Author Topic: 10 Things I Wish I'd Known — Deluxe Post-Conversion Retrospective Remix Edition  (Read 1658 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,564
I think almost everybody here is familiar with FMG's famous "10 Things" list that she wished she'd known before attending Orthodox services.

I kind of want to extend that look forward to years past the chrism and the 10 things you wished you'd known about life as an Orthodox person.

I've got more than one, but I'll start:

I wish someone had emphasized how few and far between we are in the U.S. outside of the major cities. As I've written elsewhere, I've never lived close to my church. Since rural America isn't really serviced busses or trains, this means any sort of personal transportation issue (from flat tires to blown radiator) has scuttled participation for a given week.

Even with those limitations,  in the past, we were able to be more involved in our (closest) local church, but that's not something that we can currently do — both in terms of personal holdbacks and liturgical offerings — beyond attending Sunday liturgy. Since moving to a new town last year, that's not always been possible.

According to the census, my family is the only one in our county that identifies as Orthodox. And so, since church is one of the ways I've met like minded people outside workplace interactions, I sometimes feel lonely in this whole endeavor.

I know there are people who have it tougher and go longer stretches without seeing people of like faith. But I wish I could have known how to better prepare for the desert days.

What are your wish-I'd-knowns?
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 12:16:44 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
How long does it take to drive to church now, and did you check the scoba parish finder? Sometimes there are some closer than one knows.

« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 01:28:39 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
I joined as an older teenager. Ironically, there are some significant things I didnt know at the time I might not have joined because i might not have been committed enough to take on the burdens or duties. To give a main example, although I learned the teachings, I was not catechized for months like often happens, because it was a very small, old parish where I joined and it didn't offer long classes like that. Later in life I attended catechism at two other parishes. But if I was told I had to attend catechism classes every week for half a year a half hour away from home, I don't know if I as a teenager would have. I might have thought that the church was good, but put off joining until later in life. I don't know the answer to what I would have done.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 01:40:37 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,564
How long does it take to drive to church now, and did you check the scoba parish finder? Sometimes there are some closer than one knows.

Aside from the fact that the Episcopal Assembly's parish finder is outdated (I know firsthand that it lists two parishes that are not only closed but have been sold), I've tracked the development of every mission within 200 miles of me for years. There's nothing.

The drive is only an hour (by far the closest I've ever been), but there are other complications that make getting down there difficult. There are also fewer weekday services than I previously had available for when work kept me away on Sunday.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 02:11:20 PM by Agabus »
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
I know exactly what you mean. There's different ways to look at it. So I will try to be helpful and give a perspective.

There are alot of people with 1.5 hour city commutes. There are people on our parish council drive maybe 1.5 hours, and I drive almost 35. I've driven 45 miles to work in the past.

Back in the day in the east Slavic communities in Pennsylvania some families had to walk across several towns. Sometimes that was 10 to 25 miles and it took them alot of the day. The slav immigrants didn't have the money to buy a carriage to take them.

In the heyday of the east slavic churches 100 years ago in P.A.,  the coal towns with the east slavic churches were surrounded by patch villages. So if you lived in a patch village 3 miles from church, that could be a 1.5 hour walk for your family. They did not have TVs, so church was a form of social life and also met social needs, and they got used to walking places, so people were willing to do it.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 06:47:46 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
The orthodox church in the US is very tied to the Greek, Ukrainian, Rusyn, and Alaskan communities. Those immigrant communities settled especially in the northeastern states. But America was well known as for a long time overwhelmingly protestant in culture, with a significant Catholic minority. So knowing that, one can't expect to move to the rural south, rural Midwest, or the Rockies and be likely to find much besides a Protestant or maybe catholic church close by.

Also back in the day there were alot of ethnic immigrant orthodox who knew that America was protestant, and who would only move or look for work some place that others of their community lived. A third of a village in Ukraine could move to a single county in the northeast US. Alot of people would not go out just on their own and take work at a place far from other orthodox immigrants, like in rural arkansas.

Times have changed alot since then of course and so have people's work place decisions.

Peace.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2017, 07:07:16 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 36,110
Your life won't look anything like something out of a hagiographical text, so you shouldn't pretend that it is or try to force that square shape through the circular hole. Reception into the Church is the beginning of another phase of your life, not an induction into a mystical club where praying 3 hours a day is easy, strict asceticism becomes the norm, you can always recall the sage advice from St. Whoever just when you need it, your spiritual discernment and understanding gets cranked up to 11, and so on. Zealous zeal can be a good thing, but only when it is pushing you towards the goal and not causing you to stumble. "Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you." (Rom. 12:3)

Online Mor Ephrem

  • Take comfort in the warmth of the Jacuzzi of Oriental Orthodoxy
  • Section Moderator
  • Protospatharios
  • *****
  • Posts: 33,094
  • Two half-eggs
    • OrthodoxChristianity.net
  • Faith: The Ancienter Faith
  • Jurisdiction: East
Zealous zeal can be a good thing...

ZealousZeal is The Best. 
Please don't project meta-debates onto me.

Quote
The erection of one’s rod counts as a form of glory (Theophylaktos of Ohrid, A Defense of Eunuchs, p. 329).

Offline NicholasMyra

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 8,586
    • Hyperdox Herman
  • Faith: Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Partially-overlapping
Commandments before mysticism.
Quote from: Fr. Thomas Hopko, dystopian parable of the prodigal son
...you can imagine so-called healing services of the pigpen. The books that could be written, you know: Life in the Pigpen. How to Cope in the Pigpen. Being Happy in the Pigpen. Surviving in the Pigpen. And then there could be counselling, for people who feel unhappy in the pigpen, to try to get them to come to terms with the pigpen, and to accept the pigpen.

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
I wish they had told me about getting sponsors or godparents when you join, because I didn't have any. How common is it to get them when you convert?

On the plus side, since I was a teenager when I joined, I got to be like an altar boy sometimes.
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Dominika

  • Troublesome Sheep
  • Global Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,349
  • Serbian/Polish
    • My youtube channel
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: POC, but my heart belongs to Antioch
That my parish would convert to the old calendar and that my priest would turn to, let's call it, conservatism and more about rules, than spirit (he used to be the opposite).
Since my father is Orthodox and I'd been grown up also in the Orthodoxy, they're probably the unique things.
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,564
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,564
When people say your experiences will vary wildly from parish to parish (especially if you're changing jurisdictions), they're not exaggerating.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,314
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: 10 Things I Wish I'd Known —
« Reply #13 on: November 03, 2017, 11:08:30 AM »
Stay away from orthodoxinfo.com.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,156
  • Jurisdiction: The thrilling romance of Holy Orthodoxy
Avoid ethnic parishes like the plague.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,314
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: 10 Things I Wish I'd Known
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2017, 11:23:15 AM »
Avoid ethnic parishes like the plague.

Nah.
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline RobS

  • Formerly "nothing"
  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 3,156
  • Jurisdiction: The thrilling romance of Holy Orthodoxy
Re: 10 Things I Wish I'd Known
« Reply #16 on: November 03, 2017, 12:04:17 PM »
Avoid ethnic parishes like the plague.

Nah.
When people say your experiences will vary wildly from parish to parish (especially if you're changing jurisdictions), they're not exaggerating.
"The business of the Christian is nothing else than to be ever preparing for death (μελεπᾷν ἀποθνήσκειν)."

— Saint Irenaeus of Lyons, Fragment XI

Modernist thinking and being consists of nothing but uncritical acceptance.

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
It would have helped to know how strict the Church is on some issues compared to other issues, or compared to other churches.

To give an example of relative strictness: the Church prescribes fasting on certain days, eg. (A) no meat on Wednesday and (B) nothing to swallow on the morning that one takes the Eucharist. But it seems much stricter about B than A, since B concerns Eucharistic preparation.

Likewise, even if the Catholic church lets EOs take communion in Catholic Churches and in practice might let Lutherans commune, the EO Church in practice seems stricter in not allowing their own members take communion at Catholic churches or in communing non-EOs, than in the issues of observing the fasts. The reason for the different treatment by the Church is that this already gets into doctrinal issues about the importance of the Eucharist in Orthodoxy.

I heard a story on OC.net several years ago about a young man who converted to the Serbian Church, and then either communed in a non-EO Church or else committed fornication. The person was warned to stop this, and when he repeated the mistake, he was excommunicated practically for the rest of his life by the Serbian patriarch. I think that if the young man had known how strict the Serbian Church was on those issues, he would not have joined unless he had been sufficientlly prepared for them. Such preparation would have been the best outcome by far, rather than practically losing someone due to its lack.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 12:16:44 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Iconodule

  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 13,314
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Ecumenical Patriarchate (ACROD)
Re: 10 Things I Wish I'd Known
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2017, 12:14:51 PM »
Avoid ethnic parishes like the plague.

Nah.
When people say your experiences will vary wildly from parish to parish (especially if you're changing jurisdictions), they're not exaggerating.

Well... exactly.

Also, where do you find these mystical creatures who have divested themselves of ethnicity?
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 12:15:53 PM by Iconodule »
Quote
“A goose to hatch the Crystal Egg after an Eagle had half-hatched it! Aye, aye, to be sure, that’s right,” said the Old Woman of Beare. “And now you must go find out what happened to it. Go now, and when you come back I will give you your name.”
- from The King of Ireland's Son, by Padraic Colum

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,387
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
"Things I wish I'd known" mostly amount to things I still wish to know. Mainly, traditional nuances of worship and home life, which are missing in small convert parishes. But in the spirit that you mean, I can't think of anything I wish I'd known. I kept my expectations very minimal, and was mostly just looking for a spiritual authority of good proveniance to place myself under. As an ex- Dorothy Day -
 style anarchist, I thought of it more as submitting to a spiritual patrimony -- taking my medicine -- than something that would bring me personal benefits. In the event, conversion did bring me great personal benefits, but those could come as pleasant surprises, more of which I receive all the time. If I allowed myself, I could be bothered by any number of things in American Orthodoxy, but I'm just old enough to have learnt that that kind of vexation is the fruit of one's own mind and not of the trespasses of others (trespassers tho they may be, as are we all; Lord, have mercy).
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Agabus

  • The user formerly known as Agabus.
  • Section Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • *****
  • Posts: 4,564
Re: 10 Things I Wish I'd Known —
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2017, 01:57:47 PM »
Stay away from orthodoxinfo.com.
+1

Avoid ethnic parishes like the plague.

My best experience of Orthodoxy was in an ethnic parish where I got to see all the kookiness of Levantine Orthodoxy (and cultural swagger) but was welcomed — along with homeless people, druggies, bougie folks, etc. — with wide arms.
Blessed Nazarius practiced the ascetic life. His clothes were tattered. He wore his shoes without removing them for six years.

THE OPINIONS HERE MAY NOT REFLECT THE ACTUAL OR PERCEIVED ORTHODOX CHURCH

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 36,110
I heard a story on OC.net several years ago about a young man who converted to the Serbian Church, and then either communed in a non-EO Church or else committed fornication. The person was warned to stop this, and when he repeated the mistake, he was excommunicated practically for the rest of his life by the Serbian patriarch.

Think you could dig up a link? That seems to be getting into "priest riding a man like a donkey" levels of absurdity, unless there are some important details missing here.

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
I heard a story on OC.net several years ago about a young man who converted to the Serbian Church, and then either communed in a non-EO Church or else committed fornication. The person was warned to stop this, and when he repeated the mistake, he was excommunicated practically for the rest of his life by the Serbian patriarch.

Think you could dig up a link? That seems to be getting into "priest riding a man like a donkey" levels of absurdity, unless there are some important details missing here.
To the best of my memory, there were two stories several years ago on the forum that went like this:
Back in Byzantine times, there was an unmarried couple who were banned from communion for a long time (like 10 years) due to fornication.

And in the mid-20th century, a young man converted to Orthodoxy under the Serbian Patriarchate, and then after his conversion he communed in a non-Orthodox Church. He was warned and then he repeated this. The bishop banned him from communion for a very long time (like 40 years or until he grew old), and the Serbian patriarch upheld this decision.

I clearly remember the incident being discussed on OC.net, occurring in a SE European Patriarchate, involving something like communion in a heterodox church for a second time or else fornication for a second time after conversion, the penalty being a ban on communion for a long time, and thinking myself that the penalty was quite strict.

But it's not as if there is no overlap with this at all in America today. I know a specific case where a young man converted to Orthodoxy and has a known habit of frequently missing services and communing in non-Orthodox church and his Orthodox priest requires this to change before considering communing him again in the Church.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 03:08:16 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Porter ODoran

  • PHILIA NIKA
  • Toumarches
  • ************
  • Posts: 11,387
  • St. John the Beloved, pray for me
  • Faith: Eastern Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: GOAA
I heard a story on OC.net several years ago about a young man who converted to the Serbian Church, and then either communed in a non-EO Church or else committed fornication. The person was warned to stop this, and when he repeated the mistake, he was excommunicated practically for the rest of his life by the Serbian patriarch.

Think you could dig up a link? That seems to be getting into "priest riding a man like a donkey" levels of absurdity, unless there are some important details missing here.
To the best of my memory, there were two stories several years ago on the forum that went like this:
Back in Byzantine times, there was an unmarried couple who were banned from communion for a long time (like 10 years) due to fornication.

And in the mid-20th century, a young man converted to Orthodoxy under the Serbian Patriarchate, and then after his conversion he communed in a non-Orthodox Church. He was warned and then he repeated this. The bishop banned him from communion for a very long time (like 40 years or until he grew old), and the Serbian patriarch upheld this decision.

I clearly remember the incident being discussed on OC.net, occurring in a SE European Patriarchate, involving something like communion in a heterodox church for a second time or else fornication for a second time after conversion, the penalty being a ban on communion for a long time, and thinking myself that the penalty was quite strict.

Oh well then that settles it.

Quote
But it's not as if there is no overlap with this at all in America today. I know a specific case where a young man converted to Orthodoxy and has a known habit of frequently missing services and communing in non-Orthodox church and his Orthodox priest requires this to change before considering communing him again in the Church.

A huge, huge detail.
"Love ... is an abyss of illumination, a mountain of fire ... . It is the condition of angels, the progress of eternity" (Climacus).

Quote from: Seekingtrue
Yes we who are far from sainthood we can recognize a living saint and I'm talking from personal experience.Yes they are gentle soo gentle it can not be described it is like gentleness and humility in one and also they have this light this energy it's beyond words...and when you are near them you feel ecstatic and very happy

Offline Gorazd

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,160
  • Faith: 7 Councils
  • Jurisdiction: First without Equals
40 years are a lot. But I find it normal to make sure some kinds of behaviour have definitely stopped before communing people again. And communing in non-Orthodox churches is definitely part of this category.

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 36,110
And in the mid-20th century, a young man converted to Orthodoxy under the Serbian Patriarchate, and then after his conversion he communed in a non-Orthodox Church. He was warned and then he repeated this. The bishop banned him from communion for a very long time (like 40 years or until he grew old), and the Serbian patriarch upheld this decision.

I clearly remember the incident being discussed on OC.net, occurring in a SE European Patriarchate, involving something like communion in a heterodox church for a second time or else fornication for a second time after conversion, the penalty being a ban on communion for a long time, and thinking myself that the penalty was quite strict.

This is it I'm guessing:

On the other hand I remember a specific example of a young man, a convert, who went back to the Catholic Church for communion.  He had converted to Orthodoxy in a Serbian parish.    When he confessed this to his Orthodox priest he was given absolution and told not to receive Catholic communion again.   But he did and the priest placed the issue before the Serbian bishop.   The man was excommunicated by the bishop until his death bed when he would be able, if God arranged it, to receive Holy Communion one last time.

If that is it, it didn't mention a time frame involved, so "until his death" could be 40 years or 40 days, no? This other situation involving your friend, on the other hand, seems standard and proper:

Quote
But it's not as if there is no overlap with this at all in America today. I know a specific case where a young man converted to Orthodoxy and has a known habit of frequently missing services and communing in non-Orthodox church and his Orthodox priest requires this to change before considering communing him again in the Church.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 05:46:37 PM by Asteriktos »

Online Asteriktos

  • Hypatos
  • *****************
  • Posts: 36,110
Slow and steady wins the race.

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
And in the mid-20th century, a young man converted to Orthodoxy under the Serbian Patriarchate, and then after his conversion he communed in a non-Orthodox Church. He was warned and then he repeated this. The bishop banned him from communion for a very long time (like 40 years or until he grew old), and the Serbian patriarch upheld this decision.

I clearly remember the incident being discussed on OC.net, occurring in a SE European Patriarchate, involving something like communion in a heterodox church for a second time or else fornication for a second time after conversion, the penalty being a ban on communion for a long time, and thinking myself that the penalty was quite strict.

This is it I'm guessing:

On the other hand I remember a specific example of a young man, a convert, who went back to the Catholic Church for communion.  He had converted to Orthodoxy in a Serbian parish.    When he confessed this to his Orthodox priest he was given absolution and told not to receive Catholic communion again.   But he did and the priest placed the issue before the Serbian bishop.   The man was excommunicated by the bishop until his death bed when he would be able, if God arranged it, to receive Holy Communion one last time.

If that is it, it didn't mention a time frame involved, so "until his death" could be 40 years or 40 days, no?

Good job finding that.

Yes, a bishop laying on a ban until the death bed could be 40 days or 40 years. It could even be forever, if the person has a sudden, quick death.

Presumably, if he is a young man, say 20, and the average life span in years is about 70, then we would be looking at a most likely ban of about 50 years in practice.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 06:13:59 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Gorazd

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,160
  • Faith: 7 Councils
  • Jurisdiction: First without Equals
Yes, a bishop laying on a ban until the death bed could be 40 days or 40 years. It could even be never, if the person has a sudden, quick death.

One could also ask the bishop to reconsider after some time has passed, especially once another bishop becomes responsible...

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
Yes, a bishop laying on a ban until the death bed could be 40 days or 40 years. It could even be never, if the person has a sudden, quick death.

One could also ask the bishop to reconsider after some time has passed, especially once another bishop becomes responsible...
Sure, one could try asking his successor to change the ban or appeal to the patriarch.
But the point I was making is that I still found it a very strict penalty, and it would be important for converts like him to understand first fully the strictness with which his church applies the ban on non EO communion, so that they would be both fully informed and prepared.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 06:19:20 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline Gorazd

  • Archon
  • ********
  • Posts: 2,160
  • Faith: 7 Councils
  • Jurisdiction: First without Equals
But the point I was making is that I still found it a very strict penalty, and it would be important for converts like him to understand first fully the strictness with which his church applies the ban on non EO communion, so that they would be both fully informed and prepared.

I agree that this is an extremely serious offence and any potential converts should be made aware of this. Still, I think "until the deathbed" is too much and I cannot imagine it being upheld even by the Serbian Holy Synod.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 06:36:56 PM by Gorazd »

Online rakovsky

  • Merarches
  • ***********
  • Posts: 10,458
  • St. Mstislav I
    • The Old Testament Prophecies of the Messiah's Resurrection and Orthodox Christianity's roots in the Holy Land
  • Faith: Christian
  • Jurisdiction: Orthodox Church in America
I heard a story on OC.net several years ago about a young man who converted to the Serbian Church, and then either communed in a non-EO Church or else committed fornication. The person was warned to stop this, and when he repeated the mistake, he was excommunicated practically for the rest of his life by the Serbian patriarch.

Think you could dig up a link? That seems to be getting into "priest riding a man like a donkey" levels of absurdity, unless there are some important details missing here.
To the best of my memory, there were two stories several years ago on the forum that went like this:
Back in Byzantine times, there was an unmarried couple who were banned from communion for a long time (like 10 years) due to fornication.

And in the mid-20th century, a young man converted to Orthodoxy under the Serbian Patriarchate, and then after his conversion he communed in a non-Orthodox Church. He was warned and then he repeated this. The bishop banned him from communion for a very long time (like 40 years or until he grew old), and the Serbian patriarch upheld this decision.

I clearly remember the incident being discussed on OC.net, occurring in a SE European Patriarchate, involving something like communion in a heterodox church for a second time or else fornication for a second time after conversion, the penalty being a ban on communion for a long time, and thinking myself that the penalty was quite strict.

Oh well then that settles it.

You could be right that this is not a reliable story, since it's only something someone alleges on OC.NET. Still, if the OCA today is going to ban people for having done this repeatedly until they stop, I can imagine that a much more conservative bishop would be even stricter and tolerate even less.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2017, 06:55:08 PM by rakovsky »
The ocean, infinite to men, and the worlds beyond it, are directed by the same ordinances of the Lord. ~ I Clement 20

Offline RaphaCam

  • Protokentarchos
  • *********
  • Posts: 4,535
  • It is honourable to reveal the works of God
    • Em Espírito e em Verdade
  • Faith: Big-O Orthodox
  • Jurisdiction: Exarchate of Gotham City
To do less stuff without my spiritual father's assistance and not toromanticise people inside the Church.
"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 Dominika

  • Troublesome Sheep
  • Global Moderator
  • Protokentarchos
  • ******
  • Posts: 4,349
  • Serbian/Polish
    • My youtube channel
  • Faith: Orthodox Christian
  • Jurisdiction: POC, but my heart belongs to Antioch
I have splited many posts to the new topic:  Orthodoxy in America and ethnicity

Dominika, Global Moderator
Pray for persecuted Christians, especially in Serbian Kosovo and Raška, Egypt and Syria

My Orthodox liturgical blog "For what eat, while you can fast" in Polish (videos featuring chants in different languages)