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Reception of the Eucharist

copticorthodoxboy

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For those who consider both EO and OO to be both fully Orthodox, and additionally for those living in a relatively cosmopolitan area where there is a good concentration of churches from both families, do you regularly attend the divine liturgy and partake of the eucharist of both families?
If so I'm interested in your stories.
 

copticorthodoxboy

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Perhaps a more succinct question could be: If you consider EO and OO both Orthodox (pan-Orthodox) how do you practice this "pan-Orthodoxy?"
Thanks
 

Onesimus

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We have several OO (coptic & ethiopian) who attend and commune at our Church.  Though I live in San Francisco where there are no OO churches, there are 6 within an hour drive, three of which are within 30 mins. My sponsor for chrismation was a Coptic Christian, but has been part of EO Churches for years.  I think he communes at both when traveling to Egypt, or on occasion here...but its the exception for him.

I'll ask him more about it when I see him and see if he has anything to contribute.   





 

Diego

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So the EO permit the OO to commune and vice-versa? I know the RCC (theoretically) permit the EO, the OO, the PNCC, and the Church of the East to commune. It urges them to respect the discipline of their Churches in the process.

An even better question might be the following: How close are the EO and the OO to actually healing the breach between them? I am very curious as to that point.
 

Onesimus

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^ It's complicated.  It comes down to bishop's discretion and its case by case.  In Lebanon, Syria, etc. it's commonplace as far as I understand.
 

RaphaCam

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I wouldn't do it, for two reasons. One disciplinary, the other of principles.

My disciplinary reason is that I feel I should abide to the rules of the Eastern Orthodox Communion, and therefore to her cannonical boundaries. To mention three Orthodox groups existing in my area, I wouldn't commune in the SOC not because of mia physis, but for the same reason I wouldn't commune in ROCA-PSCA or Greek Old Calendar.

My matter of principle is that I feel if our churches are meant to be together, we must still understand what happened over the last 15 centuries and repent. I'm new in this debate but I personally don't like the idea of pretending nothing happened.
 

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Typically there needs to be either the intent to become EO or some other extenuating circumstances that allow for this.  It's not as if a person can just do it because they want to or think the differences aren't important.  Sickness, inability to travel, family matters...these are the kinds of things that are typically valid.  As I understand it, bishops from both communions must come to an agreement as to reception in individual cases.  Whether / how that ha-pens is above my pay grade.
 

Diego

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What is SOC, and what is ROCA-PSCA?
 

RaphaCam

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Diego said:
What is SOC, and what is ROCA-PSCA?
Syriac Orthodox Church (the dominant Oriental Orthodox jurisdiction in Latin America) and Russian Orthodox Church Abroad - Provisional Supreme Chuch Authority (a Russian Orthodox jurisdiction outside of communion with mainstream Eastern Orthodoxy).
 

Diego

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Interesting. Well, its nice to know we Lutherans aren't the only ones with the issue! LCMS technically communes only LCMS and the other 35 or so Churches in the world that are in full Altar Fellowship with it. In reality, however, the Pastor is free to make a Pastoral decision to permit others. MOST Pastors who choose to do this would probably only permit other Lutherans to commune, but some do permit anyone who believes in the Real and Objective Presence of Christ in the Eucharist to commune. And since we don't have Bishops, its kind of allowed.

Aha. Thank you for the definitions.

 

Aram

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I come from a mixed EO and OO family in the US. I was baptized EO, but was raised OO. I know I received EO communion a few times as a kid, and was not communing in an OO church at the time, but in general, I have always communed OO. Having clergy in the family, we always kept things quite separate. As an adult, I specifically do not commune when I attend an EO liturgy.
 

Aram

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Onesimus said:
We have several OO (coptic & ethiopian) who attend and commune at our Church.  Though I live in San Francisco where there are no OO churches, there are 6 within an hour drive, three of which are within 30 mins. My sponsor for chrismation was a Coptic Christian, but has been part of EO Churches for years.  I think he communes at both when traveling to Egypt, or on occasion here...but its the exception for him.

I'll ask him more about it when I see him and see if he has anything to contribute. 
There are two Armenian parishes in San Francisco... So, yes, there are OO churches in San Francisco.
 

Onesimus

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Aram said:
Onesimus said:
We have several OO (coptic & ethiopian) who attend and commune at our Church.  Though I live in San Francisco where there are no OO churches, there are 6 within an hour drive, three of which are within 30 mins. My sponsor for chrismation was a Coptic Christian, but has been part of EO Churches for years.  I think he communes at both when traveling to Egypt, or on occasion here...but its the exception for him.

I'll ask him more about it when I see him and see if he has anything to contribute. 
There are two Armenian parishes in San Francisco... So, yes, there are OO churches in San Francisco.
I must have had a senior moment...I live right down the street from one of them.  :-\

Are you the Aram who works on bikes?  If so, we've met.
 

Aram

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Onesimus said:
Aram said:
Onesimus said:
We have several OO (coptic & ethiopian) who attend and commune at our Church.  Though I live in San Francisco where there are no OO churches, there are 6 within an hour drive, three of which are within 30 mins. My sponsor for chrismation was a Coptic Christian, but has been part of EO Churches for years.  I think he communes at both when traveling to Egypt, or on occasion here...but its the exception for him.

I'll ask him more about it when I see him and see if he has anything to contribute. 
There are two Armenian parishes in San Francisco... So, yes, there are OO churches in San Francisco.
I must have had a senior moment...I live right down the street from one of them.  :-\

Are you the Aram who works on bikes?  If so, we've met.
Nope, not me.
 

minasoliman

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I was offered to commune in an Antiochian (EO) parish that was 50 miles away from me at the time (the closest Orthodox Church, EO or OO).  The next closest parish was a Coptic one 90 miles away at the time, and they only met two Saturdays a month due to a visiting priest.

I called my [general] bishop at the time to get his permission to commune at the EO parish.  He told me drive the extra 40 miles and take communion at the Coptic one.

So, generally, I would have no problem if the Coptic bishop allowed me to  :p.  The Antiochian priest told me his bishop is fine with me taking communion, but our Coptic bishops usually reject.  By golly he was right!  By I still attended Sunday EO liturgy regularly without taking communion.
 

copticorthodoxboy

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minasoliman said:
I was offered to commune in an Antiochian (EO) parish that was 50 miles away from me at the time (the closest Orthodox Church, EO or OO).  The next closest parish was a Coptic one 90 miles away at the time, and they only met two Saturdays a month due to a visiting priest.

I called my [general] bishop at the time to get his permission to commune at the EO parish.  He told me drive the extra 40 miles and take communion at the Coptic one.

So, generally, I would have no problem if the Coptic bishop allowed me to  :p.  The Antiochian priest told me his bishop is fine with me taking communion, but our Coptic bishops usually reject.  By golly he was right!  By I still attended Sunday EO liturgy regularly without taking communion.
Interesting, thanks for the story.  The last time I attended Divine Liturgy (about a decade ago) it was at a local Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church (outside of D.C. in Virginia).  At the time there was an agreement between the Coptic bishop and the Carpatho-Russian bishop that parishioners at St. Marks (Copt) and Holy Nativity (Carpotho-Russian) could commune freely at either church (by the way, only about a 10 mile distance between the two churches).  Not sure whether or not this agreement still stands. 
 

copticorthodoxboy

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Onesimus said:
We have several OO (coptic & ethiopian) who attend and commune at our Church.  Though I live in San Francisco where there are no OO churches, there are 6 within an hour drive, three of which are within 30 mins. My sponsor for chrismation was a Coptic Christian, but has been part of EO Churches for years.  I think he communes at both when traveling to Egypt, or on occasion here...but its the exception for him.

I'll ask him more about it when I see him and see if he has anything to contribute. 
Onesimus

Thanks for your story.  Would be interested in this individual's story/how he practices living among both communities.
 

Diego

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This is all very interesting just to see how you all deal with it in the Eastern Churches. Lord knows we Westerners still haven't solved the problem!
 

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coptic orthodox boy said:
Interesting, thanks for the story.  The last time I attended Divine Liturgy (about a decade ago) it was at a local Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church (outside of D.C. in Virginia).  At the time there was an agreement between the Coptic bishop and the Carpatho-Russian bishop that parishioners at St. Marks (Copt) and Holy Nativity (Carpotho-Russian) could commune freely at either church (by the way, only about a 10 mile distance between the two churches).  Not sure whether or not this agreement still stands.
I'm not sure you were given accurate information. Bishop Michael does not have jurisdiction over St Mark in DC. (He does have jurisdiction over other churches in Virginia, Maryland). A decade ago, the late Pope Shenouda had jurisdiction and he didn't personally give exceptions. He may have had another bishop give exceptions on his behalf, but I highly doubt any bishop would give the entire Coptic Church of St Mark an open ended exception (or any type of exception) to commune in an EO church that is 10 miles away.

This sort of validates my observations that many individual OO's (Copts at least) are communing in the EO without their bishop's knowledge. If exceptions are given, there must be very significant reasons to grant an exception. (40-60 mile drive is not a valid reason as Mina has showed)
 

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minasoliman said:
I was offered to commune in an Antiochian (EO) parish that was 50 miles away from me at the time (the closest Orthodox Church, EO or OO).  The next closest parish was a Coptic one 90 miles away at the time, and they only met two Saturdays a month due to a visiting priest.

I called my [general] bishop at the time to get his permission to commune at the EO parish.  He told me drive the extra 40 miles and take communion at the Coptic one.

So, generally, I would have no problem if the Coptic bishop allowed me to  :p.  The Antiochian priest told me his bishop is fine with me taking communion, but our Coptic bishops usually reject.  By golly he was right!  By I still attended Sunday EO liturgy regularly without taking communion.
In one of my former locales the Copts communed at the EO church because there wasn't a Coptic Church for 100+ miles (an Armenian church was/is 60 miles away). The intercommunion ended once they got their own mission in the city. It was kind of our loss, because some of them were very faithful attendees.

My current GOARCH parish has an Indian priest who attends. The closest OO church is a Coptic mission 100 miles away. I don't know about communion because I haven't paid attention to him and it's not really my business. A handful of other Indians also attend, but I'm still new-ish to the parish and don't know their specific ecclesiastical alignment.
 

Dominika

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Since in Poland (and we're a big country ;) ) there is no any OO parish - there are only from time to time Armenian and Coptic Liturgies in Warsaw (Armenian also in other place; Armenians in this place and Copts in Warsaw serve in EO's churches with the blessing of Polish metropolitan Sava) and there are at least a few priests that are open to commune OOs, even without bishops' permission, I suppose there are some OO's communing in Polish Orthodox parishes.

There was for 2 years an Indian guy at my parish; don't know, if he was taking Communion, but at least he had regular spiritual talks with one of the parish priests that knows at least a bit of English (and he was designed to do this "job" by the parish rector/pastor/dean).
 

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coptic orthodox boy said:
do you regularly attend the divine liturgy
Regularly as in on a schedule?  No.  But I do attend often enough.   

...and partake of the eucharist of both families?
I wouldn't go out of my way to ask to commune in an EO church unless, for example, I lived in a place where the closest OO church was just too far away to attend regularly.  I have yet to be in that position, thanks be to God, even if I have had to drive close to a hundred miles one way to get to (an OO) church rather than the EO parish two miles away. 

If, however, I was invited to commune, I'd consider that. 
 

Mor Ephrem

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coptic orthodox boy said:
Perhaps a more succinct question could be: If you consider EO and OO both Orthodox (pan-Orthodox) how do you practice this "pan-Orthodoxy?"
Thanks
This is a broader question, IMO, as it could also involve what you do at home and not just what church(es) you attend.  Personally, I make selective use of EO prayer materials, spiritual works, and theological books as and when I deem appropriate. 
 

Dominika

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Mor Ephrem said:
coptic orthodox boy said:
Perhaps a more succinct question could be: If you consider EO and OO both Orthodox (pan-Orthodox) how do you practice this "pan-Orthodoxy?"
Thanks
This is a broader question, IMO, as it could also involve what you do at home and not just what church(es) you attend.  Personally, I make selective use of EO prayer materials, spiritual works, and theological books as and when I deem appropriate.
+1


And I forgot to add to my post about the situation in Poland regarding the subject: personally, if I were at an OO parish at the Liturgy and had blessing of my priest and the priest of this OO parish, I wouldn't have any troubles to commune here (of course fasting from midnight and having said the proper prayers).
 

minasoliman

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Mor Ephrem said:
coptic orthodox boy said:
Perhaps a more succinct question could be: If you consider EO and OO both Orthodox (pan-Orthodox) how do you practice this "pan-Orthodoxy?"
Thanks
This is a broader question, IMO, as it could also involve what you do at home and not just what church(es) you attend.  Personally, I make selective use of EO prayer materials, spiritual works, and theological books as and when I deem appropriate.
same for me.

 

copticorthodoxboy

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Remnkemi said:
coptic orthodox boy said:
Interesting, thanks for the story.  The last time I attended Divine Liturgy (about a decade ago) it was at a local Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Church (outside of D.C. in Virginia).  At the time there was an agreement between the Coptic bishop and the Carpatho-Russian bishop that parishioners at St. Marks (Copt) and Holy Nativity (Carpotho-Russian) could commune freely at either church (by the way, only about a 10 mile distance between the two churches).  Not sure whether or not this agreement still stands.
I'm not sure you were given accurate information. Bishop Michael does not have jurisdiction over St Mark in DC. (He does have jurisdiction over other churches in Virginia, Maryland). A decade ago, the late Pope Shenouda had jurisdiction and he didn't personally give exceptions. He may have had another bishop give exceptions on his behalf, but I highly doubt any bishop would give the entire Coptic Church of St Mark an open ended exception (or any type of exception) to commune in an EO church that is 10 miles away.

This sort of validates my observations that many individual OO's (Copts at least) are communing in the EO without their bishop's knowledge. If exceptions are given, there must be very significant reasons to grant an exception. (40-60 mile drive is not a valid reason as Mina has showed)
Perhaps.  When I attended the Carpathian Russian Orthodox church the first time the priest approached me (new face in the congregation) after the liturgy.  I informed him I was a member at St. Mark's up the street and he said if I ever attended his parish again I could commune since there was an agreement between his bishop and St. Mark's. I didn't inquire further and the following week I communed with his congregation.
 

copticorthodoxboy

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Mor Ephrem said:
coptic orthodox boy said:
Perhaps a more succinct question could be: If you consider EO and OO both Orthodox (pan-Orthodox) how do you practice this "pan-Orthodoxy?"
Thanks
This is a broader question, IMO, as it could also involve what you do at home and not just what church(es) you attend.  Personally, I make selective use of EO prayer materials, spiritual works, and theological books as and when I deem appropriate.
Thanks Mor,
Interpret the question as you will.  You're a graduate from St. Vladimir's Seminary right?  What was the environment like when you were there?  Were you able to commune at the chapel or did you drive to a local OO parish?  Did they consider you as an outsider?  If you wrote papers in defense of a particular OO how did you professors receive your papers?

On a side note I really regret not branching out more when I was in the D.C. area.  I think there was a parish or two from each OO church in the area and D.C. has a number of EO cathedrals, really should have explored more when I was in that area (and still practicing). 
 

minasoliman

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A whole lot of Ethiopian parishes in the DC area alone.
 

Mor Ephrem

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coptic orthodox boy said:
You're a graduate from St. Vladimir's Seminary right?  What was the environment like when you were there?  Were you able to commune at the chapel or did you drive to a local OO parish? 
No, we were not allowed to receive sacraments or serve in the chapel in any official capacity.  If you are willing to drive up to fifteen minutes or so, you can attend one of a dozen or so OO churches nearby. 

Did they consider you as an outsider?
 

I wouldn't say so.  There's definitely a difference in terms of the experience one has as an EO vs as an OO, and I suppose that could be interpreted as "outsider status", but I never felt like an outsider. 

If you wrote papers in defense of a particular OO how did you professors receive your papers?
If I deserved an A, I got an A...including ^those papers. 
 
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