Orthodox Church List
The Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian denomination in Eastern Europe. It has over two hundred million members who are baptized and operates as a communion of autocephalous churches. Local synods are governed by Bishops. Read on to learn more about the Eastern Orthodox Church.
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Autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox churches have self-government
Autocephalous and autonomous Orthodox churches are the churches within an Orthodox ecclesiastical jurisdiction that are independent from the mother church. Examples of autocephalous Orthodox churches are the Belarusian Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church. Each of these has a governing body, called the Synod, that reports to the Synod of the Mother Church, which must approve any substantive decisions made by the Synod.
Orthodox churches in the Orthodox world have a diverse history. Many have made significant contributions to the social and spiritual life of the world. For example, the Russian Orthodox Church has laid out its social doctrine, while the Greek Orthodox Church has worked on bioethics. In Albania, the Orthodox Autocephalous Church has revitalized its mission after decades of persecution. Approximately 300 million people worldwide follow an Orthodox church. Georgia and Bulgaria withdrew from the World Council of Churches (WCC) in 1998. Estonia, which is an Orthodox church, is not a member of the WCC.
The Eastern Orthodox Church is composed of several autocephalous churches, each of which is autonomous in doctrine. There are several Patriarchates: the Moscow Patriarchate, the Eastern Orthodox Church in America, and the Orthodox Church of the Ukraine. The latter church is not recognized as an autonomous Orthodox church by all branches of the church.
They recognize each other as canonical
The Orthodox Church is a communion of fifteen autocephalous hierarchical churches. They recognize each other as canonical Orthodox Christians, but there is political disagreement between them. The United States Orthodox Church is one of these fifteen. The other thirteen are the Greek Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church.
The canonicity of the texts of the Orthodox Church is determined through a process of examination. The process of canonization does not consist of simply accumulating texts and comparing them to each other, as many modern denominations do. Rather, canonicity involves determining the ecclesiological meaning of a given text and how it relates to a specific situation.
The Orthodox Church recognizes twenty-seven New Testament books as canonical. However, the process of canonization has been messy and unorganized. It took centuries to resolve this question.
They follow the Rite of Constantinople
In the Orthodox Church, the Rite of Constantinople is the basis of the liturgy. A Liturgy is a holy gathering in which the Holy Spirit is praised. Orthodox worship is centered on the Eucharist and the Divine Offices. These are sung on specific days of the week.
The Rite of Constantinople was developed at the time of St. Basil, Metropolitan of Caesarea in Cappadocia. He was responsible for reforming the liturgy. Later Christians added to his reforms. The Byzantine service named after him is a good example of his work. In his writings, St. Basil mentions several changes he made to the services in Caesarea, including a new way to sing the Psalms.
In the Rite of Constantinople, the loaves of bread are usually divided into sections. The celebrant will cut off portions marked IC. XC. NI. KA. and say, “The Lamb of God is sacrificed.” In addition, the deacon will pour wine and warm water into the chalice, indicating that the Holy Spirit is present in the Eucharist. Then, the celebrant will distribute the blessed bread to the congregation. Non-Orthodox are usually invited to share in this.
They follow the territorial principle
While the territorial principle is often used in secular law, the Orthodox churches have a different set of rules. According to Orthodox canonical teaching, a patriarch is supposed to be content with his or her own privileges and should not try to seize the privileges of another eparchy. This principle is considered the most fundamental obstacle to unity and cooperation in the Orthodox Church.
In the Orthodox Church, local churches are geographically defined. They follow administrative divisions that originated in the Roman Empire, and are defined by administrative criteria to best serve God’s people and bring them to salvation in Christ. A patriarchal jurisdiction encompasses the territory within which the church worships.
While the Church is universal, it does not mean that national sentiments are sinful. For example, aggressive nationalism can lead to interethnic enmity and xenophobia. These attitudes can also lead to wars and other forms of violence. Moreover, the Orthodox Church does not want to use the territorial principle to discriminate against any nation.