Church ROCOR

DRIIIVER

Robin
Orthodox Catechumen
I too am in the "100 miles round trip to go to my English-speaking ROCOR" church club. And I don't own a car anymore. The priest is nice enough to let me sleep in the church between vigil and liturgy to make my commute easier.
What a blessing that must be to have an accommodation in such a way! These efforts and intentions we have do not go unnoticed by God, and He blesses and rewards the faithful. Only recently have I sought the Church, by beckoning of the Holy Spirit, and the grace of God I have been led to a ROCOR parish. I cannot begin to describe the immeasurable peace I have during the Liturgy, and the ongoing thirst for Truth and the expectation of the following week's service.

All this without partaking in Holy Communion!

I can only imagine the LIFE I will have once catechized, baptized, and chrismated into the Church and to partake in the Eucharist!
 
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Charbel Makhlouf

Sparrow
Orthodox
Man, I have a Roman Catholic friend who is starting to get curious about Orthodoxy so I go look up the nearest ROCOR Parish to her address and this is what I find on their website :confused: (I know it's far from the norm... but bummer!)

2021-9-20-271.png
 

magaman

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
Man, I have a Roman Catholic friend who is starting to get curious about Orthodoxy so I go look up the nearest ROCOR Parish to her address and this is what I find on their website :confused: (I know it's far from the norm... but bummer!)

2021-9-20-271.png
There's only one Orthodox church in my city and it's a Greek Orthodox church. I looked on their website and they not only require masks but also their yearly Greek festival that they have will now be drive-thru only.. A drive-thru festival.

Yeah, no. I'll pass. All the Catholic churches I've been to so far have cucked as far as masks go and I've kind of soured on Catholicism the more I've read about it and seen what's actually going on beneath the surface. Plus, it seems there a huge lefty vibe that comes from Catholics and their churches and that doesn't make me feel comfortable either. I'm not interested in going to Protestant churches. I already know the types of people that go to those so yeah, I'll pass on that too :) Well, what now?
 

Charbel Makhlouf

Sparrow
Orthodox
There's only one Orthodox church in my city and it's a Greek Orthodox church. I looked on their website and they not only require masks but also their yearly Greek festival that they have will now be drive-thru only.. A drive-thru festival.

Yeah, no. I'll pass. All the Catholic churches I've been to so far have cucked as far as masks go and I've kind of soured on Catholicism the more I've read about it and seen what's actually going on beneath the surface. Plus, it seems there a huge lefty vibe that comes from Catholics and their churches and that doesn't make me feel comfortable either. I'm not interested in going to Protestant churches. I already know the types of people that go to those so yeah, I'll pass on that too :) Well, what now?

I don't blame you from being turned off by that particular Greek Orthodox Parish and I don't blame you for being turned off by much in the Roman Catholic Church.

Good parishes are hard to come by, but please don't give up on the search.

We are called to worship God. It is our purpose. It is what we should arrange our lives around (though, to my great shame, I fail spectacularly on this point very often).

I'd encourage you to look up the nearest ROCOR Church and make the drive at least once! I can't claim to know the will of God or how he works, but wouldn't be surprised if he arranges something wonderful for you if you take another step towards Him :)
 

Yallbeparticular

Sparrow
Orthodox
I wish I could make a long drive to ROCOR but it’s not possible at the moment. In the meantime I’ve actually been migrating away from the OCA to the Greeks. I think it doesn’t matter as long as the Greeks have sacraments. Elder Ephraim was Greek Orthodox and it was good enough for him and his book is my central guide to living the Christian life. I got burned by OCA during covid and I know that people were burned by the Greeks too but Greeks haven’t burned me yet so I will give them a chance. Plus I get the impression that dissent is more common in the Greek church. When the OCA posts something dumb it’s crickets. But on articles about Elpidophoros vaccine announcement you can read entertaining comments like “ANATHEMA!” “Go back to Turkey!” Also one Greek woman wrote “chop his balls off!” Lol.
 

magaman

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
I don't blame you from being turned off by that particular Greek Orthodox Parish and I don't blame you for being turned off by much in the Roman Catholic Church.

Good parishes are hard to come by, but please don't give up on the search.

We are called to worship God. It is our purpose. It is what we should arrange our lives around (though, to my great shame, I fail spectacularly on this point very often).

I'd encourage you to look up the nearest ROCOR Church and make the drive at least once! I can't claim to know the will of God or how he works, but wouldn't be surprised if he arranges something wonderful for you if you take another step towards Him :)
The nearest Russian Orthodox Church to me is a few hours away in a huge city. I visited their website, looked at their pictures and read their reviews. I didn't see anything on their site about wearing masks and looking at their pictures, very few people are wearing masks so I assume it's optional. They have really good reviews too so I'd be willing to check it out one of these weekends.
 

kel

 
Banned
I was passing by a nice looking old catholic church a week or so ago, decided to walk around the grounds, look at the building, just enjoy a little moment. The board at the front where they usually post service hours and stuff had corona guidelines with a whole thing about accepting communion by sanitizing your hands before and after and specifically said "Don't say 'amen'" even.
 

Hermetic Seal

Pelican
Orthodox
Gold Member
Man, I have a Roman Catholic friend who is starting to get curious about Orthodoxy so I go look up the nearest ROCOR Parish to her address and this is what I find on their website :confused: (I know it's far from the norm... but bummer!)

2021-9-20-271.png

It's worth checking out anyway. It's possible that they're not really enforcing that and it's just there to placate the powers-that-be in their area.
 

magaman

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
So it turns out that a friend that I have on Facebook is an Orthodox Christian who was baptized at ROCOR and he told me that there is a small Russian Orthodox Church here in my town where I live that's in the same parish as the church he was baptized at. So I have a ROCOR church that's much much closer to home and I told him I'm looking into checking it out.
 

Funglool

 
Banned
Orthodox
I must confess that I see a significant disconnect between what the Rocorsphere presents as Orthodox teaching compared with what their God-appointed bishops actually teach and I wonder if the Church Abroad is being misappropriated by those who however well intentioned, are seeking to enlist it in their political struggles.

Here are some contemporary examples of what I mean:

+On Vaccines: The first hierarch, Metropolitan Hilarion, has publicly stated that he and “many others” have been vaccinated. Among these others are members of highly regarded monastic communities and presumably other members of the episcopate as well.

Conclusion: While vaccination has been called everything from a death wish to an initiation into demonic possession, we can see that the first hierarch and others remain physically and spiritually intact so maybe it is not the initiation into the new world order that the overblown rhetoric has made it out to be.

+On Religious Exemptions for Vaccination: The Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, Bishop Luke of Syracuse counselled that the vaccines bear no spiritual significance.

Conclusion: If vaccines bear no spiritual significance then they are not a religious matter, so logically, there is no reason to provide religious exemption letters.

+On the possibility of contracting disease in church: In a panel discussion led by Fr. Josiah Trenham, Rocor’s hierarch in Europe, bishop Irinee, called the notion that one cannot get sick “mindless fanaticism” and “lack of faith.”

Conclusion: To understand that one can potentially get sick in church does not abolish the sanctity of that holy space. On the contrary, making up a theory that there is no corruption in the temple implies a lack faith. And by extension, at least some form of adherence to health and safety protocols in church is valid.

All this would seem to undercut the confession of faith of the Rocorsphere in the coronavirus age and put it at odds with its bishops. This is serious business and both sides cannot be right. I know which side I will defer to!
 

soli.deo.gloria

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Gold Member
+On the possibility of contracting disease in church: In a panel discussion led by Fr. Josiah Trenham, Rocor’s hierarch in Europe, bishop Irinee, called the notion that one cannot get sick “mindless fanaticism” and “lack of faith.”

Conclusion: To understand that one can potentially get sick in church does not abolish the sanctity of that holy space. On the contrary, making up a theory that there is no corruption in the temple implies a lack faith. And by extension, at least some form of adherence to health and safety protocols in church is valid.

All this would seem to undercut the confession of faith of the Rocorsphere in the coronavirus age and put it at odds with its bishops. This is serious business and both sides cannot be right. I know which side I will defer to!
Have you listened to this interview?

 

Funglool

 
Banned
Orthodox
I think so but the video that I based my comment on was the one called Church Growth and Decline in the Covid Crisis from the same youtube channel. What I quoted is from the first half of the video. Also, his Grace’s diocese did implement covid measures.
 

Eusebius Erasmus

Ostrich
Orthodox
I must confess that I see a significant disconnect between what the Rocorsphere presents as Orthodox teaching compared with what their God-appointed bishops actually teach and I wonder if the Church Abroad is being misappropriated by those who however well intentioned, are seeking to enlist it in their political struggles.

Here are some contemporary examples of what I mean:

+On Vaccines: The first hierarch, Metropolitan Hilarion, has publicly stated that he and “many others” have been vaccinated. Among these others are members of highly regarded monastic communities and presumably other members of the episcopate as well.

Conclusion: While vaccination has been called everything from a death wish to an initiation into demonic possession, we can see that the first hierarch and others remain physically and spiritually intact so maybe it is not the initiation into the new world order that the overblown rhetoric has made it out to be.

+On Religious Exemptions for Vaccination: The Abbot of Holy Trinity Monastery, Bishop Luke of Syracuse counselled that the vaccines bear no spiritual significance.

Conclusion: If vaccines bear no spiritual significance then they are not a religious matter, so logically, there is no reason to provide religious exemption letters.

+On the possibility of contracting disease in church: In a panel discussion led by Fr. Josiah Trenham, Rocor’s hierarch in Europe, bishop Irinee, called the notion that one cannot get sick “mindless fanaticism” and “lack of faith.”

Conclusion: To understand that one can potentially get sick in church does not abolish the sanctity of that holy space. On the contrary, making up a theory that there is no corruption in the temple implies a lack faith. And by extension, at least some form of adherence to health and safety protocols in church is valid.

All this would seem to undercut the confession of faith of the Rocorsphere in the coronavirus age and put it at odds with its bishops. This is serious business and both sides cannot be right. I know which side I will defer to!
I base my rejection of the injection on the prophecies of St. Paisios and other holy elders from Athos. Not on what hierarchs say.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
The whole “it’s impossible to get sick in a Church building” line is one of those things that makes me cringe when I hear it. The Bible explicitly states that people who take Communion unworthily can get sick by doing so, and I know many people - myself included - who have caught something from large gatherings in a Church. I think the more realistic, Biblical and Orthodox approach is to view your health as something God has sovereignty over and that if you get sick, regardless of where you are when you contract the illness, it has a salvific purpose and can help sanctify you if endured in the proper spirit.
 

Mulato_Man_Gabe

Sparrow
Orthodox
A large part of my parish caught covid. There was a gathering of many people at a local cathedral, hundreds of people gathered there. Many cases of covid from that event. You can get sick from attending church - but it is all under God's providence.

This doesn't mean I support even 1 of the covidism measures. We just have to worship knowing the potential risks.
 

magaman

Kingfisher
Orthodox Inquirer
I haven't attended my first liturgy yet but I still have it in my mind to. I've been doing a lot of reading and watching videos about Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox churches and I've had some misconceptions that I had about those topics cleared up. I'm really starting to warm up to it and it seems as though Orthodoxy has found me in a way. Sadly, things aren't going so well in my life right now. My relationship with my girlfriend has gone south for a few reasons but the main one seems to be that she has unrealistic expectations that I just can't meet. It takes a lot more to make her happy than it does me.

Also I've swallowed the black pill that most of my family hates and resents me and my father because of factors that are out of our control. Well, out of my control for sure. Basically they feel like they should have what we have but what we have is all we've got. I think they feel like we shouldn't have anything.. I've been drinking more again too and I'd imagine it's probably not the best idea to be drinking a lot on Saturday night if I want to go to church on Sunday morning. It's probably not a good idea to be drinking a lot period, actually.
 

Patrick1

Pigeon
Orthodox
I haven't attended my first liturgy yet but I still have it in my mind to. I've been doing a lot of reading and watching videos about Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox churches and I've had some misconceptions that I had about those topics cleared up. I'm really starting to warm up to it and it seems as though Orthodoxy has found me in a way. Sadly, things aren't going so well in my life right now. My relationship with my girlfriend has gone south for a few reasons but the main one seems to be that she has unrealistic expectations that I just can't meet. It takes a lot more to make her happy than it does me.

Also I've swallowed the black pill that most of my family hates and resents me and my father because of factors that are out of our control. Well, out of my control for sure. Basically they feel like they should have what we have but what we have is all we've got. I think they feel like we shouldn't have anything.. I've been drinking more again too and I'd imagine it's probably not the best idea to be drinking a lot on Saturday night if I want to go to church on Sunday morning. It's probably not a good idea to be drinking a lot period, actually.
Hope things improve with your family. One thing I would say is that if you want to go to liturgy just go. Books and videos are great but not a replacement for the actual services.
 

in.image.and.likeness

Pigeon
Orthodox Catechumen
I hope this is the right place for my story/question, because although it deals with covid, at its core it is actually a question about how to act as an Orthodox Christian in church in these times.

But if there is a forum more suitable for this, please let me know and I will move it there.

- - -

I am a catechumen in the ROCOR in Germany. I commute for 2 hours to attend church.

The priest has given me the permission to join via confession (baptised RC as a child).
This is of great significance to me for I have accumulated a lot of sin in my former un-Christian life.

In Germany the churches abide by the cov measures which means disinfecting the spoon after each person, distance, marked paths on the floor, and: mask-wearing during liturgy.
When I first saw the priest wearing one while serving the Eucharist, my heart almost broke.

I wear it on my chin and focus on prayer and the iconostasis to try to distract myself from the shame I feel. So far noone said anything.
I told myself: Maybe this is what you have to endure after a life of sin to join the Church of Christ and start to heal your soul.

So my plan was to go to confession, to finally receive communion, and then to not return as long as this charade goes on - while searching for ways to receive it without a mask (almost impossible in Germany).

But my patience was weak and last Sunday I „snapped“.
The day and the night before was full of demonic attacks, so on the way to church I felt unusually weak, empty, and despondent - knowing full well it’s a sin to give in to these feelings.

On the way to church and during the liturgy snippets from talks by Roosh, Brother Augustine, Fr Heers on the topic of masks in church were almost haunting me: „Fear in the Holy Temple is unorthodox“.
The mask is a symbol of (manufactured) fear, a fear I don’t share and of which I know the evil roots.

The notion that this would be my final visit slowly started to take shape in my mind. Maybe the actual sacrifice was not the mask, but the fact that I would not be able to go to confession soon, and thus not be able to join in the way I had planned. (It was the Sunday after the feast of the Elevation of the Holy Cross)

When I entered the church, masked, and crossed myself bowing in front of the icons, a sorrowful joy came over me, and I knew, healing is right here. I calmed down.

In the middle of the liturgy I spotted a man on the other side of the church without a mask, I didn't know why he wasn't wearing one and I didn't care. As if I needed this sign I took my mask off, or more precisely, I ripped it off, praising the Lord, asking for forgiveness and mercy, but doing so unmasked, showing Him my face.

At the end of the liturgy, people cued to venerate the cross, a „security“ guy spotted me and immediately told me to put a mask on. It got tense for a moment. I refused and said that this is a lie, that I will not cover my face anymore in the House of God, but that I don’t want to cause trouble and will leave if he tells me to.

Here is where things started to get… unexpected.

He said that he had sympathy for my stance and that St Paul said not to fight among brothers in Christ, but that this church really can’t risk fines, and controls do occur (the police once came into the church screaming at people because they mistook lighting candles and praying alone in front of icons for a full liturgy..!).

However, he - btw his name is Paul (!) - didn’t want me to leave and asked me to wait by the side until the cue went away.
He waited with me and we talked about fairness towards our brothers and sisters in the church, and about whether my action was motivated by pride.
Then, to my surprise, he offered me to tell everyone that I had an exemption (which I don’t have) so I could attend unmasked without irritating the others.

Further he said that he was going to a far away monastery for a couple of days, the monastery which the priest advised me to go to as well but which I couldn’t visit because I don’t own a car, and he offered me to go with him.

So there I was, rebelling in church, being confronted by Paul, and in the end being offered things I wanted…

A few days later Paul called me to tell me that he was able to catch a monk from the monastery on the phone at first try, something that, he marveled, was almost impossible because the monks are rarely in the room where the phone is, so it normally takes days to finally catch someone.

He went on to say that although the monastery website states that masks are mandatory, they don't make anyone wear one.
Therefore, however, they don’t allow confessions out of fear of contagion.

So again, here I am, grateful to God allowing me to experience His love through others despite my rebellious act, without which I would not have experienced it..! Opening doors (exemption, monastery), closing others (confession).

Was it right what I did?

The heavy weight I felt for months, which I attributed to doubts in faith, had lifted on that day.
It was the mask, I tell myself. I made up my mind, I would avoid church and retreat online (I know Fr Heers warns about that) and finally join a forum I knew about... (-;

So now, theoratically, I can attend church mask-free.
But I can’t ignore my conflict of conscience:

The mask is a lie.
My exemption would be a lie as well.

I want to go to confession and become Orthodox at last. But I would have to partake either in the lie about my exemption or in the lie of wearing a mask in that Church, and by doing so I would go back on my „rebellion“.

What can I do?
There are no known alternatives in Germany, like I said, masks everywhere.

Also: I would like to have a based priest as my confession witness and maybe as a spiritual father later on, instead of the vaxed ones… is this the sin of pride on my side?

Thank you for reading if you did.
Have a blessed day/night.
Greetings from Weimar Germany, the sequel.

IC
 
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