The Practicalities of Conversion - Printable Version
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The Practicalities of Conversion - Chad - 13-04-2009
I think I have arrived at the point where I am convinced of the theological necessity of conversion to Orthodoxy. But I am confused as to the practicalities that this entails. For example, does one become Orthodox, or are you a particular kind of Orthodox? 45 mins from my home there is an Orthodox church under the Antiochian Church, and nearer to me is a Sacramental Community in the Russian Orthodox Church. How does one tell the difference between what is essentially a chaplaincy and a mission based, outward looking church? And more importantly, I am finishing my degree and liable to move away from home, and I do not know where to. I need to know that I will be able to worship wherever I go, so if I become Orthodox am I then able to worship in any Orthodox church, regardless of ethnic background?
Finally, I am engaged to be married. How will this be impacted on by my plans?
- marc hanna - 13-04-2009
There are two families of orthodox churches, Oriental Orthodox and Eastern Orthodox. The British Orthodox is part of the Oriental Orthodox family of churches. For the average layperson our belief is the same and we both have apostolic succession. The ethnicity associated with each church is roughly the country of origin but does not necessarily state which family it is from.
To be married in an Orthodox church, you will both first have to be baptized if you aren't already in an Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Roman Catholic church - some churches will also accept Anglican and Lutheran baptisms. Oriental Orthodox churches will likely have the quickest conversion (catechumen) process and will likely be the most tolerant of non-orthodox baptisms.
The Antochian Orthodox church is an Eastern Orthodox church and so is the Russian as well as the Greek and Ukrainian. Once you have converted you can receive the sacraments in any of these. Likewise if you join an Oriental Orthodox church, you can receive the sacraments in any of them - these are the Coptic, Ethiopian, Armenian, Syrian, Indian, and British Orthodox churches. You cannot flip flop between the Eastern and the Oriental with an actual conversion process in some cases.
Did this help?
- Chad - 14-04-2009
This has helped very much, thank you.