Introduction to Orthodoxy
Holy Cross offers a 10 week introductory course on the Orthodox Church typically twice a year.
The one-hour class surveys the history, spirituality, doctrine, and worship of the Orthodox Church. Though intended primarily for inquirers and catechumens, all are invited to attend. Please contact Fr. Gregory with any questions.
The class syllabus is topical and on some occasions the topics may span more than one class date. On other occasions, several topics might be discussed in one class.
Resources & Tour
- websites (holycrossonline.org, antiochian.org, goarch.org , oca.org)
- DVDs and video tapes
- bookstore and library
- tour of the parish interior
Sources Of Authority
- How do we know truth / The Truth?
- Sources of authority and revelation in the Church
- Tradition, Bible, Councils…How does it all fit together?
- tour of parish
- tour of the Liturgy texts (our service books, etc)
Church History I
- Beginning of the Church
- from all eternity…
- the Old Testament People of God
- the New Covenant and the spread of the Church
- Apostolic Fathers; (see “The Orthodox Faith, vol iii: Bible and Church History”, by Fr. Thomas Hopko, DRE/OCA, pages 3-115 (sections: The Bible, The Old Testament, The New Testament, Salvation History); read on the web.
Church History II
- Church history: movements (monasticism, iconoclasm) and moments (events)
- The saints over 2000 years (see “The Orthodox Faith, vol iii: Bible and Church History”, by Fr. Thomas Hopko, DRE/OCA, pages 117-233 (section: Church History); read on the web.
- Who are the “Church Fathers”? Dead white males?
- Why do they have authority?
- How are they guides in the Church?
- Corporate prayer: Divine Liturgy, the Hours
- What is (personal) prayer?
- What is “the spiritual life”?
- What is “asceticism” and the call to “be ye transformed”? How is that accomplished?
- Sacraments and spiritual disciplines/practices.
- Chant: the Church’s own music
- the tones and the liturgical cycle.
- For more on Orthodox music, see:
- Iconography and Icons: “windows into heaven"
- good introductory books found in our bookstore:
- Praying with Icons by Jim Forest
- Sacred Doorways: A Beginner’s Guide to Icons by Linette Martin
- The Open Door: Entering the Sanctuary of Icons and Prayer by Frederica Mathewes-Green
Worship & Prayer
- Feasts and fasts
- The Church’s Liturgical year
- Sanctoral cycle
- Daily and personal prayer
- Prayer rule
The Church Today
- Church of Antioch
- Holy Cross
- Who we are today
- The Church’s ministry of outreach and diaconia (service)