Located in San Jose, California, the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Resurrection is a very important place in the area. It has been a place of worship for the faithful since the mid-twentieth century. It is one of the largest Greek Orthodox churches in the United States, serving more than 17,000 people.
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Liturgy of the Faithful
Those who are Orthodox know that the Liturgy of the Faithful is part of the Divine Liturgy, which is also known as the Eucharist. The Liturgy is performed by the priest and the deacon, who perform proper Eucharistic rites. It is part of the Eucharistic Canon Anaphora.
There are two main parts to the Liturgy of the Faithful: the Prothesis service and the Holy Liturgy. During the Prothesis service, the priest prepares the Bread and Wine for the Holy Eucharist. The Priest also selects gifts for the Holy Eucharist.
The Prothesis service is held in the sanctuary. The Priest makes five loaves of bread (Prosphora), each with a Greek inscription. These loaves are used to prepare the Bread and Wine for the Liturgy.
Before the Liturgy, the priest prepares the Altar with the Holy Gifts. The Holy Gifts must be consumed before the Liturgy can be celebrated. The Altar must have an Antimension, or an opening in the center, so that the priest may be able to serve the Liturgy.
Throughout the Orthodox Church of the Holy Resurrection there is a special architectural feature called the Iconostasis. This is a wooden framework that encloses rows of icons and serves as a wall that separates the sanctuary and nave. The iconostasis is also a place where the Divine and human worlds come together.
There are three entrances to the iconostasis during services. The Holy Doors are located in the center of the first tier. The Deacon Doors are on either side of the center entrance. These doors are usually adorned with icons of archangels and deacons.
The first tier of the iconostasis features the Annunciation to the Most-Holy Theotokos. The Birthgiver of God, also known as the Divine Infant, is located on the right.
The Holy Cross is placed at the top of the Iconostasis. It is the symbol of salvation and martyrdom. It also symbolizes the union of Heaven and Earth.
The icons of the patron saints are always located on the left side of the iconostasis. Depending on the space of the church, the icons of other saints may be added.
Smoking metal vessel
Among the many beautiful things to be found in the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Resurrection is a smoking metal vessel. This gold plated vessel contains a mixture of 57 herbs and olive oil, which is used to perform the holy mystery of Chrism. The vessel is also hand made.
Another beautiful thing to be found in this Orthodox church is the incense burner. The vessel has gold leaf paintings of Christian icons. The Holy Resurrection Orthodox Church is located in Waynesville, North Carolina. It is a two year old church that counts 35 members.
The most important thing to be found in this Orthodox church building is the ambiance it creates. In the early days, Christians were encouraged to leave pagan rites and immoral parties in favor of sober and spiritual worship.
One of the best ways to praise the Lord is to appreciate the splendor of creation. In the Orthodox Church, creation is used in a variety of sacramental mysteries.
Twelve bells attached to a chain
During the early Church, musical instruments were not used in the formal liturgical worship of the Church. Instead, the Church adopted a spiritual approach to worship. Early Christians were instructed to avoid immoral parties and loud music. They also avoided pagan rites and incorporated prayer into their worship.
The Book of Hours (also known as the Horologion in Greek) is a liturgical book that contains the services of the Church. Generally speaking, these services are composed of Psalms. They are divided into twenty sections called Kathismata.
The first part of the Liturgy, called synaxis, is a time of gathering. The first portion of the Liturgy includes recitation of the Hours, the Nicene Creed and the Beatitudes. The second part, known as Anaphora, consists of the Thrice-Holy hymn. This hymn is a song of praise to God similar to the one envisioned by the Prophet Isaiah.
The bells ring during the Liturgy to announce certain parts of the service. The last bell is rung at the end of the Liturgy. This is the high point of the Divine Liturgy.