Catechism & Catechumenate

catechumenPaintingIf 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!

RECOMMENDED READING for the Catechumenate:

At least two of the following texts:

1. The Faith, by Clark Carlton

2. The Orthodox Church, by Timothy Ware

3. The Orthodox Way, by Kallistos Ware

4. These Truths We Hold, by St. Tikhon’s Seminary Press.


Also recommended: 

The Orthodox Study Bible

An Orthodox prayer book, such as either

The Jordanville Prayer Book (Holy Trinity Monastery, Jordanville, NY); or

A Prayer Book for Orthodox Christians (Holy Transfiguration Monastery, Boston)





Entering the Orthodox Church, by Met. Hierotheos Vlachos


Orthodox Dogmatic Theology, by Fr. Michael Pomazanski

Let Us Attend, by Fr. Lawrence Farley (commentary on the Divine Liturgy)

For the Life of the World, by Fr. Alexander Schmemann

Great Lent, by Fr. Alexander Schmemann