We ask your prayers for Marly Youmans, who was made a catechumen of the Orthodox Church this past Sunday, November 7, here at Cloud-Bearing Mountain Christian Retreat Center / Saint Herman of Alaska Orthodox Church in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of New York State. Marly comes to us through a long involvement at Christ Episcopal Church in Cooperstown, New York. After having discovered Orthodoxy a few years ago, and coming to know the rich depths of the ancient Christian faith, Marly is now ready to begin in earnest her entrance into the full life of the Church as she prepares for baptism and chrismation.
O Lord, our God, who dwellest on high and lookest down on things that are lowly; who unto the human race hast sent forth salvation, thine only-begotten Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ: look upon Marly, thy handmaid, who has bowed her head before thee, and vouchsafe unto her at a seasonable time the laver of regeneration, the remission of sins, and the garment of incorruption; unite her to thy Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church, and number her among thy chosen flock, that she also may glorify thine most honorable and majestic name, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, who livest and reignest now and ever, and unto the ages of ages. Amen.
The word catechumen means “learner.” While we never cease to be a learner in the Christian faith, the time one spends as an official catechumen is a time of intensified formation and discovery. During the catechumenate, one not only grows in knowledge, but begins to faithfully live as an Orthodox Christian, preparing for the laver of regeneration that gives new birth into a living communion with all the saints in God’s one, holy, catholic and apostolic church.