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The Greek Or Eastern Orthodox Church And The Roman Catholic Church

2431 words - 10 pages

The Greek or Eastern Orthodox Church and the Roman Catholic Church

The Greek or Eastern Orthodox Church holds a great belief in the
“word-picture” of the church having believers in heaven as well as on
earth, spanning time as well as space. The worship is incredibly
spiritual and mysterious and a huge amount of incense and candles
contribute to this by setting a frightfully heavenly aurora. Much
belief relies on traditional methods of the church and what ideas have
been passed down through generations and are drawn also from the Holy
Scriptures. Both of these can be seen through the way the actual
church as building is designed and decorated.

The ceiling is a great dome, which is there to represent heaven.
Usually pictures of Jesus and his mother are found upon it. The floor
symbolises earth and the nave is in the shape of a square which, is to
show Gods orderly world and each of its corners that are in
remembrance of the four evangelists. The real thing that strikes you
when you first enter a Greek Orthodox Church is the huge wooden or
stone screen, separating the nave and sanctuary usually about five
panels high. It is the iconostasis and is covered in beautiful,
colourful icons and in the centre of it are the royal doors. These are
only passed through by the elected priest (chosen as Gods
representative) and ordained clergy who prepare the Divine Liturgy
upon the high altar to be taken out for the communion ceremony. The
royal doors usually carry icons of the evangelists and Annunciation.
There are side doors to the iconostasis which are used by the deacons
and servers and they sometimes show the archangels Michael and Gabriel
upon them. On one side of the royal doors is usually a big icon of
Christ and on the opposite side lies an icon of the Mother of God,
Mary. The other panels show icons of saints form the Old and New
Testament. The icon acts as a window onto eternity and is intended as
a medium of prayer for it isn’t worshipped but venerated. This means
that it is treated with reverence because it points to the holy person
or event depicted. These are in turn images of God’s power and many
Orthodox homes have as icon corner, where lamps or candles are lit and
where the family goes for prayer. Other worshippers when in church
devote themselves to that saint or event alone for the duration of the
service. The separation of the interior of the church is alike the
divide between heaven and earth in the way that once you are past the
royal doors you are within Gods presence.

Readings and sermons are preached from the pulpit for the voice is
projected across the congregation, which is usually standing due to
the idea of no seats or pews in the Orthodox Church. The high altar is
Gods throne and the climax of orthodox worship is the Eucharist where
the high altar is used...

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