Returning to Christianity


I was brought up in the Episcopal Church in the USA but have been really been distant from Christianity for a decade. I am now slowly coming back.

I am very aware of Orthodoxy. In the 1970s I attended services and fellowship meals at St Vladimir’s and even took a course there.

I would like to know what I should do if I decide to become Orthodox and would appreciate a comment from you about the steps I should take.


Thank you very much for your email—and I pray that your journey back to the Church will be a rewarding and spiritually joyous one!

Concerning entrance into the Orthodox Church, in general one would

make his or her intentions known to the priest at the parish in which one hopes to be received

make every effort to participate as fully as possible in the liturgical worship and fellowship aspects of the local parish community to which he or she plans to belong

undergo a period of catechesis—study and spiritual formation—under the guidance of the parish priest or another individual to whom the parish priest has directed him or her

be chrismated [or baptized, if he or she has not been baptized “in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit”]

These are the four general principles. There may be other recommendations offered depending on the parish in which one hopes to convert, the understanding of the parish priest, etc. In this regard, it is always best to contact the priest, discuss one’s intentions and background, and work out a plan based on one’s unique circumstances.

See also:

Bishop Basil (Rodzianko), Reception into the Orthodox Church
Originally written in 1983, this article by the late Bishop Basil is as timely today as when it was first published—reprinted in The Orthdodox Church newspaper