Our Lord, God, and Savior Jesus Christ is the head of the Orthodox Church. Orthodox Christianity is the ancient and historical Christian Church, which has preserved an unbroken tradition from the time of Christ with His Holy Apostles until today.
The Greek word Orthodoxia means “correct praise.” This term was used even in the first centuries of Christianity to distinguish the true and universal praise or teaching regarding Christ and the Holy Trinity from the false and heretical teachings that had already begun to appear and corrupt the one true Church. In Orthodox Christianity, praise and teaching are closely interconnected. One will learn the Church’s teachings through the rich prayers and beautiful hymnography of the divine services, which were written by the saints and other pious Orthodox Christians.
The inner life of an Orthodox Christian is characterized by a striving to return to the original state in which God created man, to be transfigured from being not only in the image of God but also in His likeness. This is accomplished through true repentance combined with God’s grace, which is received through the Holy Sacraments. For without God’s grace, nothing good can be achieved, and repentant souls must fervently seek His grace through a life of ceaseless prayer, inner vigilance, and sincere and selfless love for God and his neighbor.
The basic beliefs of all Orthodox Christians are found in the Symbol of Faith, also known as the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
|Πιστεύω εἰς ἕνα Θεόν, Πατέρα, Παντοκράτορα, ποιητὴν οὐρανοῦ καὶ γῆς, ὁρατῶν τε πάντων καὶ ἀοράτων.
Καὶ εἰς ἕνα Κύριον Ἰησοῦν Χριστόν, τὸν Υἱὸν τοῦ Θεοῦ τὸν μονογενῆ, τὸν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς γεννηθέντα πρὸ πάντων τῶν αἰώνων· φῶς ἐκ φωτός, Θεὸν ἀληθινὸν ἐκ Θεοῦ ἀληθινοῦ, γεννηθέντα οὐ ποιηθέντα, ὁμοούσιον τῷ Πατρί, δι' οὗ τὰ πάντα ἐγένετο.
Τὸν δι' ἡμᾶς τοὺς ἀνθρώπους καὶ διὰ τὴν ἡμετέραν σωτηρίαν κατελθόντα ἐκ τῶν οὐρανῶν καὶ σαρκωθέντα ἐκ Πνεύματος Ἁγίου καὶ Μαρίας τῆς Παρθένου καὶ ἐνανθρωπήσαντα.
Σταυρωθέντα τε ὑπὲρ ἡμῶν ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου, καὶ παθόντα καὶ ταφέντα.
Καὶ ἀναστάντα τῇ τρίτῃ ἡμέρα κατὰ τὰς Γραφάς.
Καὶ ἀνελθόντα εἰς τοὺς οὐρανοὺς καὶ καθεζόμενον ἐκ δεξιῶν τοῦ Πατρός.
Καὶ πάλιν ἐρχόμενον μετὰ δόξης κρῖναι ζῶντας καὶ νεκρούς, οὗ τῆς βασιλείας οὐκ ἔσται τέλος.
Καὶ εἰς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον, τὸ κύριον, τὸ ζωοποιόν, τὸ ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον, τὸ σὺν Πατρὶ καὶ Υἱῷ συμπροσκυνούμενον καὶ συνδοξαζόμενον, τὸ λαλῆσαν διὰ τῶν προφητῶν.
Εἰς μίαν, Ἁγίαν, Καθολικὴν καὶ Ἀποστολικὴν Ἐκκλησίαν.
Ὁμολογώ ἓν βάπτισμα εἰς ἄφεσιν ἁμαρτιῶν.
Προσδοκώ ἀνάστασιν νεκρῶν.
Καὶ ζωὴν τοῦ μέλλοντος αἰῶνος.
I believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;
And in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Only-begotten, begotten of the Father before all ages; Light of Light, true God of true God; begotten, not made; of one essence with the Father; by Whom all things were made;
Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from the Heavens, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man;
And was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, suffered and was buried;
And arose again on the third day according to the Scriptures;
And ascended into the Heavens, and sitteth at the right hand of the Father;
And shall come again, with glory, to judge both the living and the dead, Whose Kingdom shall have no end;
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life; Who proceedeth from the Father; Who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified; Who spoke by the Prophets;
In One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.
I confess one Baptism for the remission of sins.
I look for the resurrection of the dead,
And the life of the age to come. Amen.