What Is Orthodoxy?


Our faith and worship is the same as the first apostles.  This is because the Orthodox Church has kept without change the teachings of the Apostles.  Paul wrote, “So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you whether by word of mouth or by letter.”  (II Thessalonians 2:15)


We confess Jesus Christ as our God and Savior.  Every Sunday we hear his words in the Gospel readings.  We celebrate his saving death and resurrection every Sunday in the Eucharist. 


We believe in one God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.  Our belief in the Trinity can be seen in the Divine Liturgy (worship) we use every Sunday and in the Nicene Creed that we confess every Sunday.  


In a day when worship has become increasingly entertaining and even bizarre, Orthodox worship stands as an oasis of sanity and stability.  Orthodox worship is a continuation of the Old Testament temple worship.  Our worship is liturgical and we have a priests just like the Old Testament priests.  One finds in Orthodox worship a sense of sober mysticism that leads to a deeper union with God. 


The early Church had to combat many false teachings and heresies about Christ and the Trinity.  Its findings can be found in the Nicene Creed and the Seven Ecumenical Councils.  Unlike Roman Catholicism which has added to the teachings of the Apostles or Protestantism which has subtracted from the teachings of the Apostles, the Orthodox Church has kept the Apostolic Faith intact for two millennia.


Orthodoxy has a rich heritage of prayer and spiritual formation.  Orthodoxy understands prayer as more than just talking to God.  Emphasis is placed on the worship of the Trinity and mystical union with God.  This deep spirituality is due to Orthodoxy’s respect for the monastic life. 


Orthodox worship engages our whole being: smell (incense), sight (icons), hearing (chant), intellect, emotion, bodily strength (standing, bowing).  Orthodox affirm the sacredness of both material and spiritual reality.  This conviction stems from God creating the cosmos and declaring it to be “very good,” and the Son of God taking on human flesh for our salvation.  We are called to love God with all our being.