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Basics of Orthodoxy Class 2013

The St. Maximus Basics of Orthodoxy (Catechesis) 2014 Class

After Thursday, February 27, the class will meet on Sundays from 11:45 to 1:00 after Divine Liturgy, starting March 2.

January 2014: The main series of classes begins January 16.

For the 2011-2012 Syllabus, please click here: Syllabus2011.pdf
The new schedule of classes for 2014 will be forthcoming.


1. Class will begin at 11:45. Please bring a Bible, note paper, and a three-ring binder to hold your syllabus and handouts.

2. The class is open to all wanting to know about the Orthodox Church, Her Faith, and Her practices. Orthodox and non-Orthodox, the serious seeker and casual inquirer are equally welcome. The class is directed, however, towards those who are wanting to know more about the Orthodox Church with a view to possibly being joined to Her (Inquirers) and those who have formally declared their intent to be united to the Church and are preparing themselves for Holy Baptism and/or Chrismation (Catechumens). Anyone who disrupts this process through disrespect, lack of seriousness, or persistent argumentativeness may be asked to leave the class. Inquirers and Catechumens are expected to have and ask questions. Don’t be bashful!

3. The first eight weeks of the class, the Introductory Sessions, are designed to give everyone an overall view of the Church, Her Faith, Her Life, and Her Worship. The Sessions of the Catechesis Proper go deeper to enable an inquirer either to embrace or reject the Church with adequate knowledge and experience to make that decision. The four sessions "For Those Preparing for Holy Illumination" are for Catechumens who are making their final preparations to be received into the Church. Only those being received at that time may attend.

4. Reading or practical assignments may be given from week to week. They will not be heavy or excessive. Handouts to read will be available, as will a list of recommended (but not required) books. As each person is different, it is not possible to require the same books for all. If you have questions about what you could or should be reading outside of class, please consult the priest. Not every book available is useful or appropriate.

5. Those who are serious about possible becoming Orthodox are expected to attend all the classes. If you simply cannot, please contact the priest beforehand. Inconsistent attendance will slow your progress. You need this material, and it is difficult for the priest to help you ‘make up’ missed material. Please make every effort to attend.

6. Catechumens are expected to attend the divine services regularly. Your faithful attendance at class and services are one indication to the priest of your overall seriousness.

7. Inquirers and Catechumens may attend the full Divine Liturgy on Sundays. If they desire to follow the early practice of leaving the Liturgy at the dismissal of the catechumens, they are asked to remain at church and use the time to advance their catechesis through reading, prayer, or quiet conversation with another person about the Faith. Under no circumstances should catechumens and inquirers be talking casually, loudly, or getting an early start of coffee hour. If it is too distracting to go out of the service, better to stay in it.

8. A person is an inquirer until he indicates to the priest that he desires to become an Orthodox Christian and the priest determines that he is ready to take that step: if it be determined that he is ready, he will be made a catechumen. A good rule of thumb for this is six months of significant exposure.

9. An inquirer is officially made a catechumen by public prayer in the church. To be made a catechumen indicates a commitment to the Orthodox Church and implies a break with any previous associations, especially in regard to Sunday worship, Communion, and other Sacraments.

10. A person’s catechumenate may be brief, or long, depending on how long it takes for one to become ready to embrace the Church and Her way of life with faith and without hesitation. You may consult with your priest about the timing of your Baptism/ Chrismation, but please do not pressure him. God will make it clear when the time is right. The basic rule of thumb is one year of consistent study, prayer, and attendance from the time you first began to investigate the Church seriously. This can vary considerably depending upon circumstances.

11. Catechumens are expected to lead orderly lives according to Christian norms and the Ten Commandments and to be in regular attendance at services. It is always appropriate for them to let the priest know ahead of time if they must miss a service or class. If they have particular problems, struggles, or besetting sins, they should set up meetings with the priest to discuss them so that they may obtain help specific to their needs.


St. John of Damascus
St. John of Damascus
St. John of Damascus
St. John Chrysostom
St. John Chrysostom
St. John Chrysostom
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
St. Cyril of Jerusalem
Audio Files of Class Sessions

Introductory Session 1 "The Church" 3 February 2010
Lecture: BasicsIntro1.WMA   Handout: Intro1Handout-.pdf

Introductory Session 2 "The Church and Jesus Christ" 10 February 2010
Lecture: BasicsIntro2.WMA   Handout: Intro2Handout.pdf

Introductory Session 3 "The Church and the Canon of Scripture" 17 February 2010
Lecture: BasicsIntro3.WMA   Handout: Intro3Handout.pdf

Introductory Session 4 "The Church and Holy Scripture 2" 24 February 2010 (discussing inspiration)
Lecture: BasicsIntro4.WMA   Handout: Intro4Handout.pdf

Introductory Session 5 "The Church and Holy Tradition" 3 March 2010
Lecture: BasicsIntro5.WMA   Handout: Intro5Handout.pdf  Handout 2: Fr. George Florovsky: The Function of Tradition in the Early Church FlorovskyFunctionofTradition.pdf

Introductory Session 6 "The Church and the Councils" (The Conciliar Structure of the Church: Bishops, Priests, and Deacons
Lecture: BasicsIntro6.WMA   Handout: Intro6handout.pdf

Introductory Session 7 "The Church and Salvation"
Lecture: BasicsIntro7.WMA   Handout: Intro7Handout.pdf

Introductory Session 8 "The Church and Her Rational Worship"
Lecture: BasicsIntro8.WMA   Handout: Intro8Handout.pdf

Main Session 1 "Faith & Life: The Connection Between What We Believe and How We Live" (2010)
Lecture: 100414Main1.WMA  Handout:

Main Session 2 "God's Plan for Man: In the Image and Likeness of God" (2010)
Lecture: 100421Main2.WMA  Handout:

Main Session 3: "God's Plan for Man: Life According to the Commandments of Christ" (2010)
Lecture: 100428Main3.WMA  Handout:

Main Session 15: Nicene Creed Lecture 3: "One God the Father Almighty" (25 Aug 2010)
Lecture: Creed3.WMA  Handout: Creed3handout.pdf

Main Session 16: Nicene Creed Lecture 4: "The Father" Why God is called "Father" (1 Sept 2010)
Lecture: Creed4.WMA  Handout: Creed4handout.pdf

Main Session 17: Nicene Creed Lecture 5: "The Almighty and the Problem of Evil" (15 Sept 2010)
Lecture: Creed5.WMA Handout: Creed5handout.pdf

Main Session 18: Nicene Creed Lecture 6: "Maker of Heaven and Earth" (22 Sept 2010)
Lecture: Creed6.WMA Handout: Creed6handout.pdf

Main Session 19: Nicene Creed Lecture 7: "One Lord Jesus Christ the Son of God" (29 Sept 2010)
Lecture: Creed7.WMA Handout: Creed7handout.pdf

Main Session 20: Nicene Creed Lecture 8: Article 3 "Who For Us Men and For Our Salvation Came Down..."
Lecture: Creed8.WMA  Handout:

Main Session 21: Nicene Creed Lecture 9: Article 4 "And Was Crucified for Us..."
Lecture: CreedArt4Crucified.WMA Handout:

Main Session 23: Nicene Creed Lecture 11: Article 6 "And Ascended into Heaven..."
Lecture: CreedArt6Ascension.WMA Handout:

Main Session 24: Nicene Creed, Lecture 12, Article 8: "And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life..."
Lecture: CreedArt8Spirit.WMA

Main Session 25: Nicene Creed Lecture 13, Article 9: "One Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church"
Lecture: CreedArt9Church.WMA

Series on the Divine Liturgy
Divine Liturgy 1: Introduction (12 January 2011)
Lecture: Liturgy1.WMA

Divine Liturgy 2: "Blessed is the Kingdom" (19 January 2011)
Lecture: Litrugy2Kingdom.WMA

Divine Liturgy 3: Great Litany part one (23 February 2011)
Lecture: Liturgy3GreatLitany.WMA

Divine Liturgy 4: Great Litany part two (2 March 2011)
Lecture: Litrugy4.WMA Apologies: the battery of the recorder died near the end.



Basics of Orthodoxy: Series on the Divine Liturgy

Divine Liturgy 1: Introduction to the Divine Liturgy. It's place in Orthodox worship. Lex ordandi, lex credendi.
Lecture: Liturgy1.WMA  January 12, 2011


 
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