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Holy Rites of the Eastern Orthodox Church


Let me tell you about the Holy Rites of the Orthodox Church. According to their significance the rites are divided into Divine Services and Mysteries. The Mysteries are established by the Lord Jesus Christ. Through the recitation of prayers the grace of God is invoked It invisibly manifests itself, cleanses, rejuvenates, supports, sanctifies and save us. The services, established by the church which seek divine help for specific mundane and spiritual needs In a broader sense sacraments can be considered as a kind of service too especially those that satisfy private spiritual needs such as the sacrament of marriage, Holy Unction and others. Worship is a sacred action. This creates the need for appropriate clothing. Since the early years of Christianity the Church has established special liturgical garments for the clergy. The holy robes symbolize the authority of the priests to invoke the grace of God manifested in the sacred actions Historically, the robes have become a sign of the hierarchical ministry No person can enter the altar space of a church unless he has been ordained for the Holy service. Typically, children and adolescents are assist the priests during the Divine services They vest in a Sticharion robes and wrap Orarions around their chests. The Orthodox Church has three liturgical cycles Daily, Weekly and Annual cycle According to the Lithurgical Stature, also called Tipikon in the Orthodox Church, there are nine daily prayer services. Each day of the week commemorates a saint or an important occasion. Sunday commemorates the Resurrection of Christ Monday—The Holy Angels Tuesday—St. John the Baptist Wednesday— Christ’s sufferings, the Holy Cross and Judas’ treason Thursday commemorates the Holy Apostles and St. Nicholas Friday—The Holy Cross Saturday—Mother Mary, all Saints and martyrs and the departed The Divine Liturgy is the focal point of Orthodox worship It is a memory of the Last Supper of Jesus Christ and the apostles which preceded His sufferings on the Cross. It is a reminder of His redeeming death. The liturgy symbolically depicts the more important moments from the life of Christ. It is our bloodless sacrifice. During the Divine Liturgy, when we receive Holy Communion as bread and wine, we accept the body and blood of Christ, Through this act we complete our union with God.

Otis Rodgers

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