What is the Orthodox Church?

Well, first of all, I should tell you a little bit about the Eastern Orthodox Church.  Many religions practice some form of Lent, although it’s not always called that.  The Catholic Church practices Lent, but their practices are different from ours in some ways.

So, here’s a little background on my church.  I belong to St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church.  I think it’s interesting to note that the spell check thinks that “Antiochian” is incorrect. Hmmm, as an alternative, it offers “Antiochia.” Not bad.  Anyway, St. George is our patron saint.  He’s the one that slayed the dragon.  This is allegorical, by the way.  The basic deal is this, according to Wikipedia:

Saint George (ca. 275/281 – 23 April 303) was, according to tradition, a Roman soldier from Syria Palaestina and a priest in the Guard of Diocletian, who is venerated as a Christian martyr. In hagiography Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic (Western and Eastern Rites), AnglicanEastern Orthodox, and the Oriental Orthodox churches. He is immortalized in the tale of Saint George and the Dragon and is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers. His memorial is celebrated on 23 April, and he is regarded as one of the most prominent military saints.

Here’s the link if you want the full story:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_George

Other than that, if you want more details, let me know, and I’ll ask my priest, he knows all sorts of things and can answer almost any question!

I’m a teeny bit embarrassed to say that I thought St. George REALLY DID slay a dragon, until I was about 33 years old. Oh, here’s a picture (remember, it’s just a myth!):

Pretty cool, huh?!

So, that’s St. George.

We are Antiochian because our Patriarch, who’s kind of like the Pope, (but not considered infallible, just generally in charge), is the head of our Archdiocese and he is seated in Antioch, Syria.  We are therefore also referred to as a Syrian Orthodox Church.  There are other Patriarchies, like in Greece, Constantinople, Russia and so on, but our services and faith practices are the same.

Finally, we’re considered Eastern Orthodox because we are descended from the original Christian churches established a really, really, really, really long time ago in the Middle East and surrounding areas.

For more information about the church, you could check out our church’s website:

http://www.stgeorgeportland.org/index.html

There’s lots of cool information about the church and our religion there.

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About LeilaPiazza

I am a wife and mother. I am an Orthodox Christian. I am a Syrian American with family living in Syria. I am a also a yoga teacher and freelance writer. I recently described myself in a job pitch as "a person who's lived in Portland, Oregon for over 20 years with a passion for writing and a passion for all things Portland. I'm a foodie, knitter, wine and beer lover, bee-keeper (yep, I said it), mead and fruit-liqueur maker, organic gardener, home-canner, hiker, biker, runner, and occasional skinny-dipper. I’ve camped all over the state, I sail a sailboat that’s moored on the Columbia (o.k., I'm the first mate), and I spend a large percentage of my time at our beach house in Seaside." That about sums it up.
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