Πέμπτη, 23 Φεβρουαρίου 2012

The Catechumenate in the old chapel of St.Anargyroi



-          The aim of the catechumenate is to assist people interested in becoming an Orthodox Christian along their journey. During the catechumenate, basics of Orthodox theology are being discussed, but the most important is the catechumens to become part of the community  through prayer and common life. Also they are encouraged to participate in worship as often as possible. They are suggested to read the Bible and Orthodox theology, but it is not compulsory to read over certain publications.

-         The whole matter has been adjusted to meet better the local way of life and parish. It is shorter, because three years is too long time for ordinary catechumens to prepare themselves. They come from many backgrounds, Muslims, Anglicans, Lutherans, Buddhists, but now more and more also from non-religious background. One year has seemed to be a proper time for becoming mature enough to become a member of the Orthodox Church. However, we have wanted to start the cathecumenate from the beginning, from the creation and not to concentrate only on “Orthodox way of thinking and doing things” , either to compare different Christian views, or to follow basic rules etc.

-      So people interested in becoming a member of the Orthodox Church are first asked to meet a priest to discuss their “interest and motives” and then he suggests them catechumenate. It can last one year or less.  Finally they are baptized or chrismated on a big feast like Epiphany, Easter or Pentecost, like the first catechumens from the early years of the Church.

-   Therefore they meet the responsible priest for the cathechumenate usually 3-5 times in a month to discuss or to participate in the services and two times  before the baptism/chrismation they participate in confession.




 -   Topics discussed during the autumn term:

  • The creation
  • Orthodox understanding of human being (image and likeness)
  • The fall
  • Church year and great feasts
  • Beginning to pray and Orthodox services, church music
  • Revelation, Bible and Tradition
  • Christ – the fulfillment of the revelation
  • The saints (Catechumens start to find their own patron saint)
  • Jesus Christ and his teachings
  • The Holy Trinity; The symbol of faith
  • The Great Lent, the first week of Lent, the Liturgy of pre-sanctified gifts)
  • The Sacrament of Confession and Anointing sick
  • Liturgy, the Eucharist and preparing yourself for the Holy Communion.
  • Priesthood, Holy Matrimony
  • The Pentecost; Church – a body of living stones
  • Great feasts and fasts, traditions (blessing of the maters, commemorating deceased etc.)