Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Significant Milestone

My home church (the St. Nicholas Orthodox Church) covered in snow.
Photo by Gilmore.

This morning, I attended the Liturgy of the Orthodox Christian church. It was a very special Liturgy for me, because in the middle of the ceremony, they accepted me to become a "catechumen". I stood in front of the church hall.  The priest laid his hand on my head and said a few certain words, and then everyone at the ceremony prayed for me. As I walked back to my spot, I was moved to tears. It was such a sacred and touching moment. In a sense, I have been a catechumen already since last year, but only now it's official. What does it mean?

According to the OrthodoxWiki: "A catechumen is one who is preparing for baptism in the Church. In modern usage, catechumen can also refer to one who is preparing for chrismation (or another form of reception) to be received from a heterodox Christian communion. In the ancient Church, the catechumenate, or time during which one is a catechumen, often lasted for as much as three years and included not only participation in the divine services but also catechesis, formal instruction from a teacher, often the bishop or appointed catechist. Catechumens are understood to be Christians upon beginning their catechumenate, and should they die before baptism, they are traditionally given an Orthodox funeral."

 «An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him...»

The catechumenate (Russian: оглашенные) period is a long process. At times, I have been frustrated, and I've been asking myself: "Why they make it so difficult and slow to join the church?" I have had to be patient... God has strengthened me by sending me an "angel" and spiritual guide (cf. the Gospel of Luke 22:43). Without her, I would have given up long ago. Like she used to say, "We are instruments in the hands of God". Amen to this. Afterwards we can understand the Divine providence. No matter how you feel, there is the guidance of God behind it all.

Today, I also found a "godfather" (Finnish: kummi, Russian: крёстный) for me, and he even lives on the same street as I do. That's really great because I had no idea who could be my godfather when I am going to be accepted to the church on April 19 (may God grant it). Now all these problems seem to have been solved...

Indeed, this was a great day for me! Thank God for the guidance, in spite of my weak faith. Thanks also to my "Russian angel" and to my friends.

Peace and blessings to all. (^—^)


The St. Nicholas Orthodox Church in Vaasa. Православная церковь
Св. Николая Чудотворца в Вааса. The church was completed in
1866, and was originally built for the Russian population of Vaasa.
Photo by Teisuka.


  1. hello Teisuka^^
    Congrats! :) i know what you felt today. yes it was a great day.
    very nice article and beautiful pictures of church. thanks for sharing
    have a wonderful week my dear friend! you are always in my prayers.
    and sorry for my bad eng. Nika

    1. Hello Nikushka! ^^

      Thank you very much for your congratulations. I am happy you are the first to say that. It makes my day complete. ^^

      Also thanks for sharing my feeling. I like how you say, "I know what you felt today". I'm sure you know. ^^

      Again, many thanks for being here today, my very dear friend. I'm glad that you share this great day with me. You too, have a wonderful week, dear Nikushka. You're also in my prayers every day. Good night! (^^)/

      With warm regards,


  2. Hi Teisuka,
    Congratulations to you on being officially accepted as a catechumen. This is a milestone in your journey of faith. I suppose it has not been easy for you, my friend. You have been very patient, and you will be rewarded for this long journey. You were moved to tears, and I think the holy spirit was at work at that moment. This means that you are much closer to being part of the church now. Your patience has paid off, and this is really great news! -:)

    You are right, you have been under the guidance of God all along. And He even sent an angel to you. Now you also found a "godfather." Here I wish you all the best leading up to that big day -- April 19. Blessings to you, my friend! -:)

    Have a wonderful week!


    1. Hi Bao,

      Thank you very much for your encouraging words and congratulations. They means a lot for me. You're right, it has not been always easy, and when I look back I see a long road behind me... And now, in the eyes of the Church, I am already an Orthodox Christian. It's a comforting thought. I also believe it was the Holy Spirit that touched me in the Liturgy.

      Again, many thanks for visiting and for your good wishes, my friend. For my part, I wish all the best and God's blessings to you and your family. Have a wonderful week! :)

      Greetings from vernal Finland,


  3. Hi Teisuka! My congratulations! It is great that we are brothers in faith! Follow the directions of your godfather. He is responsible for your spiritual growth. I have a god-child too, but she is just 3 years old :)


    1. Hi Victor. Thank you for your congratulations and visiting, большое спасибо! I really appreciate that. Yes, we are spiritual brothers and that's great. Orthodox Christianity is one thing which unites people in different countries and cultures. In other words, through this we share the same culture. Blessings to you, my friend. :) Teisuka

  4. Hi! I wrote some e-mail to you earlier, but I also wanted to congratulate you here. I guess it's probably one of the greatest quests in life to find a spiritual home. As I remember, you had a long way, but you were persistent to go on with this thing. Often in our (western) world religion seems to be inferior to materialism, but I think personal faith is something valuable that people should really cherish.

    Blessings from old friend and neighbour Doyle

    1. Hello, my old friend and neighbour Doyle!

      Nice to see you here. Many thanks for your kind words and congratulations. I really appreciate that! Yes, a long road is behind... I agree with you, to find a spiritual home is a valuable and great journey. All the best and blessings to you in your life, my friend! :)