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Author Topic: What to expect?  (Read 4309 times) Average Rating: 0
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irene
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« on: March 10, 2005, 11:59:20 AM »

HI folks!

Well, I finally made the plunge, and have an interview coming up with a GOC Priest. 

What should I expect during the first meeting?  He seems very, very nice.

Also, my husband isn't interested in converting, (but is supportive), will that present a problem?  He is RC but not active, and our children are RC but very bored at Mass, unfortunetly.   They don't seem very interested in church, but love God.    Anotherwords, no one would be highly against this in our family.   

So, would I be discouraged from converting if I am the sole family member interested in doing so?   IMO, I go with the positive attitude, that they might become interested down the road, but I don't base my decision of conversion on that.

Thanks!
Irene
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« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2005, 12:01:44 PM »

Quote
IMO, I go with the positive attitude, that they might become interested down the road..

I think this is the right attitude.  Don't force it on them, but let it become a part of your life, and as you are a part of theirs, they will hopefully follow you and become at first interested in what you do every Sunday from a curiosity standpoint, which may blossom into actual personal interest. 

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irene
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« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2005, 12:27:58 PM »

No one has a first meeting experience to share? 

anyone?Huh  anyone?Huh??

 :'(
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Fr. David
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« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2005, 01:24:35 PM »

I would just expect -- though priests are all different -- a basic rundown of who the Church is, how long she's been around, some basic ideas about what she confesses...of course, the priest may opt for none of this right away and just try and see where you are spiritually.  The priest who chrismated me wound up doing both of these, in that order, the first time I met w/him.

Those seem to be the two scenarios that spring to mind...perhaps the reason no one's responded is because everyone's thinking (like I was), "well, I know what happened to me, but that may not happen to her, soooo..."  How awful it'd be, I think, to go in thinking you're prepped for one thing and then get totally caught off-guard by a different approach.  Basically...rel+íjate.  Relax.  Go in and let the priest guide you through it however he wants to.

And welcome to the forum!

Pedro, mod
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irene
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« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2005, 05:47:07 PM »

I imagined it to be like that,  talking about the Church, and asking about my interest in it.    Was just curious how it went for others.  I'm not prepping, (well, okay, a little).       Wink

Thanks for the welcome!
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aurelia
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« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2005, 02:10:25 PM »

He just started with me on what did i know, what did i have questions, about, about my family (my hub isnt converting either, disenchanted Lutheran), etc.  Then i got homework! lol.  It'll be fine, don't worry.
Aurelia
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irene
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« Reply #6 on: March 12, 2005, 05:11:00 PM »

And then does he say you are officially a catechumen?  Or is that at a different point?

Thank you!
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Jennifer
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« Reply #7 on: March 12, 2005, 05:58:38 PM »

And then does he say you are officially a catechumen? Or is that at a different point?

Thank you!

You go through a ceremony to become a catechumen.  I doubt that a priest would accept you as a catechumen until you've been to litugy a few times because a catechumen is part of the Church. 
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aurelia
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« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2005, 01:16:24 PM »

I'm thinking a lot depends on where you are and the priest you have...I had no ceremony to become a catacumen...but I'd been a regular there for over 6 mo before we sat down to serious study every week.  Now that it is lent i am supposed to try and go to one service besides sunday per week, at least, and stay for the discussions afterward (different subjects each week, three programs, all related to the weeks stuff going on, shoudl be interesting.  This firday is iconic imagery, etc, cant wait!)
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irene
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« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2005, 01:36:06 PM »

I recently met with the Priest, and it went really well.    I put it right up there with being one of the happiest days of my life. 
He said to attend as many things as i can, that i am welcome, and he will meet with me every two weeks for study.   I don't think there will be a "you are now  offically a catachumen."    He said we will know when the time is right.  (for Chrismation)
Sounds like what you all have been saying.

Btw, it is so nice to get to know you all, i am following along on your journeys, and learning from them, too.

I pray for all of you, and I'm excited to put Greek Orthodox Catachumen on my profile now.   (i can, right?)

Peace! Shocked
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irene
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« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2005, 01:37:34 PM »

I didn't type in a "shocked" smiley.   Wonder why it went in?
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« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2005, 02:18:43 PM »

Hi, Irene,
I am a catechumen too (Oriental Orthodox-Syrian/Indian) . I am glad that your meeting with the priest went  well.
I have been so blessed with the instruction that our priest has been giving us (there are 6 of us who have been attending the adult Catechism class). We have been reading through and discussing a book called "Common Ground" by Fr. Bajis . It is helpful to me in putting Orthodoxy into perspective with my protestant background, our Roman Catholic classmate says the same thing. Don't you love the attitude of "we'll see what will happen and when the time is right you will be received through Chrismation" ? I chafed under it at first, being a time and goal driven American. My priests favorite thing to say to me is "relax" . I am just beginning to be able to live with a bit of mystery and I like it!
May God richly bless your time as a catechumen!
Desertrose
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Jennifer
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« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2005, 06:26:22 PM »

Do some churches not do a cermony making someone officially a catechumen? 

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« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2005, 06:34:29 PM »

Jennifer,
At my church,we did not have a ceremony, but we are a church of mostly converts,
so we may have inadvertently missed something. Does anyone else know?
Desertrose
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Jennifer
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« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2005, 06:46:16 PM »

It seems to me that there needs to be something that differentiates a catechumen from an inquirer as the former is a member of the Orthodox Church.  For example, a catechumen can have an Orthodox funeral and be buried in an Orthodox cemetery.  The ceremony makes it public so everyone else knows that you're a catechumen which I think is good.  Plus at the ceremony, the priest prays over you which is always good. 

At the ceremony, you're asked if you want to become Orthodox and if you reject your "former delusions."  It seems to me that there needs to be a public affirmation of someone's intent to become Orthodox.  Although I can see how some people might not like that kind of attention. 

It's hard to know what's traditional since traditionally there weren't any Orthodox catechumens.  Back in the old country, it was so very rare for someone to convert to Orthodoxy because everyone was already Orthodox. 

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« Reply #15 on: March 16, 2005, 07:18:08 PM »

I'm trying to remember if we had the little prayer bringing someone into the catechumenmate when I was little in another church....I really think most churches would, though I imagine it certainly could differ.
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irene
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« Reply #16 on: March 16, 2005, 08:02:09 PM »

maybe i've jumped the gun assigning catachumen to my profile!!!  Felt good to write it, anyway! lol!

Jennifer, did you go through a ceremony?   

I was left with the impression, from the priest,  when we felt ready, everything would be all set, and I wouild become a member.  It didn't seem like I would start a different study after becoming a catechumen.   We are going to meet every two weeks to study, so I don't know how the study would be different from that of a catachumen.   I could be wrong, though.     Funny, I had the tendency to want to know time, length of study, too.....the world has us thinking that way!  Have to switch gears i guess!

I know in the RCC you study, and go through ceremonies, so good question.     

 
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« Reply #17 on: March 16, 2005, 08:12:19 PM »

It's hard to know what's traditional since traditionally there weren't any Orthodox catechumens. Back in the old country, it was so very rare for someone to convert to Orthodoxy because everyone was already Orthodox.



Well, "Traditionally" there were - very common 1500+ years ago.

Great Lent has traditionally been the prep time for Cathecumen's as well.
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Jennifer
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« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2005, 10:20:02 PM »

maybe i've jumped the gun assigning catachumen to my profile!!! Felt good to write it, anyway! lol!

Jennifer, did you go through a ceremony?

I was left with the impression, from the priest, when we felt ready, everything would be all set, and I wouild become a member. It didn't seem like I would start a different study after becoming a catechumen. We are going to meet every two weeks to study, so I don't know how the study would be different from that of a catachumen. I could be wrong, though. Funny, I had the tendency to want to know time, length of study, too.....the world has us thinking that way! Have to switch gears i guess!

I know in the RCC you study, and go through ceremonies, so good question.

Irene, I went through a little ceremony before the Liturgy about a month and a half ago.  Nothing's changed for in terms of my study program.  The only main difference for me is that I now consider myself to not be Roman Catholic anymore.  As I understand it, the main difference between an inquirer and a catechumen is that the latter is considered to be a member of the Orthodox Church.  Obviously some parishes don't do a catechumenate ceremony so you might be considered to be a catechumen as far as your priest is concerned which is what matters.  I think there are administrative things like the parish has to pay an assessment for a catechumen.  Also a catechumen can have an Orthodox funeral. 

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choirfiend
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« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2005, 10:26:39 PM »

That's indeed the difference--You can be an inquirer receiving instruction, and feel free to come and go as you please. Becoming a catechumen is the formal annoucement that you are actively seeking reception into the Church--You intend to be received, you have decided that the Church is IT and that you want to be a member of it. So, it's different in intent than just inquiring.

Also, the catechumenate in ancient times was, as a standard, 3 years long. It's generally speedier now Smiley
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irene
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« Reply #20 on: March 18, 2005, 07:20:45 AM »

I'm going to change my profile to "aspiring to be Greek Orthodox Catachumen"  lol
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« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2005, 01:27:05 PM »

I've heard being accepted as a Catechumen is equivalent to an "engagement" to the church. You are declaring your intentions to make a lasting committment, but are in a time of preparation.

My husband and I attended our church for many months as inquirers before becoming official Catechumens. We were made official Catechumens in a short ceremony following Diving Liturgy. When we first went to our priest he said to attend as many services as possible and continue to live in the life of the church, including attending Catechesis classes. We have been at our church for a year now and are just a few weeks until our Baptisms! Cheesy
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« Reply #22 on: March 19, 2005, 01:02:29 PM »

I asked my priest when he was giving me lessons if I was going to be made a catechumen in the same service Jennifer mentioned.  He told me I already was a catechumen by resigning myself to go to this church and take these lessons and live this life in Orthodoxy.  In my heart I knew I was not Roman Catholic anymore.  I've read some of the Catholic Catechism and realised that just by disagreeing with the dogmas of the faith I was no longer a Roman Catholic.  I had made my decision to become Orthodox before I even realised it, when I was still attending the Byzantine Catholic church thinking they were really Orthodox, just happened to be in communion with Rome. 
The renouncing of my former faith occurred in church immediately before my chrismation, in the narthex, right before being led inside the church clutching my priest's epitrachelion.  Yes, an official catechumen may have an Orthodox funeral.  I imagined that this was because the priest knew that your intentions were to join the Orthodox Church.  If you have this kind of rapport with your priest, I would think that even if you did not have the little ceremony, your commitment to the church would be recognised and the priest would still grant you that Orthodox funeral. 
All that being said, I think it is simply up to the priest, if he normally does this ceremony or doesn't.  The only effect of it being done early really is the funeral thing, but if he insists you are already a catechumen, then you needn't worry.
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irene
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« Reply #23 on: March 21, 2005, 04:19:50 AM »

Misguided, your experience sounds like what mine might be.    The word catechumen really didn't come up when discussing a plan.   

I was left with the impression we would both know when the time was right for Chrismation.    He would be there for guidance, teaching, and also, he felt the time spent on visiting services, getting to know the community, would also let us know when I was ready.  It sounded like a very natural process, of feeling like a member, then officially becoming one.

The RCC has specific rites, so is it possible to say the Orthodox Church doesn't in this matter?   Chrismation, yes, but steps not written in black and white for Catechumens?   

The next time we meet, I will ask him more specifically, but am just curious now!

Thx!!!   
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