People, look east - the time is near!

I can't do it anymore. I can't kneel there week by week, at odds theologically with my church, not knowing whether what is coming towards me is, in fact, the Body and Blood of Christ, or just a bit of bread and the fermented juice of the grape, good and wholesome. I can't kneel there, not wanting to adore it in case it is just bread, but I cannot ignore it, in case it is my Lord and my God.

I do not see that I have to make a smooth transition from one church to another, and consequently, whatever happens in regard to a timescale for being received as a catechumen, I cannot continue regularly worshipping in an Anglican setting - I cannot.

I spoke with a few people at church yesterday and I hope to do the same again next Sunday. I shall perhaps make the 14th of August my final Sunday.

On the day, and for the weeks following, I shall perhaps feel a great sadness, but for now, I feel a great relief, and with time, I am sure that the sorrow shall give way to happiness and joy in what I have found.

16 responses:

Michael said...

Please don't be. I'm not.

Mark said...

Finalistic. :-(
Sad for you.

Indubitableness said...

You're all totally out of your mind. The flesh of christ is the magic mushroom, don'tchya know... And the blood is Guiness genuine draught. It's too bad God couldn't pick a decent beer. wait wine?

You're all out of you're minds MUAH HAH HAH HAH. DANCE WITH ME! DANCE THE DANCE OF LIFE!

I've been drinking.

Elizabeth @ The Garden Window said...

Dear Michael
I struggled with the situation you are in for 13 years before I finally left the Anglican Church.
When you can no longer, in good conscience, say you believe what the rest of your fellow congregants believe, it really is time to go.

Most (but not all)Orthodox churches receive former Anglicans by Chrismation, not Baptism. My understanding is that a baptism in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is regarded as valid and acceptable, but somewhat incomplete and that completion is supplied by Chrismation. However, that is the decision of the Bishop of the Church you are received into.

You will be in my prayers.

It is hard to leave behind friends who may be hurt by your decision, though.
Some folk treat your leaving their Church as a personal insult/attack on their faith .....
Sad, but true.

Michael said...

Thanks, everyone.

ROCOR insists on baptism for the reception of those who have previously been through the baptismal rite of other communions.

Most people to whom I have spoken have been understaing of the fact that this is a struggle for me and that the place I have reached has the same implications for my own baptism as it does theirs, and so understand that I am not being malicious, and have actually been very supportive.

I'll get there. Many thanks again.

Joe said...


Prayers and more prayers from here. I know how hard it is to go East, and leave behind many good friends and co-religionists. I also know that for those new to the East, that there are wolves in sheeps clothing who try to lure them into extremism--please be one the look out for this as these are generally pscologically unhealthy cults (I'm still going to therapy) that do much damage and have less of an understanding of real Orthodoxy than your average anglican parish.

I will not try to convince you that you are making the wrong choice, all I can say is I respect your decision, know that it is douptless right for you, and will pray for you.

Joe Zollars

Jacob Hicks said...

And you are, of course, in my prayers too - and, if she's listening, which I'm sure she is, those of England's Protectress, our Mother and our Queen (OLW, of course!).

Michael said...

Thank you, both.

Richard, I've mislaid my copy of the closing Mass of Magnificat. Do you have the words of that hymn?


Joe, I understand what you mean, and have read of some of your more recent history with certain groups. I hope that the wounds heal soon.

Michael said...

Aha! I've just found the words on Benjamin Anderson's blog. :)

Merseymike said...

I seriously hope that you`ll be happy - to be frank, with the way you believe now, I`m rather glad that you don`t find Anglicanism to your liking, as I don`t want the Church of England to go down that sort of path.
I think it will all make far more sense when the Anglican church splits, as it surely must.

Strange how things work out, but I can`t relate to anything you have to say in your blog - simply can`t believe what is clearly not the case from my perspective.

Joe said...

Anglo-Catholicism is real and will continue on in some form. However just as I would not feel safe in an ocean liner, some spiritual boats are not suited for some.

All the best Michael (or should we call you Mikhai now?)

Joe Zollars

BJA said...

Michael – I applaud your zeal for Orthodoxy and I encourage you to continue your journey. May God grant you many years!

The issue of Baptism and reception of converts in the Orthodox Church is a complicated and often confused one. There have been, over the centuries, different approaches to the reception of converts, and today there exist different practices amongst the different Orthodox Churches and jurisdictions.

AFAIK, the fact that ROCOR will baptize you rather than chrismate you has more to do with ecclesiological issues than with Trinitarian issues. It has to do with views of the limits/boundaries of the Church and the sacramental implications of how one defines these limits/boundaries.

Already in the third and fourth centuries we have differences in ecclesiology, reception of converts/apostates, and Baptism (e.g. S. Cyprian's views vs. S. Augustine's views).

Also, keep in mind that the Eastern Church has never traditionally had the concept of "conditional baptism."

Anonymous said...

"AFAIK, the fact that ROCOR will baptize you rather than chrismate you has more to do with ecclesiological issues than with Trinitarian issues."

This remark and the following paragraphs of Benjamin Andersen's post set me to thinking about the various "takes" on what divides us, and I'd like to recommend two books by Sir Steven Runciman--I've recommended them many times before--; they are _The Fall of Constantinople 1453_ and _The Great Church in Captivity_. They are books that you may need about 3 boxes of tissues to read; they made me weep buckets.

There's also a contemporary Greek theologian, no friend of his famous colleagues Trembelas and Bp. John Zizioulas, who has a lot to say on the subject of the "filioque": Fr. John Romanides. When you read the link I'm about to give, bear in mind that Romanides calls "western" and "eastern" Christianity both "Roman": he grudgingly says "West Roman and East Roman" sometimes primarily to explain his view that the "filioque" was not, until after the Carolingian takeover, thought of in the way we think of it nowadays. Plough through the typos and poor editing on the link patiently, it'll be worth your while!

Leetle M.

Anonymous said...

Oops. I forgot to mention that Romanides, who died in 2001, calls an Ecumenical Council a "Synod". It's just a convention in his thought; he means Council. And he views the "filioque" as a wedge used by the Carolingian Franks to separate the East from the West, and the confusion wrought by Augustine's thought as yet another wedge.

Leetle M.

Michael said...

Well that's it.

I've done the deed. Yesterday was my last Sunday. I'm not sure how I feel right now - it changes from moment to moment.

Anonymous said...

go in peace, the Lord is with you


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