Orthodoxy is based on the belief that God is the Lord of all and has revealed Himself to mankind. His fullest revelation came through the resurrection of His only-begotten Son, Jesus Christ. God continues to reveal Himself to mankind through His Church. The sources of the Church's faith in Christ are found in Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition.
Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition
Tradition is the source of our faith. The Old and New Testaments are the written record of God's revelation. The Old Testament relates the events leading to the birth of Christ, while the New Testament fulfills God's revelation through Gospels and the writings of the early church, known as the Epistles. The Scriptures are one part, indeed the most important part, of the Holy Tradition. Other
elements of Holy Tradition are worship and prayer, the creeds and acts of the early church councils, the writings of the Holy Fathers, the lives of the saints, and the artistic and musical tradition of the church.
The Nicene Creed, composed in the fourth century, is a summary of the Orthodox Christian faith. It clearly expresses the ancient Christian faith in the Holy Trinity.
The Holy Trinity
Orthodx Christians believe that there are three distinct persons in One God, God the Father is the Creator of all living things. He is infinite, perfect, all-powerful, all-loving, and all-knowing. Because of His great love for mankind, the Father sent God the Son, jesus Christ, into the world to redeem all creation, which had been separated from God through sin. Christ is the only-begotten Son of God, the Saviour of all and the fullest revelation of the Father.
He became man, while remained divine, in order to save mankind and lead us into God's eternal kingdom. God the Holy Spirit is the sanctifier, inspirer, ad comforter. he proceeds from the Father, and was sent into the world after Christ's ascension to dwell within us and sustain us.
Salvation for the Orthodox Christian is a life-long process of building a closer relationship with God. Salvation
Ends our separation from God, enabling us to begin a new life according to God's will;
is made possible for us by death and resurrection of Christ;
is ultimately attained through faith and living a life style modeled after Christ's.
The church is made up of God's People. Jesus Christ is head of the Church. The Church is
One because it one body with one head, Jesus Christ. It cannot be divided or separated;
Holy because the Holy Spirit dwells in it and its members, in as much as they respond to God's call to salvation;
Catholic because it is whole, complete, lacking in nothing and universal;
Apostolic because it continues in the Apostles teaching and experience. The Church fulfills the same mission as the apostles, namely to bring good news of Christ to all.
While private prayer reflects our personal love and devotion for God, the Church has always also celebrated public worship, the communal proclamation that God is the Lord who continually reveals Himself to His people.
The public worship of the Church revolves around
the Divine Liturgy, the main form of Orthodox worship, during which we not only praise God, but also enter into His kingdom through the reception of the greatest sacrament, Holy Communion;
The Liturgical Cycles involving the yearly feasts and fasts, the daily services, and
the Sacraments through which we allow God to enter our lives as we become members of His Church through Baptism and Chrismation, receive His forgiveness through repentance and Confession, share His love through marriage, dedicate our life and work to Him through Ordination, and receive His healing grace through Holy Unction (annointing with oil).
The Orthodox Church has existed continously for nearly 2000 years, and is the continuation of the saving work and teach of Our Lord Saviour, Jesus Christ, who still reveals Himself to His people through Church.