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Author Topic: Inquirers/Converts: At what point did you cease communing?  (Read 2705 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: May 16, 2013, 11:25:22 AM »

This question is to all inquirers or converts from Protestantism to Orthodoxy.

At what point did you cease participating in Communion at your Protestant Church?

Did this coincide with your departure from the church altogether?

Are there any inquirers/converts who continued to attend a Protestant church for a time due to family, etc?  What was that experience like?



I ask these questions because I'm in that tormented stage where either I take my inquiry deeper or simply keep it off to the side as an "interest" . . . this is complicated by the inaccessibly of Orthodoxy due to the nearest parish being 150 miles away and the extremely tepid response my inquiry receives from my family.

Peace.  Please PM me if you don't want to have an open discussion about it.

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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2013, 11:35:08 AM »

I am a catechumen and I fully intend on joining the Church, but it will probably be a process of years rather than months.  My wife is a dedicated protestant - United Methodist.  I attend her church at 9am and then go to DL at 10am.

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.
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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2013, 11:51:21 AM »

I stopped communing and attending immediately after my first Divine Liturgy. It seemed kind of cheating to keep communing/attending. I went almost a year without receiving Holy Communion.
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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2013, 11:53:26 AM »

I stopped communing about a month or two before I became a catechumen. Dont remember exactly. Ive been a catechumen for a year now. Like Trisagion, I am waiting for my wife.
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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2013, 11:55:14 AM »

I stopped communing and attending immediately after my first Divine Liturgy. It seemed kind of cheating to keep communing/attending. I went almost a year without receiving Holy Communion.

That is what I wanted to do to (and tried once), but hell hath no fury as a woman whose husband refuses to take communion with her.  Undecided
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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2013, 11:58:05 AM »

am going to answer with p.m. so i don't get myself into trouble!

but as for boring sermons, i find it useful to follow along with the orthodox study Bible, reading the study notes as the preacher is preaching (if it is not interesting listening).
that way you learn something about the passage being discussed.
you should go with your spouse (at least sometimes) in order to have shared experiences and to understand what they find important.
i know someone in a similar situation, and he does one week orthodox, one week with the protestants. he has friends there, and tries to be positive, and of course he has the opportunity to speak about orthodox Christianity from time to time.

so if the lack of incense and lovely pictures and calm worship and great theology is driving you crazy, focus on what you can offer rather than on how you can benefit.
as for communing, it is totally up to you, not up to your wife.
if you go with her and don't proselytise aggressively then she can't expect more than that.
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« Reply #6 on: May 16, 2013, 12:14:00 PM »

This question is to all inquirers or converts from Protestantism to Orthodoxy.

At what point did you cease participating in Communion at your Protestant Church?
About six months prior to starting irregular attendance at the closest Orthodox parish.

Quote
Are there any inquirers/converts who continued to attend a Protestant church for a time due to family, etc?  What was that experience like?
I did, for a time, first because of commitments I had there and later for family reasons. (Due to the church having been founded and led by my in-laws, at the time there was a weird sense that leaving the church was leaving the family. They’ve since dropped that thinking, I think in part because we have left the church but haven’t abandoned the family. But we are never. Ever. Ever. Going back to that church.)

It was a difficult time for all involved.
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« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013, 12:21:55 PM »

wow, sounds painful agabus.
i moved house a lot, so didn't have to leave any church specially; there are just some churches that i occasionally visit instead of becoming a member.
so it sounds easy, but my protestant friends and family mostly haven't stopped freaking out yet (4 years on).
i have only one close friend, who together with his wife and little kids has never given me a hard time for 'going to that church', and i am very grateful for them!
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« Reply #8 on: May 16, 2013, 12:36:03 PM »

I stopped communing and attending immediately after my first Divine Liturgy. It seemed kind of cheating to keep communing/attending. I went almost a year without receiving Holy Communion.
Pretty much my experience, except that the first Pentecost my sister was confirmed, and I had to say no to my mother about going up together "as a family."

Though not ideal, whole communities have gotten by with reader services, but I get that the OP wouldn't have the community. Unless, of course, he creates it.
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« Reply #9 on: May 16, 2013, 01:10:51 PM »

After my first Orthodox liturgy I was hooked and never went anywhere else, so that was never an issue. Once I walked through the doors of the Orthodox church for the first time, that was it.
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« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2013, 01:20:59 PM »

I stopped going to any church for some time before Orthodoxy hooked me. I will say this, that after I realized that Orthodoxy was the true church, I would not commune anywhere else if I did go anywhere.
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« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2013, 02:08:36 PM »

I converted from Catholicism, but I ceased attending and communing the moment I decided I did not believe in Rome's claims of papal infallibility.  That meant no communion for just over 18 months.  As another noted here, it would feel like I was cheating.  In the interim, the only times I attended Mass of any kind was for weddings and funerals of family and friends and, of course, I did not commune. 
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« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2013, 02:34:02 PM »

Let me see... the last time I communed must have been in the spring of 2011. I remember it because my brother was in the process pf preparing for confirmation (everyone has to attend church at least 10 times, during the year of preperation in order to be confirmed) and he refused to do it by himself, so he dragged me up the aisle.
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« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2013, 02:51:46 PM »

When you cease going to your previous denomination and have determined that you will become Orthodox , because the Orthodox Church has valid sacraments and your former denomination does not. For me when I left my previous Church, I was already committed to become a catechumen and therefore entered the Holy Orthodox Church. I was communed after I was Chrismated and became a full member of the Orthodox Church. I did not receive any form of communion once I left my previous denomination until I was Chrismated and received for the first time the True body and Blood of my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ thru the Eucharist feast of the Orthodox Divine Liturgy.

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« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2013, 03:29:09 PM »

In the interim, the only times I attended Mass of any kind was for weddings and funerals of family and friends and, of course, I did not commune. 

Same here. After my first Divine Liturgy, I only attended a Lutheran church for baptisms, weddings & funerals of family & friends.
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« Reply #15 on: May 16, 2013, 04:15:02 PM »

My former church met on Sunday evenings so I was attending both for a couple of months.  As I remember it, I stopped communing when I realized I needed to check out Orthodoxy in person rather than just reading about it.  It just didn't feel right to commune any longer.  I wasn't to the point where I believed that the Orthodox Church was the true church, but I was convinced that whatever the true church was, my former church wasn't it.  I was baptized 14 months later.
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« Reply #16 on: May 16, 2013, 04:44:46 PM »

It just didn't feel right to commune any longer.  I wasn't to the point where I believed that the Orthodox Church was the true church, but I was convinced that whatever the true church was, my former church wasn't it. 

Well said, I felt the same way.
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« Reply #17 on: May 16, 2013, 04:55:31 PM »

All of the Protestant churches I attended with any regularity had communion so rarely that I never felt that I had actually stopped communing.
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« Reply #18 on: May 16, 2013, 05:06:00 PM »

I attended my first Great Vespers on a Saturday night.  On the following Sunday morning, I went to my Lutheran church and did not commune.  That was the last time I stepped foot into a Lutheran church as a Lutheran.  From that Great Vespers until my chrismation, I was a catechumen.
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« Reply #19 on: May 16, 2013, 05:13:09 PM »

I did not stop communing in the Lutheran Church until I stopped going to the Lutheran Church.  My belief in the Orthodox Church being more "correct" than the Lutheran Church preceeded my belief that there may not be Grace in the Lutheran Sacraments.
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« Reply #20 on: May 16, 2013, 05:29:33 PM »

After my first Orthodox liturgy I was hooked and never went anywhere else, so that was never an issue. Once I walked through the doors of the Orthodox church for the first time, that was it.

Same for me as well.
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« Reply #21 on: May 16, 2013, 05:37:37 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
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« Reply #22 on: May 16, 2013, 06:06:19 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?
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« Reply #23 on: May 16, 2013, 06:12:33 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?

Not at all.  If you are not Orthodox, why would the canons apply to you?  You are not communing out of some false recognition of a heterodox sacrament, but rather out of love of your wife and the hope of her possible Salvation.  There are probably worse things that you will have to answer to God for than that, if you are like most of us.



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« Reply #24 on: May 16, 2013, 06:14:31 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?

I feel as though there is a middle ground between divorce and communing in her church.
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« Reply #25 on: May 16, 2013, 06:43:45 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?

I feel as though there is a middle ground between divorce and communing in her church.
Why? As Punch said, if you're not a communicant in the Orthodox Church, the canons really don't apply to you. Even if Protestant sacraments are devoid of grace, as long as someone is not permitted to receive Communion in the Orthodox Church, would it not be better for him to receive graceless communion in his Protestant church than wander around in no-man's land?
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« Reply #26 on: May 16, 2013, 07:16:25 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?

I feel as though there is a middle ground between divorce and communing in her church.
Why? As Punch said, if you're not a communicant in the Orthodox Church, the canons really don't apply to you. Even if Protestant sacraments are devoid of grace, as long as someone is not permitted to receive Communion in the Orthodox Church, would it not be better for him to receive graceless communion in his Protestant church than wander around in no-man's land?

Does this particular Protestant Church teach that the bread and wine have become the Body and Blood of Christ? If these Protestants neither believe in the Eucharist nor in the literal meaning of John 6, but believe that partaking of the bread and grape juice constitutes the act of "breaking bread in remembrance of the Last Supper," then I do see any problem with allowing an inquirer to go up with his wife.
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« Reply #27 on: May 16, 2013, 07:35:42 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
No. Not at all unusual. That is more or less what I was told. However, in my former denomination (Free Methodist) a few decades ago, pastors were given the liberty to make changes in the Communion service "for pastoral reasons". Unfortunately, that became the norm, and following the formal service became increasingly rare. The break for me happened when I heard my former pastor say, "Jesus said, 'This is a symbol of my body...a symbol of my blood." I realized right then that if it is necessary to deliberately misquote Jesus to make your theology work, there is a problem. I did not receive then, or ever after. About six months later, I was christmated.
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« Reply #28 on: May 16, 2013, 08:17:15 PM »

No. Not at all unusual. That is more or less what I was told. However, in my former denomination (Free Methodist) a few decades ago, pastors were given the liberty to make changes in the Communion service "for pastoral reasons". Unfortunately, that became the norm, and following the formal service became increasingly rare. The break for me happened when I heard my former pastor say, "Jesus said, 'This is a symbol of my body...a symbol of my blood." I realized right then that if it is necessary to deliberately misquote Jesus to make your theology work, there is a problem. I did not receive then, or ever after. About six months later, I was christmated.

Wow! A Protestant changing the words of Christ? Never!  Roll Eyes

I would have left that church too.

In fact, when the local Roman Catholic Churches in Los Angeles started substituting "her" for "him" and "she" for "he" while reading the Epistle, I walked out.
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« Reply #29 on: May 16, 2013, 08:18:17 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?

I feel as though there is a middle ground between divorce and communing in her church.
Why? As Punch said, if you're not a communicant in the Orthodox Church, the canons really don't apply to you. Even if Protestant sacraments are devoid of grace, as long as someone is not permitted to receive Communion in the Orthodox Church, would it not be better for him to receive graceless communion in his Protestant church than wander around in no-man's land?

Does this particular Protestant Church teach that the bread and wine have become the Body and Blood of Christ? If these Protestants neither believe in the Eucharist nor in the literal meaning of John 6, but believe that partaking of the bread and grape juice constitutes the act of "breaking bread in remembrance of the Last Supper," then I do see any problem with allowing an inquirer to go up with his wife.
"Do" or "do not"? (There is no "try". Wink)
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« Reply #30 on: May 16, 2013, 08:30:43 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?

I feel as though there is a middle ground between divorce and communing in her church.
Why? As Punch said, if you're not a communicant in the Orthodox Church, the canons really don't apply to you. Even if Protestant sacraments are devoid of grace, as long as someone is not permitted to receive Communion in the Orthodox Church, would it not be better for him to receive graceless communion in his Protestant church than wander around in no-man's land?

Does this particular Protestant Church teach that the bread and wine have become the Body and Blood of Christ? If these Protestants neither believe in the Eucharist nor in the literal meaning of John 6, but believe that partaking of the bread and grape juice constitutes the act of "breaking bread in remembrance of the Last Supper," then I do see any problem with allowing an inquirer to go up with his wife.
"Do" or "do not"? (There is no "try". Wink)

Thanks for pointing this out, PtA.
I meant to write: do NOT

 If these Protestants neither believe in the Eucharist nor in the literal meaning of John 6, but believe that partaking of the bread and grape juice constitutes the act of "breaking bread in remembrance of the Last Supper," then I do not see any problem with allowing an inquirer to go up with his wife.
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« Reply #31 on: May 16, 2013, 09:09:50 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?

I feel as though there is a middle ground between divorce and communing in her church.
Why? As Punch said, if you're not a communicant in the Orthodox Church, the canons really don't apply to you. Even if Protestant sacraments are devoid of grace, as long as someone is not permitted to receive Communion in the Orthodox Church, would it not be better for him to receive graceless communion in his Protestant church than wander around in no-man's land?

Why would it be better?
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« Reply #32 on: May 16, 2013, 09:17:32 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?

I feel as though there is a middle ground between divorce and communing in her church.
Why? As Punch said, if you're not a communicant in the Orthodox Church, the canons really don't apply to you. Even if Protestant sacraments are devoid of grace, as long as someone is not permitted to receive Communion in the Orthodox Church, would it not be better for him to receive graceless communion in his Protestant church than wander around in no-man's land?

Why would it be better?
Why would it NOT be better? Remember, I asked you first. Wink
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« Reply #33 on: May 16, 2013, 10:14:50 PM »

Communing is a difficult question.  I personally asked my priest about it.  He advised me that in my situation, I should continue communing at the Methodist Church so as not to increase the friction that already exists with my wife.  Once I am chrismated, I will obviously then need to stop.

For me, attending the Methodist Church is kinda awkward.  They are very nice people, but I don't really believe the way they do.  I know where they are coming from, I grew up in various Protestant/Evangelical churches, but in sitting and listening to a sermon, I feel as if I don't get anything out of it and mostly I and just picking out the erroneous beliefs.  I will probably continue to attend there for the forseeable future because unless my wife decides to become Orthodox (which I don't foresee happening unless God intervenes) we will both be in this limbo situation of two churches.  I am very fortunate, however, that our churches are within a mile of each other, so that is very helpful.  150 miles would be a heck of a drive.

Does anyone else see it as really unusual that a priest would encourage this?
What do you expect a priest to say? "To become Orthodox, you must first divorce your wife."?

I feel as though there is a middle ground between divorce and communing in her church.
Why? As Punch said, if you're not a communicant in the Orthodox Church, the canons really don't apply to you. Even if Protestant sacraments are devoid of grace, as long as someone is not permitted to receive Communion in the Orthodox Church, would it not be better for him to receive graceless communion in his Protestant church than wander around in no-man's land?

Why would it be better?
Why would it NOT be better? Remember, I asked you first. Wink

Well it's pointless as there is no sacramental grace, it gives the wrong impression about Orthodoxy's view of their church and sacraments, and it sets a precedent of a lack of backbone and standing up for one's convictions which I can only imagine will make things harder when the inquirer/catechumen in question decides to go all the way and convert.
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« Reply #34 on: May 16, 2013, 11:08:15 PM »

Spiritual counsel of the sort given by that particular priest to that particular man is just that--particular. It's not a dogmatic statement. So much in Orthodox spiritual counsel is pretty much like that. Some, on the advice of their priest, do not fast from meat. Others kneel on Sunday. Some get penances, some do not. It depends on the situation. When it comes to individuals it is sometimes necessary to apply the rule with more laxity or greater strictness for the sake of salvation. It does not negate the rule, rather it helps the individual.
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« Reply #35 on: May 16, 2013, 11:57:10 PM »

Early in my Orthodox journey, I took Jesus' words in John 6 to heart and kept communing for a while at my old Presbyterian church (and an Anglican church when work shifts wouldn't allow attendance at the pressy church).  I preferred to commune in the Anglican church as they believe in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine, the Eucharist was central to and celebrated at every service.

A few months after I started attending Divine Liturgy, it hit me more fully that the Eucharist IS the Body and Blood of Christ, a grace-filled mystery full of power, and the consequences of partaking unworthily.  Also around the same time, I became more aware of the gravity and impact of my sins.  I could no longer approach the chalice in good conscience without an opportunity for repentance and confession.  I looked, but could not find a framework for confession and absolution within my old church.  It soon became obvious to me that there was no half-way, make do solution before coming Orthodox; it was all or nothing.  I stopped communing there and then and resolved I would not commune again until I was Orthodox.  That was 8-9 months ago.

A few weeks later, I made a conscious decision to stop attending non-Orthodox churches altogether.  In the Anglican church, refusing to commune became awkward; in general, going to non-Orthodox churches only lead to confusion, a sense of emptiness and resentment of my former faith tradition.  Now, I make do with prayer books, OSB, Saints of the day and other readings in between occasional trips (2-3 months) to
the Orthodox Church.

Fortunately I do not have a faith-divided family situation to contend with, I feel for those who do.  

God willing, the wait may nearly be over; Father is meeting with the Bishop this week and hopefully will come back with an answer as to when and how I will be received into Holy Orthodoxy.  I can't wait to be part of Christ's Church and to be joined to Him through His Body and Blood. Smiley
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« Reply #36 on: May 17, 2013, 12:11:50 AM »

Early in my Orthodox journey, I took Jesus' words in John 6 to heart and kept communing for a while at my old Presbyterian church (and an Anglican church when work shifts wouldn't allow attendance at the pressy church).  I preferred to commune in the Anglican church as they believe in the real presence of Christ in the bread and wine, the Eucharist was central to and celebrated at every service.

A few months after I started attending Divine Liturgy, it hit me more fully that the Eucharist IS the Body and Blood of Christ, a grace-filled mystery full of power, and the consequences of partaking unworthily.  Also around the same time, I became more aware of the gravity and impact of my sins.  I could no longer approach the chalice in good conscience without an opportunity for repentance and confession.  I looked, but could not find a framework for confession and absolution within my old church.  It soon became obvious to me that there was no half-way, make do solution before coming Orthodox; it was all or nothing.  I stopped communing there and then and resolved I would not commune again until I was Orthodox.  That was 8-9 months ago.

A few weeks later, I made a conscious decision to stop attending non-Orthodox churches altogether.  In the Anglican church, refusing to commune became awkward; in general, going to non-Orthodox churches only lead to confusion, a sense of emptiness and resentment of my former faith tradition.  Now, I make do with prayer books, OSB, Saints of the day and other readings in between occasional trips (2-3 months) to
the Orthodox Church.

Fortunately I do not have a faith-divided family situation to contend with, I feel for those who do.  

God willing, the wait may nearly be over; Father is meeting with the Bishop this week and hopefully will come back with an answer as to when and how I will be received into Holy Orthodoxy.  I can't wait to be part of Christ's Church and to be joined to Him through His Body and Blood. Smiley

My prayers.

Since I was a Cradle Catholic for more than 30 years, when I knowingly left the RCC and realized that I would be without the sacraments for an indeterminate time, it was very difficult. I had ex-communicated myself by being received into the Orthodox Church catechumate, so my Catholic friends shunned me as if I had contracted a very contagious disease. At that time, it was only by reading the lives of the Russian neo-Martyrs of the Russian 1917 Revolution that I gained a sense of what it was to live for the faith. Many of these martyrs could not receive the Holy Mysteries while they were in prison.
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« Reply #37 on: May 17, 2013, 12:26:19 AM »

   If i ever do convert to Orthodoxy, I will talk to the priest about communion, and when I would stop going to a Protestant service, and what I should do in extreme circumstances (I cannot drive, and Orthodox churches are not near me).  In fact I've already talked to my priest about this to some extent and his advice was to be very cautious about converting under my circumstances, which are extraordinary.

My experience with going from one church to another is that it is spiritually dangerous to stop receiving the Eucharist.  It's also dangerous to start doubting the grace found in that sacrament.   Plenty of people convert to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, then leave Christianity altogether.  This is a phenomenon that has only been talked about a little among the convert community, but Orthodox need to keep in mind- do they really want to destroy Christian faith altogether?  Too much "One True Church" can cause a person to start questioning everything.  Too often Orthodoxy is the last stop for a Christian before they become irreligious- people convert then feel a letdown and begin to question all over again.


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« Reply #38 on: May 17, 2013, 12:34:01 AM »

  If i ever do convert to Orthodoxy, I will talk to the priest about communion, and when I would stop going to a Protestant service, and what I should do in extreme circumstances (I cannot drive, and Orthodox churches are not near me).

  My experience with going from one church to another is that it is spiritually dangerous to stop receiving the Eucharist.  It's also dangerous to start doubting the grace found in that sacrament.   Plenty of people convert to Orthodoxy from Protestantism, then leave Christianity altogether.  This is a phenomenon that has only been talked about a little among the convert community, but Orthodox need to keep in mind- do they really want to destroy Christian faith altogether?  Too much "One True Church" can cause a person to start questioning everything.  Too often Orthodoxy is the last stop for a Christian before they become irreligious- people convert then feel a letdown and begin to question all over again.



This is why it is so important to have a good priest guiding you.

One cannot jump into the Orthodox Church overnight. It takes time to acquire the ethos of the Orthodox, to learn to pray, and to be strong in the faith. Stability in one's faith is crucial.

Mandating that each person must wait three years is a little much as each person is unique.
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« Reply #39 on: May 17, 2013, 08:11:15 AM »

Spiritual counsel of the sort given by that particular priest to that particular man is just that--particular. It's not a dogmatic statement. So much in Orthodox spiritual counsel is pretty much like that. Some, on the advice of their priest, do not fast from meat. Others kneel on Sunday. Some get penances, some do not. It depends on the situation. When it comes to individuals it is sometimes necessary to apply the rule with more laxity or greater strictness for the sake of salvation. It does not negate the rule, rather it helps the individual.

+1

I think this is the key here.  I am certain that he would not hand this advice out to most converts, but given the tension that existed in my marriage over the issue, this was the advice he gave.  Following this advice as well as many other recommendations he has given me, things have improved GREATLY in my relationship with my wife. He even had me stop attending DL for a short time in order to work on my marriage. I fully recognize that the communion I take at her church is nothing but a symbolic act and is not imbued with grace, but I do it solely out of respect for her.  Obviously, that will change upon Chrismation, but that is probably a good ways off because I am not going to take that step until my wife becomes more accepting of my decision to convert to Orthodoxy.  I am very thankful to God for my priest because he takes a great deal of care for my individual situation rather than giving me standard answers that may not be the most productive for my situation.  I can't wait for the day when I have the joy of communing in the Orthodox Church for the first time.  It will be the fulfillment of a very long journey and the start of a brand new one.
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« Reply #40 on: June 25, 2013, 08:53:43 AM »

 In the Anglican church, refusing to commune became awkward;

I'm not sure why that is, but it has been my experience as well. In fact I believe it is true in Catholicism too ... any time I have refrained from receiving communion a Catholic mass, I people looked at me funny.
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« Reply #41 on: June 25, 2013, 08:55:14 AM »

Well it's pointless as there is no sacramental grace, it gives the wrong impression about Orthodoxy's view of their church and sacraments, and it sets a precedent of a lack of backbone and standing up for one's convictions which I can only imagine will make things harder when the inquirer/catechumen in question decides to go all the way and convert.

For what it's worth, if someone were decidedly in the process of leaving Catholicism (b/c they became an Orthodox catechumen or for another reason) then, as a Catholic, I wouldn't encourage him/her to continue receiving communion at our masses.
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« Reply #42 on: June 27, 2013, 11:29:16 AM »

   I'm thinking about these issues because, this may surprise many, but I'm considering converting to the Orthodoxy because I realize my own understanding of Christianity is not exactly Protestant, even if I'm not exactly conservative, and the priest I know seems  interested in having a more liberal voice in his community, one that is not a convert from a conservative Protestant background.  And yet the Episcopal Church would still be more convenient to get to (I am disabled), in many cases.  So I sometimes wonder if it would be possible to join the Orthodox church but attend at an Episcopal church much of the time.   I don't consider the Episcopal sacraments graceless, but neither do I think the more Protestant leaning diocese I live in really can spiritually sustain me long term, I want to be in touch with the East.  It may be personally difficult for me but perhaps that is what God is calling me to do.

  The people I know in the OCA do not consider non-Orthodox to be "heretics" or their sacraments of the Episcopal Church to be graceless.  Alot of the language used in this forum to talk about non-Orthodox is frankly foreign to the Orthodox Christians I know.
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« Reply #43 on: June 27, 2013, 11:51:41 AM »

   The people I know in the OCA do not consider non-Orthodox to be "heretics" or their sacraments of the Episcopal Church to be graceless.  

Then they're being polite and charitable. I think that if you were to talk to them about this in depth, they would fall back on the "we know where the Church (grace) is, but we don't know where it isn't." That is they are being careful not to decide for God where He would choose to bestow His grace. It may be kind of like the old verdict of "not proven."
I don't think you would be able to find an Orthodox priest who would encourage you to receive the Sacraments in a non-Orthodox church. That should tell you something.

The definition of heretic is someone who holds opinions or beliefs contrary to those accepted by his or her church or rejects doctrines prescribed by that church. So the term would not be technically correct, if you accept that they are not part of the Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church (the Orthodox Church).
I prefer the terms "wrong" or "mistaken," myself.  Wink
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« Reply #44 on: June 27, 2013, 12:09:49 PM »

Why would disability prevent someone from becoming Orthodox is beyond my comprehension.

So I sometimes wonder if it would be possible to join the Orthodox church but attend at an Episcopal church much of the time.

No.
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