The Eastern Orthodox are not dissimilar to Evangelical Christians. They believe in the Resurrection of the dead and venerate the Theotokos. They also practice re-using graves after three to five years. If you are interested in learning more about Eastern Orthodoxy, I recommend reading the Gospel of John and Paul’s letters.
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Eastern Orthodox believe in the Resurrection
Eastern Orthodox believers believe that Christ’s resurrection will give us eternal life. As a result, they believe that Jesus is God, the Messiah, and the light of the world. As one substance with the Father, Jesus will return in glory and bring us to a right relationship with him. The goal of Orthodox Christians is to become like Christ and to become like Him. This will require a lifelong quest for holiness.
The Resurrection is a central theme in Orthodox liturgy. It is represented in every Orthodox holy day and every Sunday. Orthodox believers often refrain from kneeling during liturgical celebrations, and there are frequent references to the ultimate victory of Christ over death.
They venerate the Theotokos
Many objections to the veneration of the Theotokos are based on the lack of scriptural evidence. However, the Church relies on traditions, liturgical books, and writings of the Fathers to justify its veneration of the Virgin Mary. Several passages in the New Testament support the veneration of the Theotokos. And these passages are quoted in liturgical texts and other Church documents.
St. Proclus, a disciple of St. John Chrysostom and Archbishop of Constantinople, also affirmed that the Holy Virgin was the Theotokos, the Mother of God. Moreover, the Theotokos was God-born in the flesh of a Virgin. It was the Word of God made flesh.
They practice re-use of graves after three to five years
Traditionally, the Orthodox practice of re-use of graves is limited to three to five years after burial. During this period, people visit the grave on days when prayer is appropriate, such as Yartzeits, the days leading into Yom Kippur or Rosh Hashana. The fifteenth day of each month is another common time to visit. However, some Orthodox communities choose not to visit a new grave for the first twelve months of burial.
They believe in the Resurrection
The Resurrection is an important part of Orthodox Christianity. It unites humankind with divinity. As a result, Orthodox Christians believe that everything is transformed. St Basil explains that we should strive to become “little gods in God.” By striving to acquire Godly virtues, we are participating in God’s divinity.
In the Orthodox Church, the Resurrection of Christ is the center of the liturgical year. According to the Orthodox Christian tradition, the Resurrection of Christ is an actual historical event. Christ was crucified, descended into Hades, rescued the souls in Hades, and arose from the dead. After rising from the dead, Jesus was transformed from being God into man.
They believe in the sacraments
The Orthodox Church places great importance on the sacraments. These ceremonies embody or inscribe visible and invisible signs of the Divine Grace, and help regenerate the soul through Christ. The word sacrament comes from the Greek word mysterion, meaning “to close the eyes for protection.” There are seven sacraments, and each of them is essential for salvation.
Personal prayer is essential for Orthodox Christians, and the Jesus Prayer is a very important form of prayer. By praying it many times, one can focus his or her mind on God. In addition, living the strict life of a nun or monk is considered an important expression of faith.