Converting to Orthodoxy

The person wishing to become Orthodox of their own free volition, without any direct or indirect pressure from anyone, should firstly meet with a Priest of the Church.

Conversion to the Orthodox Church from another Christian denomination, or from a non-Christian Faith or from a background of no religious practice is a very serious matter both for the Orthodox Church and for the person seeking to convert to Orthodoxy. It is, essentially, a lifetime mutual commitment.

Consequently, the matter should never be taken lightly. Changing one’s faith is the most crucial choice in life. Converting to the Orthodox Faith is not a routine and mechanical procedure conducted like a ‘production line’.

Therefore, the Priest will want to discuss the matter carefully to explore the reasons for Conversion with the non-Orthodox candidate. He will also communicate the Church’s love for the candidate.

The Procedure

Having firstly spoken to the local Parish Priest, those seeking to become Orthodox may write to their local Bishop stating clearly the reasons why they wish to convert to Orthodoxy.

When writing to the Bishop he should be addressed by the candidate as ‘Your Grace’ before commencing the letter of application.

The Bishop will then respond in writing advising the candidate as to which Priest will be responsible for his or her preparation towards becoming Orthodox.

Conversion to the Orthodox Church entails a compulsory period of six months instruction in the Faith, including attendance at a 10-week series of talks on the Orthodox Church by both partners.

Being Received in the Orthodox Church

Non-Orthodox Christians wishing to enter the Orthodox Church are received by the Sacrament of Holy Chrismation (Confirmation by Anointing) if they have previously been baptised in the Name of the Holy Trinity and in an acceptable denomination.

If they have not been baptised in a Christian denomination whose Baptism is accepted by the Orthodox Church, or if they are coming from a non-Christian background, then they must be baptised through complete immersion in water.

Ten-Week Catechism Course

Introduction

Welcome to the ten-week course designed for those preparing to enter the Greek Orthodox Church, You will hear and learn many things during the course. Therefore, it is important to note from the beginning that this Catechism course is merely an introduction to the Church. No course can fully prepare you for the journey you are about to begin.

Jesus came and established the Church so that we may truly live to the full. So, your real learning occurs as you live according to God’s will through the guidance of His Church.

Although this begins formally at the time of your Baptism and / or Confirmation, you are right now, already considered by the Church to be ‘Catechumens’. In other Words, you are recognised as being those who have made a free and willing decision and are now in the process of becoming members of the Church.

As such, it may comfort you to know that all Orthodox Churches across the world, prayers are regularly for you-the Catechumens.

Course Outline

Week 1 Introduction to Orthodoxy. (General Overview)

Week 2 Historical outline of the Greek Orthodox Church with reference to Australia.

Week 3 & 4 What we believe about the Holy Trinity, Jesus Christ, The human person and the world.

Week 5 Church/ Liturgy/ Creed/ Bible.

Week 6 Guided tour of the Orthodox Church (practical aspect)

Week 7 The Sacraments / Icons / Hymns

Week 8 Baptism and Confirmation

Week 9 Marriage

Week 10 Conclusion- Living in Christ within Orthodox Church

 

For further details please contact you local Parish Priest who will give you instructions on what you need to do to complete the Catechism process