The Greek Orthodox Faith

The Greek Orthodox Faith

“Orthodox” is the most commonly used term in America to describe the Greek Church. This translates from the Greek word orthodoxos, which means “correct belief” or “correct glory.” Because Greek was the widely spoken language of the Roman Empire at the time of Christ, the Church has been called the “Greek Church.” “The one, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church,” however, is perhaps the most theologically correct name.

 In Orthodoxy, it is believed that God is one in substance but three in persons, meaning that the Holy Trinity (the three persons – Father, Son and the Holy Spirit) are not confused, and the one substance is not divided. Furthermore it is believed that Jesus Christ is perfect God and perfect man (Theanthropos), came down from heaven and was crucified and resurrected to save us.

 Orthodoxy contains the following orders of ordained clergy: Bishop, Priest, and Deacon. There are seven Sacraments (Mysteries) including Holy Baptism, Holy Chrismation (Holy Confirmation); Holy Confession; Holy Unction (a Sacrament to Healing); Holy Eucharist; Holy Matrimony; and Holy Orders. The Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion) is the primary Sacrament of the Orthodox worship service. In Orthodoxy, the attitude towards God usually is from the heart and relational rather than from an intellectual perspective.

 The main service of the Orthodox Church is the Divine Liturgy. This is highly valued as a remembrance of the Last Supper and is celebrated on feast days such as Christmas, Epiphany, Pascha (Easter) or on a day that a saint died and is remembered by the Church. Read more about Greek Orthodoxy in Ecclesia: Greek Orthodox Churches of the Chicago Metropolis by Panos Fiorentinos.

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