Saint Volodymyr le Grand b
Ukrainian Orthodoxy
Orthodoxie ukrainienne

Questions and Answers

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What is in the Chalice? See answer

I have been reading a number of articles on orthodoxy from websites such as your own.
And some of what I read testifies to my heart but other things I just can't make peace with before God.
I read an explanation icons as word pictures dating back to a time when of illiteracy. I found this a helpful way to understand the practice to a point. It just seems that the concept of prayer before them and kissing them etc is akin to that concept on steroids.
I also have read of the stated orthodox disagreement with Rome on the status given Mary, which I tend to agree with you on, yet in reading orthodox writings on her I find little practical difference. I find no desire  or reason to want to pray to Mary or any other person. I find the comparison of asking departed belivers to pray for me to that of asking earthly believers to pray with or for me silly. I also find it similar to the glorification that some preacher/pastor types recieve from believer who look to them as the inspiration of their faith instead of Christ. See answer

I wanted to ask what is the traditional use of the "poya" (poyas?)-how did laymen use them in the Russian/Ukrainian Churches? Also, I thought I heard it said once that also monastics and bishops used/use them-is this true and how/where were they worn?-did they replace the monastic belt that I have seen Orthodox monastics wear? See answer

When attending Divine Liturgy in an Orthodox church, I noticed hot water being poured into the chalice from what looks like a metal measuring type spoon.  I remember a friend of mine years ago who is Romanian Orthodox mentioned something about the fact that boiling water from the kettle is placed in the chalice before communion.  Why is hot/boiling water used?  See answer

Is there any reference to dogs or cats in the bible? I can't imagine anything but pure love our blessed Lord would have shown to our furry friends. See answer

See question and answer regarding 40 day dinner in remembrance.

See answer to a question on head coverings.

I'm Ukrainian orthodox and will have my wedding at the end of this summer.  Amongst the many preparations, I am trying to identify some appropriate traditional Ukrainian wedding sayings/prayers, etc. Specifically, I am looking for something appropriate (in Ukrainian) that I can engrave on the inside of our wedding crowns. See answer

An acquaintance had Dobrodiyka in front of her name.  What does this mean? See answer

My son is going to be married in the Ukrainian Orthodox Church (under the Moscow Patriarch) in Kiev this summer.  He is Roman Catholic.  It is my understanding the Ukrainian Church is in communion with Rome and no conversion will be necessary for either of them.   My questions are concerning the wedding and also appropriate gifts.  I was considering give them an icon of the Wedding at Cana as a gift.  The only ones I can find online are “Greek Orthodox”.  Would this be appropriate, or is there someplace I can purchase Ukrainian Icons?   Also, my son will need to wear an Eastern Orthodox cross for the Sacrament of Matrimony; again is there something particular to the Ukrainian Rite that would make this cross different from any notated as “Eastern Orthodox”?  Lastly, as a practicing Roman Catholic, is there anything I should know about the ceremony/Mass ahead of time? See answer

For the ordinary lay person wishing to live out a Christian life does it really matter whether they pursue the Catholic faith or the Orthodox faith.
If not, fine!
However are there fundamental differences between the two persuasions at which point an individual must address, in order to avoid confusion throughout life when confronted with Birth, Marriage, Death and Communion. See answer

I would appreciate some clarity on the authority and status of an Orthodox Priest. I am particularly interested in clarification as to whether at point of Absolution during Confession is the the priest assuming or using powers given by Christ to him to forgive us or is our Orthodox priest merely acting an advocate/ witness. By which he invokes the Holy Spirit to redeem us of our sins? See answer

I have recently been reminded of the debate of Christ's Divinity.  Was he both Divine and Human at the same time and not two separate entities  i.e.  Monophysitism  doctrine or the  Chalcedonian doctrine where Christ was both but  in two separate entities ?  My understanding is the latter but wanted to hear your views in case I have misunderstood. See answer

It is about July 28.   Is it customary, for a man or woman, to give each other a cross on this day, as a symbol of thier being together? Have you heard of this custom on this day of the birth of Christianity in the Ukraine? See answer

Could you please explain the differences between the three bar cross with a diagonal slant and the three bar cross with all parallel bars?  Is one more “correct” or “Ukrainian” then the other?  (I do realize all crosses are God’s crosses). See Answer

Please tell me who is St. Makovij?

A question and answer regarding Ukrainian Orthodox Catholic concepts.

What are issues that need to be discussed before a  marriage should take place between a Roman Catholic and a Ukranian Orthodox Catholic?  Is the Eucharist believed in the same way? See Answer

I was browsing through a Baptist book regarding their faith, and I noticed that one of the issues that the Baptists are proud of is the fact that they have always been for the separation of Church and State.  One benefit of this position is that the State is kept out of the affairs of the Church, thus removing a corrupting force within the Church.  What is the position of the Orthodox Church regarding this issue of separation.  There are obviously negative implications when the State moves further and further away from a position of faith, but is this necessarily so when the two entities are fully separated from each other? See Answer

I was wondering what the Ukrainian tradition is concerning the rite for the sacrament of confession; what are it's authentic traditional prayers (including where they can be found in English if available), what is seen in most parishes and if it differs in any way from the Russian practice. See Answer

I was wondering if you could tell me the traditional things that I will need for my sons christening/baptism.  Such as a white towel, white garments for after he is baptized, etc. See Answer

Question. What should I do with last year's Verba?
Answer. The blessed Verba can be stripped of its buds and made into a cross. Interestingly, pilgrims to Jerusalem would make such crosses from palm fronds and would wear them as the badge of pilgrimage (whence the title "palmer" in England meaning one who has gone on pilgrimage).If you wanted to simply dispose of the old Verba it would be optimal to burn it.

Why is it that, in Ukrainian, many people greet each other during the season of the Nativity (Christmas) with the words "Христос Рождається" (literally "Christ is being born") while others say "Христос народився" (literally "Christ was born")? See Answer

Could you comment on the what one could call, for lack of a better term, codified prayer with repetition, and its importance in Orthodox or Catholic Christian practice (the Jesus prayer, Hail Mary, the Nicene Creed, the Lord's Prayer, the whole Divine Liturgy, etc) and what the varied North American Christian denominations miss when they focus exclusively on spontaneous, what some of them call 'from the soul' prayer?  I've had discussions with a Baptist who was convinced that a more true prayer is one that is spontaneous, from the soul, rather than a mechanical, in their understanding a 'going through the motions' prayer. See Answer

I recently heard an interesting story about immigrants from the trans-Carpathian region of Europe who arrived in Philadelphia a century ago and, naturally, decided to form their own parish. Although most thought of themselves as Orthodox, they were from a region (Ukraine and Polish Galicia) that had long ago accepted the Bishop of Rome (the Pope) as their patriarch. Soon after starting their parish and inviting a married priest from the old country to serve as pastor, they signed the deed to their property over to the Roman Catholic bishop of Philadelphia. As I understand it, he promptly fired the pastor and put his own priest in, and before long the iconostasis was gone and church was soon Roman rite. This did not go over well with many in the parish, who started a new Orthodox church that they aligned with the Moscow Patriarchate. I’m wondering if you can explain the background history of Orthodoxy in the trans-Carpathian area and how some people there became affiliated with Rome. Also, was the experience of these immigrants to Philadelphia unusual? See Answer

Can there anything be said about the consequencies for the West regarding place and 'function' of the human spirit (St. Paul: pneuma) since in the Rom. Cath. Church the human spirit is only a part of the (one and only one) soul, according the Const. Synod of 869?
Can there be drawn any line between displacement of the Spirit in the West an the loss of the human spirit? See Answer

Are tattoos frowned upon by the Orthodox church? Would it be sinful to get one? See Answer

Why is it that when a Ukrainian lay person or priest is ordained a monk or bishop, that the name they choose or are given at their ordination in not in the vernacular?  For instance, why are there Bishops Mikhail or Andrey, not Mykhailo or Andrij?  As priests they would have used their vernacular first name, but once ordained a bishop or monk the Old Church Slavonic (I'm guessing here) is used?  Is not the vernacular name good enough? See Answer

Can you tell me which faith is more similiar: Ukrainian Catholic and Roman Catholic or Ukrainian Catholic and Ukrainian Orthodox? See Answer

My boyfriend is Lutheran and I am Ukrainian Catholic. What would be the implications for us to ‘convert’ to one or the other’s churches and how would we go about this? See answer

I was wondering if you could tell me the restirctions of having a marriage ceremony on a Friday. See answer

Ukrainian Orthodox and Ukrainian Catholic church services include prayers, memorial and graveside services for the deceased. What are the scriptural basis for such services? See answer

I am a Roman Catholic and I believe in God, the Father, God , the Son and God, the Holy Spirit.  Jesus is God to me.  How is it with the Ukranian Orthrodox?  Is God - the Father and  Jesus just the son of God? See answer

How should a Ukrainian Orthodox understand Sophia, the Wisdom of God?  What is the tradition of personification of The Lord's traits (the Sacred Heart of Christ is often depicted in some Catholic icons, so does it too carry similar personification weight - meaning and relevance)? See answer

Why is the "Word of God" not a sacrament of the Orthodox, Catholic or the Protestant churches??

Our answer to a visitor's question regarding marriage to a Protestant.

In the Latin Church, only those “in a state of grace” are to receive holy communion: state of grace being defined as not being in “mortal” sin and even though with “venial” sins should, preferably, go to sacramental confession before receiving holy communion.
What is the position of the Orthodox church for the faithful to receive Holy Communion? See Answer

Our answer to a visitor's question concerning the celebration of baptism days rather than birthdays.

I have a couple of questions and am hoping that they can be addressed.  First of all I am Ukrainian Catholic and my husband is Ukrainian Orthodox.  We married in a Ukr. Orthodox church and baptized our son in the Orthodox faith.  We are all members of the Orthodox church as well as the Catholic church. Please click here to see the questions and our answer

A reply to a visitor's question regarding the meaning of "chlenstvo", that is "membership" in a parish of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of Canada.

An answer to a question on cremation.

Two questions from a visitor regarding Christ Blessing Hands in Icons See answer

Could you please comment on the fact that The Jehovah's Witnesses claim all religions are false except those following the teachings of the Watchtower whose Governing Body has a direct channel to God! See answer

I am considering becoming a Jehovah's Wittness so that I may survive God's War of Armageddon, never die,  and live forever in my body on Earth, where I have experienced much happiness.
I would like your advice--please reply. See answer

Does the Ukrainian Orthodox church recognize Saint Austin? See answer

I and my fiancee are due to be married soon. She is Roman Catholic and although has agreed to have the service in my church, she has had some questions about altering the service a little. I told her that there is no> way that any musical instruments can be used in the churc and she gave in. However, her parents were married by a Ukrainian Catholic priest 30 years ago and they had the betrothal part of the ceremony in the front of the church rather than the back. I know that our traditions with the Uniate church are very similiar if not almost the same. Is it possible to have the betrothal part of the ceremony in the front of the church? Is it also possible to have a unity candle during the ceremony? Are these decisions up to my parishes priest or is it a doctrinal rule? See answer

What is the stand of the Orthodox Church regarding re-marriage when one person is divorced and the other has multiple partners?  Are both persons viewed the same? See Answer

I am a Protestant who has recently graduated with a biblical studies degree, and have learned more about Roman Catholics than I have before.  I have also been to a Greek Orthodox temple a couple of times as well, learning some about the Eastern Church. Towards the end of my education, I have learned that the Eastern Church considers the Roman Catholic Church heretics.  I was wondering what the reason behind that was. See Answer

I'm a Roman Catholic considering conversion to the Orthodox Faith.  I've read some articles on the internet and am confused as to whether I need to  bere-baptized.  Do you consider baptism in the Latin rite invalid?
I'm planing to attend my very first mass in your Faith and was wondering if I would be allowed to receive the Eucharist or do I need to go through some sort  of training first? See Answer

Can you please address the matter of Apostolic Succession with regard to the history of the Orthodox Church (including what the Church Fathers may have written about it) and secondly can you address Succession from a Scriptural perpective (including any Old and New Testament references to it!)  and what about the matter of the Catholic Roman Church claiming exclusivity with respect to the Petrine confession "thou art Peter and upon this rock I shall build my Church." See Answer

What is the Orthodox Church's stance on reincarnation? See Answer

My wife and I are expecting a child in the coming days. We would like to know what are the procedures we should go through for the child's first visit to church (do we wait until after the child is baptised before its first visit during church service)? What are the Ukrainian Orthodox traditions parents traditionally go through during the first few weeks of a child's life? See answer

What reasoning exists to explain the existence of a Ukrainian "Greek Catholic"/ Uniate/"Eastern Catholic" Church? Was it strictly the work of "conversion by coercion" or is there more to all of this? My own understanding is that through Kyrylo and Methodius, Ukraine's historical spiritual roots are more properly Orthodox than anything else. See answer

With Sviatiy Vechir Meal being a traditional lenten, Fast-Breaking Holy Dinner, is it correct to believe that the Day (and/or the period) leading to Holy Night, was traditionally a day of Fasting and Prayer? See answer

See our answer to a visitor's comments concerning Praying to Mary

I saw your site about the differences between Orthodox and Catholic  religions while I was looking for proof to show somebody that the Orthodox Religion was the original church and that Catholics broke off of the Orthodox and I am e-mailing you to see what you say and to prove that Orthodoxy is the 1st church. see answer

I am Ukrainian Orthodox, and have recently become engaged. I will be getting married in two years. I was discussing my plans with my mother,  when she told me that Ukrainian Orthodox weddings do not allow music  (i.e.: violin, flute, harp) during the ceremony.   Is this true and if so, why? See answer

Can a person be a Freemason (member of the Masonic Lodge) and be an Orthodox Christian? See answer

An answer to a question from a visitor on abortion.

On Sept.27 Orthodox Christians will be celebrating the Feastday of the Elevation of the Cross.I have read quite extensively on this Feastday and what I find somewhat confusing are the synonymns used with reference to this Feastday. Please explain: elevation; exhaltation; glorification; adoration; veneration. see answer

I have read your article about Hallowe'en on this website and am wondering if this is the official Orthodox view or if this is an opinion article. See answer

Two questions from a visitor:

Some people have told me that one of the traditions of the Orthodox Church is to give communion using a some sort of "spoon" tool. I was wondering, whether or not, this is true and I'd also like to know about other communion traditions.

In the Orthodox church, can married men become priests and still live with their families as long as the men are not intimate with their wives? See answers

An answer to a visitor's question regarding customs on Transfiguration Feast Day

Can an individual Orthodox believe in the Immaculate Conception? See answer

Q. Can an individual Orthodox believe that Our Lord is present in the Holy Eucharist through Transubstantiation?
A. All Orthodox Christians believe our Lord is present in the Holy Eucharist, although they prefer to use the word "Transmutation" rather than "Transubstantiation" (which means the same thing). 

A reply to a question from a visitor concerning participation of Non-Orthodox parents in marriages.

Our replies to a visitor's commentary regarding the validity of Catholic sacraments.

I am Roman Catholic and my fiance is Ukrainian Orthodox. My question to you is, do you know of a way we can combine the two ceremonies? We want to have all the traditional orthodox elements (the crowns, the binding of the hands etc.) but we also want the traditional catholic elements (the classic vows, my father walking me down the aisle etc.) We were hoping also to have both an orthodox minister and a catholic priest present. Is that allowed? Also, I've heard that if an orthodox person marries in another church, he or she would be essentially excommunicated. Is that true? see answer

In surfing through various websites which include the words "Orthodox" or "Orthodox Church," I have come to realize that not all those which call themselves by this name are necessarily in communion with all the others.  What makes the difference, and with which are the Ukrainian Orthodox in communion? see answer

I am a Ukrainian Orthodox member of the church and was Christened Orthodox and I was wondering if it is okay to take communion at a Catholic church? If not, please explain why. thank you.see answer

A question from a visitor What is the response of the Orthodox Church to those who ask for a logical or self-evident reason to believe in God? see answer

Coptic Church A visitor's question regarding interfaith marriages  see answer

A question from a visitor Why did God make Job suffer so much? Was he not a good man? Was God testing him? see answer

Two questions from visitors regarding 'Ukrainian Orthodoxy' see answers

A visitor's question I read with interest your answer to the question about Saint Michael. You stated that St. Michael is celebrated in Sept. 29. I grew up in the Ukrainian Orthdox church and we celebrated St. Michael day on November  21. Is this another St. Michael? And if so, what is the story about the Saint Michael that the UOCC celebrated on November 21?
see answer

A reply to a visitor's question concerning the making of the Sign of the Cross

A reply to a visitor's question concerning premarital sex

Gospel of St. Thomas In a work that I'm writing on early language I have read of a vigorous discussion in the Gospel of St. Thomas between Jesus and his schoolmaster about the attributes of the letter T.  I have been unable to locate this. Can you help me? see answer

Confessions I am a Lutheran who is giving prayerful thought to converting to Orthodoxy. I am wondering: is a convert from Western traditions in which sacramental Confession and Absolution is practiced (Lutheran, Anglican, Roman Catholic) obliged to make a summary confession of all my sins throughout my life at the time of my first confession in the Orthodox Church? Or is my previous confession of them in the Lutheran Church considered sufficient in a sort of "good faith" kind of way? see answer

See answer to a question from a visitor concerning celibacy.

Several questions concerning marriage:

(1) To get married in the Orthodox Church, do both parties have to be baptized in the Orthodox Church?

(2) Does the wedding ceremony have to be in the Church building itself or can it be at another location?

(3) How does the Church view re-marriage by a divorced individual? Is there a required annulment process?

(4) Are there any pre-wedding requirement? I.e., classes, etc?

(5) Can we get married on a Friday or Saturday?

See answers

Baptism I am a 20 year old woman who is engaged to a Greek orthodox man.  I wish to be baptized as a Greek orthodox and be married in the Greek orthodox Church.  Could you please explain how this service takes place and what I would have to do to be baptized as a greek orthodox.  Your help is greatly appreciated. Thank you and I hope to hear from you soon. see answer

A question from a visitor regarding after life of animals. See answer

What are the differences between Orthodox and Catholic

A couple of questions regarding confession:
1) when confessing our sins formally to a priest in Church prior to taking the Eucharist, is it less proper when no concrete sins are mentioned (just 'in general')? Is the whole process 'watered down' in such instances?
2) after confession and after taking part of the Eucharist, do (or should) Orthodox believe that the sins committed prior are fully and properly forgiven (even if mentioned in specifics) - with the person now fully 'clean' of them? See answers

Responses to Priests First,  when you go up for communion, after the priest gives you the Eucharist, what are you supposed to say (if anything) before you cross yourself.
Second, at the end of mass when you go up to kiss the cross the Priest is holding does he say "istos voscras"  and if he does what should your response be?  Voistino Voscras? See Answer



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