Welcome to the Greek Orthodox Church 300 Million Members (2nd Largest Christian Denomination in World) About 2200

Orthodox parishes in the USA Founded 33 A.D. 4 Original Patriarchates: Jerusalem, Antioch, Alexandria & Constantinople (Later joined by Cyprus, Moscow, Serbia, Romania, Greece, Bulgaria, Georgia, Poland, Albania & Czechoslovakia) Traditional (Not legalistic) Allows married men ordained into priesthood. (Celibacy reserved for the Bishops & Monastics) Priests are called Father

Believes in the Holy Trinity (Father, Son and Holy Spirit): Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father (alone), unaltered Nicaean Creed since 325 AD. Has Seven Sacraments (Baptism, Chrismation, Communion, Confession, Marriage, Unction, and Ordination). Holy Communion: mystical change of elements into the Body & Blood (rejects Transubstantiation) uses leavened bread & wine mingled with hot water, Communion is administered into the mouth wI Spoon from a Chalice. Rejects existence of Purgatory, Treasury of Merits, Sola Scriptura, the "Rapture", Salvation by faith alone. Has Conciliar Bishops, Synods must make all decisions as a group, No infallible bishops, rejects Papal Infallibility Only Christ was sinless, but great honor for the Theotokos (Virgin Mary) as the highest of the Saints, intercession of the Saints. Allows Church Divorce and up to 3 marriages, allows non-permanent birth control wI guidance ofa Spiritual Father Confessor, wedding ring on right. Honors Holy Icons of Christ and the Saints (Mandylion started by Jesus, St. Luke the Evangelist 151 Iconographer) Clergy faces the Altar during Worship (called the Divine Liturgy) Divine Liturgy is the same in all Churches everywhere in world (only local language may vary) Orthodox Easter date set using Old Calendar and always after the Jewish date for Passover (therefore is usually a different Sunday than the Western Christians). Does not recognize Roman Catholic Saints after 1054 AD Clergy usually has beards, only Males can be ordained. Faithful make the Sign of the Cross with three fmgers from right to left Baptism, Chrismation and First Communion take place all at once (usually infants, but any age can be baptized into the Church) Fasting is expected on most Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the year, in addition 48 days of Lent & Holy Week, 40 days before Christmas, 15 days of August, Fast of the Apostles in June, August 29, September 14 and January 5. In addition we have certain Feast days that are fast free. For more information check out www.goarch.org