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gonefishing
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« on: May 25, 2012, 11:17:19 PM »

I was raised Catholic and then stopped going to church for 30 years.  I started going back on and off three years ago but it just doesn't feel right.  I guess it never did because of how long I stayed away.  There's an Orthodox Christian church near me.  This one: http://www.greekorthodoxchurchbuffalo.org/ 

I hope that doesn't get pegged for a spam link.  Anyway, I want to convert.  I'm at square one and absolutely clueless.  First of all, what is Othros/Matins if the Liturgy is something else?  Do they use anything comparable to missals? I don't know the difference between the two services or how they're organized.  Yeah, what do I do.  I'm clueless. 
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2012, 12:00:47 AM »

Welcome to the board.  Smiley You've come to the right place. Othros/Matins is a preparatory service that precedes the liturgy.There is usually no break between so if the service is already going on when you come in don't worry about it. The Antiochian church I attend and a Carpatho-Russian church I've visited both have service books, don't know about the Greeks, but it's probably easiest just to watch and listen and smell the first couple times anyway.  Be sure to stay for the coffee hour after service and don't feel the need to do anything your not comfortable doing. God bless your journey. angel
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Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2012, 12:02:58 AM »

Okay, either everyone is asleep or I've been pegged as a troll or 'drive-by poster.'  Let's start with an easier question because I'm so lost, I don't even know where square one is.  

I can't find this info on my intended parish's website--what version of the Bible do Orthodox Christian churches prefer?  There was always a Douay-Rheims in my grandparents' home, and I have the New American Bible that was the version my Catholic church requested we have.  I've never gone KJV and hope I don't have to.  What version of the Bible does the OC prefer?
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« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2012, 12:04:57 AM »

Welcome to the board.  Smiley You've come to the right place. Othros/Matins is a preparatory service that precedes the liturgy.There is usually no break between so if the service is already going on when you come in don't worry about it. The Antiochian church I attend and a Carpatho-Russian church I've visited both have service books, don't know about the Greeks, but it's probably easiest just to watch and listen and smell the first couple times anyway.  Be sure to stay for the coffee hour after service and don't feel the need to do anything your not comfortable doing. God bless your journey. angel

Thank you so much.  For a minute there, I thought I was being shunned.  lol.  Reading some of the threads on this site and so many go over my head.  I'm hoping this is something I can understand over time.
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« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2012, 12:18:37 AM »

Welcome to the board.  Smiley You've come to the right place. Othros/Matins is a preparatory service that precedes the liturgy.There is usually no break between so if the service is already going on when you come in don't worry about it. The Antiochian church I attend and a Carpatho-Russian church I've visited both have service books, don't know about the Greeks, but it's probably easiest just to watch and listen and smell the first couple times anyway.  Be sure to stay for the coffee hour after service and don't feel the need to do anything your not comfortable doing. God bless your journey. angel

Thank you so much.  For a minute there, I thought I was being shunned.  lol.  Reading some of the threads on this site and so many go over my head.  I'm hoping this is something I can understand over time.

Your quite welcome.

I can't find this info on my intended parish's website--what version of the Bible do Orthodox Christian churches prefer?  There was always a Douay-Rheims in my grandparents' home, and I have the New American Bible that was the version my Catholic church requested we have.  I've never gone KJV and hope I don't have to.  What version of the Bible does the OC prefer?

Nobody's ever told me I needed a particular type of Bible. I like my Orthodox Study Bible but some don't like it as much. There are opinions on what are better and worse versions but nothing dogmatic about it. I know there are threads on here about which Bibles are better and worse. Such as this one http://www.orthodoxchristianity.net/forum/index.php/topic,44801.0.html.
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Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
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« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2012, 12:30:18 AM »

Welcome aboard!  I attend a Greek Orthodox Mission across the country from you.  For the Orthros Ordinary, I use:   A Prayer Book for Orthodox Christians, translated from the Greek by the Holy Transfiguration Monastery.  ISBN:  0-943405-01-7.  I print out the variable part from https://www.ematins.org, where you can also print out the Orthros Ordinary from a link at the bottom of the page.  You can begin reading about Orthros here:  http://orthodoxwiki.org/Orthros.  One of the best things to do is jump in and visit an Orthros and Liturgy service.  Introduce yourself to the priest and a few parishioners.
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« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2012, 12:32:04 AM »

Thank you both!!


By the way, that first link at https://www.ematins.org wouldn't work for me until I deleted the 's' after http.  http://www.ematins.org
« Last Edit: May 26, 2012, 12:34:23 AM by gonefishing » Logged
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« Reply #7 on: May 27, 2012, 04:48:26 AM »

Found another link I think is helpful, although at this point, one of the main sources of confusion for me are the various 'jurisdictions' and their significance.  Not sure if the differences are just regional or procedural, or if they're doctrinal.  This article is on an antiochian website: http://www.antiochian.org/content/first-visit-orthodox-church-twelve-things-i-wish-id-known

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« Reply #8 on: May 27, 2012, 04:57:54 AM »

Found another link I think is helpful, although at this point, one of the main sources of confusion for me are the various 'jurisdictions' and their significance.  Not sure if the differences are just regional or procedural, or if they're doctrinal.  This article is on an antiochian website: http://www.antiochian.org/content/first-visit-orthodox-church-twelve-things-i-wish-id-known


I'll let others get more in depth if they want, but alot of the jurisdictions like "Greek Orthodox" "Russian Orthodox" etc. are more targeted for the ethnicities they represent and language. The parishes I've been to are usually a combination of half English and then half of whatever language the parish is. Same doctrine though.

The rule of thumb people would advise here is if English is your native language, then attend a parish that speaks 100% English. I was attending a Greek parish for awhile because I was really interested in learning the Greek language.
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« Reply #9 on: May 27, 2012, 01:41:54 PM »

Thank you both!!


By the way, that first link at https://www.ematins.org wouldn't work for me until I deleted the 's' after http.  http://www.ematins.org
Oops.  Sorry about that.
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« Reply #10 on: May 27, 2012, 04:50:47 PM »

Thank you both!!


By the way, that first link at https://www.ematins.org wouldn't work for me until I deleted the 's' after http.  http://www.ematins.org
Oops.  Sorry about that.


No problem.   Smiley
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« Reply #11 on: May 27, 2012, 05:23:28 PM »

Found another link I think is helpful, although at this point, one of the main sources of confusion for me are the various 'jurisdictions' and their significance.  Not sure if the differences are just regional or procedural, or if they're doctrinal.  This article is on an antiochian website: http://www.antiochian.org/content/first-visit-orthodox-church-twelve-things-i-wish-id-known



There are a few differences. Mainly things like what Psalms are used for the antiphons in the Liturgy, whether or not the Beatitudes are said every week, the type of music (the GOA and Antiochian Churches typically use Byzantine chant, the Slavic churches have a different, more "Western" sounding scale). Antiochian and Greek parishes usually serve Matins/Orthros before Liturgy while Russian-descended parishes might go with the 3rd and 9th hours. Russians and Antiochians will also have Vespers on Saturday nights (and ROCOR will usually go for an "All-night" [read: Vespers+Matins] Vigil) while Greek parishes usually don't. There's also some differences in the fasting practices.

Doctrine, on the other hand, is universal (the Creed, Seven Councils, the Ever-virginity of the Theotokos, theosis, the energy-essence distinction). Everything else that hasn't been specifically defined as doctrine or heresy is left to opinion and can vary from parish to parish.
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« Reply #12 on: May 27, 2012, 05:54:09 PM »

I would add to the above by Achronos that this is the case in the US, in the old world each church was localized to the country. So the Russian church would be the Church in Russia, the Greek church would be the church in Greece etc. America is a different situation because of the way it was populated by immigrants. This is different than the way Rome expanded.

In the earliest days of the Church, as I understand it, the ancient major centers of Christianity in the Roman empire such as Rome, Antioch, and Alexandria had jurisdiction not only over their immediate area but over larger sections of the empire and beyond. As Christianity continued to grow in the West Rome maintained that way of looking at things. In the east, of course, there were several jurisdictions to begin with and as the Church there expanded they spawned new jurisdictions based on country. Each jurisdiction was and is presided over by a Patriarch (the  Roman Pope being the the Patriarch of Rome) each Patriarch equal to the others.

Differences as noted above by FormerReformer may be procedural or stylistic but certainly not doctrinal. In the Antiochian parish I'm part of we have an OCA (Orthodox Church in America) priest who attends and co-celebrates (is that the right term?) with our Antiochian Priest. My uncle who is a retired OCA priest has filled in at a Carpatho-Russian parish when their priest was gone. The different jurisdictions of the Eastern Orthodox church are all in communion with each other and many things in that sense as described are interchangeable. Don't know how much of this you may already know but hopefully this goes a ways towards answering your question. If anyone spots an error in what I've said please correct me.
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Psalm 37:23 The Lord guides a man safely in the way he should go.

Prov. 3: 5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.
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« Reply #13 on: May 27, 2012, 06:03:05 PM »

I was raised Catholic and then stopped going to church for 30 years.  I started going back on and off three years ago but it just doesn't feel right.  I guess it never did because of how long I stayed away.  There's an Orthodox Christian church near me.  This one: http://www.greekorthodoxchurchbuffalo.org/ 

I hope that doesn't get pegged for a spam link.  Anyway, I want to convert.  I'm at square one and absolutely clueless.  First of all, what is Othros/Matins if the Liturgy is something else?  Do they use anything comparable to missals? I don't know the difference between the two services or how they're organized.  Yeah, what do I do.  I'm clueless. 

I am glad to see another Buffalonian here, which helps my responces because im also local.

The best advice that i can give you is attend Liturgy, and then go downstairs for coffee hour afterwards, and talk to either Fr. Christos or Fr. Perikles during coffee hour, an ask them with any questions that you might have. The Liturgy is in half greek and half english, with the Creed and Our Father being spoken in both English and Greek.

If you would desire a parish that uses almost exclusivly english(aka a 95%/5% english slavonic split), then there is always my parish, Sts. Theodore in Williamsville, NY. http://ststheodore.org/

If you have ay other questions, feel free to ask.
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« Reply #14 on: May 27, 2012, 06:06:00 PM »

If you would desire a parish that uses almost exclusivly english(aka a 95%/5% english slavonic split), then there is always my parish, Sts. Theodore in Williamsville, NY. http://ststheodore.org/

That parish solves the Matins problem. You attend Matins Saturday evening.
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« Reply #15 on: May 28, 2012, 03:29:25 PM »

That parish may solve the Matins problem, but as that fellow Buffalonian can tell you, this is not a good area to be a walker/bus rider in.  I made my list of parishes to try and this church landed in the #1 spot also due to its location.  With the nfta, I can ride up and down Delaware avenue all day, every day, even on Sundays, and this church is right on the corner of Utica and Delaware.  I just google-mapped a route to Sts Theodore and based on the start time of their Liturgy, there is exactly one 'do or die' bus that will get me there in time.  Two-hour ride and necessarily the same two-hour ride back. 

Unless you're going straight into downtown Buffalo, the nfta wants 2+ hours to get you anywhere out here.  Easily the worst bus company I have ever had to rely on anywhere I have ever lived, and the most expensive.  I hate to say it might come down to this--the buses--but it might.  I live in Tonawanda and work 13 miles away in Depew.  Because of that, I spend 50 hours a month on the buses just trying to get to work. 

Attending this church would add another 4 hours per Sunday as well as another 4 hours per Saturday if I want to attend Matins.  I hate to break it down like this, but how anxious would any one of you be to take on another 16 - 32 hours per month in a hot bus? 
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« Reply #16 on: May 28, 2012, 06:07:38 PM »

That parish may solve the Matins problem, but as that fellow Buffalonian can tell you, this is not a good area to be a walker/bus rider in.  I made my list of parishes to try and this church landed in the #1 spot also due to its location.  With the nfta, I can ride up and down Delaware avenue all day, every day, even on Sundays, and this church is right on the corner of Utica and Delaware.  I just google-mapped a route to Sts Theodore and based on the start time of their Liturgy, there is exactly one 'do or die' bus that will get me there in time.  Two-hour ride and necessarily the same two-hour ride back. 

Unless you're going straight into downtown Buffalo, the nfta wants 2+ hours to get you anywhere out here.  Easily the worst bus company I have ever had to rely on anywhere I have ever lived, and the most expensive.  I hate to say it might come down to this--the buses--but it might.  I live in Tonawanda and work 13 miles away in Depew.  Because of that, I spend 50 hours a month on the buses just trying to get to work. 

Attending this church would add another 4 hours per Sunday as well as another 4 hours per Saturday if I want to attend Matins.  I hate to break it down like this, but how anxious would any one of you be to take on another 16 - 32 hours per month in a hot bus? 
I understand the issue with NFTA, and i do know how much it sucks, ive been there. And I also understand why Annunciation is so attractive, because it is right near the subway stop. In fact, the times that i do go is when i cannot get a ride to Sts. Theodore.
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« Reply #17 on: May 28, 2012, 06:16:48 PM »

I'm a new Buffalonian, coming from PA two years ago.  I still say 'new' because you just don't get to know an area on the bus.  I know only those roads where the buses go, and only those buses I ride.

Boy, do you guys get hit from every direction, particularly just getting a license.  I had to get a learner's permit for the first time in 32 years.  The cost of the license was 5 times what it was in PA, OH, CA, and NJ, and I had to sit through a 5-hour class.  I'm an army veteran who was licensed to drive a deuce and a half, a HMMV, and a fuel tanker.  At Fort Ord, I took three two-week courses for driving:  Battery I, Battery II, and Defensive Driving.  And I have a learner's permit.  49 years old with a learner's permit.  I'll bet you I never let my license lapse ever again.  Not in NY.  Yeah, I'm working on getting a car.  I sold my van in '08 the first time gas hit $4 a gallon but where I was living in PA, you didn't need a car.  Out here, it's a necessity. 

Got my first attempt at the road test scheduled for the 7th--wish me luck.  You can't drive the way real people drive on those road tests and I'm concerned about any differences in NY laws from other places I've lived.  If I get a car, I'll check out Sts Theodore.  I'm still just so dazzled by what I saw at Helenic Orthodox. 

Edit:  The subway?  I take the 25 up and down Delaware.  I'm very rarely on the train.  It just rarely goes where I need to be.
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« Reply #18 on: May 28, 2012, 06:44:28 PM »

I was brought up conservative (neo-traditionalist) Catholic. I became Orthodox in my late teens after I left home. Anyway, for a Bible I use my Douay-Rheims for personal reading (my parish book shop stocks them occasionally as well). I just ignore Bishop Challoner's footnotes as they are geared toward Roman Catholic dogma. For prayer usage I use the KJV as that is what my parish uses in services. It keeps it less confusing for me. Best advice is to ask your priest once you settle on a parish.

My parish follows Slavic custom All Night Vigil (Great Vespers-Matins) on Saturday evening, with the little hours followed by Liturgy on Sunday morning.

The NFTA sounds like the IndyGo bus service here in Indianapolis. It takes about an 90 minutes to get about anywhere one way. Places I can get to in 30 minutes or less by car can take 90 minutes, since you usually have to take one bus all the way in to downtown, then transfer to another bus and go out. Sometimes (read more like oft times)if the busses don't meet up right you may have to wait 45- 50 min for another to come through. It is especially nerve wracking when the place you are wanting to go is on the same side of town, but just to far to walk... having to go way out of your way in to the center of the city.... then again when you want to go home.

I finally broke down and decided to get a license about a year and a half ago. Went to the license branch with the required documents, and was given a written test. Fill in the oval next to the right answer. Took me all of 15 minutes. I got all but two right. Took my info and photo then gave me a temporary permit (the permanent one came a few days later in the mail). I was in the BMV branch less than an hour. A few months later I took the Road test. Was out about 15 minutes.... the BMV lady made no notes till the very end. At the end she congratulated me and said I passed. Again took less than an hour. Got a temporary drivers license and my permanent one came a week later.

I've heard that NY is quite pick on licensing (I had a friend there), to the point she got frustrated and gave up. Sorry it's so frustrating. Hope it all works out for you.

Hope you find a church that is a good fit for you! Welcome!
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« Reply #19 on: May 28, 2012, 06:59:17 PM »


The NFTA sounds like the IndyGo bus service here in Indianapolis. It takes about an 90 minutes to get about anywhere one way. Places I can get to in 30 minutes or less by car can take 90 minutes, since you usually have to take one bus all the way in to downtown, then transfer to another bus and go out. Sometimes (read more like oft times)if the busses don't meet up right you may have to wait 45- 50 min for another to come through. It is especially nerve wracking when the place you are wanting to go is on the same side of town, but just to far to walk... having to go way out of your way in to the center of the city.... then again when you want to go home.

That's how it is here.  If I wanted to go from my front door to the end of my driveway, and for some obscure reason, wanted to do that by bus, the nfta would take me all the way into downtown Buffalo and back out again to do it.  That's a major problem and they're in no hurry to fix that.  I've google-mapped some routes and ended up with a huge V or U on the screen. 


Quote
I finally broke down and decided to get a license about a year and a half ago. Went to the license branch with the required documents, and was given a written test. Fill in the oval next to the right answer. Took me all of 15 minutes. I got all but two right. Took my info and photo then gave me a temporary permit (the permanent one came a few days later in the mail). I was in the BMV branch less than an hour. A few months later I took the Road test. Was out about 15 minutes.... the BMV lady made no notes till the very end. At the end she congratulated me and said I passed. Again took less than an hour. Got a temporary drivers license and my permanent one came a week later.

I've heard that NY is quite pick on licensing (I had a friend there), to the point she got frustrated and gave up. Sorry it's so frustrating. Hope it all works out for you.

Hope you find a church that is a good fit for you! Welcome!


Road tests here are scheduled out through the end of June.  As the instructor put it, they used to have 27 people to qualify people and cut that down to 7. It takes weeks to get a license in NY, and that 5-hour course should be required for no one but brand new drivers and seniors.  It's ridiculous.
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