Orthodox Christianity is a tenaciously conservative, dynamic, tradition-based Church which preserves classical forms of Christian life and dogma to this day. It has absorbed, and in some cases even shaped, the cultural traditions of many nations, chiefly the Near East, Greece, Eastern Europe and Russia.
The Orthodox Church in the United States is a disunified church with three jurisdictions, although it has received autocephaly from Moscow. It is a “popular” church, closely identified with the national life and aspirations of its people.
What is Orthodoxy?
Orthodoxy is the Christian faith that follows the teaching of Jesus Christ and His Apostles. Its tenets are founded on Holy Tradition, the apostolic and patristic sources that were passed down from generation to generation in a living, breathing way.
Orthodox Holy Tradition, also known as Church Tradition, is the repository of commonly accepted wisdom and teaching that addresses questions that may not be answered directly by the Bible. This wisdom was developed through ecumenical councils and is passed on from one generation to the next.
The Orthodox church has been a unique witness to the Christian faith and its beliefs and practices since its inception over two thousand years ago. It is composed of a number of independent churches, including Antiochian, Greek and Russian, that form a single body with a common history and a unified communion.
The Orthodox Church in the United States has roots in missionary expansion from Russia and other Eastern Europe. Thousands of parishes in Russia, the United States, and several other countries have been founded as a result of this expansion.
The first Orthodox church in the US was founded in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1864. This church is a reminder of the early history of Orthodoxy in the United States.
Throughout the 19th century, the Church of Russia continued to send missionaries to the United States to reach out to American people with its message of salvation. These immigrants became Orthodox Christians and helped to spread the Church of Christ across North America.
The Russian Orthodox Church in the United States is part of the Russian Orthodox Church Abroad, also known as the Orthodox Church in America (OCA). Unlike most churches, the OCA is self-governing and elects its own primate or presiding hierarch without relying on ecclesiastical direction from abroad.
Liturgy is a central element of Orthodoxy. It is not merely a matter of following a formula for prayers, but rather, it is the art & science of expressing the teachings of Christ in a manner that is both meaningful and aesthetically pleasing.
The origins of this art and science will not be found in any single specific passage of Scripture, but rather, are rooted in the entire message of the Gospel. In this respect, the Church of the first four centuries stands as a model for all subsequent Christian faiths.
During this period, the Church achieved a certain self-identity, even self-awareness, which has since remained normative for Orthodoxy. This self-identification, in turn, influenced its institutional & doctrinal development. This was largely the work of Byzantine monks, whose influence is seen in both liturgical & iconographic traditions today.
The fellowship of the russian orthodox church new orleans is a diverse group of people who have come together to be a part of a vibrant community of Orthodox Christians. These people come from different nationalities and backgrounds, but all share a common goal to be closer to God and to witness the Good News of Jesus Christ.
They also have a love for the Holy Orthodox Faith and strive to maintain sacred traditions that are simultaneously scriptural, traditional, apostolic and Eucharistic. These traditions are what make Orthodoxy distinct from other Christian denominations.
If you are interested in finding the fellowship of Orthodoxy, you can visit any of the churches in your area. These churches may have OCF chapters or you can attend Regional Retreats and College Conferences to meet people who are interested in joining.