Why Do Orthodox Churches Face East?

why do orthodox churches face east

Why do Orthodox churches face east? Orthodox churches face east because of the sun. As Christians, we are instructed to follow the sun, which is considered a sacred sign. It is also important to note that the Orthodox Church sees the Old Testament as preparation for the coming of Christ. It, therefore, reads it in light of Christ’s revelation of the truth and life. In addition, facing east enables us to enjoy the sun’s beauty and light.

Divine Liturgy

The Divine Liturgy in Orthodox churches is generally celebrated facing east. Although the liturgy is similar in both West and East, there are some differences. One of the most notable is the use of ad orientem during worship in the East. If you have attended Orthodox church services and are wondering whether the Divine Liturgy in your church faces east, read on for more information.


The burning of incense in Orthodox churches is a significant practice during worship. This fragrant product is usually oil or resin-based. It is burned in a censer, which is a two-part metal vessel suspended from chains, which may be raised to allow more smoke to escape. Incense is burned in accordance with Old Testament custom as a symbol of reverence for sacred objects. During the liturgy, the priest and deacons cens the Holy Gifts and the church’s structure.

Holy Trinity

Why do orthodox churches face east? In Orthodox worship, the celebrant stands in front of the altar with the people standing around him, all facing God to the east. The whole worship experience is centered around a very careful service. The practice is also a reflection of what Christians do in heaven. The Orthodox Church has never seen a reason to change its style of worship. In addition, it has maintained this tradition since its beginning.


The practice of facing east in Christian worship dates back to ancient times, and the first Christians and Jews in the diaspora prayed in this direction. Christians adopted the practice for strange reasons. St. Gregory of Nyssa, for instance, believed that the Orient was man’s original home. Another reason for facing east is that the resurrected Christ would be riding on clouds that would appear from the east. Matthew 24:27 tells us that Christ will come again on clouds.

Cooperation with other Christian denominations

When the orthodox churches face east, their orientation is eastward, which makes them appear to be more “orthodox.” However, Catholics may be upset by this theological debate, which may seem to go against the grain of their own denomination. The ecumenical world believes that unity can be achieved by all churches if they repent and take time to reflect on the issues. Catholics are also concerned about the implications of Orthodox theology on the doctrine of the Virgin Mary.


Historically, it has been a tradition in Eastern Christianity to face east for worship. This is not a showy practice, but rather traces back to the worship of the biblical age. Orthodox Christians worship God in this manner, as they would do in heaven. The Orthodox Church has never seen the need to change this style of worship. Rather, they have continued to use the same orientation for centuries.


In a number of traditions, Christians have prayed facing east. It is because sunrise is orientated east. It symbolizes the Resurrection and was associated with different Christian imagery. The tradition is carried on by Holy Orthodoxy. The significance of facing east when praying is a little more complicated. Let’s explore some of the reasons for this custom. We’ll begin by discussing the origins of the practice.

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