Author Topic: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?  (Read 3613 times)

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Offline Maria

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I was advised by my spiritual father while still a catechumen to abstain from breakfast in preparation for Chrismation, i.e., to have nothing from midnight until after the Divine Liturgy.

Those Orthodox Christians especially senior citizens who need to take medications and who cannot fast before receiving Holy Communion are often advised to eat only fasting foods. For example, a breakfast that would not break the fasting rules would be oatmeal with applesauce instead of milk, toast with peanut butter and/or jam, or waffles made without eggs or milk.


Using the list you provided, bacon is fine.  As is hash browns covered and topped.  Thanks be to the Lord.

A parishioner came up to his priest at the Red Lobster. He said to the priest, that since we are at this restaurant, and since Lobster is already one of the most expensive items on the menu, could we just have a little butter on the side? The priest, who had ordered a more humble Lenten item, told him, that yes, since he has already ordered the most expensive item on the menu, go ahead and have the butter sauce since the whole idea of the fast was now nullified.  ::)

Oh, and since hash browns are fried in oil, and covered and topped with sour cream and green onions, why not have the sausage, bacon, and ham on the side? Toss in the egg omelet too. Sheesh! You are making me hungry, and it is a Friday.  :police:
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 05:31:16 PM by Maria »
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Offline TheTrisagion

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I was advised by my spiritual father while still a catechumen to abstain from breakfast in preparation for Chrismation, i.e., to have nothing from midnight until after the Divine Liturgy.

Yeah, I too was taught to fast before every Liturgy as if for Communion, even if not receiving.  Obviously the sick, children, pregnant and nursing women, etc. would be dispensed to one degree or another, but otherwise it applies to everyone.  How serious a requirement this is is another question.  I think it would be weird to eat before church, but I also love breakfast foods.  :)
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I've never been told anything of the sort.  Of course, I've never asked, either.
« Last Edit: August 23, 2013, 05:34:04 PM by TheTrisagion »
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Offline Mor Ephrem

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I've never been told anything of the sort.  Of course, I've never asked, either.

Then don't even think about asking.  ;)
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Offline Peter J

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Using the list you provided, bacon is fine. 

Do you mean, as long you don't eat it?
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Offline Maria

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Using the list you provided, bacon is fine. 

Do you mean, as long you don't eat it?

That would be so tempting. How many can smell the bacon and not eat it.

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Offline TheTrisagion

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Using the list you provided, bacon is fine. 

Do you mean, as long you don't eat it?

That would be so tempting. How many can smell the bacon and not eat it.


When you can drink it!

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Offline VarangianGuard

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As a current Orthodox catechumen, I can honestly say that I'm not offended in the least at not being able to partake of the Holy Eucharist just yet. Then again, I am of a traditional Catholic background, so I already knew how important the Eucharist was before deciding to convert to Orthodoxy, unlike perhaps a Protestant who spent a lifetime "communing" once a week/month/year with a piece of bread that was merely "symbolic".

I like the Antidoron. I call it "consolation bread". It reminds me of the trophies they hand out to children to make them feel better for losing at a sports tournament.

Coming from the same type of background as AJM, I heartily agree. I guess this is much less of a problem for someone coming from a  traditionalist group than for many modern(ist?), Western Catholics and many Protestant groups. Ironically, for those Protestants from groups without communion at all, it may be easier than others. Just guessing here, though.

Offline Shieldmaiden4Christ

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2013, 07:20:13 PM »
I'm amongst those not offended by not being able to partake in the Eucharist until my chrismation.

It always baffled me as a child that in the UMC that we only celebrated communion every 4-6 weeks. I always thought that as part of Christian fellowship and tradition, it should be celebrated weekly.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 07:20:34 PM by Shieldmaiden4Christ »

Offline Father H

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2013, 09:33:34 PM »
As a priest, I am wondering about how long some of your catechumenates are.  Some of them seem excessively long.  While in some places at certain points in the Church it could have been as long as three years, we also know that (after the inquirer period) to could have been as short as 40 days in other places and points in time.  But "average" is 6 months to a year.  I think I have seen some of you for much longer than this.  Something is not reading right.   

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #54 on: September 01, 2013, 09:40:26 PM »
I don't know about others, but I have been a catechumen for a little over a year and an off-and-on inquirer for about 5 years.  My priest has told me that the typical length in our parish is 1 year, but I have family issues that have complicated things, so he is advising that I will probably want to take it a bit slower. I am hoping that in a year or two, I will be able to be received, Lord willing.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2013, 09:40:57 PM by TheTrisagion »
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Offline Maximum Bob

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #55 on: September 01, 2013, 09:49:13 PM »
Yeah, I know I've been around since Jan. 2011, but didn't even attend an Orthodox Church full time til Jan. 2012. Due to waiting for my wife to catch up we just become catechumans in July of this year.
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Offline hecma925

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #56 on: September 03, 2013, 04:09:37 PM »
Looking and inquiring for about 5-6 years.  Became a catechumen last year.  Continually praying for my wife that someday she will join me or at least see what I see.  Then join me. ;)
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Offline Thomas

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #57 on: September 04, 2013, 09:29:19 AM »
My Catechumenate was about 6 months and ended in time for Paschal. I was from a Liturgical Church and I missed not communing but as I realized that the True Sacraments were in the Orthodox Church, just being in the presence of the Lord during the Liturgy was important---it made my first True communion all the sweeter.

 My Parishes catechumenate lasts between 6 month and a year, if the Catechumen does everything that the priest asks them to do, attend 12 of the major feasts , begin the practice of fasting, attend catechumen classes (we have the choice of several types of Classes) or meet privately with the priest to discuss a personalized reading course of study on the church. It works well, when the priest feels the person is ready for baptism/chrismation the priest advises the person and sets a date (usually before a major feast like Nativity, Pascha, Pentecost, or even Dormition.

Thomas
« Last Edit: September 04, 2013, 09:33:19 AM by Thomas »
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Offline podkarpatska

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #58 on: September 04, 2013, 10:40:04 AM »
As a priest, I am wondering about how long some of your catechumenates are.  Some of them seem excessively long.  While in some places at certain points in the Church it could have been as long as three years, we also know that (after the inquirer period) to could have been as short as 40 days in other places and points in time.  But "average" is 6 months to a year.  I think I have seen some of you for much longer than this.  Something is not reading right.   

Doesn't one's prior religious background and level of understanding factor in as a pastoral decision? An Eastern Catholic known to a priest for awhile who is troubled by inconsistencies in his Church's position relative to Orthodoxy may present a different course to reception then someone coming in from an agnostic, non Christian background.

Offline Martyr Eugenia

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #59 on: September 04, 2013, 12:42:28 PM »
Doesn't one's prior religious background and level of understanding factor in as a pastoral decision? An Eastern Catholic known to a priest for awhile who is troubled by inconsistencies in his Church's position relative to Orthodoxy may present a different course to reception then someone coming in from an agnostic, non Christian background.

You would think so. I've been inquiring long enough to know many of the latter who are already Orthodox, just adding to the stumbling blocks I have already encountered. I thought it at one time refreshing to read about Orthodoxy and knowing that things you've discovered on your Christian journey actually have a label like 'theosis' and 'nous' without ever having entered an Orthodox church yet when I finally did get there, its like 'who are you'? Are Orthodox anti-Roman Catholic? That's not what Metr. Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia states in his book, The Orthodox Church, or is he misrepresenting Orthodoxy? I read his book cover to cover in less than a day, I could not put it down. I feel more and more that what I have encounted IRL vs. what is in his book makes it seem like a work of unattainable fiction.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #60 on: September 04, 2013, 12:53:26 PM »
Doesn't one's prior religious background and level of understanding factor in as a pastoral decision? An Eastern Catholic known to a priest for awhile who is troubled by inconsistencies in his Church's position relative to Orthodoxy may present a different course to reception then someone coming in from an agnostic, non Christian background.

You would think so. I've been inquiring long enough to know many of the latter who are already Orthodox, just adding to the stumbling blocks I have already encountered. I thought it at one time refreshing to read about Orthodoxy and knowing that things you've discovered on your Christian journey actually have a label like 'theosis' and 'nous' without ever having entered an Orthodox church yet when I finally did get there, its like 'who are you'? Are Orthodox anti-Roman Catholic? That's not what Metr. Kallistos (Ware) of Diokleia states in his book, The Orthodox Church, or is he misrepresenting Orthodoxy? I read his book cover to cover in less than a day, I could not put it down. I feel more and more that what I have encounted IRL vs. what is in his book makes it seem like a work of unattainable fiction.
You're still dealing with fallen and fallible humans with all their prejudices; but when you encounter the Church, the Bride of Christ, fiction falls away.
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Offline Father H

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #61 on: September 04, 2013, 03:40:30 PM »
As a priest, I am wondering about how long some of your catechumenates are.  Some of them seem excessively long.  While in some places at certain points in the Church it could have been as long as three years, we also know that (after the inquirer period) to could have been as short as 40 days in other places and points in time.  But "average" is 6 months to a year.  I think I have seen some of you for much longer than this.  Something is not reading right.   

Doesn't one's prior religious background and level of understanding factor in as a pastoral decision? An Eastern Catholic known to a priest for awhile who is troubled by inconsistencies in his Church's position relative to Orthodoxy may present a different course to reception then someone coming in from an agnostic, non Christian background.

I think that we are talking about two different things, which is why I distinguished between the inquirer period and the catechumenate.  While the inquirer period is always of variable length based on the particular individual, the catechumenate itself (i.e., after the person has been an inquirer for some time and worked through his/her issues, and the priest and person agree that they should enter the Church) should be of a relatively fixed length.  Of course, many jurisdictions and parishes do not have particular catechumenate program or even guidelines on this, and thus it is basically just an inquirer period without a catechumenate per se.  My question was based on the fact that some here, after a lengthy inquirer period, have also had thereafter a lengthy catechumenate period.     

Offline Gunnarr

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Re: Catechumenate: Not being able to receive Holy Communion. How to handle this?
« Reply #62 on: September 13, 2013, 02:43:52 AM »
Back in the day when priests had the zeal to give penance for months or years in russia, those who could not take communion would sit outside the church and look in the window on sundays ;p

perhaps you should try that  ;D
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