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Offline Corporal Tunny

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A few questions from a new catechumen
« on: September 14, 2015, 10:45:12 AM »
1. When walking in, should I light a candle in front of the icon of Mary, or the Jesus icon? Both? I get nervous that I'm doing something wrong especially when there are people behind me.

2. Can catechumens join the choir, be stewards, ushers? My priest called for volunteers but I didn't want to be presumptuous.

3. My parish(Antiochian) does the Trisagion Hymn in several languages, as well as the Lord's Prayer. Is there any where I can find the sheet music so I can learn how to sing these parts? I don't like trying to find it in the books during the Divine Liturgy.




Offline biro

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #1 on: September 14, 2015, 10:47:32 AM »
Welcome.
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Offline Corporal Tunny

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #2 on: September 14, 2015, 10:54:40 AM »
Welcome.

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Offline Elisha

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #3 on: September 14, 2015, 11:28:59 AM »
1. When walking in, should I light a candle in front of the icon of Mary, or the Jesus icon? Both? I get nervous that I'm doing something wrong especially when there are people behind me.

2. Can catechumens join the choir, be stewards, ushers? My priest called for volunteers but I didn't want to be presumptuous.

3. My parish(Antiochian) does the Trisagion Hymn in several languages, as well as the Lord's Prayer. Is there any where I can find the sheet music so I can learn how to sing these parts? I don't like trying to find it in the books during the Divine Liturgy.

1.  Light candles in front of whatever icons you feel comfortable.  Lighting candles is a pietistic thing, which is always personal.

2.  My choir director has allowed it (with the blessing of the rector of course)...but it's kind of a thing of rare exception I would think (it was ok for these certain individuals but wouldn't for most catechumens).  It is best to just *be* a catechumen for the most part and learn the services, Orthodoxy, etc.  Help is always welcome when it comes to things like cleaning the church/hall/yardwork or any manual labor work.  It helps you get to know the church community.

3.  I would ask the choir director if you could get a copy...but limit requests to no more than a couple of pieces that are sung all the time.  Often, you may just learn these by rote since they are sung every Sunday.  There is a good reason there isn't "congregational" singing for a lot of music.  Many pieces are "propers" (to use a Latin term you might be familiar with) that vary every Sunday that are harder to learn unless you are in the choir.  Just listen to the words and pray.

Offline Alxandra

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #4 on: September 14, 2015, 11:36:17 AM »
Welcome, Glory to God :)
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Offline SherryTX

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #5 on: September 14, 2015, 11:47:06 AM »
At what point is one considered a catechumen?

I found this online, but was just curious how long it takes to become one?  Is this something you work with the priest on?http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/dictionary/index.php?a=term&d=1&t=471

Offline Iconodule

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2015, 11:55:52 AM »
Some priests will formally enroll inquirers as catechumens when they're ready but it didn't happen for me. As for joining the choir, I see no reason why you couldn't. I commonly see non-Orthodox join their spouses in the choir. Keep in mind that if you're a catechumen you are already a Christian.
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Offline Corporal Tunny

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2015, 12:23:54 PM »
At what point is one considered a catechumen?

I found this online, but was just curious how long it takes to become one?  Is this something you work with the priest on?http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/dictionary/index.php?a=term&d=1&t=471

Well, in my case, after attending my parish regularly for a while I emailed my priest about converting, he emailed me back inviting me to take the catechumen classes that are starting next month, and last week we talked some more at coffee hour and he introduced me to a man "who is also a catechumen". So I assume I'm a catechumen at this point unless I'm missing something. I don't think there's any formal thing that I'm waiting for although I could be wrong. My priest talked about how some are catechumen for 2-3 years because they rarely ever come, some are ready after 6 months. He didn't say anything about when someone offically becomes a catechumen though.

Offline SherryTX

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2015, 12:42:51 PM »
At what point is one considered a catechumen?

I found this online, but was just curious how long it takes to become one?  Is this something you work with the priest on?http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/dictionary/index.php?a=term&d=1&t=471

Well, in my case, after attending my parish regularly for a while I emailed my priest about converting, he emailed me back inviting me to take the catechumen classes that are starting next month, and last week we talked some more at coffee hour and he introduced me to a man "who is also a catechumen". So I assume I'm a catechumen at this point unless I'm missing something. I don't think there's any formal thing that I'm waiting for although I could be wrong. My priest talked about how some are catechumen for 2-3 years because they rarely ever come, some are ready after 6 months. He didn't say anything about when someone offically becomes a catechumen though.

Thanks! One of the local churches here have a bible study class, but they don't call it catechumen classes. Not sure if they are the same thing, so maybe I will ask. Just curious. Thanks!

Offline PeaceSerenity

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2015, 06:43:28 PM »
2. Can catechumens join the choir, be stewards, ushers? My priest called for volunteers but I didn't want to be presumptuous.

3. My parish(Antiochian) does the Trisagion Hymn in several languages, as well as the Lord's Prayer. Is there any where I can find the sheet music so I can learn how to sing these parts? I don't like trying to find it in the books during the Divine Liturgy.

Glory to God!

I think you'll find quite a bit of variation between various parish communities, but here's what I suggest. If you want to be involved in the ministry of your church, it would probably be best to ask your priest for his blessing first anyways - there's no objective reason why catechumens should be excluded from such roles, but it does depend on the tradition of your community. On the other hand, as someone mentioned above, it is nice to take things slow at first. You'll soon find yourself busy and very involved I'm sure and miss the good old days when you could stand, learn and pray in peace!

As for the sheet music, this also varies between parishes. What I've done is just ask the choir director if I could take a peek at the music books after the service. That way you won't be inconveniencing him/her and you can also take pictures on your phone and familiarize yourself in your free time. There's such a wealth of music in Orthodox services and it's definitely awesome to be able to sing along :) You can also try browsing the sacred music website of the Antiochian archdiocese to see if your parishes hymns are in there.

Offline SherryTX

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2015, 06:59:28 PM »
Orthodox churches have choirs?

Offline LBK

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2015, 07:10:35 PM »
Orthodox churches have choirs?

Indeed they do.  :)
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Offline SherryTX

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2015, 07:36:03 PM »
I thought all they did was chant. I must be missing out by not staying for the whole service the other day. I must look into this. I love a capella music. Does the Coptic church do this? The Indian one I went to and was there for the whole thing, disnt.

Offline scamandrius

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2015, 07:46:56 PM »
1. When walking in, should I light a candle in front of the icon of Mary, or the Jesus icon? Both? I get nervous that I'm doing something wrong especially when there are people behind me.

You don't have to do either, but you can.  Just  a point of etiquette is called for. Make sure that you do not light the candles in the candelabra on the altar whenever the priest is there censing.

2. Can catechumens join the choir, be stewards, ushers? My priest called for volunteers but I didn't want to be presumptuous.

At my church, we have had a couple of catechumens join the choir or become active in other ministries.  Since you are learning, I would learn what it means to Orthodox, then start throwing yourself into the life and work of the church.  For those people who did join the choir while still catechumens, many of them burned out and either left the faith soon after they converted or didn't complete the process. There will be plenty of time for you to involve yourself.

3. My parish(Antiochian) does the Trisagion Hymn in several languages, as well as the Lord's Prayer. Is there any where I can find the sheet music so I can learn how to sing these parts? I don't like trying to find it in the books during the Divine Liturgy.

Go to antiochian.org and you can search there for Trisagion in the Sacred Music Department. Not every congregation uses the music from the archdiocese so be aware of that.
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Offline LBK

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2015, 07:50:24 PM »
Quote
Make sure that you do not light the candles in the candelabra on the altar whenever the priest is there censing.

Umm, this doesn't quite make sense ....
Am I posting? Or is it Schroedinger's Cat?

Offline scamandrius

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2015, 07:53:51 PM »
Quote
Make sure that you do not light the candles in the candelabra on the altar whenever the priest is there censing.

Umm, this doesn't quite make sense ....


Sorry, I meant solea.
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Offline LBK

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2015, 08:11:31 PM »
Thanks.  :) I was a bit concerned.  ;)
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Offline ZealousZeal

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2015, 08:35:30 PM »
At what point is one considered a catechumen?

I found this online, but was just curious how long it takes to become one?  Is this something you work with the priest on?http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/dictionary/index.php?a=term&d=1&t=471

Well, in my case, after attending my parish regularly for a while I emailed my priest about converting, he emailed me back inviting me to take the catechumen classes that are starting next month, and last week we talked some more at coffee hour and he introduced me to a man "who is also a catechumen". So I assume I'm a catechumen at this point unless I'm missing something. I don't think there's any formal thing that I'm waiting for although I could be wrong. My priest talked about how some are catechumen for 2-3 years because they rarely ever come, some are ready after 6 months. He didn't say anything about when someone offically becomes a catechumen though.

There is a formal reception into the catechumenate, but when it happens varies. For me, I attended my parish and completed the catechumen classes but wasn't formally made a catechumen until Forgiveness Sunday right before Great Lent (and then was chrismated before Pascha). Some people aren't formally made catechumens until right before they are baptized.
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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2015, 08:51:14 PM »
To follow up and combine info from two posts


There is a formal reception into the catechumenate, but when it happens varies. For me, I attended my parish and completed the catechumen classes but wasn't formally made a catechumen until Forgiveness Sunday right before Great Lent (and then was chrismated before Pascha). Some people aren't formally made catechumens until right before they are baptized.



And


. Keep in mind that if you're a catechumen you are already a Christian.


I just want to clarify a bit.

If one is formally enrolled as a catechumen (there are prayers done ), then one is considered an Orthodox Christian, in the sense that if something should occur before the actual full reception into the Church (by Holy Baptism or Chrismation, etc) the catechumen would receive an Orthodox funeral

It does not mean one partakes of the Eucharist, or other sacraments of the Church other than those of reception.

Just clarifying because it hasn't been spelled out clearly as this thread goes along.

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2015, 10:03:44 PM »
I thought all they did was chant. I must be missing out by not staying for the whole service the other day. I must look into this. I love a capella music. Does the Coptic church do this? The Indian one I went to and was there for the whole thing, disnt.

It depends what you mean by choir, but the existence of choirs is more widespread in certain parts of Orthodoxy than in others. 
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Offline LenInSebastopol

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #20 on: September 15, 2015, 07:38:34 AM »
Talk to your priest.
Some will allow catechumens to join the choir; ours has one and I am told often that there is more Orthodoxy learning while in the choir than there is a hundred classes for catechumates.
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Offline Bryan Paul

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #21 on: September 15, 2015, 11:03:12 AM »
I thought all they did was chant. I must be missing out by not staying for the whole service the other day. I must look into this. I love a capella music. Does the Coptic church do this? The Indian one I went to and was there for the whole thing, disnt.
I'm not sure if it's different at a Coptic church, but if you stay for even the first thirty seconds of an Eastern Orthodox liturgy, you'll hear the choir. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but in many jurisdictions you're not going to hear "a capella music" as you might be expecting it to sound; It is the "Eastern" Orthodox church, after all, and it sounds Eastern. If you come to a Ukrainian parish (or, I think, a ROCOR or OCA parish), you'll find more Western-sounding, four-part harmonies.
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Offline gzt

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Re: A few questions from a new catechumen
« Reply #22 on: September 17, 2015, 06:38:25 PM »
Participation in the choir is a discipline and requires some sacrifice of your participation in the liturgy. As such, some priests suggest that only Orthodox should be in the choir, or at least people who aren't "new". Check with the rector of your parish and the choir director. As a choir director, I would also not want to "lean" too hard on somebody who's only a catechumen as well, but I wouldn't object to their being present. For other ministries, check with the priest as well.

There are prayers where the priest makes you a catechumen. You aren't one until those are done.