it seriously freaks my coworkers out! Shocked).

You could also give up all beverages but water. I know someone who was diabetic who did that.

You'll find something. Frankly, I have a Catholic coworker who was looking to give something up for Lent this year. I suggested giving up TV. She flipped on me and said that was too hardcore and too much of a sacrifice. Turns out TV is her life and she never picks up a book.

I don't know what sort of Lent you were used with the Trad Catholics, but Orthodox Great Lent is pretty intense.

You'll find many of us *love* Great Lent. I don't miss a service. Whether my voice holds out (I'm choir and serve as a reader) is another matter... Grin
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« Reply #17 on: July 10, 2011, 11:59:52 PM »

There's also a great deal to be said for experiencing more of liturgical life. Some priests have a standard of people experiencing a full liturgical year before baptism/chrismation. Especially with the Orthodox rhythm of feasts and fasts. I personally think that everyone needs to experience at least one Great Lent before becoming Orthodox, but that's just my opinion.  I've known people to kind of freak, in a spiritual way, during their first Great Lent and needed time to settle down and into things, if you know what I'm trying to say, although not doing it very well.

As a previous poster said, head knowledge is one thing, but you also have to pay attention to your spiritual life. Your priest also needs to see your way of life, so to speak, do you attend services on a regular basis (of course, there are people who miss because of work or other reasonable issues), etc. Someone could have all the head knowledge, but if their spiritual life isn't in the right place, and they don't bother to attend church much because they don't feel like it - well, I think pretty much all of us would agree in that case, someone wouldn't be ready to enter the Church.

One thing I already discussed with Father, because I was concerned about it, is Great Lent. I know that meat, dairy, fish, wine and oil are prohibited. The problem is, because of a health issue I have where I can't have a lot of high fat foods, I already avoid oil, and also alcohol (I can have a little of high fat foods and alcoholic drinks, but not much or it triggers a GI attack.)

And I'm already a vegan (noi animal products of any kind)...so he joked that "maybe we'll have to make you eat meat for Lent, as a sacrifice". lol But basically it means I'll have to give something else up since not eating meat, dairy, wine and oil is not really a sacrifice for me. I bought a cookbook for Lent put out by St Nectarios Press and to be honest, I'm really looking forward to Great Lent! (I know I sound insane to everyone else though. lol)

A better cookbook, and much more recent, is When You Fast: Recipes for Lenten Seasons by Catherine Mandell from SVS Press.

Or just find a favorite ethnic cuisine, get a cookbook for that and look through it. I love Middle Eastern and that's my primary fasting food.

I stopped watching TV right before the Nativity Fast right before I become Orthodox eight years ago, and I ended getting rid of my TV - for good!

So, maybe you give up TV. Or reading non-Orthodox books. Or music stations on the radio and only listen to the news and Ancient Faith Radio. Or maybe have silence at home. This is in addition to increased prayer. Or maybe you don't talk so much at work (I've done that and it seriously freaks my coworkers out! Shocked).

You could also give up all beverages but water. I know someone who was diabetic who did that.

You'll find something. Frankly, I have a Catholic coworker who was looking to give something up for Lent this year. I suggested giving up TV. She flipped on me and said that was too hardcore and too much of a sacrifice. Turns out TV is her life and she never picks up a book.

I don't know what sort of Lent you were used with the Trad Catholics, but Orthodox Great Lent is pretty intense.

You'll find many of us *love* Great Lent. I don't miss a service. Whether my voice holds out (I'm choir and serve as a reader) is another matter... Grin

I already drink only water, for health reasons, and I don't watch TV. I think the internet is what I'll have to give up!
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« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2011, 01:11:35 AM »

You'll find something. Frankly, I have a Catholic coworker who was looking to give something up for Lent this year. I suggested giving up TV. She flipped on me and said that was too hardcore and too much of a sacrifice. Turns out TV is her life and she never picks up a book.

Definitely! I always think looking beyond the fasting of food to other things is a good idea. The Lent before I was initiated into the EOC I gave up the internet and it was a great experience.
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« Reply #19 on: July 11, 2011, 01:22:51 AM »

Quote
The Lent before I was initiated into the EOC I gave up the internet and it was a great experience
.

And now, when you're neither EOC nor OO, where do you stand?  Wink
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« Reply #20 on: July 11, 2011, 03:53:07 AM »


Frankly, I have a Catholic coworker who was looking to give something up for Lent this year. I suggested giving up TV. She flipped on me and said that was too hardcore and too much of a sacrifice. Turns out TV is her life and she never picks up a book.
 

This is sad... Sad 

And nauseating... Lips Sealed

I feel for her... Cry

Quote
The Lent before I was initiated into the EOC I gave up the internet and it was a great experience
.

And now, when you're neither EOC nor OO, where do you stand?  Wink

On the ground? Cheesy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DetchjEjUZA
 
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« Reply #21 on: July 11, 2011, 03:58:57 AM »

Quote
The Lent before I was initiated into the EOC I gave up the internet and it was a great experience
.

And now, when you're neither EOC nor OO, where do you stand?  Wink

What do you mean?
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« Reply #22 on: July 11, 2011, 07:30:34 AM »

You'll find something. Frankly, I have a Catholic coworker who was looking to give something up for Lent this year. I suggested giving up TV. She flipped on me and said that was too hardcore and too much of a sacrifice. Turns out TV is her life and she never picks up a book.

Definitely! I always think looking beyond the fasting of food to other things is a good idea. The Lent before I was initiated into the EOC I gave up the internet and it was a great experience.

really?!  I attempted to do that, but I am far too weak. 
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« Reply #23 on: July 11, 2011, 07:36:29 AM »

I do not think a long catechumenate is necessary at all. It is not an academic course that we need to pass.

How can a person expect to grow spiritually and be spiritually mature enough to be baptised when they are not baptised? Baptism is a gift not a reward.

The catechumenate is to allow a person to consider the cost of Orthodox discipleship, and to have a firm enough knowledge of the Faith so that they can honestly express their commitment to it.

If a person is already a non-Orthodox believer with commitment, and has been studying Orthodoxy, then what matters is that they commit to the journey, not try to travel it outside the experience of the sacraments and God's grace.

What does St Justin Martyr say..

As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly . . . are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated.

This does not require a long catechumenate unless the person has reservations about some Orthodox doctrine or practice.
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« Reply #24 on: July 11, 2011, 09:57:38 AM »

I stopped watching TV right before the Nativity Fast right before I become Orthodox eight years ago, and I ended getting rid of my TV - for good!

So, maybe you give up TV. Or reading non-Orthodox books. Or music stations on the radio and only listen to the news and Ancient Faith Radio. Or maybe have silence at home. This is in addition to increased prayer. Or maybe you don't talk so much at work (I've done that and it seriously freaks my coworkers out! Shocked).

...I suggested giving up TV. She flipped on me and said that was too hardcore and too much of a sacrifice. Turns out TV is her life and she never picks up a book.


Our priest always advises the parishioners to turn off the tv and the internet, as well as read only spiritual books during Lent. It was surprisingly hard to turn off the tv, harder than not eating meat and I loves my cheeseburgers! Wink

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« Reply #25 on: July 11, 2011, 10:12:11 AM »

I stopped watching TV right before the Nativity Fast right before I become Orthodox eight years ago, and I ended getting rid of my TV - for good!

So, maybe you give up TV. Or reading non-Orthodox books. Or music stations on the radio and only listen to the news and Ancient Faith Radio. Or maybe have silence at home. This is in addition to increased prayer. Or maybe you don't talk so much at work (I've done that and it seriously freaks my coworkers out! Shocked).

...I suggested giving up TV. She flipped on me and said that was too hardcore and too much of a sacrifice. Turns out TV is her life and she never picks up a book.


Our priest always advises the parishioners to turn off the tv and the internet, as well as read only spiritual books during Lent. It was surprisingly hard to turn off the tv, harder than not eating meat and I loves my cheeseburgers! Wink



I eat veggie burgers with soy cheese. Sounds gross but they're really very good (though it sort of defeats the purpose of "sacrificing" for Great Lent if you like them!)
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« Reply #26 on: July 11, 2011, 11:01:17 AM »

I eat veggie burgers with soy cheese. Sounds gross but they're really very good (though it sort of defeats the purpose of "sacrificing" for Great Lent if you like them!)

Veggie burgers usually have eggs in them to hold them together. If they don't they usually have some gross chemical compounds doing the job.
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« Reply #27 on: July 11, 2011, 11:04:53 AM »

I eat veggie burgers with soy cheese. Sounds gross but they're really very good (though it sort of defeats the purpose of "sacrificing" for Great Lent if you like them!)

Veggie burgers usually have eggs in them to hold them together. If they don't they usually have some gross chemical compounds doing the job.

I use vegan ones, hence, no eggs. One way to find out without having to read the ingredient list is to look for a "kosher PARVE" hechsher on it. If its got dairy, it will say Kosher Dairy (a kosher symbol with a D next to it.) Parve means it has neither meat nor dairy in it.
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« Reply #28 on: July 11, 2011, 11:21:46 AM »

*blech*  Tongue

"Give it to us raw, and wrrrrriggling!"

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« Reply #29 on: July 11, 2011, 11:47:00 AM »

*blech*  Tongue

"Give it to us raw, and wrrrrriggling!"

primuspilus

Haha! My late father in law (may he rest in peace) was a real character. He'd go into a steakhouse and order a steak, and when they asked how he wanted it done, he'd sometimes say, "Knock off the horns and slap it on a plate!"  Cheesy
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« Reply #30 on: July 11, 2011, 12:44:56 PM »

Quote
Haha! My late father in law (may he rest in peace) was a real character. He'd go into a steakhouse and order a steak, and when they asked how he wanted it done, he'd sometimes say, "Knock off the horns and slap it on a plate

A wise man Smiley
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« Reply #31 on: July 11, 2011, 01:06:49 PM »

"Give it to us raw, and wrrrrriggling!"

Quote from: Acts 15:19-20
Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God:

But that we write unto them, that they abstain from pollutions of idols, and from fornication, and from things strangled, and from blood.
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« Reply #32 on: July 11, 2011, 01:09:45 PM »

*blech*  Tongue

"Give it to us raw, and wrrrrriggling!"

primuspilus


Ewwwww...
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« Reply #33 on: July 11, 2011, 02:45:58 PM »

That was Gollum, not me Smiley

Anyways, like I said in a previous thread, Praise God, and pass the BBQ sauce.....

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« Reply #34 on: July 11, 2011, 02:46:58 PM »

If the priest tells you, you are ready, then God tells you through priest you are ready. Nothing and nobody stays in a way of what your priest appointed by God says unless he teaches you heresy, then I don't know.

So don't even think you know better than God. If God says 2 seconds and you are Orthodox, then believe me, 2 seconds is enough.

Beeing accepted as Eastern orthodox is before anything a decision of God to accept you in Heaven where is only Eastern orthodox Church and if God decided in 2 seconds, better you say yes. To be accepted in EOC means in my understanding that parents and you have done something right.
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« Reply #35 on: July 11, 2011, 03:47:33 PM »

In all seriousness, I knew I was ready very early into my studies. I'd barricade myself in prayer first. Even though Im not yet converted, I'd say that it'd be better taking a little longer and being sure than go fast and have doubts creep in.

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« Reply #36 on: July 11, 2011, 04:15:05 PM »

I do not think a long catechumenate is necessary at all. It is not an academic course that we need to pass.

How can a person expect to grow spiritually and be spiritually mature enough to be baptised when they are not baptised? Baptism is a gift not a reward.

The catechumenate is to allow a person to consider the cost of Orthodox discipleship, and to have a firm enough knowledge of the Faith so that they can honestly express their commitment to it.

If a person is already a non-Orthodox believer with commitment, and has been studying Orthodoxy, then what matters is that they commit to the journey, not try to travel it outside the experience of the sacraments and God's grace.

What does St Justin Martyr say..

As many as are persuaded and believe that what we [Christians] teach and say is true, and undertake to be able to live accordingly . . . are brought by us where there is water, and are regenerated in the same manner in which we were ourselves regenerated.

This does not require a long catechumenate unless the person has reservations about some Orthodox doctrine or practice.

I really appreciated this response.

It made me think of Pentecost:



"Men and brethren, what shall we do?"

Then Peter said to them, "Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call."

And with many other words he testified and exhorted them, saying, "Be saved from this perverse generation." Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day about three thousand souls were added to them.

And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.




I think you're probably ready Xenia. Why wait?

You know you're not messing around here.

"Be saved from this perverse generation."

One thing I'm curious about though: Is your presbyter very impressed and excited to have you in his congregation because you are (or perceive yourself to be) a Jew? Is he (for lack of a better term) a 'Jew worshiper'?

If this is the case... perhaps you should make him wait!
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« Reply #37 on: July 11, 2011, 04:40:39 PM »

When I met a local priest for the first time in private he seemed to be ready to chrismate me right away. I met him maybe two or three times before chrismation and the catechumenate lasted only couple of months. It would have probably been even shorter if I wasn't a little hesitant to convert so quickly. I study theology in a local university and I had attended in that parish so regularly that the priest said that he had assumed that I'm already a member of the Church but I still think that it is a little weird that people are chrismated so easily. I think a little longer catechumenate and a little more closer contact with the local clergy would have saved me from a lot of trouble.
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« Reply #38 on: July 11, 2011, 04:52:04 PM »

What trouble would it have saved you from?

I am an advocate of 'right length' catechumenates, and this depends entirely on the person concerned.

If a person is convinced of the truth of Orthodoxy, and has an appropriate level of understanding and knowledge, then I am not sure what more is required. This may take a month, but it may take a year.
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« Reply #39 on: July 11, 2011, 04:58:07 PM »

I am an advocate of 'right length' catechumenates, and this depends entirely on the person concerned.

If a person is convinced of the truth of Orthodoxy, and has an appropriate level of understanding and knowledge, then I am not sure what more is required. This may take a month, but it may take a year.

Good point, but I still think that experiencing a liturgical year and Great Lent is a good idea.
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« Reply #40 on: July 11, 2011, 05:06:37 PM »

What trouble would it have saved you from?

Let's just say that it might have taught me how to live Orthodoxy as opposed to how to theoretically speculate about Orthodoxy. I'm not really confident to discuss this in public.
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« Reply #41 on: July 11, 2011, 05:10:19 PM »

Perhaps, but it is not necessary.

How can a person who is not a baptised Orthodox properly experience the liturgical year or Great Lent?

If we believe that the grace of baptism is required to properly live the Orthodox life then all experience outside of Orthodoxy is not properly experience of Orthodoxy.

Alpo, I am still a beginner after 17 years. I am not sure that waiting to begin the journey is necessary unless there are particular issues. The journey is hard enough. We need all the spiritual resources which are available to the Orthodox Christian as soon as possible. (Note: as soon as possible, as soon as appropriate. I am not an advocate of undue haste.)
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« Reply #42 on: July 11, 2011, 06:11:47 PM »

The Antiochians in N. America must have experienced some issues from people becoming Orthodox too soon -  otherwise the booklet for the reception of converts wouldn't have a letter from Met. Philip in the front, requiring at least six months between beginning to attend and entering the Church.
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« Reply #43 on: July 11, 2011, 06:24:32 PM »

The Antiochians in N. America must have experienced some issues from people becoming Orthodox too soon -  otherwise the booklet for the reception of converts wouldn't have a letter from Met. Philip in the front, requiring at least six months between beginning to attend and entering the Church.

I wonder to what extent the catechumenate was established to combat the influence of Arianism?

(I'm pretty sure) we don't see it in the NT... This made me wonder -- when was its beginning? And what was it a reaction to or why was it deemed to be necessary in the first place?

The example of Pentecost (and others in the N.T.) show: Believe, be Baptized, be Chrismated through the laying-on of hands, receive the Holy Spirit.

All on the same day.

Anyone?
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« Reply #44 on: July 11, 2011, 07:52:20 PM »

From everything I've read, Arianism had nothing to do with it. The early, persecuted Church wanted to be very sure of whom they were letting into the Church. The catechumenate was to make sure spies and enemies were not infiltrating the Church to betray it to the authorities.

And baptismal sponsors stood surety for those entering the Church, as a witness that the candidate was legit, led a Christian life, etc.

That's what I've read various places, anyway.
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