Practicing Orthodoxy: The Right Belief and Worship

The word "Orthodoxy" derives from two Greek words: Orthos meaning 'Right' and Doxa meaning 'Belief or 'Worship'. Thus, Orthodoxy refers to the practice of the right belief and worship. The Genuine Orthodox Church of today is identical to the undivided ancient Christian church of the past.

Orthodox Christians worship God in the form of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—the Holy Trinity. The Trinity is three divine persons who share one essence. It exists outside of time, yet God acts within time, moving and speaking within history.

We believe that our Lord Jesus has two natures, God and man, joined together without mixture or division. He is fully God and fully man, perfect in His divinity and perfect in His humanity. Jesus Christ, the Logos (Word of God), was begotten by the Theotokos (God-bearer) and Virgin Mary without a father. He took on flesh and lived among human beings.

The Church is considered the Body of Christ, the communion of Jesus Christ with His people. The sole head of the Church is Christ. This Church is One (undivided), Holy (set apart for the work of God), Catholic (universal) and Apostolic (to be taught to all).

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Vital to the understanding of the Orthodox Church is the understanding of Holy Tradition. Holy Tradition is the rule of faith given by Jesus Christ to His Apostles, and passed on in the Church from one generation to the next, preserving its authenticity by remaining unchanged.

The center of Holy Tradition is Holy Scripture, the written witness to what God revealed. Scripture is interpreted within Holy Tradition by the saints of the Church.

Orthodox Christian worship follows specific ceremonial patterns proscribed by a Church Calendar. The reverence and awe present in the holy services are due to the belief that the people participating are entering into the very throne room of the Creator.

Orthodox worship is transformative, bringing the Christian more deeply into communion with God and by God's grace making them holy. The center of Orthodox Christian liturgical life is the Divine Liturgy. Other major services include Vespers and Matins.

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There are many sources of wisdom about Orthodox Christianity. Here are some links to web pages and articles hand-picked by Father John Knox. We welcome suggestions or submissions. Email: warden@stjconfessor.org.

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