When it comes to praying to the saints, the question has always been, “Does the orthodox church pray to saints?” While the orthodox Church acknowledges and honors the living and resurrected saints, they reject the popular devotion. It’s not clear how the Patriarchate makes this determination, but they do consider the thousands of official and signed letters, and the popular feelings about the saints.
Table of Contents
Orthodox church honors living and resurrected saints
The Orthodox Church is a worldwide Christian community that holds to the teachings of the first ten centuries of Christianity. It follows Holy Scripture and the traditions of all Christians. Orthodox Christians believe in the preservation of the Church through the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
The Orthodox Church celebrates the lives of both the living and resurrected saints during the Easter season. During this time, Orthodox Christians join with the heavenly host in worship. This special celebration begins with the divine victory over death. In addition, the church honors departed saints.
Saints in the Orthodox Church are men and women who reflected Christ’s light in the world. In addition to living saints, the Orthodox church also holds sacred the Holy Scriptures.
It asks them to pray to the Lord
Many Protestants do not accept the practice of asking saints to pray to the Lord. They see this practice as a corrupted form of Christianity. However, the Bible is clear that praying to the saints is a sanctified activity. In Revelation, four living creatures and twenty-four elders are seen falling before the Lamb, with each one carrying a golden bowl full of incense, which is believed to be the prayers of the saints.
Orthodox Christians are taught that praying to the Lord through the saints has tremendous power. This practice has been around for centuries, and was received by the early Church from Christ through the Apostles. This method of worship is rooted in the life of the Church, and does not incorporate the cultures of other religions.
The orthodox church asks saints to intercede on behalf of believers. The practice also reflects the unity of the Church and the continuity of the communion of saints.
It recognizes popular devotion
The Orthodox Church recognizes popular devotion to saints as a form of Christian worship. Saints are viewed as people who exhibited holiness and died for the faith. Some were martyred for the faith, others fought heresy and suffered persecution.
Popular devotion to a saint can begin as a local rite. People gather at a church to celebrate a particular saint, often through panegyris. The orthodox church recognizes such popular devotion to saints by canonizing them. Canonization usually occurs on a national or regional level, but other Orthodox Churches may also recognize such a saint.
In the Church, these saints are considered examples of how Christians should live their lives. These people receive special honor and reverence from Christians.
It rejects all saintly intercession
The vast majority of Orthodox prayer is directed to God. Likewise, very little Orthodox prayer is addressed to the saints for intercession. Instead, we are directed to the Lord, as the only source of salvation. But this doesn’t mean we should disregard saintly intercession.
Some believers claim that saints can directly answer prayers. Others argue that saints grant requests. But in the Orthodox Church, both propositions are rejected. Here are the reasons. First, there are problems with the concept of saintly intercession. While saints may have great merit and intercede for believers, they can’t directly answer prayers.
In addition to the issue of intercession by saints, the Protestants reject the concept of intercession. This doctrine is based on the belief that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man.