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Author Topic: Communion and how to dress at the Divine Liturgy  (Read 3651 times) Average Rating: 0
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TristanCross
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« on: July 21, 2011, 10:25:45 PM »

Hey,

I was wondering how Orthodox Christians in the OCA do communion. I've heard that it is much different from how Roman Catholics and Lutherans do it. One of my old buddies said that the priest mixes the body and blood of Christ together and spoon-feeds it to us. Is this accurate?

Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2011, 10:28:11 PM »

Hey,

I was wondering how Orthodox Christians in the OCA do communion. I've heard that it is much different from how Roman Catholics and Lutherans do it. One of my old buddies said that the priest mixes the body and blood of Christ together and spoon-feeds it to us. Is this accurate?

Yes. Will this bother you? It does for some people.


Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?

If you wear a hair shirt and loincloth, people will know you take your Churchgoing seriously.

Go ahead....double dog dare ya!

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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2011, 10:31:19 PM »


Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?

If you wear a hair shirt and loincloth, people will know you take your Churchgoing seriously.

Go ahead....double dog dare ya!

LOL. Now THAT is hardcore.
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2011, 10:33:10 PM »

Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?

That's what I've usually worn when it's cold out, though I usually wear pants and a short sleeved plain shirt in the summer. Every parish is different, though, I suppose. You better go with the loincloth (minimum) the first time, just in case.
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« Reply #4 on: July 21, 2011, 11:04:37 PM »

Quote
I was wondering how Orthodox Christians in the OCA do communion. I've heard that it is much different from how Roman Catholics and Lutherans do it. One of my old buddies said that the priest mixes the body and blood of Christ together and spoon-feeds it to us. Is this accurate?

Question.  Isn't someone, in the Church, catechizing you?  I mean, officially teaching you?  Also, aren't you in Church to see it for yourself?  I'm just asking because it seems odd that you would ask if this is accurate since you identify yourself as a catechumen and in the OCA.
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« Reply #5 on: July 21, 2011, 11:47:40 PM »

Does Orthodoxy (At least in America) Have a problem with people dressing like slobs for the Liturgy?  RC's have this problem a lot.  I'm not crazy about the way people dress to Church these days, but I'm also not of the fanatical variety that demands suits, ties for men and Amish style dresses for women. 
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2011, 12:01:34 AM »

It's usually considered modest and proper for men to wear pants and long-sleeves, but this is not a necessity.
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2011, 12:35:36 AM »

I wear a cassock. 
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2011, 12:36:52 AM »

I wear a cassock. 

Are you a priest or deacon?
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2011, 01:07:57 AM »

It seems most people at the parish I go to wear either a suit, dress pants and a dress shirt, or a dress, or a skirt and blouse (only ladies for the last two).  I don't think I've ever seen anyone in a t-shirt and jeans or anything like that, but I can't say such a person would be negatively viewed necessarily.

I wear a pair of black cargo pants (other than a pair of pants I need hemmed, these are my dressiest pants), and a short sleeved button down, plain red shirt with a collar.  If the red shirt is dirty, I wear a button down Western style (light) orange and white shirt, with khaki colored cargo pants.
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2011, 01:09:42 AM »

I wear a cassock. 

Are you a priest or deacon?

I'm the guy that helps park the cars
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2011, 01:11:36 AM »

Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?

You don't even need to get that fancy. Dress to whatever you think of yours that best glorifies God, within the bounds of sufficient modesty.
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2011, 09:05:40 AM »

Hey,

I was wondering how Orthodox Christians in the OCA do communion. I've heard that it is much different from how Roman Catholics and Lutherans do it. One of my old buddies said that the priest mixes the body and blood of Christ together and spoon-feeds it to us. Is this accurate?

Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?
Like another responder I find it odd that a catechumen has never been to a Divine Liturgy.

Orthodox Christians are generally conservative in their "Sunday-go-t'-meetin'" clothes, but the details will vary from one parish to another. Long pants/trousers/slacks (have I covered the English-speaking world?) are almost certainly expected. Long vs short-sleeved shirts - that will vary. I've tried to stick with long sleeves, but in the space we rent, we haven't been able to get the air conditioning working properly for the last couple of Sundays so this coming week it will be short sleeves. I stand to chant all Orthros and Divine Liturgy. Come to think of it, I believe I noticed my priest wearing short sleeves when he removed his vestments last Sunday.

There are lots of dress code discussion topics on these forums. Plenty of interesting reading.

As for Communion, as a catechumen, you won't be receiving in any case, so you will see it plenty of times so you will be able to observe closely what the procedures are.
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2011, 10:48:20 AM »

There's not really any "dress code" beyond "modest". I personally wear a suit. Sometimes, just slacks or khakis and a shirt at Vespers. A lot of times that's because I'm doing other things before and after and don't want to wear a full suit or get the jacket wrinkled just sitting int he car.

Think of it this way: this is the Temple of God. What do you think you should wear? Go with that. For some, that's a suit, for some that's slacks and a shirt, etc. Wearing shorts is, in my opinion, inappropriate as this is more of a relaxation thing and not really suitable for the Temple of God. You wouldn't go to a meeting with the president wearing shorts, so why when you go to the Temple, which is far greater?
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2011, 10:56:40 AM »

For men, business casual (even if I tend to dress up a bit more, but that's just me).  And don't worry about it too much.  
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2011, 11:17:06 AM »

Also I would avoid polos, but that's mainly because I find them to be awful.  Wink
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2011, 11:31:18 AM »

I often wear slacks and a long sleeved shirt. Sometimes short sleeve (always with a collar) and sometimes jeans rather than slacks.
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2011, 11:36:57 AM »

I see everything from muscle tees and jeans (Greek church, people) to suits, but the latter are usually only on the oldest members.

Mr. Ismi wears slacks, a t-shirt, a black pair of shoes only reserved for church, and a dress shirt on top of the tee. He has to roll up his sleeves, though, which exposes his tattoos.  Roll Eyes But he's only gotten compliments on them so far. Whew!
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« Reply #18 on: July 22, 2011, 11:41:26 AM »

I wear a cassock. 

Are you a priest or deacon?

I'm the guy that helps park the cars

I guess if the church has valet parking you should wear a suit.
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« Reply #19 on: July 22, 2011, 09:48:56 PM »

Hey,

I was wondering how Orthodox Christians in the OCA do communion. I've heard that it is much different from how Roman Catholics and Lutherans do it. One of my old buddies said that the priest mixes the body and blood of Christ together and spoon-feeds it to us. Is this accurate?

Yes.

Quote
Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?

Dress respectfully. Pants and a shirt should be fine. Just remember you're going for the purpose of worshipping God and you should be able to figure it out.
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« Reply #20 on: July 22, 2011, 09:54:05 PM »

Does Orthodoxy (At least in America) Have a problem with people dressing like slobs for the Liturgy?  RC's have this problem a lot.  I'm not crazy about the way people dress to Church these days, but I'm also not of the fanatical variety that demands suits, ties for men and Amish style dresses for women. 

I can't speak for every parish, but we don't have a major problem with that, but that might have to do with the email our priest sends out every spring asking everyone to dress respectfully.
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« Reply #21 on: July 23, 2011, 02:47:31 AM »

Does Orthodoxy (At least in America) Have a problem with people dressing like slobs for the Liturgy?  RC's have this problem a lot.  I'm not crazy about the way people dress to Church these days, but I'm also not of the fanatical variety that demands suits, ties for men and Amish style dresses for women. 

I can't speak for every parish, but we don't have a major problem with that, but that might have to do with the email our priest sends out every spring asking everyone to dress respectfully.

They do that in the RCC too, notes in the church bulletin asking everyone to dress respectfully in the summer months.  Unfortunately people seem to take these ads with the same discretion as they do with the ones that ask veryone to turn their cell phones off during services.
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« Reply #22 on: July 23, 2011, 09:22:08 AM »

wear a long enough top so you don't show your butt crack when you're bending down to pray/worship/prostrate.
i'm serious! i find bare bottoms distracting.
 police
i think 'long' shorts that cover the knees are ok, but don't wear a really tight top that shows your muscles/fat tummy (delete as appropriate!)
short sleeves are also ok, but vest tops are too small, don't distract/tempt your sisters!

if the people in your church are low social class, they might wear casual long trousers (or long shorts) and t shirts.
if they are high social class, they will be in suits.
in my church, they are a big mix, but most people reserve suits for weddings/Christmas/easter(Pascha) etc. some people come in t-shirts and jeans and others are smarter.

if u have no clue, i recommend a clean but not ultra-smart long sleeve shirt (you can roll up if folk have short sleeves) and long trousers that are not ultra-smart. that way you won't embarrass any poor people, but also you will look smart enough. you could always keep a tie in your bag in case of emergency! from what i have seen in the news, most of usa is very hot right now, so i don't think a jacket is a good idea unless there is fierce air conditioning (we don't need air conditioning in uk!) - maybe a t shirt in your bag is a good idea, so you can pop to the bathroom and put it under the shirt if there is air conditioning.

for ladies, i would recommend the same, but a skirt, not trousers/pants. in my church several ladies wear trousers, but, from what i have read, most OCA churches are not keen on trousers. look at your self in the mirror before you go and try to bend down, and if you can see clearly the outline of your beautiful butt, get a looser skirt. skirts should reach to the knees so u don't distract the guys, and don't show your breasts/cleavage, it can be really distracting. a few women in my church wear dark leggings and long tops that reach nearly to the knees, no-one seems to mind this. it is generally not a good look on guys.
 Wink
visiting ladies are not expected to wear a headscarf - if u are not sure, keep one in your bag and decide when you get there if you feel comfortable with it.

i hope this helps! the main thing is to go and learn from God. He sees yr heart when He looks at u, not yr clothes!
 Smiley
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« Reply #23 on: July 23, 2011, 01:28:25 PM »

No matter how we dress, God will not be impressed. The idea is that we leave the world behind and enter a place that is conducive to prayer. Dress with modesty in mind.
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« Reply #24 on: July 23, 2011, 03:36:21 PM »

I wear a cassock. 

Are you a priest or deacon?

I'm the guy that helps park the cars

Why?
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« Reply #25 on: July 23, 2011, 07:26:58 PM »

No matter how we dress, God will not be impressed. The idea is that we leave the world behind and enter a place that is conducive to prayer. Dress with modesty in mind.

You don't dress to impress God, you dress to respect God.
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« Reply #26 on: July 23, 2011, 08:52:59 PM »

Wrinkled jeans and a tshirt. There should be a canon for that.
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« Reply #27 on: July 23, 2011, 10:14:17 PM »

What if that's the best thing the person has? What if they're poor?
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« Reply #28 on: July 23, 2011, 10:17:22 PM »

What if that's the best thing the person has? What if they're poor?

Mark 12:
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41 And Jesus sitting over against the treasury, beheld how the people cast money into the treasury. And many that were rich cast in much. 42 And there came a certain poor widow: and she cast in two mites, which make a farthing. 43 And calling his disciples together, he says to them: Amen I say to you, this poor widow has cast in more than all they who have cast into the treasury. 44 For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want cast in all she had, even her whole living.
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« Reply #29 on: July 23, 2011, 10:54:27 PM »

One of my old buddies said that the priest mixes the body and blood of Christ together and spoon-feeds it to us. Is this accurate?


This is the norm in any Orthodox Church, isn't it?
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« Reply #30 on: July 23, 2011, 11:48:03 PM »

As for myself, I put on the light like a garment.
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« Reply #31 on: July 24, 2011, 12:56:25 AM »

That's on sundays.On fast days I prefer sackcloth and ashes.
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« Reply #32 on: July 24, 2011, 03:29:30 AM »

As for myself, I put on the light like a garment.


Is this your way of saying you go naked?
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« Reply #33 on: July 24, 2011, 04:46:21 AM »

White washed sepulchers and all that.

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« Reply #34 on: July 24, 2011, 08:02:09 AM »

I was wondering how Orthodox Christians in the OCA do communion. I've heard that it is much different from how Roman Catholics and Lutherans do it. One of my old buddies said that the priest mixes the body and blood of Christ together and spoon-feeds it to us. Is this accurate?

The practice you are referring to is called Intinction. I would suggest that you learn this word and add it to your vocabulary. Remember that the Orthodox use leavened bread for the Eucharist.  This makes Intinction easier because the bread is raised and is usually quite dry in my experience.  Therefore it absorbs the wine quite easily. In preparing the Chalice for communion, the priest cuts up the Lamb (the Consecrated Bread) into little cubes. He then places them into the Chalice in which wine and boiling hot water have already been added. Thus the Body and Blood of Christ are served to the laity mixed together.  Receiving the Eucharist from the Communion spoon is not as gross or as unsanitary as it might sound at first.  In my experience, the priest reaches down into the Chalice with the spoon and scoops up a small cube of the wine-soaked bread with it.  He lifts it to the communicant's mouth and the communicant opens his mouth, then the spoon, with the Body and Blood of Christ on it, briefly goes into the mouth of the communicant just long enough for the person to partake, and the priest then removes it and places it back in the Chalice.  Usually two altar boys will stand on each side of the Chalice holding up a large red cloth under the communicant's chin.  It is to prevent accidents in case the priest misses your mouth with the spoon and to keep the Body and Blood of Christ from falling to the floor. After the communicant has received, the altar boys will usually wipe your mouth with the communion cloth to absorb any droplets of the precious Blood that might remain there. Intinction is a fine practice, hallowed by centuries of Orthodox tradition, and is both a reverent and efficient way to commune people. (I think it often takes Lutherans much longer to commune the same number of people than it does the Orthodox because the Lutherans administer the elements separately.)

Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?

You don't have to wear a suit. Just follow the principle of modesty and remember not to expose too much flesh or wear clothing that is so tight that it reveals you body parts. Here's what I would recommend for men:
1. No shorts.  Wear long pants.
2. No flip flops.  Wear shoes.
3. No muscles shirts, tank-tops or "wife-beater" style undershirts.  No one wants to see your hairy armpits in church.

A dress shirt and slacks are perfectly acceptable.
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« Reply #35 on: July 24, 2011, 12:34:06 PM »

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No one wants to see your hairy armpits in church.
If they aren't hairy, would there be anyone interested in seeing them Huh
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« Reply #36 on: July 26, 2011, 10:43:30 AM »

What should you wear to the Divine Liturgy?

This is actually a very simple answer---your best clothes you have available! You are in the presence of the King.

Does this mean a suit and a tie  (for men and boys) a beautiful suit for (woman or girls)?

Not necessarily. In one of the parishes I served was a very poor family. The males of the family wore their everyday jeans, a clean shirt, and for dad a bolo tie---the jeans were stiffly starched and pressed, the shirts crisp with  ironed creases.  The wife and the girls wore simple clean gingham dresses, white head scarfs and everything obviously starched and pressed. They wore their best made even better by the extra effort that they took to make the ordinary, extra ordinary.

If the best one has is slacks with a polo shirt (business casual) or a shift with sleeves (daily dress)---this is what you wear.

The intent is to present ourselves to our Lord in our best presentation, however it is not what one looks like on the outside but what we look like on the inside. Remember the white painted sepulchres of the Bible---white and clean on the outside but full of corruption and death on the insides.

"Let us Attend" the Holy services both clean outside and inside so we may truely honor the court of the Lord God our King!

Thomas
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« Reply #37 on: July 26, 2011, 12:35:03 PM »

No matter how we dress, God will not be impressed. The idea is that we leave the world behind and enter a place that is conducive to prayer. Dress with modesty in mind.

You don't dress to impress God, you dress to respect God.

How so?

Some dress out of egoism or fear.
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I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
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« Reply #38 on: July 26, 2011, 12:40:58 PM »

I think we miss the point if we dogmatize on dress. At least, we should not worry about others'  dress, and then we can work on not worrying about our dress and focusing first on what is most worthy of our focus.
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Quote from: GabrieltheCelt
If you spend long enough on this forum, you'll come away with all sorts of weird, untrue ideas of Orthodox Christianity.
Quote from: orthonorm
I would suggest most persons in general avoid any question beginning with why.
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« Reply #39 on: July 27, 2011, 12:37:23 PM »

Strange that in a post only two days later, the OP is familiar enough with how the Orthodox do communion that he knows what "antidoron" means:  

http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,37708.msg606249.html#msg606249
« Last Edit: July 27, 2011, 12:37:35 PM by theistgal » Logged

"Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals' and move on.'' (owner of Coney Island freak show, upon learning he'd been outbid on a 5-legged puppy)
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« Reply #40 on: July 27, 2011, 08:27:47 PM »

I see everything from muscle tees and jeans (Greek church, people)[...]

Wow, sometimes I think you are living my life.
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The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
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« Reply #41 on: July 27, 2011, 08:32:56 PM »

What should you wear to the Divine Liturgy?

This is actually a very simple answer---your best clothes you have available! You are in the presence of the King.

I don't think there is such a thing as "best" clothes.

My most expensive clothing is my work attire and wearing it makes me feel like I'm about to visit a client, not receive the King of All invisibly escorted by the angelic orders.

Sorry to pick on this, as I know you are giving useful advice to a catachumen, but it's just something I find a bit difficult.
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The Episcopallian road is easy and wide, for many go through it to find destruction. lol sorry channeling Isa.
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« Reply #42 on: July 27, 2011, 11:11:48 PM »

Hey,

I was wondering how Orthodox Christians in the OCA do communion. I've heard that it is much different from how Roman Catholics and Lutherans do it. One of my old buddies said that the priest mixes the body and blood of Christ together and spoon-feeds it to us. Is this accurate?

Also, how should I dress for the Divine Liturgy? I've heard that you should wear a suit. Is a dress shirt and slacks fine, though?

How can you be a catechumen if you haven't been to a liturgy. Being a catechumen is actually something that you go through a rite for, not just wanting to convert to Orthodoxy. At most it sounds like you have an interest or are an inquirer.
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« Reply #43 on: July 28, 2011, 03:13:01 AM »

I was told I am a catechumen.
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"Let the mouth also fast from disgraceful speeches and railings. For what does it profit if we abstain from fish and fowl and yet bite and devour our brothers and sisters? The evil speaker eats the flesh of his brother and bites the body of his neighbor. "
— St. John Chrysostom
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« Reply #44 on: July 28, 2011, 09:17:24 AM »

I was told I am a catechumen.

So are you no longer in RCIA, as you were in January of this year?  If not, and you have decided to become Orthodox, that's great - but wouldn't you have to have attended at least one Divine Liturgy and spoken with a priest in order to now be a catechumen there?

(I'm not trying to be snarky, it's just that I have been away for a few months and am trying to catch up.  Smiley )
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"Sometimes, you just gotta say, 'OK, I still have nine live, two-headed animals' and move on.'' (owner of Coney Island freak show, upon learning he'd been outbid on a 5-legged puppy)
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