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Author Topic: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage  (Read 73106 times)

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Offline Rasputin

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #25 on: December 08, 2007, 09:16:04 AM »
Rasputin, yes there are various languages used, but the Orthodox Church is virtually the same in doctrine and in communion with each other around the world with a few exceptions.  The liturgy is the much the same whether in Greece or Russia or the USA or the UK for example.  However it's rare to meet a Bishop who doesn't know at least some Slavonic and Greek, no matter where he is in the world since those are the two theological and canonical languages of the worldwide church. 

I agree, but I just wanted to clarify that Church Slavonic will not be used as the language of liturgy in a Greek Orthodox Church or an Ethiopian Orthodox Church or a Coptic Orthodox Church. You made it sound as if all Orthodox Churches used Church Slavonic as their language of Church service.
"Seems I live in Russia Rasputin visited" - Millaa
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #26 on: December 08, 2007, 11:40:21 AM »
Rasputin, not sure where I did that.

Quote
...In that sense, (pertaining to Russian) Slavonic is viewed as a "liturgical" language.  Orthodoxy is the same all over the world and a common liturgical language is part of the glue.  Even the priests are our church in Phoenix, although both are American, understand Slavonic.  But most of our service is in English.

As you probaby have read elsewhere I sing in the church choir.....we do 4-5 songs per service in Slavonic and the rest in English.  Considering that almost the entire Orthodox service is sung by the choir and priest, that's not a very high percentage of an almost 2 hour service.

Greek is of obvious importance being one of the 3 languages in which Holy Scripture was originally written, but the question and context was regarding Russian churches and the Slavonic language which is commonly used in Russian churches.  The fact that the ROC by itself is the 2nd in size to only the Roman Catholic Church (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_Orthodox_Church) makes it far larger than it's Greek sister church.

Our home church in Moscow does use church Slavonic...and no English (obviously).  When in Moscow I also like to pay a courtesy visit to the American Representation church, Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr in-the-Fields Orthodox Church which conducts services in a combination of English and Slavonic.




Offline MBS01

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #27 on: December 08, 2007, 02:41:13 PM »
My wife was born in Ethiopia but she and her mother returned to live in Russia at an early age so she enjoys an affinity with Ethiopians but in reality doesn't remember much of those years.  I just enjoy the bread they make during the fast.  It's light and thin like a brown pancake with little honeycomb type holes in it.  Very tasty!

We were at an Ethiopian cafe for dinner with a professional organization I am a member of almost a year ago and had some of the bread you refer to.  Seems it serves as both plate and food during their meals.  My wife really enjoys sharing many different types of cusine at such outings, while I ten to be much more conservative food wise.  So just wanted to pass along that we have shared in and been at similar eaterys here in Toronto, Canada too.


Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #28 on: December 08, 2007, 07:39:23 PM »
Yes, I've seen them do that too.  Almost like how you might fold meats/vegs into a pita bread or tortilla.  I like it but for the life of me can't quite describe the taste. 

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #29 on: January 04, 2008, 12:32:21 PM »
This Sunday,January 6, Orthodox churches in the West will celebrate the Baptism of Christ -- Theophany, called Epiphany in Roman Catholic and Anglican churches.  One of the unique features of this liturgy is an event called "blessing of the waters" in which water is blessed and considered to be holy water thereafter.

Orthodox Churches in the East (including Russia and Ukraine) will celebrate the event two weeks after Orthodox Christmas which is coming up Monday, 7 January.

The priest of each parish blessed the water and Orthodox Christians believe that the very nature of that water has been changed.  In our home we will take a large container to bring it home.  A couple of consumer size drinking bottles will be filled and labeled as "holy water" or "church water." 

That water will be used thru the year for special occasions.  Example:  When someone is sick a few drops of the water will be added to ordinary water, which is susposed to purify the ordinary water, and convey healing benefits.  At other times a little water can be used to bless household items, plants, etc.

It's an interesting event if you can make it to an Orthodox church this Sunday in the West or 2 weeks from now in Russia/Ukraine.




Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #30 on: January 04, 2008, 02:38:15 PM »
Here are some videos and photos of the Blessing of the Waters:

1)  The water is being blessed during the liturgy--from a Moscow church:
The people are singing from the anthem "Bless the Lord oh my soul, blessed are Thou O God."


2)  The water having been blessed, is now sprinkled by the priest on the people, a blessing of the congregration--a vivid picture of the Scriptures which say that the coming Messiah (Christ) will be poured out and his blood will be "sprinkled" upon all nations: 

3)  Below are two photos of this event, taken outside a church in Ukraine.



Offline Corp

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #31 on: January 12, 2008, 09:16:36 PM »
I hope my question is not out of line to the subject at hand.

What would be the main doctrinal (or other wise) differences that
would typically exist between
Evangelical Protestant (typical American brand)
And Russian Orthodox?
"Ah Courtship, It Really is Theater..."

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #32 on: January 13, 2008, 10:29:39 PM »
Wow Corp, that is a complex question so perhaps some other posters can chip in also.  First, there are many things both groups share in common.  We share a love for the Scriptures, which took some 300+ years to compile, was done so primarily by the Eastern churches.  In a typical 2 hour liturgy there are close to 700 verses of scripture cited.  Having grown up in an Evangelical church, it would take months for some churches to reach 700 verses. 

It's impossible to understand today's evangelical churches, about 500 years old and fairly new in the scheme of things, until you see what came before.  In the early days of Christianity, christians around the world were "Catholic" which essentially means "one" or universal.  Churches in the East gradually were given the name "Orthodox" because they were the most staunch defenders of Apostlic teaching from the Apostles and refused to change doctrines or practices.

The Eastern Orthodox Churches are still Catholic but not Roman Catholic.  In the 8th and 9th Centuries the Roman Patriarchs began to claim primacy over other regional churches, something they had not done previously, and there eventually was a big split in 1054.  The churches that are now called Evangelical are traced back to the Protestant Reformation which took place primarily in the 1500s with men such as Martin Luther and John Calvin, fathers of the Luthers and Presbyterians.  Further splits over the following years created most of the "evangelical" churches we have today.

It is important to understand that there was no "Reformation" in the East because it simply wasn't needed.  The problems of indulgences, etc, simply had never been a part of the Eastern Catholic practice.  Rome had grown into these excesses over time.

Three big differences between the Roman and Eastern churches: 
1- Rome over the centuries has allowed some fluidity in doctrines, depending on the theological understanding of the times.  The East held that the faith "once delivered to the Saints" was just that--once delivered--and there was no right for anyone to change what the church had always believed. 

2- The Roman Patriarch or Pope can speak "ex cathedra" which means that he enjoys "papal infallibility"."  Whatever he says is truth, no matter if it contradicts earlier or later Popes.  Eastern Catholic (Orthodox) churches are united in doctrine and it cannot be changed.  If a Patriarch speaks a new or different way about a doctrine he can be removed from his office.

3- Confession of sins is different.  Roman Catholics can confess privately to a priest. He has the power as the "representative of Christ" to forgive sins.  Evangelicals reacted to this during the Reformation and declared that no confession before any man is necessary, only God and the sinner are involved.  The Orthodox have always believed the Scripture regarding "confess your sins one to another" and confession is done both privately at home between God and sinner and then also in the church.  That confession is done off to the side, but in plain view of everyone in the church.  The priest represents the congregation as he hears the sinner confess his sins to God.  The priest has no power to forgive, he can however assure the sinner that if the confession was sincere and from the heart, then GOD who alone has the power to forgive sins, will hear the confession and forgive the sinner.

It is necessary to understand where we started to understand where we are now.  As with the early church, Orthodox believe Mary was, and remains, a virgin.  We believe the (historical) age difference between Mary and Joseph lends itself to the idea that the brothers of Jesus were his stepbrother from an earlier marriage by Joseph.  This idea can be found in ancient writings in the early and mid centuries.

We believe it is impossible to separate what evangelicals call "saving faith" from "good works."  The two go hand in hand and the one is proof of the other.  The Apostle James wrote extensively in his Epistle about this.  It's one of the reasons Evangelicals struggle so much with that Epistle and don't teach/preach from it very often.

Orthodox venerate icons in our homes and churches.  Since the Apostle Luke was the first known iconographer known in history, we feel them very appropiate.  An icon, by definition is a "window" to a Biblical story or doctrinal truth.  Luke used them as teaching aids as he started churches among the unconverted.  If you'd like more about icons, there was a discussion on icons a while back in the chat section and here is the link:
http://ruadventures.com/index.php?topic=1030.0

Orthodox believe that Evangelicals are christian brothers just as we believe Roman Catholics are christian brothers.  However we do see evangelicals as one side of the Roman coin and the Roman church as the other side of the same coin since the Evangelicals came from the Roman Catholics and still share key Catholic doctrines such as the "justification" theories regarding salvation.  Most Evangelicals are fairly uneducated about their own backgrounds and have no idea how many doctrines they still share with Roman Catholics.  I grew up an evangelical, even trained for awhile at a well-known Evangelical Seminary in Dallas, Texas before giving in to my true calling follow journalism which I had studied earlier.  My conversion from Evangelicalism to Orthodoxy was at least in part based on reading of history (a passion) and finding too many contradictions in what I had been taught about the early church...and finding Orthodoxy over and over again so plainly in ancient and early church history.

Corp, I hope this helps.  Maybe others will give their views also.


Offline MBS01

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #33 on: January 14, 2008, 04:30:33 PM »
A recent concept:
2- The Roman Patriarch or Pope can speak "ex cathedra" which means that he enjoys "papal infallibility"."  Whatever he says is truth, no matter if it contradicts earlier or later Popes.

This came about due to the number of non Catholic Kings and the like in Europe after the Reformation in order to give the said Roman Catholics some reason to follow rhe Roman Pope instead of becoming reformed themselves.  Previously this idea never exisited in the Roman Church until the Reformation took hold in the West.

Offline bgreed

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #34 on: January 14, 2008, 07:13:40 PM »
Also having pretty much grown up in Evangelical churches and also studied some (about halfway to a divinity degree)  I would have to say that there seems to be more truth in Orthodox teachings than in Roman Catholic teaching by far.

Now I firmly believe in the saying that in conversation one should avoid politics and religion, but the door is open just realize my intent is not to offend anyone.

In my view well organized Evangelical churches much more resemble the church in Jerusalem after pentecost rather than holding doctrines of the Roman Catholic church.  As well the Roman catholic Church does not resemble much in the way of the early Christain church in Rome.  And since the Christian church was not even legal or recognized until Constantine saw a vision that led him to a military victory. (although there is some dispute among scholars if this was the case or because the Chrisitin church couldn't seem to be stamped out that it was a politically savy move.  Now the fact that the Roman Catholic church has always added the local customs into the mix to make it more papable to the locals.  So we have nuns (vestal virgins) and praying to saints (praying to the dead strictly forbidden in scripture) also basically name substitution of apostles etal for roman gods. and the list goes on and on.

Now as far as Orthodoxy goes I am still studying as it differs in so many ways from Roman Cathoism.  Like I said there seems to be more truth and sincerity.   That is why I really enjoy these posts of Jims (by the way Jim it wasn't Christ for the Nations was it?)  So to really open up a can of worms a question I have is does the Orothodox church believe in the baptisim of the Holy Spirit  for the individual today along with the signs that go with it.  Or do they believe that this was a one time event at penecost? You can pretty much guess where I stand on this, but the answer will be interesting for me.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #35 on: January 14, 2008, 07:37:44 PM »
Gregg, I don't know about the Christ for the nations question, maybe you can rephrase it for me.  As for the gifts, they are perfectly acceptable to Orthodox practice but the sign gifts are rarely seen during a liturgy due to it's structure.  However we find no place in Scripture where gifts were stopped, the Orthodox church actively practices things like divine healing services corporately and between a priest and believers as God permits. 

Miracles can happen and are meant to happen where God is concerned.  When charismatic believers convert to Orthodoxy they are generally surprised to find that we consider ourselves "full gospel" in areas where the early church was the same, and when non-charistmatic believers convert they generally come to accept these things over time.

By "converting" from one branch of Christianity to Orthodoxy we do not teach that a person was somehow a second-class christian before.  We just recognize an unbroken line back to the early church, easily seen in both history and church records and we acknowledge that a fellow believer has decided to join the church which has existed from the beginning.  We welcome it as a 'homecoming' for a fellow believer.

Offline Corp

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #36 on: January 14, 2008, 10:50:59 PM »
Thanks for that info Jim.

bgreed, you are treading awful close my friend to sparking hot debate when you start assigning "more truth" to some denominations.
I am trying to be sensitive and not have anyone Rubbed the wrong way since this is a message board and therefore a wonderful way to be misunderstood.

My raising of the topic was to learn what the "points of disagreement" are because so few lay people in the USA know much about it. I have heard these points discussed for Mormans, J Witnesses, Catholics Etc but I have never even heard "Christian Orthodox" raised in any conversation before.


Jim a possible point of correction. I don't believe "anything" the Pope says is infallible but rather his teachings.
Perhaps someone who was more current with Catholic teaching on this point could better speak to this.
"Ah Courtship, It Really is Theater..."

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #37 on: January 14, 2008, 11:52:57 PM »
Corp, you are correct and I apoligize if the distinction was not clear enough.  The Orthodox do consider RC as special brethern and I watched some time ago on Internet broadcasts (via YouTube segments) the historic worship liturgy in Turkey when the current Pope visited the Patriarch there and attended the Orthodox divine liturgy.  I hope that the 1000 year split can someday be mended, not just for Orthodox and Catholics, but may God grant unity to all Christian believers.



Offline Corp

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #38 on: January 15, 2008, 10:19:15 AM »
Jim, I will say "Amen" to that......
but on the other hand, distinct independent bodies are healthy.

I kinda think "church-splits" are good to keep things from becoming too top-heavy.
"Ah Courtship, It Really is Theater..."

Offline Olga

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #39 on: January 15, 2008, 11:11:39 AM »
Protestantism evolved in the 16 century from a revision of theology and practice of  Roman Catholic Church. The principal thesis's of Protestantism (since Luther and his closest followers) were «Sola fide, sola Scriptura» (only faith, only Holy Scripture): the salvation can be attained only with faith on the basis only knowledge that is contained in the Holy Scripture, the enlightening importance of Sacred Tradition and salutary importance of  good deeds is disclaimed (if you come to believe in Christ you automatically gain your salvation)

But... in comparison with the Sacred Tradition the Holy Scripture is a second (the Church was the first and the Holy Scripture  of the New Testament was a second);  more over the Sacred Tradition is a key to a comprehension of Holy Scripture, if you reject the key you can set hopes to comprehend the Holy Scripture only upon your own mind. All these was cause and effect of the subdividing of Protestantism into different branches with very opposite views sometimes.

The Lutheranism along with Calvinism (reformers) is the most old Protestant faith. The cardinal distinctions between Orthodoxy and Protestantism are:

1) for the Orthodoxy the salvation is not a  matter-of-course or an " amnesty". The salvation is a process of modification of personality during whole our life.

2) If you want the process was completed with success you need for divine grace - the special spiritual strength that you can get from the Lord through the Sacraments ( the Orthodox Church  accomplishes 7 Sacraments)

3) The knowledge about Lord and  our salvation we receive  through the Afflatus that includes the Sacred Tradition and Holy Scripture. The Sacred Tradition and Holy Scripture is inseparable.

Offline Olga

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #40 on: January 15, 2008, 12:29:31 PM »
The cardinal distinctions between Orthodoxy and Catholicism are:

The Catholicisms implemented a number of new doctrines that are not matched Apostolic teaching and Canons of the Seven Ecumenical Councils. The most serious deviation from the truth (according to Orthodoxy)  is Catholic dogma (see filioque clause ) about the Procession of the Holy Spirit also from The Son and about Papal infallibility and supremacy.

Contrary to the Apostolic tradition the clergymen of Catholic Church oblige to celibacy.

The Catholic Church doesn't accomplishes the Sacrament of Eucharist according to Apostolic tradition and uses the wafers instead of bread and wine. The Catholic Church accomplishes the christening through the spilling holy water over head but Orthodox Church through the dipping into holy water.

The Orthodox Church doesn't recognize an indulgence and the purgatory as a middle place between  Eden and hell where the souls could be totally clean from sins.

Also there is big disagreement in the dogmas about the Immaculate Conception and  bodily ascension of Mary; and in the dogma about the original sin.

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #41 on: January 15, 2008, 01:54:31 PM »
Olga, you are an excellent theologian!  The filoque (procession of the Holy Spirit) was one of the very large disagreements at the time of the split.  And Olga has very accurately articulated the other distinctions as well.

Prior church councils had included all the Churches--Eastern and Western.  After the split the Roman Patriarachs called other councils into session but only invited western churches certain to agree with the reigning Pope's position.  Eastern churches do not acknowledge these later councils as valid.

Offline bgreed

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #42 on: January 15, 2008, 02:40:12 PM »
Jim, Christ for the nations is a bible college near Dallas.  So my question was whether that happened to be the school you attended.  Obviously not.

Corp, The question was about differences and I outlined a few of the differences.  That is why I stated my intent.  You would find that most Roman Catholics are even less educated about their beliefs than most Evangelicals.

Offline Corp

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #43 on: January 15, 2008, 06:10:03 PM »
Corp, The question was about differences and I outlined a few of the differences.  That is why I stated my intent.  You would find that most Roman Catholics are even less educated about their beliefs than most Evangelicals.

I am glad you compared Catholics to "Evangelicals", if you had made the comparisons to "Protestants" in general, I might have disagreed on that point.
I recall a conversation once with a woman who was convinced the Baptist church started with John the Baptist.

"Ah Courtship, It Really is Theater..."

Offline ECR844

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #44 on: January 15, 2008, 09:06:19 PM »
"Corp,"

Well it is his name after all....that's all one needs apparently... ::) ::) ::) ;D

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2008, 12:04:16 AM »
Gregg, here is the Dallas connection:  my father was a medical missionary, well educated and ordained.  He encouraged his children to read and ask lots of questions--a habit that got me thrown out of a conservative Christian College and forced me into a more normal University where I got a much better education (nothing against Christian colleges in general--just that one in particular.) 

Being tossed out on my ear by a college, a Christian one at that, seemed kind of embarassing at first but my father sat me down and with a chuckle reasoned that my habit of asking questions was not suited for anything but journalism and encouraged me to follow the path for which my life had been intended.  I had been paying my way thru college by holding down a radio job anyway so it was a natural transition.

In earlier years I had a fascination with ancient Hebrew, a language which has undergone several very major changes since the dawn of time (scholars debate on how many changes and I don't care anymore) so in my 30's I put myself in a position to keep my career but to also study Hebrew and Church history via one of the premier evangelical divinity schools, Dallas Theological Cemetery (pun certainly intended) but again the habit of asking questions seemed to be a problem so I was glad that the interest in ancient language and history was for personal curosity and not professional in nature.

But in the end a lot of it pointed my way to Orthodoxy so it was worth it.  And now that you mention it, I've heard good things about the school you mentioned, I'm just not very familiar with it personally.


Gregg, as a musician I think you'll enjoy the post done today on Russian singer Yulia Savicheva in our Culture's RUSSIAN MUSIC section.  The last song is a wonderfully fascinating blend of traditional Russian and ethnic Siberian Jewish melodies/rhythms.  This feature is near the bottom of the page and I think you'll enjoy the guitar and other instruments very much:  http://ruadventures.com/index.php?topic=1325.90

For guys who've not been to that thread yet, there are currently over 10 pages of Russian and Ukrainian music stories and links!  And it is growing.  Come add your own contributions!





Offline Olga

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #46 on: February 06, 2008, 12:47:08 PM »
6.10.2007
Press-release No. 789

RELIGION IN OUR LIFE

 MOSCOW, October 11, 2007 Russian Public Opinion Research Center (VCIOM) presents information concerning the attitude that Russians have towards religion, how they estimate its role in the modern society, and the mutual relations between the church and the state.

Half of Russians are believers, including 10% who attend church regularly, observe all rites and rituals, and 43% who go to church only on holidays and do not observe all of the rites and rituals. One third of respondents (31%) consider the existence of God possible, but are only little interested in church life. Convinced atheists account for no more than 6% of respondents, whereas 8% do not give thought to the issue of religion.

Orthodoxy presents the most wide-spread religion in Russia (practiced by 75% of respondents), 8% are Muslims. No more than 1-2% respondents identify themselves as belonging to any other religion.

People are primarily attracted to religion because they are willing to communicate to the national heritage; see their moral ideal in faith; are eager to find comfort when in sorrow or have difficulties in life, as 19-21% of respondents assume. People more rarely associate this attraction to religion with a belief in something supernatural, a divine disposal; or because it is now fashionable (9-10% for each option). Only 3% explain this tendency by people's illiteracy and backwardness. Each tenth respondent does not think that there is any particular attraction to religion nowadays.

The higher the level of education of the respondents is, the more they are inclined to associate the interest in religion with the tendency towards a moral ideal (16% in the group of respondents with education lower than secondary and 22% in the group with higher and uncompleted higher education) and the fewer of them connect it with the belief in something supernatural (15% and 8%).

However, Russians refuse to attribute the role of the main source of moral values for the growing up generation to the church. 67% of respondents assume that children and young people should first of all receive the idea of morals and morality in their own families, and secondly at school (17%).Only 4% of respondents mention the Church as the source of moral values, whereas television and other mass media obtain the support of 5% of respondents, literature and skill 3% and the army 1%.

The initiative All-Russia opinion polls were conducted by VCIOM on August 25-26 and September 1-2, 2007. 1600 respondents were interviewed in 153 population areas of 46 regions of Russia. The statistical error does not exceed 3.4%.


What is your attitude to religion?

 Are you a believer, if so, what religion do you consider yourself to be practicing? (in % of those who trust in God)

 Today more and more people get attracted to religion and call themselves believers. Which of the following assertions would you agree with in this respect?

Where do you think should people living in a modern society obtain general ideas of ethical norms and values?

Offline Christian

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #47 on: February 11, 2008, 09:34:45 AM »
Quote from: mendeleyev
Sometimes these ladies don't practice their faith until an important life milestone comes around....like marriage, birth of a child, death of a parent, etc.  Then suddenly that cultural upbringing kicks in and the head covering goes on, the miniskirt comes off, a long dress goes on, the prayer book and icons come out and the candles get lit.  Holy mother of incense, her new husband is standing there wondering what in heaven's name (literally) came over his wife.

Marriage is a big deal to any woman, but especially to a RW/UW. 

When I was first writing to my wife and she told me she was Orthodox, I asked her if she was practicing; a frequent attendee. She said "no, very seldom."

She was here not very long and Christmas was upon us, she asked if there were any Russian churches here, I found one, we went, and she liked it. Yes she covered her head and did the "hail Mary's" and all that too. She did this prior in Moscow at the little church opposite St Basil's and again at the Cathedral in Estonia later.

Before she came to England to be married she sought the advice of her priest in her home town on the concept of a "Church of England" Anglican wedding, he told her the Anglican church were quite well affiliated with the Orthodox church so she was happy. In England there are many rules about the admission of a non resident of the parish into the church, as we wanted to marry in an adjacent parish to my own, we needed permission and blessing from the local priest there. It was not automatic.

So we had to have a meeting at his house one night to be "interviewed." - I said to her "be nice, pleasant and friendly as this guy can say no" - what did she do? Sat him down and grilled him about Orthodoxy and Anglican faiths, scripture, meanings of the bible, differences between the religions, minutiae of the service he "hoped to perform" (I had my head in my hands by now) All about the concept of "obey" in our marriage vows, (I sent her a translated version of the wedding vows a few weeks before to see of they differed and for approval by Parents) Then she started to challenge him on certain items in the service, she changed a few in line with Orthodoxy (not the Obey one though but you would never know it now) - Then she hit him with the biggie.............

"My parents will be here from Russia" she said - "OK" said the hapless priest, - "My Mother will do a reading in Russian", - "OK" he said. - "We have guests from Russia also" - "OK" he said, - "and I have a few friends here who are Russian", "OK" he said, -  "so you will do a welcome for them in Russian language"  :scared0005:

He agreed!  :laugh:

So then she wrote what he would say, taught it to me, I taught it to him, we met 3 times while he practised with my transliteration, she chastised him with the word "raseeeeee" as he didn't have a long enough "eeee"  :-\

I gave him telephone tutorials as to how the letter "ж" was like "zh" or the "s" in "pleasure" etc, the poor guy was browbeaten.

But on the day he delivered quite a long welcome speech in Russian to applause!  :bow:

Since then we have been to the Orthodox church many times, and the one in Estonia, and a few weeks ago I was baptised Orthodox, and in a few months my son will be too.  :o

But contrary to Mendeleyev above, she has never lost the miniskirts thank god.  :bow:







Manny,

Your experience is very humbling to me and encouraging.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
(Proverbs 22:6)

Christian  :)
Ибо [только] Я знаю намерения, какие имею о вас, говорит Господь, намерения во благо, а не на зло, чтобы дать вам будущность и надежду. 
И воззовете ко Мне, и пойдете и помолитесь Мне, и Я услышу вас; 
и взыщете Меня и найдете, если взыщете Меня всем сердцем вашим.

Offline Christian

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #48 on: February 11, 2008, 03:02:00 PM »
Moderator Jooky has graciously allowed this topic to be split off so that it can have a life of it's own and cover more ground for our members in relation to how her Orthodox faith will impact your marriage.  Thanks Jooky!

We'll start with the question of how her faith may influence her view of sex upon her arrival to your country:

Think about the religion angle:  I'll wager that most engaged men have only a fleeting knowledge of her faith, how she practices it, and how it effects her view on life.  Unfortunately we often make the assumption that she is only religious by birth and since she doesn't go to church very often its no problem for either of us.  Dangerous, very dangerous assumption on our part.

Sometimes these ladies don't practice their faith until an important life milestone comes around....like marriage, birth of a child, death of a parent, etc.  Then suddenly that cultural upbringing kicks in and the head covering goes on, the miniskirt comes off, a long dress goes on, the prayer book and icons come out and the candles get lit.  Holy mother of incense, her new husband is standing there wondering what in heaven's name (literally) came over his wife.

Many of our guys do not marry a lady so devout but some of us do.  However, look out because very often RW are religious "late bloomers" as they have a very strong tendency to become devout as they begin to have children.  Come to my RO church in Arizona.  Often the first time we meet a "new" RW is when she is pregnant.  She may have been in the US for a couple years and barely darkened a church door.  But get her PG and watch her change.

Notice I said "many" and am not trying to paint with an overly large brush here.  Are you certain, really sure, that your lady is not included among that "many?"  How do you know? 

Before I just wrote it on this post did you even know about this possibility?  Can you articulate her views on the fasts? 

BTW, the largest migration of practicing members, among almost any faith, are adults who were not practicing during their 20's.  So if your lady is not devout now, you stand a better than excellent chance of seeing her become more devout as the 30s and 40s set in.  Fortunately for your marriage, statistics say that you also will desire to adopt a faith practice as you grow older so perhaps you can grow together.  It might not be so bad after all.

Sometimes I hear that myth that Russia was not really Orthodox during the 76 years of Soviet rule.  Oh really?  Here are some stats you might find interesting:

- At the height of communism, only 14% of the Russian people possessed official party membership.  The 76 year average was closer to 7%.
- It was common for many "athiests" to have their children baptized and to attend holiday services, "just in case."
- Most party members, who took an oath against religion, attended services at least once each year.
- Even with so many churches being destroyed, the remaining were well attended during every Soviet leader's time in power, including the reign of the Seminarian-turned-agnostic Josef Stalin.

We sometimes hear, and sometimes some ladies tell us that Orthodoxy has no meaningful impact on life in Russia.  Of course it's irrelevant.  That's why it's the official protected state religion.  That's why the Patriarch is guarded by the Russian FSB.  That's why the government spends millions to rebuild old churches and to build new ones.  That's why churches are full on Sundays and holy days....including being full of young ladies....maybe just like your fiance?

That's why the government officially participates in those two fasts I mentioned earlier!  You can go on the Internet and learn the changes made to the official Russian White House and Kremlim cafeterias during the fasting periods....because Orthodoxy has no impact on modern Russia.  Sure, that explains why the giving up of meat/dairy/eggs/oil/alcohol, etc, are important enough that the entire national school systems and regional government office cafes and cafeterias in Russia, Belarussia and Ukraine (including now in good ole modern 2007) adjust their menus for those two major fasts. 

So much for the false notion that "most Russians don't participate."  When you go to the supermarket and many of your favourite foods are missing...you'll participate just like the rest if only out of necessity.

And RW are very superstitious.  Many who don't believe, observe the fast anyway.  Why?  Superstitions abound about why they should.  Let me get this straight:  I'm asking a lady who sincerely believes it's bad luck to shake hands over a doorway to rationally explain why she is a non-practicing believer...but fasts anyway?  Okay........

When is the Russian fast by the way? 

I can guarantee that even most non-practicing Russian ladies will know when it starts because its so widely practiced across Russia and Ukraine that soon the supermarkets and kiosks will adjust their inventory items accordingly. 

Remember this is not only religious, it also a prominent part of her national culture. 

Where should I start? You have covered a lot of material and I agree with you on some points, and I am much less convinced on others.

I agree that before marriage, a man should know as much as possible about his future wife, including her religious beliefs. I agree that a man should try to know as much as possible about his wife's culture, including her religion.

However, in reading your post, I find that you may be exaggerating the impact of Russian Orthodox on the lives of most Russian women. I am not saying that there is no impact, but you seem to be implying that at some point in your marriage your wife will change completely and she will adopt the behaviors that I would associate with a Russian Orthodox nun. You write: "Then suddenly that cultural upbringing kicks in and the head covering goes on, the miniskirt comes off, a long dress goes on, the prayer book and icons come out and the candles get lit." What exactly do you mean by this? Are you saying that at some point a woman will abandon miniskirts all together and will spend her days in a long dress praying before the icons? Or are you saying that when she does go to church, she will put on a dress because it is expected of a woman? If you are saying the first is correct, than I would have to disagree. I have yet to see any woman who would change that radically as a result of her suddenly becoming devout. I know a handful of devout Russian Orthodox women in Canada and Russia (out of the many dozens of Russian Orthodox but not devout Russian Orthodox that I know and knew), and none of the devout Russian Orthodox women that I know come anywhere close to the level of religious intensity you have implied.

Is it possible that your perception is biased? You write: "Come to my RO church in Arizona." Is your perception of Russian Women colored by the fact that you are likely to see them in Church? It  goes without saying that the behavior of women in a church will be quite different from the behavior of the same women in their daily lives. Also, how much time have you spent in Russia? You write: "So much for the false notion that "most Russians don't participate."  When you go to the supermarket and many of your favourite foods are missing...you'll participate just like the rest if only out of necessity." Is this based on personal experience in Russia?

You also conflate private religious beliefs with politics and nationalism. You are right, the Russian state has found religion and is recycling older religious themes and at some point may begin claiming that Moscow is the third Rome. However, is the new state fervor really trickling down to the population? Is it even trickling up to the politicians? This is an entirely separate debate. I am a bit skeptical. The state and the Russian Orthodox Church are certainly using each other to promote themselves, but I do not know whether it has had a radical change in the religious practice of most people.

Also, you bring in both religion and superstitious beliefs. In my experience, Russians (men and women) have a number of beliefs. You are right about it being inappropriate to shake hands before you have entered the house, also you can't give someone a gift over the door sill, you can't whistle inside a house (fortunately for me I can't whistle), and dozens of other little rules and quirks. However, if a man is tolerant and respectful, these new "rules" are quite minor and won't really have much of an impact of your future life with your wife. All I did was simply learn the new "rules." Nothing very drastic was required.

You mention the fast. I agree that some Russian women will follow the Russian Orthodox fast, but again few women will follow it strictly. Many might know that it starts, but will simply notice it in passing and continue eating and living as they have always done.

My wife is Russian Orthodox. In the past, she did go occasionally to a Russian Orthodox Church. She even went to a Russian Orthodox Church to light some votive candles and ask God to help her find a husband. She met me shortly afterwards. We do have icons in our house and will baptize any future children in the Russian Orthodox Church. However, my wife is not all that interested in actually attending a church service: she prefers sleeping in on a Sunday. She never follows the the fast (Lent) and does not put on a long dress to pray in front of icons. Simply put, she is pretty much like most Russian women that I have known, both with children and without children.

Simply put, I agree with you on many points, but I question the level of religiosity that you imply in your post. I simply have not seen it in the Russian community in Canada and in Russia.




Rasputin,

Greetings!

This statement of yours is perhaps the most profound remark you have made:

 "My wife is Russian Orthodox. In the past, she did go occasionally to a Russian Orthodox Church. She even went to a Russian Orthodox Church to light some votive candles and ask God to help her find a husband. She met me shortly afterwards.

Wow!

Christian  :)
Ибо [только] Я знаю намерения, какие имею о вас, говорит Господь, намерения во благо, а не на зло, чтобы дать вам будущность и надежду. 
И воззовете ко Мне, и пойдете и помолитесь Мне, и Я услышу вас; 
и взыщете Меня и найдете, если взыщете Меня всем сердцем вашим.

Offline Manny

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #49 on: February 11, 2008, 03:24:39 PM »
Quote from: rasputin
My wife is Russian Orthodox. In the past, she did go occasionally to a Russian Orthodox Church. She even went to a Russian Orthodox Church to light some votive candles and ask God to help her find a husband. She met me shortly afterwards

I just mentioned this to my wife, she said its not unusual. She went to St Petersburg when she was 23 and was advised to do this by a Babushka in a cathedral there, she did it many times thereafter until we met a few years later. She just told me "You can ask god for anything you want to do with love and health and he will help, because he loves everyone" - simplistic but true.

One reason we are here in Tallinn now this week is so we can go to the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral here on my birthday, where I was baptised Orthodox a few months ago.
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