Is the community of believers in Christ, united together with faith and holy sacraments, under the auspices of the legal clergy, sequent in succession from the Apostles with the “Laying on of Hands” (Cheirotonia), and the presidency of only our Lord Jesus Christ.
The church has two sides:
- Foreseen (earth): the community of believers, owners of grace, alive on earth, the worldly Church.
- Unforeseen (heavens): a community of deceased believers in the hope of the resurrection, the Saints, owners of glory, who have spent their lives in righteousness and piety, and deceased in faith, and defeated the three enemies of the Church: the world, the flesh and the devil.
Both are members of the one Church, we pray for the deceases believers and saints and ask for their prayers for us as well. The Church believes in the intercession of the Virgin Mary and all the saints. This intercession reflects the unity of the Church of the heavens and Church on earth.
The Holy Synods:
The word synod comes from the Greek σύνοδος (synodos) meaning "assembly" or "meeting". So, the Holy Synods are meetings of the Church Patriarchs and teachers to discuss the management of the Church, and affirm the truths of faith. There are two types of Synods: spatial and ecumenical. Spatial is a meeting of the Church’ priests from the same diocese or Patriarchate to discuss Church general administrative matters and arrangements. Ecumenical synods are meeting of the Orthodox Church Patriarchs from all parts of the world to discuss and respond to heresies that deviate from the straight Orthodox beliefs.
The word orthodox, from Greek orthos ("right", "true", "straight") + doxa ("opinion" or "belief", related to dokein, "to think", hence, Orthodox means the "right belief". Right is not only in teaching, but also in life and behavior.
The Orthodox Church is not a culture, a political system, a religion or a denomination. It is a spiritual life with God, as a medical science being the path for treatment that cures and relieves the human personality.