The [Orthodox] Divine services are a blessed fount from which the heavenly Grace abundantly pours forth its gifts upon all those who serve the Lord in fullness of heart – gifts of mercy, peace, consolation, purification, sanctification, enlightenment, healing, renewal, and – what is most precious – the gift of worship, in Divine Liturgy and Holy Communion.
The first Christians believed that Jesus Christ knows the suffering of humankind, and chose to become one of us, to live and die with and for us, to save us. So do we.
The first Christians believed that when two or three gather together in His Name, Jesus Christ is present in the midst of them. So do we.
The first Christians believed that when they offered bread and wine for blessing by God, they shared together the true Body and true Blood of Jesus Christ. So do we.
... because we are the first Christians!
The Orthodox Church is the Body of Christ, the ancient Church established by Jesus Christ once, now, and for all ages, unchanged in Faith since the times of the Apostles. No one has ever needed to try to "reform" the Orthodox Church, because it never strayed from the true path of Christ. Nor do the Orthodox need to try to "rediscover" the Apostolic Church, because the Orthodox Church is today what it always has been for more than 2,000 continuous years: the Apostolic Church.
Every Sunday we gather together to stand in the presence of the living God, lifting our hearts to join with the heavenly angels and all the saints, singing in psalms and hymns, in prayer and worship before God. We invite you to join us!
Many wonderful articles on our Orthodox Christian Faith and practice that were originally published in our parish Newsletter now are available on our "Newsletters and Articles" page.
Please also see the wonderful section on Orthodoxy on the main site of the Orthodox Church in America.
Orthodox Christians recently celebrated the world-changing Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, which we call "Pascha," a word that means the Passover. It is the new Passover of the new and everlasting covenant foretold by the prophets of old. It is the eternal Passover from death to life and from earth to heaven. It is the Day of the Lord proclaimed by God's holy prophets, "the day which the Lord has made" for his judgment over all creation, the day of His final and everlasting victory. It is the Day of the Kingdom of God, the day "which has no night" for "its light is the Lamb" (Rev 21:22-25).
The celebration of Pascha in the Orthodox Church, therefore, is not merely an historical reenactment of the event of Christ's Resurrection as narrated in the gospels. It is not a dramatic representation of the first Easter morning." There is no "sunrise service" since the Easter Matins and the Divine Liturgy are celebrated together in the first dark hours of the first day of the week in order to give men the experience of the "new creation" of the world, and to allow them to enter mystically into the New Jerusalem which shines eternally with the glorious light of Christ, overcoming the perpetual night of evil and destroying the darkness of this mortal and sinful world:
This is one of the main Easter hymns in the Orthodox Church. It is inspired by Isaiah's prophecy and the final chapters of the Book of Revelation, for it is exactly the New Creation, the New Jerusalem, the Heavenly City, the Kingdom of God, the Day of the Lord, the Marriage Feast of the Lamb with his Bride which is celebrated and realized and experienced in the Holy Spirit on the Holy Night of Easter in the Orthodox Church.
Shine! Shine! O New Jerusalem! The glory of the Lord has shone upon you! Exult and be glad O Zion! Be radiant 0 Pure Theotokos, in the Resurrection of your son!
[Adapted from the OCA's page on Holy Pascha.]