OCA and Greek Orthodox Church,


#1

Can someone tell me what the difference is between these churches? I would like to go to an Orthodox service and there are two churches that came up close enough, one under Orthodox Church in America and one under Greek Orthodox Church.

I would just put the question in Google, but I'd like to ask some other things as well.


#2

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:1, topic:285366"]
Can someone tell me what** the difference** is between these churches? I would like to go to **an Orthodox service **and there are two churches that came up close enough, one under Orthodox Church in America and one under Greek Orthodox Church.

I would just put the question in Google, but I'd like to ask some other things as well.

[/quote]

Both are autocephalous/self-governing churches.

In terms specifically of going to a service at these two, of the two of them the OCA is more likely to have a mostly English liturgy. In my experience the Greek Churches retain their liturgical Greek and may then have things repeated (Holy Gospel, homily) in English. However we have an OCA parish near my home which services are in Slavonic.

This Thursday is the Feast of the Ascension so I'd expect both of them to have the festal Vigil Wed. night (not a Eucharistic liturgy) which would be glorious services and can run a couple of hours, the Greek festal vigil being shorter than the OCA, in my experience here in CA, and celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Thursday, the Feastday.

If either of the parishes is named "Ascension", as is our local Greek Orthodox Cathedral, then Thursday would also be their altar feast, a hugely important day for a parish, and if he can the bishop would come for an hierarchical Divine Liturgy. :) The music in a Greek Orthodox Church would almost certainly be Byzantine chant. In the OCA it would more likely tend toward Slavic chant.


#3

[quote="5Loaves, post:2, topic:285366"]
Both are autocephalous/self-governing churches.

In terms specifically of going to a service at these two, of the two of them the OCA is more likely to have a mostly English liturgy. In my experience the Greek Churches retain their liturgical Greek and may then have things repeated (Holy Gospel, homily) in English. However we have an OCA parish near my home which services are in Slavonic.

This Thursday is the Feast of the Ascension so I'd expect both of them to have the festal Vigil Wed. night (not a Eucharistic liturgy) which would be glorious services and can run a couple of hours, the Greek festal vigil being shorter than the OCA, in my experience here in CA, and celebrate the Divine Liturgy on Thursday, the Feastday.

If either of the parishes is named "Ascension", as is our local Greek Orthodox Cathedral, then Thursday would also be their altar feast, a hugely important day for a parish, and if he can the bishop would come for an hierarchical Divine Liturgy. :) The music in a Greek Orthodox Church would almost certainly be Byzantine chant. In the OCA it would more likely tend toward Slavic chant.

[/quote]

The OCA, if I am not mistaken, also has special parishes which help serve certain immigrant communities, like the Bulgarians (but of course, they are open to all). The OCA is a bit like a box of chocolates, I guess. :D


#4

The Orthodox Church in America was founded in Kodiak, Alaska, in 1794 by the Russian Orthodox Church, if I remember my history correctly.


#5

Thank you. Do you know if there is a special dress code for omen? I wouldn't want to scandalize anyone by showing up hatless or in pants or something.

Also, are these the churches NOT in communion with Rome? Or... what? Should I just pick one and email the Pastor?


#6

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:5, topic:285366"]
Thank you. Do you know if there is a special dress code for omen? I wouldn't want to scandalize anyone by showing up hatless or in pants or something.

Also, are these the churches NOT in communion with Rome? Or... what? Should I just pick one and email the Pastor?

[/quote]

You'd be surprised to know I visited an OCA Church.

I emailed the pastor ahead of time which was great because he had a woman serve as a guide to me. I'm not saying all Churches are that friendly, but this one was. It wouldn't hurt to email the pastor.

Some women had scarves on their heads but not everyone. I don't remember whether I saw pants or not.

Orthodox churches are not in communion, but I don't think there is anything wrong with visiting a church. It won't fulfill your obligation though.


#7

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:5, topic:285366"]

Also, are these the churches NOT in communion with Rome? Or... what? Should I just pick one and email the Pastor?

[/quote]

Sadly, they aren't in full communion. Yet.:)


#8

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:1, topic:285366"]
Can someone tell me what the difference is between these churches? I would like to go to an Orthodox service and there are two churches that came up close enough, one under Orthodox Church in America and one under Greek Orthodox Church.

[/quote]

The Greek Orthodox are mostly Greek. Most parishes have some 'Americans' but some are overwhelmingly immigrants. In my area there are some parishes that are very 'American' and English and some that are not.

Most Greek parishes have pews, quite a few even have organs. :eek:

The OCA was (as others have pointed out) started as the Russian missions in Alaska. Worship is usually A Capella, and standing is OK. From the beginning there was a tendency for the Russian missions to be multi-ethnic and the stories of individual parishes in big cities will often list five or six ethnic groups among the founders. In Alaska a lot of native Americans are Orthodox. Later immigrants came from all Orthodox countries and in the beginning they were under the Russian bishops. Then about 100 years ago some Eastern Catholics from Ukraine and Hungary went over to the Orthodox.

The closest OCA parish to me was actually founded by several Greek families about 25 years ago because they wanted a more Americanized parish and worship in English. the liturgy their still has some reflection of Greek praxis (as I have been told by the priest).

Because the OCA has been in the USA so long most congregations are quite integrated into the Anglophone world of Canada and the USA. Often one will not see pews, but plenty of chairs for those who would not want to stand.

Theologically the Greek Orthodox and the OCA/Russian Orthodox are the same, and they are in communion with each other.


#9

[quote="John_of_Patmos, post:7, topic:285366"]
Sadly, they aren't in full communion. Yet.:)

[/quote]

Will be ... when Rome is ready ;)


#10

[quote="Hesychios, post:9, topic:285366"]
Will be ... when Rome is ready ;)

[/quote]

:D


#11

[quote="Hesychios, post:9, topic:285366"]
Will be ... when Rome is ready ;)

[/quote]

[quote="Mickey, post:10, topic:285366"]
:D

[/quote]

:(


#12

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:5, topic:285366"]
Thank you. Do you know if there is a special dress code for omen? I wouldn't want to scandalize anyone by showing up hatless or in pants or something.

Also, are these the churches NOT in communion with Rome? Or... what? Should I just pick one and email the Pastor?

[/quote]

They are not yet in communion with Rome. Perhaps you should investigate the Eastern Catholic rites of which there are several. Check out byzcath.org for more information.

As others have described, you do see more women with covered heads in Orthodox services than you do in Catholic services, but I don't think it's required; it's just respectful (and traditional). And, traditionally, one stands during the entire Orthodox service, but, there are seats available for those who can't stand for the entire service.


#13

[quote="John_of_Patmos, post:7, topic:285366"]
Sadly, they aren't in full communion. Yet.:)

[/quote]

Question

I was wondering if you could please help me with a question.

Orthodox obviously do not believe in the infallibility of the Bishop (Pope) of Rome. However, is it true that Orthodox believe that infallibility resides in the first seven ecumenical councils? That is, that these councils made infallible pronoucements on matters of faith and doctrine?

Answer

Orthodoxy does not believe in the infallibility of the Pope of Rome, nor of any other individual.

Orthodoxy upholds the reality that the Church, gathered together in Council under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is guided in making correct decisions and in enunciating truth.

I found this at a oca.org/questions/romancatholicism/infallibility which seems to me to be a very nice website with a lot of good information. This answer indicates to me that the churches will always be independent of one another.

Thanks everyone for all the very helpful answers. I think I have decided to pass as I actually can't stand for more than about a minute and my feeling is I would attract attention to myself and become a distraction to others.

I wanted to go because I listened to this: ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/a_conversation_with_st._seraphim_on_the_holy_spirit#.T7kDW9Ha-P8.blogger podcast, just the first ten minutes moved me very much and made me want to know all about Saint Seraphim and the theology of the Orthodox Church.


#14

[quote="TrueLight, post:11, topic:285366"]
:(

[/quote]

So, you don`t wish a unity? Remember: it is far more than Rome. The day when people can say unity with an open mind, an open heart and really mean it: then maybe..yes..maybe things can happen.


#15

[quote="Padraig1972, post:14, topic:285366"]
So, you don`t wish a unity? Remember: it is far more than Rome. The day when people can say unity with an open mind, an open heart and really mean it: then maybe..yes..maybe things can happen.

[/quote]

Why would you assume Truelight does not want unity? :confused:


#16

[quote="Padraig1972, post:14, topic:285366"]
So, you don`t wish a unity? Remember: it is far more than Rome. The day when people can say unity with an open mind, an open heart and really mean it: then maybe..yes..maybe things can happen.

[/quote]

I think you missed the irony in the two smiles. I didn't. :D


#17

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:13, topic:285366"]
I found this at a oca.org/questions/romancatholicism/infallibility which seems to me to be a very nice website with a lot of good information. This answer indicates to me that the churches will always be independent of one another.

[/quote]

I agree, OCA does have a nice website.
I don't think we can know what "always" will bring. :)

Thanks everyone for all the very helpful answers. I think I have decided to pass as I actually can't stand for more than about a minute and my feeling is I would attract attention to myself and become a distraction to others.

I hope you reconsider. :) Sitting during services or Divine Liturgy is not going to distract anyone. It would be a very unusual Greek Orthodox Church if it doesn't have pews. Tonight in Ascension Vespers at the Greek Orthodox Cathedral as usual the Metropolitan and priest celebrant kept gesturing "down, down" ie SIT. We stood, as usual, maybe 1/4 of the time. And several people pretty much sat the entire time because they needed to do so. The OCA parish is unlikely to have pews but will probably have benches and chairs around the perimeter. There are several people in my OCA parish who sit most of the time because they need to. I have a young friend, grad school, with an injury that causes him to sit through nearly the entire Divine Liturgy.

Most, not all, of these parishes are fairly small and they're very used to having visitors. A woman visitor would be wise to wear a dress and bring something for your head, tho I see very few women with a head covering in the Greek Orthodox or the OCA here, but you wouldn't be out of place as a woman covering your head, either. The ROCOR Church is the only one here where I always cover my head.

I wanted to go because I listened to this: ancientfaith.com/podcasts/hopko/a_conversation_with_st._seraphim_on_the_holy_spirit#.T7kDW9Ha-P8.blogger podcast, just the first ten minutes moved me very much and made me want to know all about Saint Seraphim and the theology of the Orthodox Church.

Fr. Tom Hopko is a wonderful teacher. I love his podcasts. :thumbsup: His "Worship in Spirit and Truth" series on the Divine Liturgy is great. I discovered a couple of months ago that I can download these podcasts on my smart phone and listen to them anyplace. :D


#18

Thanks for this post, I probably will reconsider, especially when I move in a while where the closest church to the house is actually an OCA church. Having it right in the neighborhood will make it feel less like visiting a strange country and more like an opportunity to know my new neighbors.


#19

[quote="Julia_Mae, post:18, topic:285366"]
Thanks for this post, I probably will reconsider, especially when I move in a while where the closest church to the house is actually an OCA church. Having it right in the neighborhood will make it feel less like visiting a strange country and more like an opportunity to know my new neighbors.

[/quote]

You should.

The Orthodox of the parish I visited in the past are some of the most wonderful people I've ever met. Welcoming, encouraging, and certainly do not look down upon you at all.

You should definitely go. It's quite an amazing experience. And the incense smells.....divine. :thumbsup:

I


#20

[quote="Hesychios, post:9, topic:285366"]
Will be ... when Rome is ready ;)

[/quote]

Will be... when God is ready and guides us both down that road.


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