If one is interested in uniting to the ancient Orthodox Church, one must go through ancient process of becoming Orthodox via the catechumenate. One is enrolled among that catechumens and begins the journey of acquiring the spirit of Orthodoxy as well as an intellectual understanding of the Orthodox Faith, our practices, and the Orthodox Christian lifestyle.
Over the course of the year the catechumens are expected to attend catechumen classes and the church services. They are expected to learn the Orthodox lifestyle before being baptized and/or chrismated, including entering into a daily rule of prayer. They will begin fasting with the Church on its fast days and during the fast seasons. The ideal is to experience the whole annual liturgical cycle of the Church. This participation in the cycle serves as preparation to be grafted into the True Vine, the Orthodox Church. The catechumens begin exploring the lives of the Saints, entering into a process of discernment to select (or rather allow a saint to select the catechumen) as patron. They will begin preparing their life confession prior to baptism/chrismation. Once the person is prepared, after adopting and internalizing the whole of Orthodox phronema (Greek=mind, thought, heart) they are received through baptism, chrismation, and Eucharist.
If you are an inquirer interested in uniting to Christ in His one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, please make your intention known to Fr. Benedict or any member of St. Cyril’s. We will walk with you through this great and holy journey. May it be richly blessed!
REQUIRED TEXTS for the Catechumenate:
The Faith, by Clark Carlton
The Mystery of Faith, by Met. Hilarion Alfeyev (Available at St. Vladimir’s Seminary Press.)
These Truths We Hold, published by St. Tikhon’s Press.
The Orthodox Study Bible
The Orthodox Church, by Met. Kallistos Ware
The Orthodox Way, by Met. Kallistos Ware
Entering the Orthodox Church, by Met. Hierotheos Vlachos
The Beginnings of a Life of Prayer, by Archimandrite Irenei
The Way of the Pilgrim
Orthodox Theology, by Vladimir Lossky
Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, by Fr. Michael Pomazanski
Let Us Attend, by Fr. Lawrence Farley
For the Life of the World, by Fr. Alexander Schmemann
Great Lent, by Fr. Alexander Schmemann
On the Priesthood, by St. John Chrysostom
The History of the Church, by Eusebius
Orthodox Christianity, Vol. 1, The History and Canonical Structure of the Orthodox Church, by Met. Hilarion Alfeyev
Orthodox Christianity, Vol. 2, Doctrine and Teaching of the Orthodox Church, by, Met. Hilarion Alfeyev
A Seeker’s Manual, by Fr. Mark Hodges