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Welcome to
St. Lazarus Serbian Orthodox
Cathedral "Ravanica"

100

Orthodoxy

A look into the Orthodox Church.

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What is the Orthodox Church?

The Orthodox Church is the first Christian Church, the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and described in the pages of the New Testament. Its history can be traced in unbroken continuity all the way back to Christ and his Twelve Apostles. For more than two thousand years, the Orthodox Church has continued in undiminished and unaltered faith and practice l Apostolic doctrine, worship and structure remain intact. The Orthodox Church maintains that the Church is the living body of Jesus Christ. The worth orthodox means “right belief” in Greek.

For the first one thousand years of Christian history, there was only one Church. In 1053, the church of Rome, under the Pope, separated from the Orthodox church. The Papacy sought to establish itself over all Christendom, eventually succeeding in the West. However, the Orthodox Church rejects this premise, recognizing Jesus Christ himself as the only “universal head” of the Church. As a result of the schism, the Orthodox Church became known as the Eastern Orthodox Church.

Our Calendar and Celebrations

Within the Serbian Orthodox Church, feast days and fast days have always been determined by the Julian Calendar, attributed to Roman Emperor Julius Caesar, whose name it bears. In the 16th century, Pope Gregory XIII introduced a new calendar due to the discrepancy between calendar time and calculated astronomical time. The Gregorian Calendar, adopted by most Christendom, is 13 days ahead of the Julian Calendar. Therefore, in the Serbian Orthodox Church, Christmas is celebrated on January 7th. The date of Easter or Pascha is determined by a combination of several variables. Easter must fall on the Sunday which follows the first full moon after the vernal equinox (March 21). In addition Easter must be celebrated after the Jewish holiday of Passover.

Origins of the Serbian Orthodox Church 

The origins of the Serbian Orthodox Church (Srpska pravoslavna crkva) date back to 1219. The founder of the Serbian Orthodox Church, also the founder of Serbian national culture and literature, was the youngest son of the Great Serbian Zupan, Stefan Nemanja. In the 13th century, he became the first Archbishop and Enlightener of Serbia, and is venerated today as St. Sava, the Patron Saint of the Church and of the Serbian People.

The Serbian Orthodox Church is the second oldest Slavic Orthodox Church in the world and is an ecclesiastically independent member of the autocephalous or self-governing Orthodox jurisdictions in the world. In Faith, doctrine, Apostolic tradition, sacraments, liturgies, and services, they are exactly alike. Regardless of the language of each, they exist in fellowship and together constitute and call themselves the Orthodox Church. Being a national church, the Serbian Orthodox Church combines Orthodox teachings with Serbian traditions, customs, and culture. The Patriarchal See of the Serbian Orthodox Church is located in Belgrade, Serbia.

Orthodox Beliefs

Orthodox Christians worship God in Trinity and honor and venerate the saints and ask their intercession before God. Of the saints, the Mother of God (Bogorodica) holds a special place because of the supreme grace and call she received from God. We venerate sacred icons and relics, not in themselves, but as representations of God and the saints.

The Holy Scriptures are at the heart of church tradition and the orthodox faith. While the Bible is the written testimony of God’s revelation, holy tradition is the all-encompassing experience of the Church under the abiding guidance and direction of the Holy Spirit. Essentially, Orthodox Christians consider that their beliefs are very similar to those of other Christian traditions, but that the balance and integrity of the entire Apostolic faith once delivered to the Saints has been preserved unchanged.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, 
Hallowed be Thy name.
Thy Kingdom come.
Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread; 
and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those
who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from the evil one.

Moltiva Gospodnja

Otce nas, ize jesi na nebesjeeh,
da svjatitsja imja Tvoje:
da priidet cartsvije Tvoje:
da duvet volja Tvoja, jako na nebesi, i na zemlji.
Hleb nas nasuscnij dazd nam dnes,
I ostavi nam dolgi nasja, jakoze i miostavljajem
dolznikom nasim:
I ne vovedi nas vo iskusenije,
no izbavi nas ot lukavago.

The Beatitudes

In thy Kingdom remember us, O Lord, when Thou comest into thy Kingdom. 
Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. 
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness, for they shall be filled.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. 
Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven. 
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
now and ever and unto ages of ages. Amen.