EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH
What is Divine Liturgy, Panagia, Pectoral Cross,
Priest, Holy Relics, Sign of the Cross and Theotokos?
What is Divine Liturgy?
Divine Liturgy – Liturgy means “The work of the people.” The principle worship service of the Orthodox Church, celebrating the Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Enthronement and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is the standard Resurrection service of the Orthodox Church around the world.
The Divine Liturgy is divided into 3 distinct parts:
-Liturgy of Preparation (proskomedia) – This is the first one-third of the liturgy, where the bread and wine offered by the people are prepared for the Eucharistic service by the celebrant, and his deacon. It represents in a small way the Old Testament, in that is a preparation of the world for the coming of Christ.
-Liturgy of the Word – Containing the Great Litany, Antiphons, and the Epistle and Gospel lesson, this ends with the Bishop proclaiming and expounding upon the teachings of Christ, prayers for the departed, and catechumens. It presents the era of the New Testament, and the hearing of the Gospel of our Lord.
-Liturgy of the Faithful – This is the Eucharistic liturgy, containing the Anaphora, the Words of Institution and Epiclesis, the Lord’s Prayer, Communion, Thanksgiving and the Dismissal. This offers us a foretaste of the Second Coming of Christ, and the eternal union of Christ with His people.
What does Panagia mean?
Panagia – The Icon of the Incarnation – Christ and the Virgin Mary -worn by a Bishop in place of a Pectoral Cross, representing his faith in the Incarnation of Christ, which he must proclaim and defend, hence the reason he wears its image. Panagia means “All-holy.”
What is the Pectoral Cross?
Pectoral Cross – Worn by Priests, it symbolizes the reality that the priest is the representative of Christ Crucified to the people and to the world, and as Christ’s ambassador, he is to bring them the Gospel of the Kingdom.
What is a Priest?
Priest – The Second of the Major Holy Orders, priests/presbyters are the representative of the Bishop in the Parish. He receives, through Ordination, the power consecrate the Holy Eucharist, to preach and explain the teachings of the Holy Gospel, Baptize, Chrismate, celebrate Weddings, to give Holy Unction to the sick, to hear confessions and grant absolution in the name of the Lord.
What are Holy Relics?
Holy Relics – Holy Relics are portions of the bone or vesture of a saint. Following the example of the early Church (Acts 19:11), and the power revealed through holy relics in the Old Testament (2 Kgs 13:21), the Church always places the relics of martyrs in the Altar, and often in the antimension, typifying Rev. 6:9.
What is the Sign of the Cross?
Sign of the Cross – made by the earliest Christians, and today by their inheritors Orthodox Christians (also by Roman Catholics, Anglicans, and even Protestant reformers such as Martin Luther), the sign of the Cross is the enduring symbol of faith in Christ our Savior, and the blessing of the Christian. It is made, consecrating the mind (touch the forehead), heart (breast), soul (right shoulder) and strength (left shoulder) to God, the Holy Trinity. It is an ancient and profound confession of faith in Christ, going back at least until the second century, as recorded by Tertullian and other Church fathers.
What does Theotokos mean?
Theotokos – Greek for “Birth-giver of God,” or “Bearer of God.” A title of theological and historical significance, the Orthodox Church refers to the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Theotokos, thus safeguarding the truth of the doctrine of the Incarnation. There are many holy Marys who were virgins, but there is only one Theotokos.
HOLY CROSS ORTHODOX CHURCH