I have been considering becoming orthodox
Posted 26 January 2014 - 02:25 PM
Orthodoxy does not subscribe to the idea of a universal pontiff, nor that only one apostle (Peter) was given "the keys". The simple reason for this is that Christ appointed twelve apostles (and, later, another seventy), and gave them all equal authority to "bind and loose", as well as equal authority to go out and preach the Good News.
Posted 26 January 2014 - 04:15 PM
It is important to note that the Orthodox faith is apostolic: we say in the Creed that we believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church. This means that the Orthodox faith does not develop - it cannot be added to or have anything taken away from it. It is the faith of the Apostles. This is what the bishops teach. Bishops have, notably in the councils, defined the faith in the face of heresy. The precedent for this is the apostolic council we read of in Acts. Christ promised that the Holy Spirit would lead the apostles into all truth. The councils invoked the Holy Spirit to do that. To say that the definitions of the apostolic faith given in the councils may not be true is either to doubt Christ's promise or to doubt that the Holy Spirit did lead them into all truth.
The Orthodox Church is not a religion. It is not a denomination. It is not the best of a number of ways of achieving salvation. It is the reality of the true state of being in Christ in this world and the next. In that sense, paradise and heaven are Orthodox.
Posted 26 January 2014 - 04:29 PM
Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:21 PM
It depends where you are in Ireland. The Russian Church is, I think, more widespread than the Greek. There are parishes which regularly have the Divine Liturgy and others, such as those in the south-west and west, which have the liturgy less regularly, perhaps once a month. An hour's drive is not so bad, though. Yes, you can by all means attend the Divine Liturgy though of course only baptised Orthodox Christians who are in good order with the Church and who have prepared themselves may take Holy Communion. I don't know about language and ethnic composition - go and see. I spent the first year or two before my reception into the Church attending Cypriot parishes in the north of England and hadn't much clue what was going on. Don't let that kind of thing or people put you off. If you decide to 'put your hand to the plough', you need a priest from whom to take instruction. When I'm on holiday in Ireland (and you will see from my surname that my origins are Irish), I feel very close to the pre-schism Irish saints, and I think they help. The Diocese of Sourozh website http://www.sourozh.org/listofclergy/ lists parishes in Ireland.
Posted 26 January 2014 - 05:37 PM
Posted 26 January 2014 - 06:19 PM
I think you've got a wrong idea of 'different ritual rites'. All canonical Orthodox Churches are in communion with each other and all have as their central act of worship the Divine Liturgy. This is most commonly the Divine Liturgy of St John Chrysostom. They all also have the other usual services in common: Vespers, Matins, and so forth. There are slight variations within the services but nothing of substance. Orthodox Christians may receive Holy Communion in any canonical Orthodox Church: Russian, Greek, Antiochian, Cypriot, Romanian, and so forth. I am of the Ecumenical Patriarchate (EP) but I currently attend both an Antiochian church and a monastery which is EP. I regularly visit Russia and I take Holy Communion there.
If you decide to go ahead, you will become a catechumen which is one who is undergoing formal preparation for baptism. It doesn't matter which Orthodox Church prepares you. You will be instructed in the Orthodox faith so that you understand what you are saying when you recite the Creed. You will be taught the way of life of an Orthodox Christian which includes conforming to the cycle of the Orthodox year with its feasts and fasts. You will be taught Orthodox prayers. You must be aware that whilst the Church gives much it requires much in that one must not conform to the ways and values of the world. Most people start out reading two books by Timothy Ware, who is in fact Metropolitan Kallistos: 'The Orthodox Church' and 'The Orthodox Way'. You should read these two books.
Posted 26 January 2014 - 06:27 PM
I second what Andreas said (far better than I could), I will add as one who has recently gone through the catichisam process that it vary greatly depending on your priest, as to the depth and lencth, though this will also be effected by what you understand at the point of entering the catichisam. Also being received is not arriving but the end of the beginning of the journey of faith and self discovery.
Posted 26 January 2014 - 07:15 PM
That depends of duristriction, in principle you would still go through a period of catechism so that you truly understand the Orthodox faith. Some durisdictions would want baptism while others would receive you through confession and Crismation. This depends entirly on the bishop of the Parish where you are received, there are incedences where even if the bishop prefers crismation for reception pastoral situations means that a person is baptized even coming from a heterodox tradition.
Some places such as the monisterys on Athos always receive by baptism, other places things are more flexible and situation related.
Posted 26 January 2014 - 08:07 PM
It is as Phoebe says, though I feel sure that as a Roman Catholic, you would be received by chrismation and not by Orthodox baptism - unless you chose that. It might be a good idea to read the rite for the reception of a convert since you will have to renounce the teachings of the Roman Church. Obvious matters to renounce are papal infallibility, the filioque in the Creed, and the immaculate conception of the Mother of God. But the thing to do is to focus not on what you are leaving behind but on what you are gaining. And, of course, there is a foundation, from the first thousand years of Christianity, which is shared.
Posted 27 January 2014 - 08:12 PM
But I don't know how you understand peter having the keys and having a universal pontiff etc etc. Perhaps you could explain it to me?
If this is a concern for you, maybe it helps if you keep in mind that the Patriarchate of Antiochia was also established by apostle Peter (even before he established the Patriarchate of Rome)?
Posted 27 January 2014 - 09:53 PM
What if I am an already baptised and confirmed Catholic? How does that work?
I was baptized Catholic. It makes the process of converting fairly easily.
You will be Chrismated, or sealed with oil and the Holy Spirit, usually after a period of learning more about Orthodoxy.
Go to the Orthodox church you mentioned. You are free to attend the liturgy. Do not, however, receive communion. And talk to the priest.
Posted 28 January 2014 - 09:29 AM
In theory it is possible for those baptised and confirmed as Roman Catholics to be accepted as orthodox by declaration after instruction, and chrismation may not be required. I was told this by my late Archbishop (Gabriel of Comana), long after I had been chrismated. Doh! But in practice most jurisdictions see nothing wrong in chrismating, just to be sure. The priest you go to for instruction will decide in the light of his bishop's guidance. However you are received, you will be fully orthodox and join the whole Church. I frequently serve in the altar with a mixture of Russian, Greek, Romanian and Antiocian clergy, they all teach the same faith.
I too was baptised as a Roman Catholic in infancy, and confirmed as a young man - I almost became a Friar! And a word of caution, Orthodoxy is a very hard discipline even for the laity, make sure with your Spiritual Father, that you are converting for the right reasons. All bishops and priests are human, and orthodox bishops no less than Roman catholic ones.
Love and Prayer,
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