Information for those who desire to unite themselves to Holy Orthodoxy
Those who desire to unite themselves to the Church should address their desire to the Rector of the parish or those appointed by him (the priest-in-charge or deacon) through a private meeting arranged in advance. The candidate shall be examined with due causing as to the particulars of their desire to enter the Orthodox Church, especially in light of their former religious background. Following this, formal instruction in the doctrine of the Orthodox Church shall commence. A date shall be set at which time the candidate will be received as a catechumen. This reception takes place in a liturgical setting at the doors to the church, either before or after the Vigil service, and in the presence of the assembled faithful. At this time formal communion with all other denominations must cease and all efforts and energy should be directed toward learning the doctrine and traditions of the Orthodox Church.

An ensuing period from nine months to one year after this first step shall be dedicated to regular and faithful attendance at the divine services, especially the Vigil and Divine Liturgy on Sundays and Major feasts. And, working closely with the designated instructor to learn the articles of Faith and correct any pre-existing erroneous opinions. During this time the catechumen should enter into the life of the community through volunteering to assist at parish functions, paying the annual assessment and making regular contributions of money and talent for the up-building of the Church and to foster a sense of belonging to a family of believers. With the blessing of the Rector, one person from the community should be chosen to be the sponsor or Godparent for the catechumen who will assist and encourage them in the pursuit of righteousness and the Truth. It is this person who will lead the catechumen into the church at their format reception and present them as worthy or receiving Holy Baptism and/or Chrismation.

When the appointed period of instruction has been completed, with all precaution and with the utmost circumspection, a date shall be set on which the catechumen shall be formally received into the Church. On the eve of this day, the catechumen shall make a general confession of all sins, which they are able to remember from youth up to the present. On the day of their reception, the catechumen shall be lead to the back doors of the church by their sponsor, then fully received through Holy Baptism (in the case of those who have not received valid Baptisms in the name of the Trinity) and/or Holy Anointing with Chrism. After this has been amerced the newly illumined shall receive Absolution and immediately participate in the Divine Liturgy being the first among the laity to receive the Holy Eucharist.

The above guidelines are based on general practice of the Holy Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church of Christ and are subject to modification in extreme circumstances and then only at the discretion of the Rector of this holy Temple.

Blessed is God, who willeth that all should be saved, and should come to the knowledge of the Truth

Provided by The Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, New York, New York; Fr. Christopher Calin, priest-in-charge.
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