Greek Orthodox


I am not sure if this is the right forum, but maybe I can be guided to the right one if not.

I am the Coordinator of Liturgies for the Catholic high school in which I teach. I have a student who is Greek Orthodox and has been chosen to be one of our student chaplains. I am wondering, to what extent can he be a part of the Mass? May he be a reader? I know he can not be an EMHC.

Thanks for your help! :slight_smile:

In Christ through Mary,


He can participate in the Mass along with all of the other students.

He cannot have a liturgical role because these are limited to Catholics.

Strictly speaking, he shouldn’t even be reading in an Orthodox Liturgy unless he’s been ordained a Reader.

From the Catholic perspective he might be able to receive Communion. He would have to consult his own Orthodox pastor first, though.


Most Orthodox jurisdictions in the United States allow for one (male or female) who has not been ordained to the office of Reader to chant the readings. The same applies to the office of Cantor.


He would likely excommunicate himself from his own Church should he receive Communion in ours. He is free to receive in ours but the Orthodox are cautioned to respect the disciplines of their own Churches in this matter and the majority would not seek to receive in a Catholic Church anyway.


Thank you all so much for your responses! One more question…would he not be able to read any of the Prayer of the Faithful? Is that or would that be considered a liturgical role?



Maybe we could back it all up and ask the question: how was he chosen? By other students? By faculty?

Has he spoken with his Orthodox pastor? And should not this occur before other questions are answered?

Is he even active in the Orthodox parish to which he belongs?

In the possibility that the Orthodox pastor may not be in favor of this, it would seem those issues would need to be addressed first, then the issues of whether or not he should go forward with the the position, and then a definition scope of the duties of a student chaplain as they may apply to him.

I am not suggesting that this is based in “sheep stealing”, but that issue has been one between the Orthodox and the Church. Rather than moving forward on the chaplain issue, it would seem better to sort out how the other side views this. If the pastor has issues with it, then it would seem that encouraging the student to follow the practices of his Church would be the better course; and a possible learning lesson not only to him, but all the other students too.

closed #7

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