Questions About Orthodoxy

Q. Who are the Orthodox?

A. The Orthodox* are Christians who believe in Jesus Christ as God and in the Church He established.

*Orthodox comes from the Greek:
ORTHOS = Correct
DOXOS = Teaching (from Dokein, to think), or worship (from DOXA, meaning glory)

Q. Could a person from a different denomination get Baptized and Chrismated into our church?

A. Yes, a non-Orthodox Christian can become an Orthodox Christian in the following manner. If the person is a member of a Christian Church which baptizes its members in the name of the Holy Trinity (in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit that is) it is not general practice to rebaptize them. However, if a person has not been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity, but still calls himself/herself a Christian, baptism must take place in order to become an Orthodox Christian. Those who have been baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity are received int the Orthodox Church throughout the Sacrement of Holy Chrismation which grants the gifts of the Holy Spirit to them, among which is the statux of layperson in the church. Is should be pointed out that no one should be a converted membership, and that the free choice to change faith and become Othodox should be based on a full understanding of Orthodoc faith and practive. This is usually obtained through a period of instruction.

Q. – When does a fast begin and end?

A. – First, please be aware that there are two distinct types of fasts: an Ascetical Fast and a Eucharistic Fast.  An ASCETICAL FAST (meaning a day or season when we abstain from certain foods, drinks and activities) begins at the midnight preceding the fast day (or the first day of the fasting season) and ends at the following midnight (or that of the final day of the fasting season).  For example, the usual Wednesday fast begins at midnight on Tuesday and ends at midnight on Wednesday; likewise, the usual Friday fast begins at midnight on Thursday and ends at midnight on Friday.  The Apostles Fast, a fasting season of variable duration, begins at midnight on All Saints Sunday and ends at midnight on June 28th; likewise, the Dormition Fast begins at midnight on July 31st and ends at midnight on August 14th, and the Nativity Fast begins at midnight on November 14th and ends at midnight on December 24th.  The Great Fast (which includes both the Forty Days and Holy Week) begins at midnight on Forgiveness Sunday (not immediately following Forgiveness Vespers) and ends at midnight on Great and Holy Saturday.  A EUCHARISTIC FAST (meaning the period we abstain from all food and drink and certain activities in preparation for receiving Holy Communion) begins the preceding midnight for both a morning and an evening reception (or, for those of a weak constitution preparing for an evening reception, following a light breakfast or even a light lunch on the day of reception, whichever is blessed by one’s father confessor) and it ends with the reception of the Holy Eucharist.