How were you received into the Orthodox Church?

How were you received into the Orthodox Church?

  • Baptism & Chrismation

    Votes: 4 19.0%
  • Chrismation

    Votes: 16 76.2%
  • Anointing on the Forehead

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Confession of Faith

    Votes: 1 4.8%

  • Total voters
    21

Anastasios

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Option 1 and 2 are obvious.
Option 3 is a service done by some Orthodox to receive Catholics and/or Non-Chalcedonians. It is not chrismation since the prayers are of reconciliation and not of the gift of the Holy Spirit for the first time, and the anointing only occurs on the forehead.
Option 4 is only given to Catholics in my understanding.

anastasios
 

Brendan03

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I was received using Option 3.

This is controversial in some circles. I once had an AA priest tell me that he had never heard of a "non-chrismation chrismation". The fact remains, however, that both the form of the rite (ie, only anointing on forehead and nowhere else) and the text of the prayers (reconciliation rather than initiation) indicate that this rite is in fact a different one from the chrismation that takes place immediately following baptism. In addition, the fact that Orthodox who need reconciliation with the Church are reconciled through this Option 3 rite (even though they have already had an Option 2 chrismation) is pretty strong evidence, to me at least, that this is something different from the Option 2 chrismation ... otherwise we would be profaning Option 2 by repeating it for an Orthodox in need of reconciliation with the Church. My priest made it clear enough to me that Option 3 was different from Option 2, but there are many, many Orthodox -- clergy and laity alike -- who think that Option 2 and Option 3 are the same thing -- wrongly, in my view.

Brendan
 
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Hypo-Ortho

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I was received (with my family: wife, 4 children) into the OCA from the Byzantine-Ruthenian Unia by Confession, Chrismation (and *not* merely anointing on the forehead!) and Holy Communion some 25+ years ago. The priest receiving me used the Hapgood book, every dot and tittle (including formal public rejection of the Latin errors), but it was as if he were receiving a Latin of whose pedigree and credentials he was unsure, and not a Uniate who had already been Chrismated in the Byzantine Rite, even though not Orthodox. I had all the necessary documentation, but it was of little meaning to this priest, who carefully explained that even the "baptism" I had received as a Uniate was an empty form that needed to be filled. He may as well have used Baptism from the very beginning and started me over with that.

I consulted Archbishop Lazar Puhalo over what this priest had done, and the archbishop assured me he was acting correctly and never to second-guess my manner of reception.

Hypo-Ortho
 
H

Hypo-Ortho

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Paradosis said:
I consulted Archbishop Lazar Puhalo ...
Now there's a real authority on the proper way to go between Churches ::)
I know exactly what you mean, Justin, but at the time I couldn't distinguish and didn't know better, and I was very much drawn to the then Archimandrite Lazar's Synaxis Press publications, which helped me immensely and which are praised in many Orthodox circles to this day.

In any event, let's not make this a discussion about Archbishop Lazar, whom, I believe, has finally found peace by his reception into canonical Orthodoxy. My private correspondence with Vladyka was very helpful at the time--I shall not forget that.

Hypo-Ortho
 

Anastasios

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Paradosis,

That Orthodox began rebaptising Catholics out of hatred might be too strong a word, but it certainly was out of defensiveness and mistrust. It only happened after the Latins started creating the Unia; hence the Orthodox bishops stopped acting economically so that the faithful would know that there was a BIG division between the two.

For an objective look at this troubling period for all, read the excellent and short work, Eustratios Argenti: A Study of the Greek Church under the Turks by Timothy (Kallistos) Ware (subtitle might be slightly different), Oxford Press, 1964. Try to get it from interlibrary loan. It is fascinating.

anastasios
 

Jonathan

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Paradosis said:
You're right, I'm sorry that I brought the off-topic thing up! (though I'm glad he was able to help, whatever my feelings about him :) ).

Back to reception... I am suprised exactly how anti "re-baptism" some are in Orthodoxy. I understand the position that says we should only chrismate, but I've already seen Orthodox theologians imply that insisting that Catholics be "re-baptised" comes from "hatred". Does anyone here have this impression? That when we traditionalists insist on an Orthodox baptism for Catholic/Protestant converts, that we do so because we "hate" those groups?
I was Baptised in the United church as an infant. I was received into the Coptic Orthodox Church by confession, Baptism, Chrismation, and Communion a little over a year ago. It wasn't out of hate or Protestants or a statement that I was previously unbaptised, it was just that I had been Baptised by sprinkling, when the rites of the Orthodox Church call for tripple-immersion, and obvisouly not be a priest, so I was Baptised according to the rites of the Church, since the first Baptism was not according to the Rites of the Church. If the first Baptism fully 'counted' to God, I'm ok, I don't have to worry about it, I'm covered either way. In my Church Catholics were received by Chrismation until recently. That's becuase the bishops had no knowledge of Latin Rite Catholics, and Eastern Catholics Baptise by Immersion. When H.H. Pope Shenouda III, our current Pope, visited the Churches outside of Egypt, which had started to form under our previous Pope, he learned of the practices of the Roman Catholics, and insisted that those baptised by sprinkling be received by Baptism. Clearly that decision wasn't out of hate since Eastern Catholics are still received by Chrismation, and since Pope Shenouda and Pope John Paul sitll get along well, it's just an insistance that the ancient rites of the Church be followed.
 
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Hypo-Ortho

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Jonathan, then Pope Shenouda should've been around my old Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite Catholic church (since closed) when I was growing up. Baptism was done exactly as the Latins did it there, except that, not having its own baptismal font, a large glass salad bowl was usually used instead!

I'm told that many Byzantine-Ruthenian Rite parishes have since "cleaned up their act," but it's done on a piecemeal basis, parish by parish, and there are still some which obstinately cling to their heavily-Latinized "old ways." :(

Hypo-Ortho
 

Remie

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"...I've already seen Orthodox theologians imply that insisting that Catholics be "re-baptised" comes from "hatred". Does anyone here have this impression? That when we traditionalists insist on an Orthodox baptism for Catholic/Protestant converts, that we do so because we "hate" those groups?..."

I would say that re-Baptism of Catholics by Orthodox and viceversa, was related to political issues and antipathy between communities (and sometimes hatred) in many cases and not only because of religious reasons.

The Latins were the ones who started re-baptizing Orthodox (even against the directives of the Popes) and the Greeks responded that way. During WWII, thousands of Orthodox Serbs were re-baptized in a shameful episode of history. Re-Chrismation of Orthodox was also a very common usage of the Latins. I have talked to some traditionalist Latins who say that Orthodox should be re-chrismated because Orthodox chrismation is not performed by a Bishop as in the Roman Church.

I have seen re-baptism of Catholics who convert is sometimes inspired by antipathy, among those who practice it, because at the time when both communities rebaptized converts, it was often done to degradate the other Church, in a way that Byzantine Catholics who were received were treated as Latins who had to abjurate their errors, and Latins were seen as something similar to Protestants along with the Lutheran and Calvinist sects.
 

Linus7

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Does anyone here have this impression? That when we traditionalists insist on an Orthodox baptism for Catholic/Protestant converts, that we do so because we "hate" those groups?
Not at all. I think those who insist on Orthodox baptism of converts are merely trying to insure that baptism is done right.

I often wish that I had asked to be received by baptism. I know my reception by chrismation was canonical, but I would have liked to have been baptized in the Orthodox Church.

I also think the baptism of converts sends a strong message that the Orthodox Church is alone the historical Church founded by Jesus Christ. In these days of false ecumenism, that is a message that is needed.
 
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Hypo-Ortho

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-¥-+-¦-+-+-¦-¦ said:
Amen! And those brought in other than by the 'initiation' Sacraments also lose out in not having an Orthodox godparent to assist them on their journey.
Even when received by Chrismation, there is *still* a sponsoring "kum," or godparent, if you will. Mine was the priest who received the public abjuration of my Byzantine Catholic [sic: Latin] errors, Confession, profession of Faith, and administered Absolution, Chrismation and Holy Communion.

Since my reception into Orthodoxy 25+ years ago, I have been the "kum" to many others coming into Orthodoxy from the Unia and from the Latins by Chrismation. Some have come into the ROCOR by Chrismation as well, as late as last year in Connecticut in one instance, btw.

Hypo-Ortho

 

Anastasios

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-¥-+-¦-+-+-¦-¦ said:
anastasios said:
Option 3 is a service done by some Orthodox to receive Catholics and/or Non-Chalcedonians.
What is the origin of such a thing?
It is merely the rite the Greeks used to receive apostates: uniting people who had been Orthodox and left, and came back. The OCA modified the prayers slightly in order to reflect the idea that someone in an apostolic Church that has chrismation (Catholics or Non-Chals) is being reconciled to the fullness of the faith, not totally entering it anew for the first time. The rite was introduced offically in 1989 I believe. Erickson describes it in some articles I will check for in SVS Quarterly. He actually argued against it and for a return to receiving Catholics merely by confession and profession.

anastasios
 
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Ebedjah

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I am not even yet a catechumen preparing for baptism/charismation, but mearly an eager Protestant inquirer. I recently asked a priest at an Antiochian parish where I had been attending how I would be received into the church, should I choose this option. I was baptized by full immersion (single immersion) by a Protestant pastor, "in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit." Still, this priest told me that I would need to be re-baptized, since the baptism was not by someone of apostolic succession. Then I spoke with an OCA priest, and he said I would only be charismated. So...which is it? Why would I be re-baptized? "I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins," but I am not the first person I know who may be re-baptized upon entering an Orthodox church. Can any of you good theologians (that's all of you!) clear this up? Thanx.
 

Anastasios

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If you were baptised in the name of the F, S, and HS, then the Antiochian priest is wrong to say he would baptise you, from the POV of his Church. Met. Philip has said that Protestants may not be baptised if they are baptised in the name of the Trinity and with water.

Nicholas is right that normatively baptism is by triple immersion, but the Church has accepted single immersions and pouring baptisms before when accepting converts.

Please note that there is no one way to receive converts as different practices have existed at different times and places (the same is true of Roman Catholics) for different reasons. The Church may decide to receive you by one method that say a hypothetical friend may not have received based on any number of reasons.

anastasios
 

TomS

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I was baptized at 14 yo in a Baptist Church - 3 full immersions in the name of the F, S and HS.

According to my Greek Orthodox Priest, he said that since I was fully immersed and baptized in the name of the Trinity that that constituted a correct Baptism. So I just needed to be Christmated.

Also according to my Priest, the forgiveness of prior sins would occur during the annointing with the Holy oil during Christmation
 

Anastasios

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-¥-+-¦-+-+-¦-¦ said:
As I understand it, Chrismnation is done it completes a Baptism performed by a heterodox when this ekonomia is used. So what does the other initiation forms do like just annointing with (non-chrism) oil, since it is not reception by a Sacrament?
The convert must go to confession and be absolved first.

anastasios
 

Anastasios

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Nik,

It is the same service used to reconcile Orthodox who became Muslims and returned, but with a few of the prayers changed. The OCA introduced it officially in 1989 because some people were chrismating Byzantine Catholics and Non-Chalcedonians with the prayers and formulas for "first time" chrismation so the Synod apparently wanted to have a service with anointing that nevertheless was not first-time chrismation.

I'd also suggest you think about the ramifications of what you are saying (that it is not a sacrament in itself). The Orthodox Church never defined 7 sacraments and certainly this service was considered a sacrament previously when administered to apostates. The Catholic convert is anointed with chrism, not with anointing oil.

I will look through my articles on reception of converts to try and find more details--I promised you this before but I am very busy. Just keep reminding me.

Yours in Christ,

anastasios
 

Anastasios

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-¥-+-¦-+-+-¦-¦ said:
I thought apostates that left Orthodoxy then returned were always Chrismated, not just annointed on the head with Chrism?
It was my understanding that they were anointed on the forehead only. I will have to check. Please do the same, let's see what we can dig up.

anastasios
 

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I'm new to this board, and I really think this is an interesting board. I was received into the Orthodox Church two years ago (Holy Saturday) and was received by chrismation. I had been baptized by immersion in the name of the Trinity (I was formerly Southern Baptist).

As far as whether confession is done prior to your reception into the Church, I understand that this depends on the jurisdiction. The OCA requires confession before baptism and/or chrismation for adults, but I understand that others don't. Personally, I am thankful that I got to do it, as it allowed me to get everything out into the open. My priest did tell me that chrismation does absolve you of all your sins prior to chrismation.

 

Brigidsboy

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I was received into the Serbian Church in 1989.
The priest wanted to do it by profession of faith, but I insisted on Chismation (and the Bishop agreed). I had been Roman Catholic before.

Michael :)
 

Anastasios

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Michael,

If you don't mind me asking, why did you insist on a stronger way of being received? As you will learn from reading the archives, I personally am still a Byzantine Catholic as I wait to see if my wife will convert with me to Orthodoxy, and I am attending St. Vladimir's Seminary. I would JUMP at the chance to be received by profession of faith and have actually lined up some priests who will receive me that way because I feel very strongly against being chrismated as my means of reception.*

anastasios

(*some will say, "that's not very Orthodox of you to try and arrange your own reception!" but I would respond with, "so what? It's my conscience that I have to live with!")
 

Brigidsboy

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Anastasios:

My priest was bending over backwards to welcome me, because it is (or was) rare for an American to convert to the Serbian Church. He felt the simpler ceremony would be enough. I had done a great deal or reading and preparation before I was received. Bishop Timothy (Ware) states clearly in his book: The Orthodox Church" that Chrismation is the norm. I expressed my concern to the Priest who took the question to the Bishop. The Bishop favored Chrismation, so that settled it. :)

Michael
 

Anastasios

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Michael,

Fair enough, sounds good. I'm glad you became Orthodox at any rate. The issue of reception is very complex, though, and I don't think Bp Kallistos should have said chrismation is the norm when the largest Orthodox Church, the Russian Orthodox Church, receives by profession of faith and confession Catholics.

Really it's a minor quibble though as getting there is the most important part. I will link when I get home an article you might find interesting, which deals with the historical aspects of receiving RC converts into the Orthodox Church.

Yours in Christ,

anastasios
 

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Without falling into the question of the salvation of heterodox, let me ask a few questions about baptism and chrismationGǪ
To join the Orthodox Church, I would be re-baptized (at least, this sounds like an option). The Church would not view this as re-baptism, or it would be anti-creedal and they would not do it. Because they view my first “baptism” as invalid, they see my baptism into the Orthodox Church as my first real baptism. This means that, until I join the Orthodox Church, I am not baptized. Because baptism is a sacrament, it imparts grace partially by its physical action; this grace being namely, “the remission of sins.” According to the Orthodox, I have not been baptized. Therefore, I do not have “remission of sins.” That means I am still guilty of my sins, and damned in their eyes. This is fine (in that loose sense of the word J ), but what exactly is chrismation? If I were only chrismated, what does that do? If baptism remits sin, and I am view as not having been baptized, and therefore am guilty of my sins, what will chrismation do? In the view of the Orthodox Church, is a baptized anyone-other-than-Orthodox still guilty of his sins? My soteriology is very “Western,” (I am/was very Protestant), and they don’t have chrismationGǪalong the same lines as this, what is the difference between anointing with chrism and chrismation? (Don’t they mean the same thing?) Also, what is confession and profession? Thanx.

I have no idea why this is highlighted - it wasn't a few minutes ago. Sorry. Anyone know how to make it go away?
 

Anastasios

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Everyone, please no yellow highlighting, it hurts my eyes! ;)

Anointing with chrism is a reconciliation sacrament used in history to reconcile people such as apostates to the Orthodox Church. It differs from chismation in that chismation is the reception of the fullness of the gift of the Holy Spirit.

anastasios
 

Anastasios

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hmmm something is messed up. do only admins have a highlight button? or is that everyone's? if so, just select the highlighted text and click "highlight" and it will unhighlight.
 

Bobby

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Anyone can highlight/unhighlight.

Frobisher just happens to be smoking some doobies which is why he didn't realize he highlighted his own text.

Bobby
 

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Hey! Frobisher, don't you be bringin' none of that stuff to the picnic!
 
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