What is Orthodox Mississippi?
A website I created to help folks get connected to the Orthodox Churches/Communities across the State of Mississippi.
Orthodox Mississippi is also a Mission outreach, sponsored in part, by the Holy Cross Mission community. We hope this resource provides engaging information for those interested in learning more about the Orthodox Church.
How do I join the Orthodox Church?
Call or email.
The first step is to reach out and contact your local Orthodox community. We have these communities listed on our website with their webpage links If you’re in Mississippi, please know we are happy to have you contact us at this website. We are here to help you get connected to your local Orthodox community!
The next step is to visit your local Orthodox community. The Vespers service (the evening prayer of the church) is a good first service to attend.
Please ask any and all questions you have. Talk with the people, talk with the priest.
Take the next Step.
Once you begin attending services for four or five months, begin talking with the priest about becoming a catechumen. The catechumenate is a more formal way of learning about the Faith and the Church. In the Orthodox Church, we usually have classes offered by the priest. Sometimes, this instruction is only with a few other catechumens. Sometimes, it is more one on one. In any case, the length of this instruction is not absolutely defined. It could be 6 month or a year, or even a few years. The timeframe for being fully received into the Orthodox Church is a determination that is assessed more individually and depending on the person. This is not a judgement of good or bad, but it suited to the unique journey and experience in life of the person who is converting.
Isn't Orthodox Christianity and Roman Catholicism basically the same thing?
They are not. While many folks might have the first impressions that Orthodox and Roman Catholic are mostly similar, even those similarities, when more closely studied, prove to actually be dissimilarities. For instance, Bishops and Hierarchy. While we do have Bishops in the Orthodox Church and a hierarchical structure of Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, we have a Synodal form of Hierarchy. Each Bishop is the head of the Church in his geographical area. The Priest and Deacons serve under the Bishop. All the bishops of a particular church meet frequently to discuss matters of Church administration and, if needed, theological controversies and historical events. However, no Bishop is over another Bishop. We do not have a Bishop that exercises authority like the Roman Catholic Pope does in Roman Catholicism. All Bishops are equal in their authority and standing as vicars of Christ. In the Orthodox Church, Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church and the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit.
Some other differences between Orthodox and Roman Catholics include (but are not limited to) the teaching of the Immaculate Conception, the Filioque, Unleavened bread for the Eucharist, Married priests, the number of Holy Sacraments, the number of Ecumenical Councils, Fasting, Monasticism, Papal Infallibility, Original Sin, Transubstantiation, and Confession.