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What is the Orthodox Church?

The Orthodox Church is the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.  It is the One Church of Christ, meaning that is in direct and continuous historical and spiritual continuity with very same Church which our Lord established on this earth through the Apostles (Apostolic). She maintains the same “Faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. (Jud 1:3 NKJ)

She is Holy because Christ is Holy and dwells in Her and She is intimately united to Him.  The Church is not primarily an organization but rather an organism- the living, breathing, Body of Christ.  She is also called the “Bride of Christ” to indicate this intimate union and oneness that the Church has with Jesus Christ (Ephesians 5:32). Our Lord lives in us and we live in Him through the Church in Her holy mysteries (sacraments). 

Finally the Church is “catholic" (not to be confused with the Roman Catholic Church, which separated from the Church in 1054 A.D.”).  The word "catholic" comes from the two words in Greek "kata" which means "acorrding to" and "holos" which means "whole." This word was used by the Fathers of the Church to denote the wholeness, completeness and unity of the Orthodox faith.  The Faith unites us throughout space and time with one another, giving us a wholeness and fullness of life in Christ.  Catholicity is our oneness as the body of Christ present in all places and all times and given to us by the Spirit.  St. Paul states this clearly by saying “For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1Co 12:13 NKJ)

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