Author Topic: Why does it take so long?  (Read 10759 times)

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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #90 on: February 03, 2015, 09:09:52 AM »
And a Full-Circle Congratulations to you  :D
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Offline CharalambisMakarios

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #91 on: February 03, 2015, 08:37:49 PM »
I think I get it now.  In my office today I was cleaning out some old outdated Naturalization resources (for immigrants studying to take the test).  I was thinking how fortunate I am to be born a citizen so that I would not have to take that test, and that I had years in school to learn all this civics and vocabulary, and BINGO!  I understand. Just as we want informed and aware citizens in our country, so also for the church. Just as there are new citizens who are more zealous and knowledgeable than many (not all!) natural born citizens, so there are many Orthodox converts who might be more zealous than some (not all!) cradle Orthodox.  NOT here to discuss that, just to say I had an epiphany regarding my original post.

Everyone's pretty much said most of what's useful, but I wanted to chime in with my own similar experience. When I realized the inclination (I still haven't decided yet, but it's pretty strong by this point) to join the Orthodox church, I imagined it would go something like this:

1. Research and/or various jurisdictions to decide upon the one that felt most personally resonant
2. Once I found the one that was for me, go to services regularly to become acquainted with the liturgy
3. Discuss catechism with priest, then take a time of prayerful discernment
4. Begin catechism and learn all that I need to learn
5. Be chrismated (I was baptized in the name of the Trinity, so I don't think I'd need to be baptized again)
6. ...
7. Profit!  ;D

What it has actually been looking like so far is this:

1. Visit various jurisdictions-I've been doing this, and I find myself strongly drawn to the Syriac Orthodox Church.
2. Go to services- I have yet to attend a Syriac service (though I may get a chance later this month). I've been to a lot of Greek services, so I'm familiar with Orthodox liturgy in general, and also Coptic service, so I know a bit more about the specificities of Oriental Orthodoxy. I do a lot of research, but still haven't attended yet.
3. Discuss catechism- Haven't had enough experience to reach this point
4. Begin catechism and learn- Though I haven't begun catechism, many of my Orthodox friends tell me that I often know just as much and in some areas more than they do about Orthodox tradition. This definitely goes along with what has been said about there being some Orthodox Christians who were raised in it and thus may be less zealous just because it's less new and intriguing to them (again some, not all). We'll see what things I will study in catechism if/when get there.
5. Haven't been chrismated. What's more, it looks like that with my current life trajectory, my preferred jurisdiction may not be readily available for some time, so I may end up being chrismated in a different jurisdiction.

Blessings to you on your journey! Pray for me, a sinner.

Offline RichC

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #92 on: February 18, 2015, 12:07:18 PM »
ND I would highly recommend asking the priest about the service for catechumens. I recently had mine and the significance of formerly declaring ur intention to be taught the faith is awesome. Google 'Orthodox service for catechumens.

Offline Indocern

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #93 on: February 18, 2015, 12:37:00 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

Offline NanaDeborah

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #94 on: February 18, 2015, 12:47:13 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

They want to be sure we get straight what is Orthodox teaching and what is not, from our previous church experience.  I get it now.  I was really being a whiney baby when I wrote this.  ;-)
Thy Bridal Chamber, I see adorned, O my Savior, and have no wedding garment that I may enter.  Enlighten the vesture of my soul, O Giver of Light, and save me.

Offline Indocern

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #95 on: February 18, 2015, 12:55:15 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

They want to be sure we get straight what is Orthodox teaching and what is not, from our previous church experience.  I get it now.  I was really being a whiney baby when I wrote this.  ;-)

When we born we are christians they baptize us as babies and after this we learn in the faith.
« Last Edit: February 18, 2015, 12:56:13 PM by Indocern »

Offline Eruvande

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #96 on: February 18, 2015, 01:20:32 PM »
I will add nothing to the thread in terms of experience, but I will say that the fact that it takes so long, and is a thoughtful, careful process is one of the things that really, really appeals to me. As part of protestant Christianity, I have seen time and time again the damage done by being hasty in jumping one way or another. I've seen people being given leadership roles and responsibilities that were barely three months from a 'decision for Christ'.

I am truly a baby in relation to my knowledge of Orthodoxy, and feel very reassured that right now, I'm on milk. Meat will come at the appropriate time - maybe in about 20 years and I'm a toddler!
Clumsily walking a narrow path and getting most of it wrong, but I'm still walking...

Offline NanaDeborah

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #97 on: February 18, 2015, 01:21:16 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

They want to be sure we get straight what is Orthodox teaching and what is not, from our previous church experience.  I get it now.  I was really being a whiney baby when I wrote this.  ;-)

When we born we are christians they baptize us as babies and after this we learn in the faith.

It doesn't work that way for adults.  We have too much to unlearn. 
Thy Bridal Chamber, I see adorned, O my Savior, and have no wedding garment that I may enter.  Enlighten the vesture of my soul, O Giver of Light, and save me.

Offline Indocern

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #98 on: February 18, 2015, 01:34:22 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

They want to be sure we get straight what is Orthodox teaching and what is not, from our previous church experience.  I get it now.  I was really being a whiney baby when I wrote this.  ;-)

When we born we are christians they baptize us as babies and after this we learn in the faith.

It doesn't work that way for adults.  We have too much to unlearn.

Great Martyr Barbara was baptized instantly and the priest teach her about bible teachings.

Offline NanaDeborah

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #99 on: February 18, 2015, 01:44:31 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

They want to be sure we get straight what is Orthodox teaching and what is not, from our previous church experience.  I get it now.  I was really being a whiney baby when I wrote this.  ;-)

When we born we are christians they baptize us as babies and after this we learn in the faith.

It doesn't work that way for adults.  We have too much to unlearn.

Great Martyr Barbara was baptized instantly and the priest teach her about bible teachings.

I guess my priest decided I'm not in the same category as the Great Martyr Barbara.  But there's still time ...
Thy Bridal Chamber, I see adorned, O my Savior, and have no wedding garment that I may enter.  Enlighten the vesture of my soul, O Giver of Light, and save me.

Offline Indocern

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #100 on: February 18, 2015, 01:50:27 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

They want to be sure we get straight what is Orthodox teaching and what is not, from our previous church experience.  I get it now.  I was really being a whiney baby when I wrote this.  ;-)

When we born we are christians they baptize us as babies and after this we learn in the faith.

It doesn't work that way for adults.  We have too much to unlearn.

Great Martyr Barbara was baptized instantly and the priest teach her about bible teachings.

I guess my priest decided I'm not in the same category as the Great Martyr Barbara.  But there's still time ...

Yes, sure it is so.

Offline Pravoslavac

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #101 on: February 19, 2015, 07:51:34 AM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol
« Last Edit: February 19, 2015, 07:52:17 AM by Pravoslavac »
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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #102 on: February 19, 2015, 09:52:28 AM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

They want to be sure we get straight what is Orthodox teaching and what is not, from our previous church experience.  I get it now.  I was really being a whiney baby when I wrote this.  ;-)

When we born we are christians they baptize us as babies and after this we learn in the faith.

It doesn't work that way for adults.  We have too much to unlearn.

Great Martyr Barbara was baptized instantly and the priest teach her about bible teachings.

I guess my priest decided I'm not in the same category as the Great Martyr Barbara.  But there's still time ...

Be glad you are not in the same category as Great Martyr Barbara  :)
Probably wrong, but it would be a drag to be a saint. And then being a martyr would be the best part of it!?!
Whoa!
Reminds me of that old Groucho Marx joke, "Why would I want to join a group that has members like me"?
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Offline NanaDeborah

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #103 on: February 19, 2015, 11:06:10 AM »
Quote
Be glad you are not in the same category as Great Martyr Barbara  :)
Probably wrong, but it would be a drag to be a saint. And then being a martyr would be the best part of it!?!
Whoa!
Reminds me of that old Groucho Marx joke, "Why would I want to join a group that has members like me"?

Oh I am glad, Len!  If you could have seen the look on my face, I was joking a bit with that. AS IF I could be a saint!  Oh my, now that's comedy!
Thy Bridal Chamber, I see adorned, O my Savior, and have no wedding garment that I may enter.  Enlighten the vesture of my soul, O Giver of Light, and save me.

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #104 on: February 19, 2015, 11:35:03 AM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol
Don't worry, they are coming. Their missions boards are relentless.
God bless!

Offline Pravoslavac

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #105 on: February 19, 2015, 11:37:47 AM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol
Don't worry, they are coming. Their missions boards are relentless.

Don't worry, our People are allergic to any kind of anti-Orthodox propaganda.
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Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #106 on: February 19, 2015, 11:44:33 AM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol
Don't worry, they are coming. Their missions boards are relentless.

Don't worry, our People are allergic to any kind of anti-Orthodox propaganda.
That's what the Romanians thought too. In the short time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Protestants now make up 6% of the country. Let the reader understand.
God bless!

Offline Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #107 on: February 19, 2015, 12:08:16 PM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol

You are ether being sarcastic or describe the situation in Serbia fairly accurately. First, I do not think that sarcasm is a good tool to use in this section--Convert Issues. Second, either sarcastically or realistically, you are painting a very negative picture of Serbian clergy and lay people. In the absence of any indication that the OP lives in Serbia, why even bring up the wretched (according to you) condition of the Serbian Church and people?

Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #108 on: February 19, 2015, 12:18:59 PM »
Carl, it is good of you to consider PS anything other than a 14 year old scamp.
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Offline Pravoslavac

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #109 on: February 19, 2015, 01:56:59 PM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol

You are ether being sarcastic or describe the situation in Serbia fairly accurately. First, I do not think that sarcasm is a good tool to use in this section--Convert Issues. Second, either sarcastically or realistically, you are painting a very negative picture of Serbian clergy and lay people. In the absence of any indication that the OP lives in Serbia, why even bring up the wretched (according to you) condition of the Serbian Church and people?

Serbian Orthodox Church few years ago published a statistic which says that less than 5% of baptized members of the Church try to lead a Church life. In 1990s, it was much more, Churches were filled with believers, but then USA/EU imposed embargo on us and bombed us, so we realized, God ain't helping us. LOL
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Offline biro

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #110 on: February 19, 2015, 01:58:28 PM »
Lord have mercy.
https://archiveofourown.org/users/Parakeetist/works Warning: stories have mature content.

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Offline Pravoslavac

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #111 on: February 19, 2015, 02:00:17 PM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol
Don't worry, they are coming. Their missions boards are relentless.

Don't worry, our People are allergic to any kind of anti-Orthodox propaganda.
That's what the Romanians thought too. In the short time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Protestants now make up 6% of the country. Let the reader understand.

The thing is, we here read Bible SO LITTLE, so not much, so when Protestant comes and starts quoting his sola scriptura, we are like "WHAT?" And then we throw something at them to drive them away and yell "Kosovo is Serbia!" LOL
"Bullets comrades! Not candies! Bullets will save us from the US imperialists!" - Comrade Kim Jong Il

Offline TheTrisagion

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #112 on: February 19, 2015, 02:18:31 PM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol
Don't worry, they are coming. Their missions boards are relentless.

Don't worry, our People are allergic to any kind of anti-Orthodox propaganda.
That's what the Romanians thought too. In the short time since the fall of the Soviet Union, Protestants now make up 6% of the country. Let the reader understand.

The thing is, we here read Bible SO LITTLE, so not much, so when Protestant comes and starts quoting his sola scriptura, we are like "WHAT?" And then we throw something at them to drive them away and yell "Kosovo is Serbia!" LOL
LOL!!! This is so inappropriate for the convert section, but I seriously spewed my drink on the keyboard!  ;D
God bless!

Offline xOrthodox4Christx

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #113 on: February 19, 2015, 08:59:55 PM »
Lol here in Serbia, you just come to priest, give him 50 euros and bring a witness and he baptizes you, if you weren't baptized as a baby. The next time most of them see a priest is their own funeral or marriage ceremony. LOL
But we don't have Protestant heresies here. So no need to learn. lol

lol, not for long.
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Offline Peacemaker

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #114 on: February 20, 2015, 04:03:19 PM »
Trust in God. He works on His time, not our time.

Offline NanaDeborah

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #115 on: February 21, 2015, 05:13:35 PM »
Trust in God. He works on His time, not our time.

Yes, true.  When I started this thread I was in a bit of a pout.  I'm good now!  Thanks!
Thy Bridal Chamber, I see adorned, O my Savior, and have no wedding garment that I may enter.  Enlighten the vesture of my soul, O Giver of Light, and save me.

Offline Anna.T

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #116 on: February 26, 2015, 05:58:53 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

I think another reason is that, in the US at least, there are so many denominations and people change and change again very casually. The Orthodox Church was never meant to be joined, and then quickly abandoned. I think many priests want an inquirer/catechumen to take their time and be sure of their commitment.

And while I love the theology and the teaching of the Church, I am finding that it is the living of the faith - attending Liturgy, saying prayers, being part of the community, fasting - what we do that make us Orthodox, is more of the core of the faith than simply learning the theology. And that takes time. I don't think people should join without yet having any inkling at all what it's really even about.

I'm sure the priests and the wisdom of the Church have the catechumen's best good in mind.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 06:01:01 PM by Anna.T »
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Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.

Offline NanaDeborah

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #117 on: February 26, 2015, 06:48:32 PM »
Please let me know if there is already a thread on this topic so that we won't need to rehash old stuff.  I am struggling with the idea that it is going to take an indefinite period of time before I can be chrismated and become a real part of the church.  (I do have a trinitarian baptismal certificate, which we will see in time if it will be accepted).

I have been told it is because converts may come with a lot of heretical baggage that needs to be straightened out. Agreed. I still have questions, and if someone else has already asked and answered, please direct me to that thread.

Thanks.

Why you just cant become orthodox christian directly?

I think another reason is that, in the US at least, there are so many denominations and people change and change again very casually. The Orthodox Church was never meant to be joined, and then quickly abandoned. I think many priests want an inquirer/catechumen to take their time and be sure of their commitment.

And while I love the theology and the teaching of the Church, I am finding that it is the living of the faith - attending Liturgy, saying prayers, being part of the community, fasting - what we do that make us Orthodox, is more of the core of the faith than simply learning the theology. And that takes time. I don't think people should join without yet having any inkling at all what it's really even about.

I'm sure the priests and the wisdom of the Church have the catechumen's best good in mind.

Agreed Anna! A lot of water has passed under the bridge since I wrote the OP. I took this kind of advice to heart and I think I go to more services than anyone in our tiny parish except for Father. I'm usually the first (and almost only) one to show up for Orthros.  This is how I will learn.  Every service is new since I have not been there a year yet.  It will take as long as it takes. I figure since I am older than most converts, I have that many more years of stuff to unlearn and relearn.  So be it!
Thy Bridal Chamber, I see adorned, O my Savior, and have no wedding garment that I may enter.  Enlighten the vesture of my soul, O Giver of Light, and save me.

Offline katherineofdixie

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Re: Why does it take so long?
« Reply #118 on: February 27, 2015, 10:56:01 AM »
And while I love the theology and the teaching of the Church, I am finding that it is the living of the faith - attending Liturgy, saying prayers, being part of the community, fasting - what we do that make us Orthodox, is more of the core of the faith than simply learning the theology. And that takes time.

Very true. This is also the most difficult part of our Faith (for me, at least, YMMV), the living it day to day. It is, as you have seen, though, very difficult to explain this to inquirers.
"If but ten of us lead a holy life, we shall kindle a fire which shall light up the entire city."

 St. John Chrysostom