Whether you are Greek or not, you can still join the Greek Orthodox Church. You can attend classes, conferences and other events that teach you about the Orthodox Faith and participate in the church’s Sunday services, in Greek. In addition, you can take communion in the church and learn how to use icons.
Table of Contents
Throughout the course of Christian history, icons have undergone various developments. However, despite their varying styles and appearances, icons have a lot in common. They represent historical events, spirituality, and theology.
The term “icon” is derived from the Greek word “icona” which means “representation”. Iconography is the study of images, their significance and their uses. Icons are two-dimensional, painted or carved representations of historical events. These represent a semblance of reality, and are often compared to a scribal copy of the Bible.
The first icon is a simple piece of linen cloth with the face of Christ imprinted on it. Throughout the East, this image was recognized and cherished. In the eighth century, the first icon was still being written about.
The modern Greek Orthodox church has adopted icons to represent particular teachings of the church. Aside from the traditional images of Christ and Virgin Mary, icons depict Iconoclast heresy, the church’s most famous heretical teaching.
Sunday service in Greek
Those who attend Orthodox church services will find that the worship experience is different from that of other Christians. For instance, Orthodox worship is not only conducted in Greek, but there are also different variations for each jurisdiction.
One of the most significant differences is in the amount of congregational response. While the exact number is dependent upon the jurisdiction, the service usually draws a crowd. Usually, women lead congregational singing. Females are also encouraged to participate in every aspect of church life.
A church service in the Orthodox Church is usually preceded by several short preparatory services. The first service is known as Matins and is a preparatory service for the Divine Liturgy.
The Matins service lasts an hour and is usually followed by the Divine Liturgy. The Liturgy is celebrated during a three-hour period and will usually involve a priest.
Among the most important architectural features of Orthodox churches is the iconostasis. It is a solid, closed structure made of icons, and it divides the sanctuary from the nave. It also has a symbolic meaning. It represents a boundary between Heaven and Earth. Typically, the iconostasis includes one or more tiers of icons. The number and shape of the icons vary.
The first tier of icons on the iconostasis is called the Holy Doors. They are positioned in the center of the structure and contain icons of four Evangelists. These are used during the Holy Eucharist. Depending on the penitential aspect of a particular moment, the curtain is opened or closed.
The second tier of icons is known as the Deesis. It is also known as the “petition” or “supplication” tier. It is made up of icons numbered from one to twelve.
During the coronavirus pandemic, the Greek Orthodox Church was divided over its response to the spread of the disease. It was criticized for not taking adequate precautions to protect its faithful from the deadly virus.
In its defense, the Greek Orthodox Church argued that it was safe to consume the body and blood of Christ. It pointed out that the practice of receiving the Body and Blood of Christ on a regular basis is a sign of faithfulness. Moreover, it is in keeping with the Church’s historical practices and teachings.
According to the Greek Orthodox Church, the sacrament of Holy Communion is the source of all Church doctrines. The Eucharist is also a sign of love. It symbolizes Christian fellowship and the relationship between Jesus Christ and his Church.
Classes and conferences on the Orthodox Faith
Whether you are already an Orthodox Christian or interested in learning about the Orthodox Faith, there are many classes and conferences on the Orthodox Faith that you can attend. You can also learn about Orthodoxy through video lessons. Many videos are available online.
Several priests offer individual conferences on the Orthodox Faith. These conferences are held on a regular basis. You can also learn about the Orthodox Faith through the Orthodox Institute. It is an organization that is dedicated to promoting Orthodox values and fostering interfaith communication. The Institute invites prominent scholars to lecture to the public.
The Orthodox Institute is part of the Graduate Theological Union. Its faculty often lecture at universities. They are also called upon to teach at churches. There are several seminars on the Orthodox Faith held each year.