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Author Topic: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage  (Read 73107 times)

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Offline Christian

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #50 on: February 11, 2008, 03:51:45 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.

Hello Manny,

That's quite a birthday present; to be able to return to the place where you were baptised! 

I agree with your wife's sentiments to a point (after all, He did create us all and HIs care is over us all) but as a member of His sheepfold you already know you are special in Him.

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 Rasputin

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #51 on: February 23, 2008, 02:31:55 PM »
For those of you who are Orthodox or are married to someone who is Russian Orthodox, we will soon be starting the "Великий пост" (the Great Lent before Easter). This requires sacrifice, but not only in terms of food. Even married couples should refrain from sex in this period according to the tenets of Russian Orthodoxy: see http://www.pravmir.ru/article_595.html.
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #52 on: February 26, 2008, 10:38:10 PM »
As Rasputin mentioned, its a time of great sacrifice.  Orthodoxy is lived thru the year in cycles of feasts and fasts.  This is a fast and lasts 40 days just as Jesus went into the desert and fasted 40 days before his death and resurrection.  As the most important fast of the year it is observed by many who are not as devout during other times of the year.  It is primarily a vegetarian fast and no meat or meat products such as milk or eggs are consumed during this 40 day period.  Oil is generally prohibited as is wine and other alcoholic beverages. 

The week just before the fast begins is a week of preparation with believers serving daily meals of pancakes (blini) and cheese but no meat and this period of times is sometimes called "pancake week," or "cheesefare week" among other titles.  The week just before lent begins is sometimes also termed as Ма́сленица (Maslenitsa) which could be thought of as butter week or dairy week.  Your lady may also use the expression of "meatless week" (мясопустная неделя).

Generally no celebrations such as weddings are permitted during this fast.

The dates for Easter are usually, with an occasional exception, different from Roman Catholic Easter.  This year Catholic (and Protestant) Easter is 23 March and Orthodox Easter will be on 27 April.

Many home or even entire church families prepare special pancakes and breads to be eaten at Easter.  There are a variety of styles and names for these breads depending on the region of Russia/Ukraine.

ila_rendered


Special Ukrainian Easter cake:








Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #53 on: February 26, 2008, 11:16:08 PM »
The Easter Orthodox service is not on Sunday morning like we may be used to observing.  The Orthodox Easter begins the prior evening and it a long service, often 4-6 hours in some parishes.  During this liturgy (and remember that everyone stands in an Orthodox service) the liturgy begins in Genesis and recounts creation and then moves thru the major events of the Old Testament, then into the Gospels and the life of Christ, his death and burial and then the resurrection.

This long Saturday night to Sunday morning service is sometimes called an all-night vigil, reminding us of Christ's plea to his disciples to stay awake and pray before his death.  Here is a small sampling of that service in a Russian church:

Christ is risen!  Xristos Voskrese! (Христос Воскресе!)  This where Russian gets Воскресенье, the name for "Sunday."   

Easter at San Francisco Cathedral, Orthodox Church in America:

Easter eggs are hand-painted the week before Easter, like these from Ukraine.  Over the centuries the hand painting has become an art form and here in the West many communities hold classes to teach young people how to paint Easter eggs.




President Putin just as he begins to make the sign of the cross in Christ Cathedral of Moscow, 2006.  The cross is made differently from Roman Catholics.  Orthodox form their right hand with the first 3 fingers held together at as a point.  This represents the Trinity, the 3 members of the "Godhead" of Father, Son and Holy Spirit.  The remaining two fingers are folded inside the palm of your hand.  These fingers represent the two coexistent and mutually equal natures of God as historic Christianity affirms that Christ was both fully divine and fully human, yet without sin.

With the hand in this position it is raised to touch the forehead, next down to the stomach, then the right shoulder, then moving to the left shoulder.  Having formed a cross on your body, you have declared to the outside world that you belong to Christ and are willing to suffer for His sake just as He suffered death for all humanity.



Russian believers come to church in early evening to begin the all night Easter vigil.  They light candles and pray before icons.  The candles are made of beeswax, just as in the times of the early Christian church.



Parishioners return the next day for the blessing to their Easter celebration baskets containing bread, eggs, meats, and other delights.



The priest blesses the baskets with holy water.










Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #54 on: February 26, 2008, 11:35:03 PM »
I hope you've visited the excellent link which Rasputin posted above.  From that link here are some "Lenten" (meatless) dishes which are very delicious:  http://www.pravmir.com/article_237.html


Misha, with your permission I've posted this recipe link also in the forum's recipe section.

Offline Christian

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2008, 02:45:18 PM »
I hope you've visited the excellent link which Rasputin posted above.  From that link here are some "Lenten" (meatless) dishes which are very delicious:  http://www.pravmir.com/article_237.html


Misha, with your permission I've posted this recipe link also in the forum's recipe section.

Ahhhhh, that first pictured dish I just enjoyed last night - and its not even Great Lent yet!

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 mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #56 on: March 16, 2008, 05:10:55 PM »
Orthodox Easter

The term is from the Greek and in Russian Easter is "Пасха" and spoken as "Pashka."

You're probably noticed that now, just like the 40 days before Orthodox Christmas, your lady is likely "fasting."  That often means no meat, no oil, no dairy, no eggs and no alcohol.  It represents the 40 days Christ spent in the desert before his death and resurrection.  During this time Christians are encourage to discipline their bodies and souls with prayer and to withhold things of comfort, seeking instead to concentrate on prayer and the preparation of the heart for the celebration of HOLY PASHKA (Easter).

Now that we are in the season of "the great fast," may those who fear God ask for his divine guidance and protection of our souls unto eternal life so that we also may enjoy the resurrection unto life eternal.  (From an ancient prayer.)

Господи помилуй is the Russian expression heard every Sunday in Orthodox churches.  It is "Lord have Mercy" or even more closely translated as "my God pardon/forgive."  For those familiar with Greek Orthodox or Anglican churches, Господи помилуй is the same idea as the more familiar Greek expression of "Kyrie Eleison."

Although there are no musical instruments in an Orthodox church other than human voices and bells, this is still a nice complilation with the words Господи помилуй along with some very lovely photos:

Also very nice:

Offline Rasputin

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #57 on: March 16, 2008, 05:15:24 PM »
Orthodox Easter

The term is from the Greek and in Russian Easter is "Пасха" and spoken as "Pashka."

You're probably noticed that now, just like the 40 days before Orthodox Christmas, your lady is likely "fasting."  That often means no meat, no oil, no dairy, no eggs and no alcohol. 

You also forgot NO SEX!  :-X
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #58 on: March 17, 2008, 10:58:47 PM »
Misha, we're on a forum where many guys think it important to bed down a lady fairly early on a first, and certainly no later than, a second visit.   ;)   To even mention the idea that a Russian lady might find it important to go 40 days with no sex as part of a sincere spiritual discipline (and the notion that many RM also practice such) might be too much for some of our friends to handle!   :-X

Just to place this into context for some scratching their heads, the idea of spiritual discipline is strong in the whole Russian culture, not just in the Orthodox faith.  It extends outward from the church into everyday life and reveals itself in ideas like a strong ruler who disciplines the people to maintain stability, to the idea that the bad things that happen in life are "tests" of faith, and not only simple tests of faith, but something very necessary in order to cause one to seek a higher purpose in life. 

The idea of denial (no meat, oil, dairy, alcohol, sex, parties, weddings) during the major fasts of which the Christmas and Easter fast extend for 40 days each, is by it's design meant to cause despair so as to drive an individual to his/her knees falling before God for help.  The denials and disciplines are not just outdated religious rules, they have a purpose and the purpose is to deny the body.  Christians in general and Orthodox Christians in particular believe that the human existence is spent in a battle between good and evil.  Good is defined as victory over the flesh which is naturally inclined toward sin and therefore this corruptible flesh must be disciplined.  Obviously the spirit could care less about meat or cheese or ice cream.  But to bring the flesh under subjection to the spirit means a determined effort to deprive the flesh the very things which it finds important--such as meat or cheese or ice cream and things like sex.

In the mind of millions of Orthodox believers, these fasts are important, and while they only come twice per year in such severity, they present important opportunities to practice the disciplines of conquering the flesh.



I've said it often and I'll say it again:  RW tend to grow more spiritual/religious with a little age.  And the birth of children is often the beginning of a "revival" of a growing regular practice of Orthodoxy.  Guys who say that their wife is lukewarm about religion often don't realize that the odds are very high that this will change.  Thats not bad, we all change as we grow older, but it's better to be prepared than caught flatfooted.  So when it comes, join in.  Years ago billboard across the USA advertised that "families that pray together, stay together."  Wisdom.













Offline Rasputin

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #59 on: March 18, 2008, 07:06:46 AM »
Misha, we're on a forum where many guys think it important to bed down a lady fairly early on a first, and certainly no later than, a second visit.   ;)   To even mention the idea that a Russian lady might find it important to go 40 days with no sex as part of a sincere spiritual discipline (and the notion that many RM also practice such) might be too much for some of our friends to handle!   :-X

ROFL You may be right about that  :happy0023: However, isn't a common refrain that some men sing is that they are going to Russia to find a "traditional woman." I wonder if those men truly understand what it would really mean if they actually found a traditional Russian woman. Roughly half of the days of the calendar are fasting days if you adhere strictly to RO  :saint:
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #60 on: March 19, 2008, 02:09:26 AM »
 :) ...and in a setting where arms, shoulders, legs should be covered.  And a scarf to cover the head to enter a church as well. 

Unfortunately a resurrection must begin with death.  But in the Christian resurrection, eternal life is the blessed hope of those who follow God.  The Orthodox church bears witness to the comfort of knowing that a loving God has reserved a place for the followers of Christ in His eternal kingdom.  There is wisdom in the resurrection story.  It gives hope that all which is wrong in our world will someday be made right. 

In light of all life experiences, a 40 day fast isn't that bad after all.  It makes it easier to give up steak or something similiar when you use that temptation as a reminder to pray for mercy, protection and eternal life for our family members.  Yes the fast can be difficult, but with God's help I can do it.

Lord, have mercy.  Christ is risen!


PS....Cemeteries are a very interesting part of Slavic culture.  I post these random Russian cemetery photos not only as a matter of cultural interest, but also as a gentle reminder that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord."

Offline Zabikol

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #61 on: March 20, 2008, 08:26:41 AM »
How tolerant is the Orthodox Faith to non-believers? Currently my UGF is not what I would call a "practicing" believer but I have seen flashes of fierce belief and think she could quite possibly have a revival later in her life. Personally I am an agnostic but have no problem with her being religious (I am trying to read up on what to expect though).

But if she should have a revival later on... does the O faith have a very aggressive/ separatism  stance against non believers, sure I will have to deal with her own wishes to share faith...but how much pressure will her church add?


ps I ask this because most of this thread seems to deal with Orthodox vs Protestant and Roman Catholic

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2008, 12:21:39 AM »
Thanks for your excellent question.  I hope that the thread presents differences between RO and Protestant and RC but not a bias against those very valid expressions of faith.  Thats the hope at least.

How tolerant in some ways will depend on the local congregration and priest.  Obviously the purpose of the church is to "make disciples of all men."  So certainly the question will come up, perhaps often. 

I have sometimes written how a lady feels that a church wedding validates the wedding.  An acquaintance has been going thru some tough times with his RW of a few years.  He called in desperation one day because she reminded him that their wedding had been only a civil ceremony, thus she did not feel the same obligations as she would have had the marriage been done in a church.  Why?  It goes back to the Soviet period when the church and state were pitted against each other and the state decreed that a legal marriage could only be had in a civil ceremony.  The church then reminded followers that from it's beginning, Christianity has believed that marriage is a spiritual as well as physical union.  So the culture grew into the idea that the legal wedding was done by the state but the "real" wedding, the one that ultimately mattered, was done in the church.

As an agnostic, you have virtually no hope of a church wedding.  So down the road she may at some point question the validity of a civil ceremony.  And even at first she may worry about the lack of a church wedding.  Are you sure, I mean without a doubt certain, that she harbors no secret desire that someday you be converted and then she can have that church wedding someday?

The OC is not going to intentionally embarrass you, yet there will be some things on which you may find yourself on the sidelines.  For example, the baptism of a baby is a pretty important deal for a lady, whether or not she is practicing.  There are cultural as well as religious reasons.  The baby will have godparents who will take the baby thru the actual baptism while you and your wife stand back and watch.  That is the tradition for godparents.  However at the time you receive the baby from the godparents, the priest will ask you both if you promise to live a life of Christian virture, train the child in the way of the Scriptures, teach them to pray, and bring them to church on a regular basis.  If you cannot affirm a heartfelt conviction, then you may wish to step aside and allow the mother to affirm as such.

And again when your children are married, you will be in the church to watch, but a non-participant in their wedding because the wedding is a sacred sacrament and only baptised believers may actively participate.

That is logistical.  However not all of life is logistical.  How will you feel being left to the side, albeit briefly.  How will she feel being left to assume this responsibility without your affirmation and help?  That is only one instance. 

There are agnostic ladies in Russia.  Lots.  Just as you have alluded to, I'd suggest that because a woman who allows herself to be identified as Orthodox as least in name today, there is a good chance that as she comes into child raising and beyond those feelings will be amplified. 

Would you be safer looking for a relationship with a lady who more strongly shares your current feelings?  Certainly I cannot tell you what to do, but its a question that deserves some investigation.

Offline Zabikol

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2008, 10:03:05 AM »
Thank you for some good points that I will need to consider. At some point Nastja and I will discuss this again.

Writing this reply has been quite difficult as I find myself torn between the selfish desire that church never becomes such a big part in her life that it divides us...and my wish for the safety of her soul and my possible future children (I am well aware that my personal choice could be wrong) ..sometimes it is hard not to resent

Young love believes it can overcome all, I hope this is the case...I will not be looking for another.

Offline Rasputin

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2008, 10:17:07 AM »
And again when your children are married, you will be in the church to watch, but a non-participant in their wedding because the wedding is a sacred sacrament and only baptised believers may actively participate.

Mendeleyev, I am a bit confused by what you mean. Where exactly would the participation of an Orthodox Parent differ from a Non-Orthodox parent? As you know, I was married in a Russian Orthodox Church in Canada. We did a traditional wedding (no vows). Most of the ceremony centered around my wife and I. The friend who was holding my crown was not Orthodox. The friends and family there did not actively participate in the ceremony: our Russian Orthodox friends did not participate any differently than my Catholic mother for example (other than the ways in which they were crossing themselves). Where exactly do you see the difference in the type of participation in a wedding ceremony between baptized believers and those that are not RO?
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2008, 05:44:25 PM »
Misha, perhaps there are some regional differences but I'm just not used to seeing a non Orthodox person holding the crown and that is one of the things that could possibly happen if a daughter asked the priest for example if her Dad could be one of the two crown bearers.  Although parents are usually not "sponsors" in this sense, it could happen.  In our Phoenix church the priest would insist on the crown bearers to be baptised Orthodox.  I know this would also be the case of our church in Moscow but certainly cannot speak of it as universal.

I was in a Greek church for the wedding of a family friend and the priest served Holy Communion to the bride/groom, the crown bearers, and the immediate family of the couple.  Obviously in such a setting a non-baptised person would not be served.


Offline Rasputin

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2008, 07:55:10 PM »
Misha, perhaps there are some regional differences but I'm just not used to seeing a non Orthodox person holding the crown and that is one of the things that could possibly happen if a daughter asked the priest for example if her Dad could be one of the two crown bearers.  Although parents are usually not "sponsors" in this sense, it could happen.  In our Phoenix church the priest would insist on the crown bearers to be baptised Orthodox.  I know this would also be the case of our church in Moscow but certainly cannot speak of it as universal.

I was in a Greek church for the wedding of a family friend and the priest served Holy Communion to the bride/groom, the crown bearers, and the immediate family of the couple.  Obviously in such a setting a non-baptised person would not be served.

In our case, only my wife and I were served Holy Communion during the wedding ceremony.
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2008, 10:38:13 PM »
Misha what you experienced is also what I think is standard for the ROC but I'm not sure of the Greek tradition as that was the only Greek wedding I've attended.  Obiously this couple has some thinking to do about how they can make it work or if they need to rethink their plans entirely.

Offline Rasputin

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2008, 09:11:34 AM »
Misha what you experienced is also what I think is standard for the ROC but I'm not sure of the Greek tradition as that was the only Greek wedding I've attended.  Obiously this couple has some thinking to do about how they can make it work or if they need to rethink their plans entirely.

I agree with you there. Religion is one of those points that can over time cause a great deal of problems in a marriage over the long run. However, the question is whether to worry about a potential revival that may happen later in the marriage? It might happen, but then again I may be struck by lightening when I walk out the door  :evilgrin0002: The problem is when a couple ignores problems in the here and now and think they will magically go away in the future  :)
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Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #69 on: April 08, 2008, 12:05:07 PM »
We have greatly expanded the list of fasting recipes which fit the meal requirements for the major Orthodox fasts.  You can go here to view the new recipe and Orthodox readings additons:
http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=3044.0





Here is an updated list of Orthodox Easter dates:

2008 - Easter Sunday - April 27th
2009 - Easter Sunday - April 19th
2010 - Easter Sunday - April 4th (same)
2011 - Easter Sunday - April 24th (same)
2012 - Easter Sunday - April 15th
2013 - Easter Sunday - May 5th
2014 - Easter Sunday - April 20th (same)
2015 - Easter Sunday - April 12th
2016 - Easter Sunday - May 1st
2017 - Easter Sunday - April 16th (same)
2018 - Easter Sunday - April 8th
2019 - Easter Sunday - April 28th
2020 - Easter Sunday - April 19th
2021 - Easter Sunday - May 2nd
2022 - Easter Sunday - April 24th
2023 - Easter Sunday - April 16th

Moderator's note:  These dates were revised after discovering that previous dates posted were wrong.  Thanks to Bob for the 'head-up!'

Offline Bobalouie

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #70 on: April 08, 2008, 01:15:57 PM »
I thought Orthodox Easter was on April 27th this year?
Good...Bad...I'm the guy with the gun!

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #71 on: April 08, 2008, 02:32:08 PM »
Holy Tofu!  Bob, thanks.  I'll go back to that website and check the other dates for future year.  Here is an update from a Greek Orthodox website:

2008 - Easter Sunday - April 27th
2009 - Easter Sunday - April 19th
2010 - Easter Sunday - April 4th (same)
2011 - Easter Sunday - April 24th (same)
2012 - Easter Sunday - April 15th
2013 - Easter Sunday - May 5th
2014 - Easter Sunday - April 20th (same)
2015 - Easter Sunday - April 12th
2016 - Easter Sunday - May 1st
2017 - Easter Sunday - April 16th (same)
2018 - Easter Sunday - April 8th
2019 - Easter Sunday - April 28th
2020 - Easter Sunday - April 19th
2021 - Easter Sunday - May 2nd
2022 - Easter Sunday - April 24th
2023 - Easter Sunday - April 16th

* (same) indicates the dates when the Orthodox Easter will fall on the same dates as the Roman Catholic (and Protestant) dates.


Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #72 on: April 20, 2008, 10:21:26 PM »
A tour of Easter--Russian & Ukrainian style can be found here:
http://ruadventures.com/forum/index.php?topic=3569.0



Offline Eduard

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #73 on: May 08, 2008, 08:21:14 AM »
I respect your opinion, Mendeleyev, but I think it's really very subjective. In all the times that I lived in Russia and spend there nowdays I didn't encounter that many very religious people.. Many will say that they do believe in God, they even go to church sometimes, but I think it's more of a cultural thing and they don't really study their religion or live by it.
Yes there is a percentage of people who are deeply religious like what you described but they are a small minority. Other then ROC there are also different religious groups like Baptists, Pentecostals, etc. They usually are very religious and keep very tight community. They usually marry only within their own group and you won't find their women advertising on line.
I know a lot of Russians and hardly ever encounter somebody who is very religious (unless I go to a Russian Pentecostal church here in NorthPort, Florida)  :)
I closely know 2  religious people one is my cousin. She does go to church, prays and will light some candles, but she lives a regular secular life, wears sexy clothes, nothing like what you described. And also my wife has a cousin who is ultra religious, she is cute and single, but she won't date or marry a man who is not Russian Orthodox. So you won't find her on any dating sites either...
So I will agree with you that there might be some women that will become religious later on in life and it might effect their lifestyle somewhat, but I think that there is a very small chance of that happening if you do your homework before you marry a RW i.e. get to know her REALLY well with the help of a VERY good interpretor so that there isn't one subject untouched in you conversations over the course of few months of the "getting to know" stage. Get to know her family. If her family is secular, dresses like most people I don't think there is much of a probability that she will ever turn into a religious fanatic on you later on in life. If that does happen it would be an exception, not the rule IMO

Offline mendeleyev

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Re: Her Orthodox faith--and your marriage
« Reply #74 on: May 23, 2008, 02:12:26 AM »
Ed, thanks for your reply.  I think it depends on where you spend your time.  If I go to the zoo and see with my own eyes many other people visit the zoo, it is easy to believe they exist.  If I don't go to the zoo, well it may take some convincing.  The same could be said for church.  We all think that "our way" is the majority or the norm.  Notice that I've not said a majority, but the numbers are far more than many wish to admit.

Ed, I think environmental exposure is what both of us are seeing.  I freely admit that you will find our family in church many Sundays.  That doesn't make us a small minority, it just means that that is what we see from our own experience.  The numbers show that Russian churches are clearly enjoying a resurgence.  What is encouraging to me is the age span of those attending, true to what is being reported by Russian media.

I think you'd be surprised about Baptist and Pentecostal Russian women advertising on line.  Google it and watch the replies start popping up.  Seems like they understand that the West offers a bigger dating pool than in Russia.

In just about any Orthodox Church in America (the American church was a daughter of the ROC for a long time) one can find child-bearing RW who are "re-entering" the church with the birth of their children.  Ask an OCA priest if he is seeing new families (who lived here but didn't attend prior to child bearing) and I already know the answer you'll hear.  In some of these cases you have a couple who was married previously in a civil ceremony but with the birth of a child the wife now wants a church ceremony.  It's very common in the USA.  The OCA also includes Canada but I cannot speak specifically regarding the Canadian churches.