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Author Topic: Looking at Churches  (Read 1306 times) Average Rating: 0
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fleur-de-lys
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« on: August 02, 2009, 02:16:47 PM »

So, the week after next I will be attending an Oriental Orthodox church. I've never been to one, or even to an Eastern Orthodox church, so I am not sure what to expect. I am reading up on the liturgy, but it's a little intimidating.

There are two Oriental Orthodox churches in my general area. One is Malankara Orthodox and one is Ethiopian Orthodox. I'm having trouble choosing between them. At risk of possibly igniting some horrid raging dispute I know nothing about (but happily that seems unlikely) what are some of the differences between these two churches that might be of interest to me? I have nothing to recommend one over the other, so I'm close to just choosing one arbitrarily and hoping for the best. But I kinda don't want to do that. It's a long drive, after all. I can't pick a different church every Sunday.

Also, is there anything I should know to do in general, or to expect, as a first-timer? I remember the first time I walked into a Catholic church; it was like setting foot on Mars. Any help would be appreciated.  Smiley
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 02:18:15 PM by fleur-de-lys » Logged

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Salpy
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« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2009, 05:11:19 PM »

Welcome to the forum!

You may want to click on the tags below and read some threads to get a feel for the two churches. 

Other than that, about the only advice I can give is to wear white, or at least very light colors, when you go to the Ethiopian Church, as that is their custom.  Also, if you are female (it's hard to tell on the internet  Smiley ) when visiting either church, you may want to take along a scarf or mantilla, as head coverings tend to be more commonly used in OO churches than in other churches.  Other than that, you should be fine as long as you are respectful, which I'm sure you will be. 

There are not any doctrinal differences, since both churches are OO.  You may want to call ahead and see if either have English liturgies.  I seem to think that may be more likely in the Indian church, but I could be wrong.  If you want to get a feel for the worship of either church, you may want to click onto the Oriental Orthodox music thread, which is a sticky at the top of the OO forum.

I hope you have a good experience.  Please let us know what happens.   Smiley
« Last Edit: August 02, 2009, 05:17:02 PM by Salpy » Logged

deusveritasest
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« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 06:11:47 PM »

Could you give a little more detail on the two churches that you are thinking of? If perhaps you just said what area you are in, I could probably figure it out.
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fleur-de-lys
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« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 07:02:15 PM »

I'm in Oklahoma City.
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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 08:54:17 PM »

Is the Ethiopian Church you are thinking of visiting St. George Church on Western Avenue?  I can't find the Indian Church you are referring to, though.

There is evidently also a Coptic Church in Bixby, but I don't know if Bixby is near you:

http://www.copticchurch.net/topics/directory/church.php?show=153

http://thoseheadcoverings.blogspot.com/2009/02/coptic-church-in-us.html

If it is near enough to go to, you may want to call to see if they have English liturgies.  Sometimes Coptic churches will.

There is also a Syriac Orthodox church in Bethany:

http://saintgeorgechurchok.org/index.html



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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2009, 01:37:29 AM »

Looks like your in the same situation as me, fleur-de-lys.

I'm wondering between the Chalcedonian eastern orthodox Church, the non-Chalcedonian Oriental Orthodox, and the Church of the east.

As far as I can tell, havong studied all three, they teach the same thing, and the confusion lies in linquistics. They don't agree, however.

It seems like anyone seeking to convert needs to master Church history, theology, and know about the politics of the time. I long for the unity there has not been since the first Pentecost when the Holy Spirit descended onto the Holy Apostles.
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St. Cyril, St. Leo, and St. Severus pray that the Church may be united and one, Eastern and Oriental.St. Issac the Syrian, pray that Assyria would return to the Holy Church. St. Gregory, pray for Rom
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