Question for Orthodox members

Hello! The Orthodox branch of our faith is one I probably know the least about and I’m curious about something. The Roman Catholic Church’s position is that to be a true member of the One True Church and all of it’s fullness, one would need to become a member of the RCC. (If I’m mistaken, please do correct me.)

What is the Orthodox position for those protestants like me? Do they view protestant belief as valid if it meets certain criteria? Or, would the idea be to become Orthodox? If Orthodox churches tend to follow certain cultural or ethnic lines, and can trace themselves back to certain areas of the world, and Bishops presiding over those areas, what is a protestant such as me to do? How would I ever pick which Orthodox church to join?


How did you pick the congregation you are in? Was it the fullness of faith. how did you arrive at this decision?

Comparison between Orthodoxy, Protestantism & Roman Catholicism:

Let’s not forget the Eastern Catholic Churches that are in communion with Rome. The Catholic Church has the fullness, which includes the Roman Church (the largest) as well as the Eastern Catholic Churches.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Orthodox Church

Happy reading…

I appreciate the replies, but that isn’t really what I’m asking. Please bear with me.

I live in a very rural area of the country. There’s only so many congregations of the different types. So, if I started feeling drawn to a more liturgical oriented church of the Orthodox persuasion (even including the RCC), what would an Orthodox leader or member tell me to do? Become RC? Or, study, participate and see where I feel “called” even if it is protestant?

Chesterton: “The difficulty of explaining “why I am a Catholic” is that there are ten thousand reasons all amounting to one reason: that Catholicism is true.”

I don’t think an Orthodox priest would ever tell you to be anything other than Orthodox, because they view themselves as the only true Church, for the most part.

:thumbsup: People have traveled, people have planted, people have moved. We used to travel four and a half hours to attend a church we believed we should be at. For some people this means meeting once a month or once every other week. Currently, I live 30min from the nearest EOC and twenty minutes from the nearest RCC. I still travel to the EOC. Jurisdiction (Greek, Russian, American, Serbian, Antiochian, etc) doesn’t matter when distance is an issue…you attend that which is in proximity to you. We converted in a Greek parish (a very DIVERSE Greek parish…the Greeks planted and people came). We’ve attended an American parish that transferred to Russian/American. Currently, we attend a Russian/American parish (also largely diverse…our priest is Greek American), but I’m hoping to start attending the women’s studies at the Greek parish and the children will probably participate in the youth groups there while attending Divine Liturgy at our parish (our parish is too tiny to have these things). It’s all the same Church…different jurisdictions. If you have many close to you, then choosing which to attend may vary upon your needs and the offerings of each parish.

I just heard of Chesterton a time ago, and I like how he thinks. I never heard his quote on Catholicism. Good one! :thumbsup:

But isn’t it true that some, not all, EO’s do not recognize other EO or OO communions and/or vise-versa? Can you define which rites do and which rites do not allow communion among each other?


Thank you! It makes more sense now. Doing a little research on the issue, I see a difference in opinion amongst some. During the weeks that you can’t make it to one of your parishes, do you stay home and do readings, prayers, etc… in the home environ?

The OO is an entirely different issue. They are are not in communion with the EO, though they seem to be on the verge with much support from the EO and even given communion in cases where economia is necessary.

In other cases, there are a few small groups that are in communion with the major jurisdictions even if they don’t have direct relationship with each other. In that case, they are still part of the Church. Disagreements happen, but they are still part of the bigger whole.

Yes. We are encouraged to do readings and prayers daily. In fact, there are prayers for different times of the day as well as before and after meals. I know of no priest that will encourage a person to attend a non-Orthodox church.

That is the best advice, frankly, and were I in such a situation, I too would stay home and conduct reader services when not immediately in reach of an Orthodox Church. The rubrics for reader services are available for free online, and the variable hymns for each Sunday can normally be found in precomposed service texts, like what the Antiochians put up. Failing that (or if one wanted to do weekday reader services at home without owning the entire set of menaia, which is expensive), one could also use the general menaion (also online for free) for variable hymns.

And if that’s perhaps too difficult (reader services can be difficult to compose), one could even carry out a simple rule of prayer, like to begin with the trisagion prayers, to read a few psalms, and to finish with a few concluding prayers (essentially, it would be like a shortened version of the canonical hours without variables).

Thank you all, this clarifies things for me!

I saw on one website the idea of the Orthodox churches truly sitting down with each other and making sure each area of the country is covered without stepping on each others’ toes (so to speak). Is this an accurate assessment from what you’ve heard/seen/studied?

The bishops of the so-called Canonical Churches are working together in the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America, which is the successor to SCOBA. Essentially, the goal is one day to do away with the problem of overlapping jurisdictions (which presumably would also entail having only one autonomous or autocephalous synod in America) in accordance with the canons, rather than the current arrangement of overlapping jurisdictions.

Many thanks!

Cool. :slight_smile: On another recent thread I mentioned Thomas Howard’s book “Evangelical is Not Enough”, about his discovery of liturgical Christianity. (He wrote it as an Anglican, but later he converted to Roman Catholicism.)

Besides the three groups already mentioned (Orthodox, Catholics, and Anglicans) I believe that Lutherans would also agree with us on the importance of liturgy.

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