Well, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged. Holidays will do that. <:}
I have started meeting with my priest. We are meeting every other week. This is a smaller congregation, but even so I find him amazingly generous with his time; especially considering he has a “day job” in addition to pastoring a church. He gave me 90 minutes of his time at our first two visits!
My priest is answering my questions. Between the catechism class with the other priest, the readings I’ve been doing and meeting with my priest, my intellectual questions about the most noticeable differences between Orthodox and Protestant doctrines and practices have been answered.
My priest gave me a pamphlet on confession which I have read and have now put together a checklist for my first confession. Here’s the scoop on confession according to the Orthodox Church in America:
We do not confess “to” the priest; rather, we confess to God “in the presence of” the priest who, as the prayer before Confession clearly states, is God’s “witness” and who, having witnessed our confession of sins offers pastoral advice on how we can better our lives and overcome the very things we can confess. Just as one would not attempt to diagnose, much less cure, one’s own physical ailments, so too one should not attempt to diagnose, much less cure, one’s own spiritual ailments.
And while making an entire life’s confession at my age is a bit intimidating, now that I’ve completed my checklist that seems less daunting; especially as I already see some progress with reducing sin in my life as a result of the Orthodox spiritual disciplines.
We discussed my baptism and set a date. I am being baptized again because my Protestant baptism was done “In Jesus’ Name” and the Orthodox require that a baptism be done “In the Name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” I’ve seen one baptism done so far and I found a good summary of Orthodox baptism here:
Converts discuss with their priest who their patron saint should be. So I discussed my idea and he agreed she is a good choice for me.
I found a good description of many of the things that Orthodox do in worship:
So why am I still a little bit nervous about doing this? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because this is a big decision after 40+ years as an evangelical/charismatic Christian. When/if I figure it out, I’ll post again…
Now to figure out who to invite to my baptism and what to say on the invitations….