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Orthodoxy and Heterodoxy - Page 2

post #21 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by Purple Sage View Post

That's really interesting, Tradd.  The Antiochian parish I attend states specifically in the bulletin who can and cannot take communion.  They certainly wouldn't let me participate until I am officially Orthodox, but it would be interesting to find out where they stand on Copts and Armenian Orthodox. 



PS, you're an American of Protestant background! The "usual rules" are bent in many ways when it comes to those Orthodox from the Middle East.

 

Now, the situation I described - a Byzantine Rite Catholic woman marrying an Antiochian Orthodox fellow, both immigrants from the Middle East - if the marriage was taking place in the US , would be handled differently than if happening in the Middle East. The woman would not be allowed to take commune, be a godparent, etc., in the Antiochian parish *unless she actually became Orthodox.* I have this directly from the mouth of a priest from the Middle East. I asked him directly.

 

You might not be aware (Met. Kallistos Ware mentions this in The Orthodox Church), but in 1724 a large part of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch submitted to the pope, apparently for the political protection afforded by being under Rome.

 

I've not seen anything online publicly from Met. Philip about communing Coptic and Armenian Orthodox, but I've been in a parish, where this happened several times a year, and the priest made a point of tellng parishioners that Met. Philip required that Antiochian priests in the US commune Copts and Armenians. Period. The only stipulation is that the Copts and Armenians be in good standing and practicing in their own church. I have a friend who is first-generation American, born of ethnic Armenian parents who immigrated from Lebanon. The family ended up in Lebanon after the Turks committed genocide against the large Armenian population in Asia Minor in the 1910s, and others fled or were expelled.

 

Anyway, my friend was raised Armenian Orthodox, didn't understand the liturgical language, fell away. Married an American woman in the Armenian church, but they became Evangelical Protestants. They became interested in Orthodoxy at an Antiochian parish and were converted. My friend's parents visit the Antiochian parish 1-2 times a year. The first time, the father was asked at the chalice if he had recently confessed in his Armenian parish. He said no. The Antiochian priest told him that if he went to confession at his Armenian parish, he could take communion in the Antiochian parish the next time he visited. And so he did.

 

This communing of Copts and Armenians, again, is ONLY for visitors. If an Armenian or Copt liked a "regular" Eastern Orthodox parish and wanted to join, they would have to become Eastern Orthodox. I know a Copt who became Orthodox, became a deacon and is now an OCA priest. He and his wife are immigrants from Egypt.

 

BTW, there's a large Coptic parish near me, and I'm told the food at their Egyptian fest is fab. I have to go, given my addiction to Middle Eastern food!

post #22 of 29

PS, I forgot to ask, do you have any Middle Eastern immigrants in your parish?

 

My area has a large Middle Eastern population, and so the two Antiochian parishes with a large immigrant population are HUGE. There's also two convert parishes.

post #23 of 29

Thanks, Tradd.  I find all of this fascinating.  smile.gif

post #24 of 29

Copts have special rules at our church.  I think the baptized children are welcomed without "converting", the babies are of course baptized and full members, and the parents never receive sacraments but I don't know if this is more a personal choice or because they are not allowed.   I know we have children who are Aritrian and Egyptian.  We have a vibrant community of Ethiopian orthodox here so we do not commune them unless they wish to convert.  This is pretty standard though.  I was thinking about specifically non Orthodox and people who call themselves orthodox but are not.  I consider the Coptic Christians Orthodox.

 

I know brides/grooms are chrismated quite easily as well.  often without any catichesis.  I am not sure how I feel about this.  I guess it is no different than baptizing an infant though....you win some you lose some.

 

I don't envy the priest's job here.  It can get hard.

post #25 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Copts have special rules at our church.  I think the baptized children are welcomed without "converting", the babies are of course baptized and full members, and the parents never receive sacraments but I don't know if this is more a personal choice or because they are not allowed.   I know we have children who are Aritrian and Egyptian.  We have a vibrant community of Ethiopian orthodox here so we do not commune them unless they wish to convert.  This is pretty standard though.  I was thinking about specifically non Orthodox and people who call themselves orthodox but are not.  I consider the Coptic Christians Orthodox.

 

I know brides/grooms are chrismated quite easily as well.  often without any catichesis.  I am not sure how I feel about this.  I guess it is no different than baptizing an infant though....you win some you lose some.

 

I don't envy the priest's job here.  It can get hard.



 

I can talk about the situation with the Ethiopian Orthodox as we've got two families (related) in my parish. At least in my OCA diocese, under the guidelines of our previous bishop (who died in late 2009, and his successor was just consecrated six weeks ago), Ethiopian children are allowed to commune up until about ago 12 or so. After that, if they want to commune, they have to go to confession. Adults cannot commune unless they go to confession.

 

My priest didn't know what to do when the two Ethiopian Orthodox families showed up in our parish, so he called the bishop.

 

The Ethiopian practice of communion/confession was very new to me. One of the Ethiopian woman explained it to me. Whether or not this practice is endorsed by their hierarchy or not, I don't know, but this is the common practice among the laity...

 

Ethiopian Orthodox will go to confession/communion right before they get married. Then, they will not partake of either sacrament until they are much older, about 60-65. The woman told me she had asked the priest back home if she could do confession/communion (she is in her mid-30s and never married, I think she's been in the US for about 10 years). The priest told her, "What's the point? You'll just sin again." When a person reaches sometime in their 60s, they will go to confession ONCE and then always go to communion. But they will never do confession again, at least not until their deathbed.

 

The two women  (one married, one not) came for a few years before the unmarried one decided to do confession during Great Lent as she wanted to go to communion. She was very, very nervous, but it helped that I was a convert, and I was able to explain it to her from a first-time, scared perspective. I got her calmed somewhat. She went to confession - - this was before a Presanctified Liturgy and then communion. Our priest is very gentle in confession, which helps! :D She said her sister (the married one with one child about 10) was going to think she was "crazy" for going to confession and communion. It took a while - maybe a year or so, but the married sister went to confession and communion during the next Great Lent, I believe. Or maybe it was two years later.

 

I have to amend my earlier post saying I'd never seen the "intercommunion" done in the OCA. I don't know if this would be considered "intercommunion" in the strict sense of the word, which I would consider to be with Roman & Byzantine Rite Catholics and Protestants. The OCA guidelines stipulate that non-Chalcedonian Christians (which include the Coptic, Armenian and Ethiopian Orthodox) be received by confession, profession of the Orthodox faith, and communion. The two Ethiopian families are active members of my parish, not visitors. It's not too much of a stretch to consider someone who has gone to confession, recited the Creed at the Divine Liturgy, and then communed as having become a member of the Eastern Orthodox faith. Both of these families attended my parish for at least two-three years before they decided to "take the plunge" and confess/commune.

 

I consider the Copts, Armenians and Ethiopians "Orthodox" as well, but they are not "Eastern" Orthodox. There are theological differences that go back centuries.

 


Edited by Tradd - 6/24/11 at 6:06pm
post #26 of 29

Right.  Its not the same but its very different than other completely non Orthodox people.  I think it also makes a difference as to what you have available to you.  We have many Ethiopian Orthodox churches here but no where for the Aritrians to go (the cannot go to the Ethiopian churches.... I am not sure of the details but there are a lot of wounds that need to be healed.) so we have welcomed them home to our parish.  The Egyptian kid was an exchange student but we really welcomed him...He served in the alter with the Bishops blessing.  Definitely coptic though.

 

That's very interesting about the whole confession communion thing.  It would explain a lot.  

post #27 of 29
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilyka View Post

Right.  Its not the same but its very different than other completely non Orthodox people.  I think it also makes a difference as to what you have available to you.  We have many Ethiopian Orthodox churches here but no where for the Aritrians to go (the cannot go to the Ethiopian churches.... I am not sure of the details but there are a lot of wounds that need to be healed.) so we have welcomed them home to our parish.  The Egyptian kid was an exchange student but we really welcomed him...He served in the alter with the Bishops blessing.  Definitely coptic though.

 

That's very interesting about the whole confession communion thing.  It would explain a lot.  



There is an Ethiopian parish somewhere in my very large metropolitan area. However, the two Ethiopian families wanted English! The Ethiopian parish was a long drive, in any case. Apparently, the liturgical language used in the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is not understood at all, or so I'm told, by virtually all of the laity. It's not like the liturgical Greek or Church Slavonic that bear some resemblance (more or less) to the modern Greek and Russian.

 

There's a parish in my diocese that has Eritreans, too, I'm told.

post #28 of 29
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arduinna View Post

 

Also how the differences in belief on original sin are related to the differences of belief on Mary's immaculate conception, that one was very interesting to me as I'd never thought that one out to it's conclusion.

 

 



Ok so back to the book. Page 49, the Immaculate Conception. 

 

 

 

Quote:

Yet for the Orthodox, it is not guilt of that is born with, but rather mortality. ....

 

The clearest argument against the immaculate conception, however, is that the Virgin Mary died. 

 

 

 

compared to Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma by Walter Ott page 199

 

 

 

Quote:
The essence of original sin consists in the lack sanctifying grace, in consequence of the fall of Adam. Mary was preserved from this defect, so that she entered existence in a state of sanctifying grace. referenced in Luke 1, 28

 

 

It seems that the differences in understanding original sin contribute to the differences in understanding of Mary. 

 

Additionally both believe that she was assumed into heaven, so clearly Mary did not have the same kind of "death" as other people. 

 

post #29 of 29

No, Mary had the same type of death as other humans, same as her birth and conception were the same. It's what happened AFTER her death that's the difference. She didn't have to wait until the Last Judgment/Resurrection on the Last Day to fully taste of the eternal life. Christ granted it to her right after her death. The iconography of the Dormition shows Christ taking her soul to heaven right away.

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