Parish Life

Questions and Answers about the Orthodox parish life and community

Giving to the Church

I have read in some evangelical Protestant books that, unless you give 10% of your income to the Church, God won’t bless you. This seems to be an Old Testament idealogy, contrary to the spirit of the Gospels, in which God...

Role of Laymen in the Church

Your explanation until now makes the Orthodox Church look like a highly clerical body with strong hierarchal control. What about the laymen in the Church? Do they have a role?

Balancing Service with Prayer

Recently, a couple of members of our parish council asked if I was interested in being a council member or in serving on the Stewardship committee. I feel a little guilty for saying no, but I feel pulled toward prayer and...

Musical Instruments

I am a member of the Greek Archdiocese and I am wondering why musical instrument such as organs are not found in OCA Churches, or in Churches I visited in Greece or on Mt Athos? It seems Psalm 150 condones praising the Lord...

Beeswax Candles

Is there anything in the canons that say that candles used in churches must be white and 100% beeswax? Or is that just a preference? There are now various colored candles on the market made with recycled wax. Could these be...

Archaic English

My children and I were received into the Orthodox Church in a Greek Orthodox parish in another state. Much of the Liturgy and almost all of Vespers was in English.

We now attend an OCA mission parish in our new city and...

Orthodox Christian Schools

I am Orthodox teaching at a Catholic school. I was wondering if there are any Orthodox elementary or secondary schools in my area and if so, where?

If there are none, is there any way to found one? I want my children to go...

Laity as Teachers

I am told that the Laity cannot teach that only the priest can teach. I have read several good Orthodox books by Orthodox folks who are not priests and they do indeed teach. In fact, they teach very well. How can this be?

Conduct of the Laity

By birth I am Russian Orthodox, and currently am a member of an OCA parish, the congregation of which consists of various ‘denominations’ of born or converted Orthodox. Having attended a Synodal church from my youth, I find...

Tithing

Why is 10% tithing being pushed by the OCA and some other church leaders?

The reason I ask this is that although 10% is required in Old Testament times, so is stoning for adultery and other rules we don’t follow now. How do...

Helping the Hungry and the Needy

Can you tell me if your church does any fund-raising to help feed the children of less fortunate families? WIC and food stamps just aren’t enough anymore. There are many families who are spiritually wealthy, yet not able to...

Looking for Instruction

I am looking for a mentor and instructor in the Orthodox Faith. Can you help me? I am currently practicing no denominational faith, but was born and raised a Roman Catholic. Yes, I am an interested convert. I need a mentor...

Rules & Customs

Father, as I said in my last email I had decided to go ahead with my decision to convert to Orthodoxy. But I found a website with some church rules. For instance, how can I make confession at the Saturday night service if...

Mission / Church / Cathedral

Could you tell me the main difference between a “mission”, a “church”, and a “cathedral”? At what point does one progress from a mission to a church, or from a church to a cathedral, or does “growth” really have anything to...

Establishing a Local Orthodox Church

I would just like to ask a question if I may. Is there anything that I could do to help establish an Orthodox church in my own hometown? Based on what I have read so far, Orthodoxy seems to make more sense to me than...

Finding Orthodox Churches

My name is… I am Russian Orthodox and would like to find out if there is an Orthodox church in the Washington D.C. area.

If the answer is “yes”, please, send me the address and telephone information.