The Church is more than a building, it is people; believing people, baptized people, surrendered people, people in whom Christ dwells, people who listen to and obey the voice of God.
The Orthodox Church began with Christ and His Apostles at the very beginning of the Christian era. The origin of the Orthodox Faith in Jesus Christ and His Apostles, and its expansion through the centuries should be studied and understood as the unchangeable belief which has been preserved by the Orthodox Church. The word Orthodox comes from the combination of two words. “Orthos” is the first word; it is an adjective, meaning correct. The second word is “doxa” which is a noun, meaning belief, but also glory, praise or worship. The Orthodox Church is the one, holy, catholic and Apostolic Church in which resides the fullness of Christian truth.
In the Orthodox Faith there are seven sacraments, which by the divine Grace of God are granted directly to the members of the Church. These sacred ceremonies have been instituted either by Christ or by His Apostles. The number seven was determined in the 13th century
Birth, marriage, and death form the basis for three essential sacramental services of the Greek Orthodox Church, the celebration and observation of these important events are also characterized by special Greek customs and social traditions.
The Orthodox Church in every service and especially at every Divine Liturgy calls upon the people to pray to God for the union of all Christians.
THE SEVEN SACRAMENTS OF THE GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH
- Baptism – the Christian rite of initiation in the Church (Baptism Responsibilities) (Baptism Form) (Membership Verification – Baptism)
- Chrismation – bestows upon us the Holy Spirit
- Holy Communion – receiving the resurrected body and blood of Jesus Christ
- Confession – although all Orthodox Christians are to confess their sins daily to God privately, all are encouraged to participate in the sacrament of Confession with a priest
- Marriage – a sacrament of the Church for it is Christ himself through the priest or bishop that joins the couple together (Marriage Responsibilities) (Marriage Forms) (Membership Verification – Marriage)
- Ordination to the sacred priesthood
- Holy Oil (Unction) – the faithful are anointed for the healing of soul and body, and for the forgiveness of sins
Below are several links to documents about various aspects of the Greek Orthodox faith: