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zebu
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« on: January 11, 2006, 11:10:53 PM »

Is it normal for a catechumen to miss their old church in the middle of their catechumenate?? It's not that I want to go back to being Episcopal or Catholic, but for the past two weeks or so I have really really missed my old Episcopal and Catholic churches.  I miss the hymns(even the ones I used to hate, lol), being an acolyte, the taste of communion wine and wafers, kneeling, teaching Sunday School, youth group, and stuff like that.  I also miss going to a "normal sized" church(the Orthodox church I go to, though I love it, it has only about 40-50 people at Divine Liturgy on Sunday).  I mean, at the Catholic Church I used to go to, the youth group was bigger than the entire congregation at my Orthodx Church.  The odd thing is I am missing things that I hated or didn't really care that much for when I was actually Episcopalian. Like I really miss youth group now, even though in the Episcopal Church I thought it was kind of stupid most of the time...Has anyone else had feelings like these? What did you do to overcome them? 
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drewmeister2
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2006, 11:21:25 PM »

I am also very interested in converting to Orthodoxy, and am 99.9% sure of Orthodoxy being the Truth.ÂÂ  But I will admit, I get the same feeling.ÂÂ  I will sometimes hear Gregorian chant, and start with my Western "feelings" again.ÂÂ  Or like, right now I go to a Melkite Church, when I am there at times I feel I don't want to convert, as I love it there (it is a beautiful parish, good community), but I know it isn't the Truth either.ÂÂ  I mean, I guess its like girls (no offense to any women here).ÂÂ  I have had one "girlfriend" (we never were really even boyfriend/girlfriend, we just did stuff), but now we don't really hang out as much.ÂÂ  At times, I want to go back and hang out more, but then I remember the reasons why I stopped hanging out with her, and then I come to my senses.

There is nothing wrong I wouldn't think per se as to liking Gregorian chant and whatnot (some of it is very beautiful, especially polyphony), but you must remember these are only externals, and don't make up the Truth.ÂÂ  I don't think just because you convert you have to stop listening to Gregorian chant or anything (well, I like Gregorian chant, not sure if you do).ÂÂ  I actually heard a new Gregorian chant song I had never heard before a few nights ago, and it was so peaceful I almost fell asleep at my computer!ÂÂ  Anyways, just my thoughts Smiley.
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« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2006, 12:04:14 AM »

I am also very interested in converting to Orthodoxy, and am 99.9% sure of Orthodoxy being the Truth.ÂÂ  But I will admit, I get the same feeling.ÂÂ  I will sometimes hear Gregorian chant, and start with my Western "feelings" again.ÂÂ  Or like, right now I go to a Melkite Church, when I am there at times I feel I don't want to convert, as I love it there (it is a beautiful parish, good community), but I know it isn't the Truth either.ÂÂ  I mean, I guess its like girls (no offense to any women here).ÂÂ  I have had one "girlfriend" (we never were really even boyfriend/girlfriend, we just did stuff), but now we don't really hang out as much.ÂÂ  At times, I want to go back and hang out more, but then I remember the reasons why I stopped hanging out with her, and then I come to my senses.

There is nothing wrong I wouldn't think per se as to liking Gregorian chant and whatnot (some of it is very beautiful, especially polyphony), but you must remember these are only externals, and don't make up the Truth.ÂÂ  I don't think just because you convert you have to stop listening to Gregorian chant or anything (well, I like Gregorian chant, not sure if you do).ÂÂ  I actually heard a new Gregorian chant song I had never heard before a few nights ago, and it was so peaceful I almost fell asleep at my computer!ÂÂ  Anyways, just my thoughts Smiley.

I know exactly what you are going through.  During my time of exploration of the Orthodox faith I had the assurance that I always had that "one foot" still in the Latin church and if there was any thing that really bothered me that I could always revert back and "no harm done".   Well, the more I read up on the faith the more I was convinced that this faith was the one I wanted to be part of.  Yes, we did have wonderful choirs and the western hymns were soooo familiar but I also found a fondness for the new faith and started to fall in love with it and all its beauty.  And most important to me was that I wasnt leaving Catholicism only the Latin version of Catholcism.  This was and still is most assuring to me.  For if it were not so I would have stayed reluctantly in my former faith.  I know that whatever direction you may take it will be by the help of the Holy Spirit as it did me.  I wish you well on your journey and I know you will make the choice best for you.

JoeS 
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« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2006, 12:54:48 PM »

Is it normal for a catechumen to miss their old church in the middle of their catechumenate?? It's not that I want to go back to being Episcopal or Catholic, but for the past two weeks or so I have really really missed my old Episcopal and Catholic churches.  I miss the hymns(even the ones I used to hate, lol), being an acolyte, the taste of communion wine and wafers, kneeling, teaching Sunday School, youth group, and stuff like that.  I also miss going to a "normal sized" church(the Orthodox church I go to, though I love it, it has only about 40-50 people at Divine Liturgy on Sunday).  I mean, at the Catholic Church I used to go to, the youth group was bigger than the entire congregation at my Orthodx Church.  The odd thing is I am missing things that I hated or didn't really care that much for when I was actually Episcopalian. Like I really miss youth group now, even though in the Episcopal Church I thought it was kind of stupid most of the time...Has anyone else had feelings like these? What did you do to overcome them? 

I do know what you are going through. I've been there before, and actually I'm there again now. Back when I was near your age, I converted from one church to another. It was a big conversion, since the churches were nothing alike in either practice or doctrine. I missed my old church so much. It was so familiar, with so many good memories of people and songs and, well, just everything. Plus I felt like I really belonged at the old church. At the new one, I was so unsure of myself, not feeling like I knew enough to voice my opinion when discussing theology. I just didn't feel authentic, like it was really part of me and I was at my spiritual home. It took me a few years before that passed entirely. That may not be the answer you wanted to hear, but it was my experience. How to overcome those feelings? Well, what I did was pretty much throw myself into as much activity as possible at the new church. I made it my home and my life. After a little while, I stopped thinkiing about my old church so much, but one day, after a few years, I thought about it and realized I had no feelings anymore for that past. I was content where I was currently, and I had reached a point where I couldn't imagine myself at any other church or practicing religion in any other way.

Now, well, I'm back where you are again. I've found my way to the Orthodox Church, and feel drawn to join myself with it. I expect to feel the same way to the church I'm coming from again for the next few years, but I'm looking forward to after that. I'm looking forward to reaching a similar point in my life, where I can't imagine myself anywhere else other than the Orthodox Church. I'm looking forward to feeling authentic again. I know you are truly part of the church once you join, but it takes a while to feel that way emotionally, instead of just knowing it intellectually.

I've rambled long enough. It is natural to feel what you are feeling. You have found a church of great truth and beauty. In time, as you continue to live and practice your new faith, those old feelings will fade away. Don't push yourself and rush things.
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« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2006, 01:31:57 PM »

Don't worry about the feelings.

I get occassional evangelical protestant "flashbacks"

then I read an evangelical magazine or attend a service ant it reminds me why I converted to Orthodoxy

Also, consider this: it's good to have some nostalgia and good feelings; how big a deal is it to convert if you are walking away in disgust? But if it fed and nurtured you (maybe you are just becoming mature enough to appreciate those elemenst you used to dismiss) and has something to commend itself, that only speaks to the fact that you are leaving it for something so much greater and fuller - the Holy Church of the the Orthodox Faith

blessings to you on your journey
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2006, 01:38:15 PM »

I have some kind of odd safegaurd against that... whenever I look at stuff from my former church (i.e. the other day I was looking through the songbook to see if I could play any of it on the piano) I get extremely nauseous, and near fainting.  Huh
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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2006, 02:01:57 PM »

I echo some of the other sentiments posted here. I think a bit of nostalgia is to be expected and normal. ALthough I no longer attend my old church I still maintain friendships there. This may help ease those pangs.  Blessings on your journey
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« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2006, 03:06:52 PM »

Amen to that Aserb.
All of my protestant friends have been understatnding and supportive of my journey to Orthodoxy (I think some are even secretly envious!)
And my sister is still in my former church - so I have lots of friends there. The funny thing is that HER best friend is a cradle Orthodox and even though my sister ISN"T Orthodox, her friend's family have made her an "honorary Greek"
And I found enough grace there (my old church) to move me along the way into the Orthodox Church.
That is one reason I, like some others on these boards, prefer the term "non-Orthodox Christians" to the more ctitical and uncharitable term "heterodox"
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« Reply #8 on: January 12, 2006, 11:42:00 PM »

I think it's expected to have a bit of grieving in any big change.  We're not just the sum of our theology, we're far more complex than that- as the Orthodox teach better than anyone IMO.  Smiley  Relationships, associations, our past, these are complicated things that don't turn on a dime.

I also don't think it's wrong to have a healthy appreciation of where we came from.
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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2006, 01:52:08 AM »

Brigid,

The feelings you have are common among  catechumen and even old converts like myself.  My parish is actually a convert parish that has a few "cradle Orthodox who are "founders of the Temple" and of course our own children and grandchildren who are cradle Orthodox having been born into Orthodox Christian families. This is a commonly reported situation.

If you live near a Western Rite Orthodox Parish in either the Antiochian or ROCOR jurisdictions, visit them on occasion as you determine whether you will be Eastern Rite Orthodox or Western Rite Orthodox---remember that those in the Western Rite Churches are Orthodox and once Orthodox you may commune in them as well as the Eastern Orthodox Churches as they have repudiated the Western innovations of the Roman Catholic Church and her descendant churches (Anglican, Lutheran etc).  You will find many of the old orthodox hymns of the western church and the chants are the same that you remember and miss.

Some Eastern Rite Parishes, like mine, will occasionally have a hymn-sing nite  when converts come together to play and sing the old hymns they knew and loved as children. These same people  serve in a Nursing Home ministry where they visit local nursing homes leading the non-orthodox residents in the old hymns they love, introducing them to and sharing some of the beautiful hymnology of the Eastern Orthodox Christians.  It is really a joy to see some of these elderly residents learning and joyfully singing the Paschal Hymn "Christos Anesti or Christ is Risen". The few Orthodox Elderly in our local nursing homes are filled with joy to see an Orthodox presence in their nursing home as well.

I hope this gives you some ideas.

In Christ,
Thomas
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zebu
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« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2006, 09:05:52 PM »

Well it's good to know I'm not the only one who felt like that! And I definitely know what you mean, after reminiscing a bit or listening to some old songs, I remember exactly why I left. 

Unlike many of you though, my Protestant friends are not so supportive...one of them called the Orthodox Church the "Anti-Gospel Church"(as though they even knew anything about it).  Then some of them were supportive until I told them I was going to be baptized and then they thought I was joining a non-Christian group like the Mormons or Jehovah's Witnesses something.  My Catholic friends have been nice though...Lol, actually I have gotten a friend back by converting to Orthodoxy since one of my lapsed-Catholic friends really didn't like the idea of me becoming Catholic and stopped talking to me for quite some time, but now we're friends again Smiley


There is nothing wrong I wouldn't think per se as to liking Gregorian chant and whatnot (some of it is very beautiful, especially polyphony), but you must remember these are only externals, and don't make up the Truth.ÂÂÂ  I don't think just because you convert you have to stop listening to Gregorian chant or anything (well, I like Gregorian chant, not sure if you do).ÂÂÂ  I actually heard a new Gregorian chant song I had never heard before a few nights ago, and it was so peaceful I almost fell asleep at my computer!ÂÂÂ  Anyways, just my thoughts Smiley.
Gregorian chant is the best!!! What was the new song that made you almost fall asleep??  You know, I don't think I have ever heard Gregorian chant in a Roman Catholic Church...We used it sometimes at my old Episcopal Church though.  It was actually in the Catholic church that I was introduced to CCM, lol.  But then again, I went to the Life Teen Mass, where we sang songs like "I could sing of your love forever" with our hands outstretched like Pentecostals...

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« Reply #11 on: January 16, 2006, 12:04:33 PM »

you know, I almost wish my priest (or bishop) had insisted on my being baptized;
I sometimes have disconcerting thoughts like, what if the minister who baptized me as an infant was some free-wheeling evangelical in the Presbyterian church and only baptized me in Jesus' name rather than the Holy Trinity (doubtful he did that, but the thought occurs); also they just sprinkle in the Presbyterian church (rather than immerse) and although some ministers sprinkle 3 times, others only do it once; so sometimes I have the thought, was that really enough?
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« Reply #12 on: January 16, 2006, 08:20:56 PM »

Dude at some point you need to believe in the Holy Spirit, and the love of God.  Also you should read some things on the sanctity of Sacraments, even though the priest isn't sanctified (person).  Now we could get into semantics about the difference between baptist pastors and orthodox priests, but ultimately my point is the same.  If the orthodox church accepts your baptism, then that's it.  And that's the point where you put in your faith in the Holy Spirit.  Remember, it does blow where it wills. 
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« Reply #13 on: January 16, 2006, 09:49:56 PM »

How true you are Serb!

It is the responsibility of the Bishop and rests upon his shoulders alone (as inspired by the Holy Spirit of course) to determine where and when economia is applied. The Holy Spirit corrects the imperfect and makes the "sacrament" perfected and orthodox.  I have seen Bishops who grant economia to one convert and yet with another want the full service done from exorcism to full Baptism. If we truly believe our Bishops have been called by God to their calling (AXIOS), we must also have faith that their decisions and actions likewise come from the promptings of the Holy Spirit for their calling and duty as a Bishop is truly a special Chrism that we as laity and other clergy do not have.

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #14 on: January 17, 2006, 10:56:39 PM »

ABSOLUTELY!  I couldn't agree more.  Another point, however, is that converts arn't the only ones who have to deal with "some free-wheeling evangelical" when it comes to liturgical services.  You should see some of the "old country" priests i've had to deal with.  My old church in Serbia had some priest who was ordained when he was like 17.  I've never seen anyone with that much complete disregard for decorum and structure.  I DEFINATELY don't miss that.  I'm really glad to have been to and met orthodox priests who are liturgically sound and can really uplift you during the service just by their perfection.  I'm not saying perfection is the goal.  But an orthodox service is SUPPOST to be beautiful.  But hey...only God in heaven is perfect...
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« Reply #15 on: January 17, 2006, 11:07:48 PM »

Yes!  And our services are supposed to bring us into a foretaste of the Worship in Heaven so we must strive to make them as beautiful and worshipfull aspossible.

In Christ,
Thomas
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« Reply #16 on: February 06, 2006, 04:31:22 PM »

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« Reply #17 on: February 09, 2006, 10:25:49 PM »

                I'm shock to hear this sounds similar story to a dear brother of mine.By the grace of God he was born into the Ethiopian Orthodox Twehadow church but when he came to america he attended an catholic grade school.I think its name was saint Francis de Sales.Well he attends the emanual orthodox church but he sometimes still go to the catholic parish simply because it opens more time in a week.His reasoning was they both have saints and they should and will reunite someday.He talks about how we must remember they were untied as one at one point of time.He does love the orthodox church and says he would glady die for the faith but he feels like sometimes he struggle with thoughts between the two.Its strange because when he was a kid the orthodox church did'nt exist in his area ,but after he got out of highschool one appeared there.His spiritual father abba tsekgin lived four blocks away and was helping him learn Ge'ez.He told me he was slothful in learning  Ge'ez so in some ways he was'nt progressing spiriutal or acdamically.It was like God was calling him but his spiritual father left and now no one is helping learn about the orthodox faith but he lives like four blocks from thest Francis de sales catholic church too.Its confusing but base on the following what do you think i should tell him? i Smiley God's will?
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« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2006, 12:26:46 AM »

I would say to tell him to learn more before making any concrete decisions.  Such monumental choices shouldn't be made on spur of the moment emotions or understandings.  They should be well grounded in faith, knowledge and understanding.  If he believes in the Catholic church as truth, hey, be my guest.  If he, rather, understands the truth in light of Eastern Orthodoxy (or even Oriental Orthodoxy) then he should persue his church life there.  Understanding both sides will give him a clearer picture and show him the best path.  And, as always, lots of prayer! 
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