The first step for a person intending to join the Orthodox Church is to find out more about their local church and to discuss the matter with a priest. You can find information concerning your local church and its worship services in our parish’s worship calendar.
If you have any questions about joining the Church, feel free to contact our parish’s clergy. You can discuss your personal process for joining the Church with the priest in more detail. The parish organizes several catechumen courses in Finnish every year. These courses start in the autumn and last until Easter.
You can also contact the parish’s on-duty priest. The on-duty priest is happy to help you and answer any questions you may have about the Church and about being an Orthodox Christian.
The catechumen courses for people considering to join the Church (held in Finnish) start in September with a communal information session.
What does the catechumen course contain?
Before joining the Orthodox Church, potential members go through the so-called catechumenate period. During this time, the person considering joining the Church familiarizes themselves with the Church, its teachings and liturgical life before finally deciding on joining. A person who has been baptized before is joined to the Orthodox Church through chrismation (anointing with myrrh, or chrism). If the person has not been baptized before, they are joined to the Church through the sacraments of baptism and chrismation.
The course provides the catechumens with the information and experience needed to decide whether to join the Church. The catechumens familiarize themselves actively with the Orthodox life of worship and learn more about the Orthodox Church’s view of humanity, sacrament teaching and dogmatics, among other things.
The catechumens receive support from the priest, other catechumens and the local worship community during their catechumenate period.
Check out this list of Orthodox literature (link to Swedish list?) (linkki ruotsinkieliseen luetteloon?) ->
Learning about Orthodox Christianity lecture series (clicking the link will take you to the external Soundcloud service, where you can listen to the lectures in Finnish in your browser or on your mobile device)
The Church’s Teachings lecture series (clicking the link will take you to the external Soundcloud service, where you can listen to the lectures in Finnish in your browser or on your mobile device)
More information: Educational Worker Kaarina Lyhykäinen, tel. 040 512 5825, email@example.com
Practical matters related to joining the Orthodox Church
You do not need to resign from your possible former church separately, as a single form can be used for the entire legal process. If you are a member of a private religious community, you must inform the community of your resignation yourself.
If you have already been baptized in a Christian Church before, you do not need to be baptized again. Instead, you will only be chrismated, a sacrament that corresponds with the Western Church’s sacrament of confirmation. After this, you are a full member of the Orthodox Church and may participate in all of its activities
If you have not been baptized before, the baptismal and chrismation services are both performed when joining the Church. You will need one Orthodox godparent when joining the Church. One godparent (preferably of the same gender as you) is enough. The godparent will be your guide to the life of the Church in the future. If you do not have a suitable godparent candidate, the priest can help you in finding one.
Before actually joining the Church, you may participate in worship services and other activities organized by the parish. The sacraments, such as the Eucharist, are for Church members only.
The most important thing when preparing to join the Church is to fully participate in the worship services. That is where the sense of community within the Orthodox Church truly becomes apparent.
Welcome to the Church!