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OCA and vistors

Discussion in 'The Ancient Way - Eastern Orthodox' started by Zoe1188, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Zoe1188

    Zoe1188 Newbie

    87
    +14
    Catholic
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    I was baptized a Roman Catholic and currently attend a Episcopal Church. There is an orthodox church near me and I am curious about attending a liturgy service. Does the orthodox church allow non orthodox visitors? Is there anything I should now before I attend?
    any advice would be very helpful!

    Blessings!
     
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  2. InnerPhyre

    InnerPhyre Well-Known Member

    +1,409
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    Visitors are welcome to come and participate in all of our services. The only limiting factor is that you must be Orthodox to receive communion. If the church near you has Vespers on Saturday night, I would recommend starting with that. It's a good introductory service...not too long and very beautiful. If not, try Divine Liturgy on Sunday. Just show up. Someone may see that you are new and come up and introduce themselves to you. Just tell them this is your first time in an Orthodox Church. If no one introduces themselves to you, just find a place to stand or sit and try to take in the service as much as you can. There will probably be a coffee hour after Liturgy. If there is, make sure you go! Don't sneak out right after the service. The priest will probably want to say hello afterwards. It may look intimidating, but the OCA is usually very welcoming of new people.
     
  3. rakovsky

    rakovsky Newbie

    +491
    Eastern Orthodox
    Single
    They should be happy to have you.

    10 Things I Wish I Knew

    In a recent catechism class, Dn. Michael reflected on 10 things he wishes he had known before his first visit to an Orthodox Church.
    ancientfaith.com/podcasts/eastwest/10_things_i_wish_i_knew
     
  4. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

    +1,737
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    Yes, Orthodox churches wholeheartedly welcome visitors. There isn't much that you need to know beforehand. It will be a very "liturgical" service, almost everything will be sung. Feel free to sit down if you need to and nobody else is sitting, except for a few times: do not sit during the Gospel, any of the "entrances" (when the priest and all the altar boys come out of the altar and processes with stuff), or during the canon, epiklesis, and communion - it's hard to describe where the first two are, but it will be quite solemn and you will know it if you've been at liturgical worship before. Do not sit during communion.
     
  5. Knee V

    Knee V It's phonetic.

    +1,615
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    US-Others
    We certainly allow visitors.

    I wouldn't worry too much about what you don't know. My first Orthodox service was a Divine Liturgy and I knew absolutely nothing about the service going in. Everything will be just fine.
     
  6. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

    +16,420
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    sure, you should go check them out some day if you can, and I recommend asking the priest when you are finished whatever you noticed in the service. many of us on here, are on here because we wandered into an Orthodox parish.

    and please do stick around!
     
  7. Tallguy88

    Tallguy88 We shall see the King when he comes! Supporter

    +7,666
    United States
    Catholic
    Single
    The church I've been visiting is OCA. The people have been very welcoming and friendly.
     
  8. Barky

    Barky Member Supporter

    867
    +80
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Most are quite friendly! If you don't get a warm reception, don't despair though! There's bound to be a friendly church in the area if it isn't the OCA one
     
  9. Zoe1188

    Zoe1188 Newbie

    87
    +14
    Catholic
    Private
    Thanks everyone! I'll definitely check it out! One more question, does the Orthodox church practice any Marian devotion?
     
  10. gzt

    gzt The age of the Earth is 4.54 ± 0.07 billion years

    +1,737
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Private
    Yes! In fact, depending on whether you are on the New or Old Calendar (the parish you are visiting is likely on the New), we either just finished or are in the middle of the Dormition Fast, which is a two week fast prior to the Feast of the Dormition, which commemorates the death of the Mother of God. In some traditions, it is common to pray a service called the "paraklesis" to the Theotokos every night of the fast. So it is basically two full weeks of Marian devotion.
     
  11. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

    +2,894
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    Yes we do have Marian devotion. We do celebrate the Dormition of Mary on August 15th and there are some Lenten services dedicated to Mary. We have a slightly different phrasing of the Hail Mary: Theotokos Virgin, rejoice, Mary full of grace, the Lord is with you. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, for you have borne the Saviour of our souls.
     
  12. ArmyMatt

    ArmyMatt Regular Member Supporter

    +16,420
    United States
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    yes we do, it's a little different from the RC devotions (no Sacred Heart of Mary, no Immaculate Conception, no Assumption, etc)
     
  13. MariaRegina

    MariaRegina Well-Known Member

    +12,120
    Eastern Orthodox
    Married
    The Antiochian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church have the Supplicatory Canon to the Theotokos during August (August 1-15).

    Then during Great Lent, both of these churches have the Akathist Hymn to the Theotokos every Friday (for five Fridays).

    The Serbian Orthodox Church might also be a good choice, as I think they also serve the Supplicatory Canon.

    However, the OCA only serves the Akathist Hymn one time during Great Lent, and does not serve the Supplicatory Canon at all. I was disappointed. Nevertheless, the Great Vespers celebrated on every Saturday does have several hymns to the Theotokos that will overwhelm you: More honored than the cherubim and more glorious beyond compare than the seraphim, without defilement, thou gavest birth to God the Word, true Theotokos, we honor thee.

    So, if you do have devotion to the Most Holy Theotokos, an Antiochian or Greek Orthodox parish might be best.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2013
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