Church History

Orthodox Church History

One Holy Catholic, Apostolic, Orthodox Church:

The Orthodox Church is a living body of believers which constitute One Church sharing a common faith, a common liturgical and sacramental tradition, and a common history, beginning at Jerusalem in approximately 33 A.D. In the Old Testament the prophets foretold the coming of Christ. In the Holy Gospel of the New Testament, we meet the incarnate God, our Lord and God and Saviour, Jesus Christ and the Church He established. There the establishment of the Sacraments, the worship, and patterns of administrative authority: apostles, bishops, presbyters, and deacons, are described. The apostles themselves, the twelve original disciples of Christ, undertook numerous missionary journeys traveling from city to city in the ancient Greco-Roman world and established Christian Communities. Many of these original parish communities survive to this day as part of the Holy Orthodox Church. With these early apostolic labors as well as subsequent persecutions, Christianity was spread throughout the Middle East, Asia Minor, North Africa, Europe and India very quickly. As a result, five administrative centers called patriarchates were established. These five were: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria and the two Imperial capitals of Rome and Constantinople.

In the first thousand years of the Christian Faith there existed a single common faith throughout the Christian world both east and west. To be Christian meant to be part of the Orthodox Church. The word Orthodox is defined as "right belief and right worship". There were regional doctrinal disputes and heresies, or falling away from the traditional Christian belief. Iconoclasts attacked the use of icons. Arians, Nestorians, Monophysites, as well as others, introduced erroneous ideas concerning the Holy Trinity and the divinity of Christ. These disputes were settled by seven general councils which were accepted throughout the Christian world and therefore are known as Ecumenical Councils. These world wide councils were: Nicea in A.D. 325, Constantinople in A.D. 381, Ephesus in A.D. 431, Chalcedon in A.D. 451, Constantinople in A.D. 553, Constantinople in A.D. 680-681, and Nicea in A.D. 787. these councils articulated the ancient Christian Faith of the One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church received from Christ Himself. This faith was handed to the Apostles and the early "Fathers" of the Church and has continued unchanged in the Holy Orthodox Church from that time to the present day.

The break in communion between the East and West, known as the Great Schism, came in the year 1054. In the West, Rome altered some of the ancient doctrines (“filioque”) as well as added new ones (papal infallibility, immaculate conception, etc.). In the 16th century Protestant Reformers made further changes and deletions. All the while, the remaining four ancient Patriarchates continued steadfast in the same fullness of faith handed down from Christ Himself through His Holy Apostles. Through extensive missionary efforts these four centers were later joined by the Russian and other Patriarchates - constituting the fifteen autocephalous churches today united as One Holy Catholic Apostolic Orthodox Church spread throughout the world. hodox Church.

Please come and join with us in prayer and worship. Partaking of the Holy Communion, however, is reserved to those who are Orthodox Christians. If you would like to learn more about our Faith, please inquire with any of the faithful of our parish who will be happy to introduce you to our parish priest.