Still searching for a church

tikkasakko

Pigeon
Orthodox Catechumen
So I have been on the hunt for a based Orthodox church in the Edmonton area for weeks now. No such luck. They require masks, and some straight out encourage jabs. I am going to try an Antiochian parish next, but I'm a little worried because their service includes Arabic, which I obviously do not speak. Does anyone have any experience attending Antiochian parishes? Is it worth my time checking out? Thanks.
 

MichaelWitcoff

Hummingbird
Orthodox
The Antiochian parishes I’ve been to have services entirely in English, apart from the occasional “ashalaam aleikum” when the priest blesses the flock. Metropolitan Joseph, to my knowledge, has never mandated masks or even talked about the jab (I could be wrong).
 

tikkasakko

Pigeon
Orthodox Catechumen
You don't know how happy I am to hear that. I have been watching recent videos the parish has posted, and I was impressed. I know where I'm going Sunday. Thank's for confirming what I suspected. I'm very excited to get back to where I belong. God bless!
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Chicken
Orthodox Inquirer
Yeah AFAIK the Antiochians make a point of doing their services in the native language. It is the same here in the UK

Good to hear from some fellow Britons in the forum - I'm currently looking for some ROCOR churches to join. My friend found one in Wallasey, just outside Liverpool. I got in touch with the priest and hope to travel there intermittently. I managed to locate Father Spyridon Bailey's mission in Telford, apparently at a Serbian church there. There's a nice Serbian church as well in Bournville, Birmingham, which is pretty local to me.

I'm yet to attend Divine Liturgy and I'm buzzing to go, but I'm just hoping that my first experience is not treated with the mask/fear porn I saw at a Catholic mass i attended last summer. I'm thinking anything associated with ROCOR has a higher likelihood of being more down-to-earth. I hope the Serbian diocese have a similar attitude, but Bournville is pretty "well-to-do" so we'll see.
 

Lawrence87

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Good to hear from some fellow Britons in the forum - I'm currently looking for some ROCOR churches to join. My friend found one in Wallasey, just outside Liverpool. I got in touch with the priest and hope to travel there intermittently. I managed to locate Father Spyridon Bailey's mission in Telford, apparently at a Serbian church there. There's a nice Serbian church as well in Bournville, Birmingham, which is pretty local to me.

I'm yet to attend Divine Liturgy and I'm buzzing to go, but I'm just hoping that my first experience is not treated with the mask/fear porn I saw at a Catholic mass i attended last summer. I'm thinking anything associated with ROCOR has a higher likelihood of being more down-to-earth. I hope the Serbian diocese have a similar attitude, but Bournville is pretty "well-to-do" so we'll see.
If you're on that side of the country don't forget to check out the monastery of St Anthony and St Cuthbert, its a beautiful place!
 

JohnTheSmall

Pigeon
Orthodox
So I have been on the hunt for a based Orthodox church in the Edmonton area for weeks now. No such luck. They require masks, and some straight out encourage jabs. I am going to try an Antiochian parish next, but I'm a little worried because their service includes Arabic, which I obviously do not speak. Does anyone have any experience attending Antiochian parishes? Is it worth my time checking out? Thanks.
I belong to an Antiochian parish and I’ve had a wonderful experience so far.
Our services are done mostly in English and our membership has a healthy percentage of converts (50-60% if I had to guess).
There is the occasional ‘ya Rab irham’ (Lord have mercy) in Arabic as a reminder of our roots, but even parishes considered ‘ethnic’ will typically only do a bilingual (half English/half Arabic) Liturgy. We also regularly pray for the “quick release from captivity and safe return” of the kidnapped bishops of Aleppo (look into it if you’re not familiar). I find it to be a beautiful expression of love if you consider the multi-layered meaning behind the words. There may be a good opportunity to get acquainted with some clergy and people who are natives of the ‘Old Country’ and steeped in the traditions and struggles of the Church of Antioch. They are a warm and pious people from my experience.

The hierarchy leaves the issue of masks to the individual parishes from my understanding, and there are no mandates. The other Antiochian parishes I’ve visited in a 100-mile radius seem to have a similar attitude toward the epidemic, but I can’t speak for others outside my geographic area in the US. (We are blessed with a fairly based priest at my home parish.)
Your experience may vary, but I wish you God’s blessings in your exploring!

Christ is in our midst!
 

Paisios Harlan

Pigeon
Orthodox
So I have been on the hunt for a based Orthodox church in the Edmonton area for weeks now. No such luck. They require masks, and some straight out encourage jabs. I am going to try an Antiochian parish next, but I'm a little worried because their service includes Arabic, which I obviously do not speak. Does anyone have any experience attending Antiochian parishes? Is it worth my time checking out? Thanks.
I am new myself to Orthodoxy. Here's my experience with foreign languages. I also wanted to find a church that was in English. I'm in Japan, actually, which makes it harder. I went to services in Japanese a few times. I didn't really understand anything. The Divine Liturgy is mostly the same every week though. So I was able to follow along in English on paper, and read it over during the week on my own and get the feel.

The church I ended up liking the best is Romanian. So they use Romanian, which I don't speak. Maybe because I'm not in an English-speaking country I knew I couldn't be too picky. In any case, it didn't take me that long to stop caring about the language, at all. The best services I've been to, for my soul, were in 100% Greek. I don't know any Greek.

My advice would be to not worry about the language the services are in. At least put it down low on the priority list. For me, to be around faithful people is the most important thing. Thank God that He has made it pretty easy to see the level of faith in God people have, when it comes to COVIDism and the secular "health" measures.
 

GreatIrishElk

Sparrow
Orthodox Inquirer
I'm yet to attend Divine Liturgy and I'm buzzing to go, but I'm just hoping that my first experience is not treated with the mask/fear porn I saw at a Catholic mass i attended last summer. I'm thinking anything associated with ROCOR has a higher likelihood of being more down-to-earth. I hope the Serbian diocese have a similar attitude, but Bournville is pretty "well-to-do" so we'll see.
Glad to hear it brother, I attended my first last weekend and the best thing you can do is to follow through!
On the website for the Church I went to it does say that they do their best to maintain Cov measures - social distancing, masks, hand sanitiser - but when I got there there was absolutely nobody wearing one and they weren’t worried about the distancing either. The only way to know is to go! :)
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Chicken
Orthodox Inquirer
Glad to hear it brother, I attended my first last weekend and the best thing you can do is to follow through!
On the website for the Church I went to it does say that they do their best to maintain Cov measures - social distancing, masks, hand sanitiser - but when I got there there was absolutely nobody wearing one and they weren’t worried about the distancing either. The only way to know is to go! :)

That's great to hear! Thanks for the encouragement, I will do my best to attend my first one this Sunday :)

If you're on that side of the country don't forget to check out the monastery of St Anthony and St Cuthbert, its a beautiful place!

Thank you, I'd came across it not long ago, the train is inexpensive for me I will definitely go visit soon. It says you can stay for days, weeks or months - do you have any experience being at a Monastery? How does it work? I saw some pictures where you are asked to help out with manual labour and small tasks, I'm really intrigued.
 

Lawrence87

Woodpecker
Orthodox
Thank you, I'd came across it not long ago, the train is inexpensive for me I will definitely go visit soon. It says you can stay for days, weeks or months - do you have any experience being at a Monastery? How does it work? I saw some pictures where you are asked to help out with manual labour and small tasks, I'm really intrigued.

I was there for a few days last year. Basically you live with the monks for a few days, which entails a lot of services (starting from 5am). I'd say go after you've had some experience in church, because in the monastery its like those services and then some. As for the work, it really depends on what they need doing around the monastery, I was doing some clearance on an overgrown path when I was there. They also make candles, so they might ask you to help doing that. But generally you'll just be living as they do for your stay (except without their personal monastic prayer rules which they do in private). Anything else they will let you know upon your visit, but as I say, do a bit of warm up with regular Orthodox services first, because monastic services are the hardcore version (I mean that in the best possible sense).
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Chicken
Orthodox Inquirer
I will also add that if the opportunity is there to have refreshments with the priest and the members of the Church, take it! Do not listen to the voice in your head that tells you to go home for whatever reason!
I wish you all the best :)

Yes that's the tendency: go, leave, run away! I will resist with all my might.

I was there for a few days last year. Basically you live with the monks for a few days, which entails a lot of services (starting from 5am). I'd say go after you've had some experience in church, because in the monastery its like those services and then some. As for the work, it really depends on what they need doing around the monastery, I was doing some clearance on an overgrown path when I was there. They also make candles, so they might ask you to help doing that. But generally you'll just be living as they do for your stay (except without their personal monastic prayer rules which they do in private). Anything else they will let you know upon your visit, but as I say, do a bit of warm up with regular Orthodox services first, because monastic services are the hardcore version (I mean that in the best possible sense).
Thank you, I understand. That's helped frame it much better for me :)
 

OrthoSerb

Sparrow
Orthodox
Good to hear from some fellow Britons in the forum - I'm currently looking for some ROCOR churches to join. My friend found one in Wallasey, just outside Liverpool. I got in touch with the priest and hope to travel there intermittently. I managed to locate Father Spyridon Bailey's mission in Telford, apparently at a Serbian church there. There's a nice Serbian church as well in Bournville, Birmingham, which is pretty local to me.

I'm yet to attend Divine Liturgy and I'm buzzing to go, but I'm just hoping that my first experience is not treated with the mask/fear porn I saw at a Catholic mass i attended last summer. I'm thinking anything associated with ROCOR has a higher likelihood of being more down-to-earth. I hope the Serbian diocese have a similar attitude, but Bournville is pretty "well-to-do" so we'll see.
I'm also in the UK and under the Serbian Patriarchate (not that you'd ever guess :)). My personal feeling is that either the Wallasey parish or the Telford mission, both under ROCOR, are more likely to suit you. In both cases the Liturgy is primarily in English (the priests are English) and there is a high percentage of converts. Putting myself in the place of a local, I'd feel more at home there. I was in the Birmingham parish a few months ago and the Liturgy is almost entirely in Serbian. Whilst there are converts, its very much an "ethnic" parish. Serbian parishes vary and whilst there are some that are more mission-oriented in other dioceses, that's not really the case with the UK parishes. None of the parishes here use much English, if at all. Even the Gospel and Epistle readings, together with the sermons are exclusively in Serbian. All of the priests in the UK, without exception, were born in the Balkans and sent here so English language skills are in most cases mediocre. If the parish is local to you then by all means attend Liturgy, but what I'm trying to say is that for your first experience, if you want to understand/follow what is happening, then go with one of the ROCOR parishes.

FYI the church in Birmingham was built after WW2 by anti-communist fighters and their families who were evacuated after the Soviets entered Yugoslavia. A large population settled in the Midlands where they worked in the local factories, including the Cadbury's chocolate factory. The Telford parish, whose church Father Spyridon uses for this mission, has a similar history.
 

Akaky Akakievitch

Chicken
Orthodox Inquirer
I'm also in the UK and under the Serbian Patriarchate (not that you'd ever guess :)). My personal feeling is that either the Wallasey parish or the Telford mission, both under ROCOR, are more likely to suit you. In both cases the Liturgy is primarily in English (the priests are English) and there is a high percentage of converts. Putting myself in the place of a local, I'd feel more at home there. I was in the Birmingham parish a few months ago and the Liturgy is almost entirely in Serbian. Whilst there are converts, its very much an "ethnic" parish. Serbian parishes vary and whilst there are some that are more mission-oriented in other dioceses, that's not really the case with the UK parishes. None of the parishes here use much English, if at all. Even the Gospel and Epistle readings, together with the sermons are exclusively in Serbian. All of the priests in the UK, without exception, were born in the Balkans and sent here so English language skills are in most cases mediocre. If the parish is local to you then by all means attend Liturgy, but what I'm trying to say is that for your first experience, if you want to understand/follow what is happening, then go with one of the ROCOR parishes.

FYI the church in Birmingham was built after WW2 by anti-communist fighters and their families who were evacuated after the Soviets entered Yugoslavia. A large population settled in the Midlands where they worked in the local factories, including the Cadbury's chocolate factory. The Telford parish, whose church Father Spyridon uses for this mission, has a similar history.

Thanks very much for detailing all of that. Now I'm as well armed as I can be before my first divine liturgy :):like:
 
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