If you’ve ever wondered about the Christian tradition of saints, you’re not alone. The Orthodox Church considers all Christians “saints” when they receive the Holy Spirit and are baptized in the name of the Holy Trinity. By receiving these gifts, a Christian is “sanctified.” Interestingly, the word “Saint” in early church terminology meant a Believer, but today the word means an “Honored One.”
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Orthodox church believes in saints
The Orthodox Church believes in saints, people who have made significant contributions to the faith. A saint is someone who lived a holy life and reflected the light of Christ in the world. They are regarded as living examples for others to emulate. Orthodox Christians also revere the Holy Scriptures, which they consider to be the word of God.
The Orthodox Church believes that God is the Creator and has created mankind in His image and likeness. All of humanity is called to worship God. Worship is much more than going to church and listening to sermons. The Orthodox Church believes that worship is a collective action of earthly and heavenly realities. When a person is consecrated a saint, his or her life and actions are recognized by the Orthodox hierarchy and community.
Orthodox church honors saints
The Orthodox Church honors saints as the ultimate role models and friends of God. Through the saintly life, Orthodox Christians seek to please God and sanctify their body and souls. Saints enter the heavenly realm after death, where they are rewarded with immortal life and the ability to pray. Saints are honored during liturgical services, which follow the same pattern as the Divine Liturgy for the faithful. The liturgy begins with the preliminaries dialog between the priest and deacon. After the preliminaries dialog, the faithful are dismissed to study.
The process of honoring saints begins in the community in which they lived. A bishop requests recognition of a particular saint and a committee is appointed to research the saint’s life and consider any miracles that may have occurred during the saint’s lifetime. Once the committee has approved the saint, it then sends a formal decision to the Holy Eparchial Synod, which then informs the other Orthodox churches.
Orthodox church prays for intercession of saints
In the Orthodox Church, the vast majority of prayers are directed to God. A small amount of prayer is directed toward the saints, asking them to intercede on our behalf. This is a practice that is both powerful and effective. Despite the importance of praying to the saints, the Orthodox Church has never discouraged the direct request of God.
By praying to the saints, Christians are demonstrating their citizenship in heaven and on earth. In doing so, they are demonstrating that they can speak and act with grace.
Orthodox church honors martyrs
The orthodox church honors martyrs and martyresses in different ways. Saints who died for their faith in Christ are called martyrs and are remembered in liturgical services. In the 4th century, St. Ephraim the Syrian became one of the most influential writers and hymnographers of the Christian faith. His inspiring work is remembered today in the Orthodox liturgy. His prayer is recited at all weekday services of Great Lent.
The Orthodox Church also honors the Great Martyr Marina, who was born in Asia Minor and died in the city of Antioch of Pisidia. She was locked in a prison when she was only fifteen. Later, she was martyred for her faith.
Orthodox church uses saints as examples of sincere faith
The orthodox church uses saints as examples of faith and sincerity. Saints are venerated and sanctified in various ways. People enter churches by bowing and crossing themselves as a symbol of following the Crucified Lord Jesus Christ. They also light candles and venerate icons of the Saints. After entering a church, they sit quietly and pray.
According to the Orthodox Church, the goal of each Christian is to imitate Christ and live a sanctified life. The Saints, who have achieved theosis, have lived a life free from sin and striving to live by God’s created nature. They also fought for the faith and applied scriptural virtues.