How Does the Orthodox Church Worship Mary?
In the Orthodox Church, Mary is honored as the Mother of God and Theotokos. As a human, Mary was called to be the mother of Christ, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and answered God’s plan of salvation. As a result, she is often called the “immaculate.”
St. Mary is called the Mother of God
The term “Mother of God” has a very long history. The Greek word for mother of God, Theotokos, has long been used to refer to Mary. In the early church, this name had a great deal of historical significance. However, the Nestorians, who emphasized the separation of the divine and human natures in Christ, argued that the correct term was Christotokos. However, this idea was rejected by the Council of Ephesus.
Some Protestants have questioned the status of Mary as “ever-virgin.” The title “ever-virgin” has its roots in the early Church. The early church fathers defended the title and even condemned heretics who questioned Mary’s virginity.
She is called the Theotokos
The name Theotokos in the Orthodox Church evokes the idea of Mary as the mother of God in a very specific, if not unique, way. She is a perfect woman, without blemish, a complete person who is totally dedicated to the care of her Son, from conception to birth, and through His entire earthly life. The word “Theotokos” is often used in hymns to describe Mary.
The word “Theotokos” is a compound of two Greek words. It literally translates “God-bearer” or “God-giver.” Many English-speaking Orthodox find the literal translation uncomfortable, and often leave the word untranslated in liturgical uses. As a result, the word is often paraphrased as “Mother of God” in hymns and icons. However, this term does not reflect the exact distinction that the hymnographer intended to make between Mary and God.
She is honored in poetry and prose
Mary, the Mother of God, is honored in both poetry and prose in the Orthodox Church. She is the patroness of the Orthodox church and is invoked during Divine Services, the Liturgy and sung hymns. In Orthodox liturgy, she is called the “God-bearer” or “Mother of God.” The final petition of every ektenia ends with an invocation to Mary. In addition, the troparia often conclude with a hymn to the Virgin Mary. Marian litanies may cover a variety of themes.
The Orthodox Church gives great importance to Mary. Hymns frequently mention Mary, and many of the faithful request her intercession in the prayer of their communities. This devotion is a vital expression of central Orthodox teaching and not simply a fad.
She is referred to as the “immaculate”
Orthodox theology views Mary as a human, albeit one who is enriched by God’s grace. She bore Jesus, nourished him with her breasts, and raised him. The Orthodox church refers to Mary as the “Theotokos,” which means “God-bearer.” In the Orthodox Church, Mary is regarded as an “immaculate” mother because she was able to carry her Son in her womb and raise him from the dead.
In the Orthodox Church, Mary was not exempt from the corruption of original sin, but was sanctified by God through Christ. She feared God and obeyed his commandments with a motherly trust. Hence, her holiness was not marred by the corruption of original sin.
She is a source of blessing
Orthodox Christians frequently mention Mary in prayers and hymns and ask for her intercession. This devotion to the Blessed Virgin is not merely popular piety but is rooted in central Orthodox teachings. Here are a few reasons why the Blessed Virgin Mary is such a source of blessing for Orthodox Christians.
Among these reasons is her role in the salvation of humanity. As the Mother of Christ, Mary redeemed mankind by bearing the Son of God. In fact, her obedience freed humanity from the consequences of the fall brought about by the sin of Eve. The Orthodox Church celebrates Mary’s birth with special reverence during the Feast of the Nativity. Orthodox Christians sing about Mary as the “Mother of Life” on the Feast of the Nativity of Mary. She is the renewal and recall of Adam and Eve, and the fountain of life and liberation from sin and corruption.
She is a symbol of Eastern Orthodoxy
Mary is a common symbol of Eastern Orthodoxy. In the Orthodox tradition, Mary is both a human and a goddess. She was a young Hebrew woman who responded to the divine call of God to come to earth. She was filled with the Holy Spirit and acted as God’s instrument for salvation.
In the early church, Mary was called Theotokos. The term “Theotokos” meant “birth-giver of God” referring to the fact that she bore both the human and divine nature of the Son of God. Today, Mary is also revered as the Mother of God.