The Orthodox Church is the one Church founded by Jesus Christ and his apostles, begun at the day of Pentecost with the descent of the Holy Spirit in the year 33 A.D. It is also known (especially in the contemporary West) as the Eastern Orthodox Church or the Greek Orthodox Church. It may also be called the Orthodox Catholic Church, the Orthodox Christian Church, the one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church, the Body of Christ, the Bride of Christ, or simply the Church.
The bishops of the Orthodox Churches trace unbroken succession to the very apostles themselves, therefore ultimately receiving their consecrations from our Lord Jesus Christ. All the bishops of the Eastern Orthodox Churches, no matter their titles, are equal in their sacramental office. The various titles given to bishops are simply administrative or honorific in their essence. At an ecumenical council, each bishop may cast only one vote, whether he is the Ecumenical Patriarch or simply an auxiliary bishop without a diocese. Thus, there is no equivalent to the Roman Catholic papacy within the Eastern Orthodox Churches.
As with its Apostolic succession, the faith held by the Church is that which was handed by Christ to the apostles. Nothing is added to or subtracted from that deposit of faith which was “handed once for all to the saints” (Jude 3). Throughout history, various heresies have afflicted the Church, and at those times the Church makes dogmatic pronouncements (especially at ecumenical councils) delineating in new language what has always been believed by the Church, thus preventing the spread of heresy and calling to repentance those who rend asunder the Body of Christ. Its primary statement of faith is the Nicene-Constantinopolitan Creed.
For More on the “One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church”
For more of an introduction to the Orthodox Church, please see these three short videos:
Or check out the following website:
For a deeper look at Orthodox theology, please see this course of lectures: htbtp://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLjSOZQqHxpi8em2jWyzrKjNDOFMwtd5JI
The Nicene Creed
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 heaven, and was incarnate of the Holy Spirit and the Virgin Mary, and became man; and was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered and was buried; and the third day He rose again according to the Scriptures; and ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father. And He shall come again with glory to judge the living and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end.
And in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of life, Who proceeds 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 acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;
I look for the resurrection of the dead
and the life of the world to come. Amen.