Author Topic: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria  (Read 1487 times)

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Offline Lepanto

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Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« on: February 10, 2017, 03:06:24 AM »
This being my first thread, I was not quite sure whether this would be the right place.
It could also be "Liturgy" - please move there if more appropriate.

I have several questions about the presence of non-Orthodox at Orthodox mysteria.

For clarity: Let us assume the perfectly polite guest, not trying to participate or interfere
in any way, standing in the back silently.
I am especially interested in marriage ceremonies and baptisms, not so much communion
(but comment on it anyway!).

So: In which scenarios are non-Orthodox guests allowed/not allowed today?
Does it make any difference whether the guest is heterodox Christian or not?

In reality, I guess that this is handled differently at a monastery on a Greek island
than in a diaspora parish with a lot of converts and their families in the U.S., say.
As far as I know, in the end this is a decision to be made by the priest in charge.

Of course, you can answer: "At my parish XYZ it is handled so and so" - thanks for any reply! -
but I am genuinely interested on a more general perspective.
Are there any commonly accepted rules?
Better still, can you refer me to church fathers commenting on this?
Assume I know a thing or two about this already, early church history, ostiaries, the call to the doors
at the end of the first part of the divine liturgy and the like.

Thank you!
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2017, 03:36:14 AM »
By mysteria, do you mean the services in which there are sacraments?
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

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Offline Lepanto

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2017, 05:05:46 AM »
By mysteria, do you mean the services in which there are sacraments?
Yes, sorry if that was not clear.
Mysteria was meant as plural to mysterium, a latinization.
I presuppose the agreement that the seven RC sacraments are different, but at least comparable.
There should be lots of threads on this already.
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2017, 06:04:35 AM »
Attendance is not considered a problem, but generally participation is not allowed. There are some limited exceptions, however. A non-Orthodox (but not non-Christian) can marry an Orthodox in church, but not serve as best man/woman. Similarly, a non-Orthodox parent can have their child baptised Orthodox, but can't become a godparent. Communion is, naturally, out of bounds, but going up afterwards for a blessing and a piece of antidoron is fine. Holy Unction I'm not so sure about. You might not be allowed to go up and be anointed by the priest, but taking some oil home is probably okay.
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Offline Lepanto

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2017, 06:21:10 AM »

Thanks Arachne!
You write that "attendance is not considered a problem".
How do you know that, other than from personal experience? Can you give any references?
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2017, 06:33:22 AM »
I haven't seen it set down in black and white, but I haven't seen, or even heard of, anyone being asked to leave either. There is a place in the Divine Liturgy where catechumens are asked to depart, before consecration of the Eucharist goes on, but I've never seen that enforced. And since you're mostly interested in weddings and baptisms, it wouldn't make sense to allow a non-Orthodox to be involved in the sacrament (as spouse or parent) and then forbid others from witnessing the rite.
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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Offline Lepanto

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2017, 08:48:10 AM »
I haven't seen it set down in black and white, but I haven't seen, or even heard of, anyone being asked to leave either. There is a place in the Divine Liturgy where catechumens are asked to depart, before consecration of the Eucharist goes on, but I've never seen that enforced. And since you're mostly interested in weddings and baptisms, it wouldn't make sense to allow a non-Orthodox to be involved in the sacrament (as spouse or parent) and then forbid others from witnessing the rite.

All good points, I understand. Let us say I have seen people not being asked to leave but asked not to enter in the first place.
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Offline Arachne

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2017, 09:02:28 AM »
Keep in mind that one may be barred from entry for violating dress code, although that is a lot more likely to happen at monasteries rather than parishes.

My experience is limited, because growing up in Greece there were not too many non-Orthodox around to start with, so not much screening at all (friends from areas with a strong Catholic presence say they don't segregate either). In the UK, our chapel is part of the town's archaeological site complex, so accessible to anyone. Still, I can understand that attitudes may vary with area and jurisdiction.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2017, 09:02:51 AM by Arachne »
'Evil isn't the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as evil, maybe more so, and it's a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against stupid. That might actually make a difference.'~Harry Dresden

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Offline Mor Ephrem

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2017, 11:13:34 AM »
A non-Orthodox (but not non-Christian) can marry an Orthodox in church...

Depends on the jurisdiction.
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

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Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2017, 01:28:57 PM »
in America, attendance at things like baptisms and weddings is generally open to all, given that most folks have friends or family who are not Orthodox. Making those events Orthodox-only would surely discourage folks from marrying at church, etc.


in terms of coming up to kiss the Cross and get antidoron at the end of a Divine Liturgy, I would say the Cross and a blessing are fairly universal, antidoron, not as universally handed out to non-communicants.....

but requiring non orthodox to leave during the DL, is I would say generally no longer practiced.

All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline Bob2

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2017, 02:06:48 PM »


in terms of coming up to kiss the Cross and get antidoron at the end of a Divine Liturgy, I would say the Cross and a blessing are fairly universal, antidoron, not as universally handed out to non-communicants.....



Do you perhaps mean that it is not given those who are not within our "communion?" Non-communicants among the faithful is precisely who the antidoron is intended for. I have read some in some sources that communicants should wait before kissing the cross until the non-communing faithful have had a chance to kiss it receive the antindoron, because antidoron means "in place of the gifts," and is intended as a consolation for those Orthodox who were not able to prepare themselves for the Eucharist.  Some guides of piety say that only the Orthodox should receive antidoron and that it should only eaten by those who have fasted. If you approach to kiss the cross and are offered you should have no worries about consuming it.

Offline DeniseDenise

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2017, 02:14:56 PM »
I meant non-communicants as in those who are not able to commune in a church....not those who -are refraining- but are still communicants overall.

All opinions expressed by myself are quite tragically my own, and not those of any other poster or wall hangings.

Offline eddybear

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2017, 06:07:48 PM »
I can only speak of my parish, but all are welcome to all parts of all services, except actually partaking in the Eucharist.

Offline hecma925

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2017, 01:13:59 AM »
A non-Orthodox (but not non-Christian) can marry an Orthodox in church...

Depends on the jurisdiction.

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Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #14 on: February 11, 2017, 03:03:14 AM »
Attendance is not considered a problem, but generally participation is not allowed. There are some limited exceptions, however. A non-Orthodox (but not non-Christian) can marry an Orthodox in church, but not serve as best man/woman. Similarly, a non-Orthodox parent can have their child baptised Orthodox, but can't become a godparent. Communion is, naturally, out of bounds, but going up afterwards for a blessing and a piece of antidoron is fine. Holy Unction I'm not so sure about. You might not be allowed to go up and be anointed by the priest, but taking some oil home is probably okay.
I've been anointed by the priest. I'm not sure if it was holy unction. It was maybe mhyrrh from an icon. I guess I am Orthodox.
"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #15 on: February 11, 2017, 02:15:20 PM »
Attendance is not considered a problem, but generally participation is not allowed. There are some limited exceptions, however. A non-Orthodox (but not non-Christian) can marry an Orthodox in church, but not serve as best man/woman. Similarly, a non-Orthodox parent can have their child baptised Orthodox, but can't become a godparent. Communion is, naturally, out of bounds, but going up afterwards for a blessing and a piece of antidoron is fine. Holy Unction I'm not so sure about. You might not be allowed to go up and be anointed by the priest, but taking some oil home is probably okay.
I've been anointed by the priest. I'm not sure if it was holy unction. It was maybe mhyrrh from an icon. I guess I am Orthodox.
:)
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline mcarmichael

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #16 on: February 11, 2017, 10:23:24 PM »
I've been anointed by the priest. I'm not sure if it was holy unction. It was maybe mhyrrh from an icon. I guess I am Orthodox.
:)
Rapha, how do I use a prayer rope?
"Mouth make trouble, mouth make no trouble." - Sun Tzu

"Guard your steps as you go to the house of God and draw near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools; for they do not know they are doing evil. Do not be hasty in word or impulsive in thought to bring up a matter in the presence of God. For God is in heaven and you are on the earth; therefore let your words be few." - Ecclesiastes (NASB)

"Horses are animals." - Gebre Menfes Kidus

Offline Lepanto

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2017, 03:04:46 AM »
To summarize: So far nobody reported that there are restrictions for visitors at baptisms and marriage ceremonies, of course always assuming the visitors are behaving and dressed appropriately.
At least such restrictions are no longer enforced nowadays, which would be hard in the U.S. considering the diaspora.
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Offline RaphaCam

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2017, 03:23:09 AM »
I've been anointed by the priest. I'm not sure if it was holy unction. It was maybe mhyrrh from an icon. I guess I am Orthodox.
:)
Rapha, how do I use a prayer rope?
I've learned "Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me a sinner!" at each knot, "Save us, Most Holy Mother of God!" at each bead and the Creed and the Lord's Prayer at the cross. It's OK if you don't know the Creed.
"May the Lord our God remember in His kingdom all Holy Catholic Apostolic Church, which heralds the Word of Truth and fearlessly offers and distributes the Holy Oblation despite human deficiencies and persecutions moved by the powers of this world, in all time and unto the ages of ages."

Check my blog "Em Espírito e em Verdade" (in Portuguese)

Offline Daedelus1138

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2017, 10:54:03 AM »
If you only allow the Orthodox to attend an Orthodox church, there will be no possibility of evangelization in your church.
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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2017, 10:58:35 AM »
If you only allow the Orthodox to attend an Orthodox church, there will be no possibility of evangelization in your church.

Who are you talking to here?
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Offline ialmisry

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Re: Presence of non-Orthodox at mysteria
« Reply #21 on: June 15, 2017, 02:25:54 PM »
In the Middle East, if Muslims are willing, they are welcome to come. Most, however, wouldn't be caught dead in a Church it seems.
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