The Best of Orthodox Christianity
To understand what Orthodox Christians believe, it’s necessary to learn a little bit about the church’s history. The Church’s beliefs were codified in the Nicene Creed, a document formulated at the Councils of Nicaea and Constantinople in 325 and 381. Today, it is considered an authoritative statement of Orthodox belief and often referred to as the “Symbol of Faith” because of its reference to a reality larger than itself. It also forms the basis for Christian education.
In the Orthodox Church, the Spiritual Life of a Christian has a specific purpose and goal. According to the Orthodox Faith, man is created in the image and likeness of God and is meant to attain this union through the use of grace. Mankind’s ultimate aim is to become perfect morally and spiritually. By embracing this goal, we will be able to share in the mystical union with God.
In Orthodox Christianity, personal prayer plays a vital role in spiritual life. It is important to repeat the Jesus Prayer many times, as it helps a person focus on God. Orthodox spirituality also emphasizes the role of the Holy Spirit in the Eucharist.
Orthodox worship has several distinct characteristics. First, it differs greatly from the worship of Ancient Israel, whose people were forbidden to worship idols. This prohibition came directly from God Himself, who wanted His people to avoid worshipping false gods. Second, Orthodox worship is based on the teachings of the Ecumenical Councils, which speak for God.
Worship in the Orthodox Church involves rendering praise and glory to God, which is the highest calling of humanity. Moreover, it involves more than singing hymns or listening to sermons. Even though these can be valuable parts of Orthodox worship, they can never replace the purpose of worship. Orthodox worship is primarily characterized by corporate praise and thanksgiving to God, which culminate in an intimate communion with the Lord at His Holy Table.
One of the defining characteristics of the Orthodox Church is the sanctity of Tradition. The gift of the Holy Spirit enables the Church to preserve the Apostolic truth. Tradition expresses the common mind of the Orthodox Church against heresies and schisms. Traditions can be understood both in their ecumenical and local contexts.
In most Orthodox churches, the worship service includes congregational singing. Women are usually given the honor of leading the congregation in singing. They also teach classes, paint icons, and serve on parish councils.
Conciliar Press is a print publishing company that was founded in 1977. The company publishes a large number of books, especially those focused on evangelization. They also offer audiobooks and podcasts. They also have a small independent bookstore, Eighth Day Books, which specializes in Orthodox spirituality. They also sell iconographic greeting cards and books. Proceeds from these sales go to various charity organizations, such as King’s Jubilee.
Conciliar Press also publishes a quarterly journal, which contains books about the Church. Its mission is to promote Orthodox theology and foster fellowship among Orthodox Christians. Their publications include a comprehensive alphabetical index of saints and explanations of feasts.
Eighth Day Books
If you are a fan of Orthodox Christianity, you can find great books at the bookstores of the Orthodox Church. Eighth Day Books is one such shop. There are nearly 25,000 titles and 46,000 new books. In addition, there is a basement “Hobbit Hole” with children’s literature. The bookstore’s mission is to promote Orthodox Christian culture.
The bookstore serves as a kind of secret handshake among Christian book lovers, whose loyalties extend beyond the heartland city. This shop is home to popular Christian authors, some of whom are erstwhile customers. One of its trademarks is a photo of the theologian and Eastern Orthodox bishop Kallistos Ware.
The order of seniority in the Orthodox Church has been maintained in spite of external changes in history. The Church is like a family that continues to grow and give birth to new generations, yet does not reject its fathers or forget its daughters. The order of seniority is a reflection of the ecumenical structure of the Church. This pattern reflects the spiritual and historical development of the Church.
The Orthodox Church recognizes five patriarchs. The Eastern Orthodox Church has five patriarchs. The Patriarch of Constantinople holds the second-highest rank. The other four are the patriarchs of Jerusalem and Antioch.