Questions and Answers
[Unless you ask otherwise, we will not publish your name]
What is in the Chalice? See answer
I have been reading a number of articles on orthodoxy from websites such as your own.
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.
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
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?
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?
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
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.
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
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.
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?
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
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 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?
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?
(5) Can we get married on a Friday or Saturday?
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
A couple of questions regarding confession:
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.
[Unless you ask otherwise, we will not publish your name]
Ukrainian Orthodoxy - Українське Православ'я