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Author Topic: Selecting a Chrismation date  (Read 2741 times) Average Rating: 0
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Mariama
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« on: October 11, 2011, 10:40:20 AM »

Slava isusu Christu! 

I joined this site several months ago, but I believe this is my first post.  I've been lurking quite a bit, getting most of my questions answered through reading several threads, but with this one I'd like some help. 

My husband and I have been asked to set a date for when we will become members of our church.  I will be Chrismated and my husband and girls will only need to recite the Creed.  I'm having difficulty coming up with a date mainly because of my unfamiliarity with Orthodox saints, and thus my ignorance about upcoming saint days.  Our wedding anniversary was suggested by our priest, but it is not for a few more months and the only other personal special day to us that is soon is my daughter's birthday -- a day my husband wants to avoid. 

Any suggestions on choosing a date? 

Thanks in advance.
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« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2011, 11:37:03 AM »

Though I understand your desire to enter the church now, the traditional date of reception is Pascha though Pentecost too is also a good time.  I have also seen some people come in at Nativity or even Theophany.  Just some suggestions.  But, if I may suggest, perhaps you should wait until Pascha to ensure a lenten prepration for the holy days of holy days.  Again just a suggestion.
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« Reply #2 on: October 11, 2011, 11:52:16 AM »

Thank you for your thoughtful response.  May I ask why the suggestion to wait until Pascha?  What, if any, difference is there in our Lenten preparations as catechumens vs. already being Orthodox?

Right now, we are in an awkward position as we have left our former Byzantine Catholic parish and attend liturgy solely at our "new" church; the awkwardness is that we are not in a state of grace in the Catholic church, and we are obviously unable to receive Communion yet in our new "home".  We could go back to our old church, confess, receive Communion there, and attend liturgies at both churches, but that would confuse the children and would be contrary to what our beliefs are. 

I do respect the idea of waiting.  It would be pose some difficulty, though.
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« Reply #3 on: October 11, 2011, 01:41:58 PM »

Thank you for your thoughtful response.  May I ask why the suggestion to wait until Pascha?  What, if any, difference is there in our Lenten preparations as catechumens vs. already being Orthodox?

Right now, we are in an awkward position as we have left our former Byzantine Catholic parish and attend liturgy solely at our "new" church; the awkwardness is that we are not in a state of grace in the Catholic church, and we are obviously unable to receive Communion yet in our new "home".  We could go back to our old church, confess, receive Communion there, and attend liturgies at both churches, but that would confuse the children and would be contrary to what our beliefs are.  

I do respect the idea of waiting.  It would be pose some difficulty, though.

It's a difficult position. I was Protestant prior to my conversion to Orthodoxy, but once I recognized the Church as such, I couldn't commune there anymore, even before I was officially made a catechumen (several months later...but that's another story). I spent roughly a year out of communion with EVERYONE. About half of that year I was simply an inquirer who was convinced of Orthodoxy (even though I was unable to return to the parish I was attending, having to move back to my hometown for awhile). So, I attended a Protestant church pastored by my uncle, and I enjoyed being an vocal presence (as I had been before) although I stepped down from all of my lay positions there and would not commune. The other half was after I was able to move back up to my parish, be enrolled into the catechumenate, and go through my final preparations before baptism. It was tough.

That said, I would do it again. I wasn't baptized at Pascha, but Palm Sunday, so I was able to experience Holy Week as a member of the faithful, while still experiencing Great Lent as a catechumen. That was very special to me, to know that that time was specifically designed by the Church to prepare me for illumination. I took great comfort and even joy in the prayers "for those preparing for Holy Illumination" at the Pre-Sanctified Liturgies. It was all very beautiful and moving for me. I will always treasure that experience.

However, I also understand your desire to commune and be received into the Church. I think any of the Great Feasts are a good opportunity (the next one is the Entrance of the Theotokos in the Temple (Nov. 21), and then Christmas. Also, the feast day for any saint that is special to you, or an otherwise important (widely venerated) saint. In the next few months, we have a lot! They include (dates given are for the New Calendar):

Luke the Evangelist (Oct. 18)
Demetrios the Greatmartyr and Myrrhgusher (Oct. 26)
John (Kochurov) the New Heiromartyr (Oct. 31)
Synaxis of the Archangel Michael and the others (Nov. 8)
St. John Chrysostom (Nov. 13)
Apostle Philip of the Twelve (Nov. 14)
Righteous Emperor Justinian (Nov. 14)
Gregory Palamas (Nov. 14)
Apostle Matthew the Evangelist (Nov. 16)
The Right-Believing Great Prince Alexander Nevsky (Nov. 23)
Greatmartyr Katherine of Alexandria (Nov. 24)
Heiromartyr Clement, Pope of Rome (Nov. 25)
Clement of Ochrid, Equal-to-the-Apostles (Nov. 25)
Apostle Andrew the First-Called (Nov. 30)
Greatmartyr Barbara (Dec. 4)
Alexander the New Heiromartyr (Dec. 4)
Venerable Sabbas the Sanctified (Dec. 5)
Nicholas the Wonderworker, Bishop of Myra (Dec. 6)
Ambrose, Bishop of Milan (Dec. 7)
Conception of the Theotokos by the Righteous Anna (Dec. 9)
Venerable Herman of Alaska (Dec. 13)
Heiromartyr Ignatius the God-Bearer, Bishop of Antioch (Dec. 20)
Protomartyr Stephen (Dec. 27)

While these are all important, I realized after the fact how long a list I made! So, I went back and bolded the "really" important ones. Also, if there's an Old Testament figure you and your family have a particular devotion to, they probably have a feast day during Nativity Fast, which is dedicated mainly to OT figures. Anyway, I hope this is helpful and not too much info! Best wishes as you discern this most important event in your life!
« Last Edit: October 11, 2011, 01:43:11 PM by Benjamin the Red » Logged

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« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2011, 02:07:16 PM »

Wow, thank you for that thorough list.  It is much appreciated!  Thank you also for sharing your experience with being in somewhat of a limbo during your conversion.  I admit, our situation could have been handled with more finesse, but what's done is done and now we are where we belong -- almost.   Smiley
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« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2011, 10:52:00 PM »

Thank you for your thoughtful response.  May I ask why the suggestion to wait until Pascha?  What, if any, difference is there in our Lenten preparations as catechumens vs. already being Orthodox?

Right now, we are in an awkward position as we have left our former Byzantine Catholic parish and attend liturgy solely at our "new" church; the awkwardness is that we are not in a state of grace in the Catholic church, and we are obviously unable to receive Communion yet in our new "home".  We could go back to our old church, confess, receive Communion there, and attend liturgies at both churches, but that would confuse the children and would be contrary to what our beliefs are. 

I do respect the idea of waiting.  It would be pose some difficulty, though.

Why wait until Pascha?  I don't want to give you the old "well, that's the tradition" excuse which really suits no one, but consider this.  The Great Lenten fast with abstinence from certain foods (if not whole meals) and the increased church prayer life prepare us for Pascha which is Christ's act of liberation of us from our passions.  Lent is the school lesson for how we are to live our entire lives. Illumination in the context of Christ's triumph over death will just be organic.  I can only speak for myself, but that's how it was for me.  But if the decision is solely left to you by your priest, ask him for his opinion too.
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2011, 01:05:50 PM »

Just a thought.

Does it have to be a "special" day other than the fact you're being received into the Church?

I pushed my chrismation date back for about 6 months from feastday to the next feastday without being received into the Church. Stuff just kept coming up. I finally decided with my priest one sunday to do it "two weeks from today". I can understand wanting to be chrismated on a day that has a special comemmoration or major feast, but at the same time, it's not exactly "necessary".
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2011, 02:13:56 PM »

It certainly doesn't need to be a special day, but our priest was kind enough to ask if there was a particular day that is already special to us that we'd like to select.  It's a gracious idea of him to let us pick the day, IMO. 

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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2011, 02:30:02 PM »

once i was sure i could become orthodox (and had sorted out the effect on close family), i called my priest the next day (a thursday) and finally joined the orthodox church only 2 days later!
i was always a bit impatient...
 Wink
but it turned out to be the feast day of saint matthias, who was already special to me, so i was impressed by that and thanked God who sorted it all out for me.
so i wouldn't necessarily wait too long if you are sure, the family is ok about it and yr priest agrees.
 Smiley
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« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2011, 01:01:27 PM »

OP, I'd suggest Christmas (Nativity) or right before, as that way you have a fast in preparation, even though it's not Great Lent. I was chrismated the Sunday before Christmas.

Don't remember if your parish is Old Calendar or New Calendar. If it's Old Calendar, remember to make the adjustment to Nativity being on January 7th civil calendar.
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« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2011, 05:35:54 PM »

Though I understand your desire to enter the church now, the traditional date of reception is Pascha though Pentecost too is also a good time.  I have also seen some people come in at Nativity or even Theophany.  Just some suggestions.  But, if I may suggest, perhaps you should wait until Pascha to ensure a lenten prepration for the holy days of holy days.  Again just a suggestion.

We had some enter at the elevation of the cross this year...but I agree it is highly recommended to go through at least one Paschal season before becoming chrismated. I don't see how anyone could disagree with that advice.
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« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2011, 06:10:33 PM »

The Feast of the Presentation of the Theotokos is Monday, November 21 (NC) or Sunday, December 4, 2011 (OC).

That would fall during the Nativity Fast, and would also be a good day for Chrismation and Reception into the Orthodox Church.
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« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2011, 05:26:55 AM »

Thank you for the suggestions. 
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« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2011, 08:03:34 AM »

It certainly doesn't need to be a special day, but our priest was kind enough to ask if there was a particular day that is already special to us that we'd like to select.  It's a gracious idea of him to let us pick the day, IMO. 



As I am reading through one thing that keeps popping into my little brain is that any day a person is brought into the Church becomes a special day.   Grin
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« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2011, 08:28:57 AM »

It certainly doesn't need to be a special day, but our priest was kind enough to ask if there was a particular day that is already special to us that we'd like to select.  It's a gracious idea of him to let us pick the day, IMO. 



As I am reading through one thing that keeps popping into my little brain is that any day a person is brought into the Church becomes a special day.   Grin

I love this.  Thank you for the kind words.   Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: October 15, 2011, 08:43:29 AM »

I also would suggest the Nativity. It is a traditional day to recieve converts, as we sing the "Anti-trisagion" that day: "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia."

This time around, the Nativity is on the weekend, so it's a convenient time. And as someone else said, the Nativity follows a Lenten period, so it is like Pascha in many ways. Something to consider.
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« Reply #16 on: October 15, 2011, 09:48:59 AM »

Theophany (January 6) is also a traditional day to receive converts into the Church, since it is the day Christ was baptized in the Jordan.
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« Reply #17 on: October 15, 2011, 11:32:05 AM »

I also would suggest the Nativity. It is a traditional day to recieve converts, as we sing the "Anti-trisagion" that day: "As many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. Alleluia."

This time around, the Nativity is on the weekend, so it's a convenient time. And as someone else said, the Nativity follows a Lenten period, so it is like Pascha in many ways. Something to consider.

To borrow Fr. Thomas Hopko's words, Nativity is the Winter Pascha.
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« Reply #18 on: October 15, 2011, 07:34:41 PM »

Also, you can get lots of candy.  Grin
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« Reply #19 on: October 15, 2011, 08:32:50 PM »

Also, you can get lots of candy.  Grin

Ar you talking about Halloween, Christmas, or Pascha?
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« Reply #20 on: October 15, 2011, 10:16:37 PM »

Christmas. There are lots of candy sales at the drugstores here.  Smiley
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« Reply #21 on: October 16, 2011, 05:18:12 PM »

Well, a date was set.  Today.   Grin

My family was received into our church and I received Holy Chrism after Liturgy earlier today.  I woke up this morning thinking, "this could be a good day" so we asked our priest and he agreed.  I felt an enormous weight lifted off of my shoulders after confession and a great sense of peace after everything was finished (plus while everything was going on).  I cannot wait until next Sunday to receive communion -- it's been a long time, and now I finally feel as if I'm in the right place spiritually. 

Thanks for the responses and feedback, it has been appreciated. 
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« Reply #22 on: October 16, 2011, 05:19:35 PM »

Woh. Well ok then! Congrats! Years aplenty!  Grin
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« Reply #23 on: October 16, 2011, 05:42:50 PM »

That was easy! But now the real work begins. Best wishes for your continued journey. I hope you'll feel at home at church and here.
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« Reply #24 on: October 16, 2011, 06:54:44 PM »

mamy years!
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« Reply #25 on: October 16, 2011, 07:43:27 PM »

God grant you many years.

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« Reply #26 on: October 17, 2011, 07:02:48 AM »

Thank you.   Smiley
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« Reply #27 on: October 17, 2011, 07:54:59 AM »

Many Years!
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« Reply #28 on: October 18, 2011, 04:03:27 PM »

may God fill u with the depths of His love and may you never stop searching for more until the day you all see Him face to face.
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« Reply #29 on: October 18, 2011, 08:18:34 PM »

Many Years!!!
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« Reply #30 on: October 19, 2011, 05:34:38 AM »

Many years!  Grin
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