C A T E C H I S M
THE EASTERN ORTHODOX CHURCH
Rev. Constas H. Demetry, D. D.
This book was reprinted and condensed by permission of
Helen Nichols and Danny Demetry, daughter and son of the
late Rev. Constas H. Demetry.
Printed in the office of:
The Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
Fort Lauderdale, Florida
and typed into a Digital Rainbow Computer System by:
Peter Theodore Presbytes
P.O. Box 1338
I N T R O D U C T I O N
For some time we were in need of a Catechism book for our
Sunday School children besides teaching them the regular
Sunday School lessons.
One such book which has been out of print and which I felt
would be ideal for our Sunday School Department was the
material from this book taken from the Catechism Book
written by the late Rev. Constas H. Demetry, D.D., father
of our own Helen Nichols who has been very helpful in serving
our community. I am very grateful to Helen Nichols and
Danny Demetry for giving me their permission to reprint this
Catechism which I feel will be valuable instructive material
in Sunday School and to non-Orthodox who wish to learn the
Rev. Constas H. Demetry, D.D., who wrote this Catechism, has
served the Church courageously and conscientiously for more
than thirty seven (37) years, during which time he was honoured
with the title of Doctor of the Ecumenical Throne by the
Patriarchate of Constantinople, and was decorated with the
Golden Cross of the Savior by the Greek Government.
Rev. Nicholas C. Nick
St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church
815 NE 15 Avenue
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Do
not be led away by diverse and strange teachings.
...(Book of Hebrews, Chapter 8, Verse 9)
Eastern Orthodox Church
Rev. Constas H. Demetry, D. D.
Catechism of the Greek Orthodox Faith
INTRODUCTION TO THE CHRISTIAN RELIGION
Q. What is our religion called?
A. The Christian Religion.
Q. Why is it called the Christian religion?
A. Because Christ gave it to the world.
Q. State its teachings briefly.
A. God made the world and created one pair of human beings upon the earth.
Our first parents were fashioned good, but they disobeyed God, and through
the sin of disobedience their mind was darkened and they lost God. Their
heart became evil. From thence they fell into all wickedness and into
death. Their descendants suffered likewise. But God through His love to
His creatures sent His Son Jesus Christ, who became Man, taught concerning
the true God and what His will is, founded His Church, that it might
continue His work, was crucified that He might propitiate divine
righteousness, which had been insulted by the sin of our First Parents, and
reconcile men with God, and was buried. But after three days He arose;
forty days after the Resurrection He was received into Heaven and fifty days
after the Resurrection He sent the Holy Spirit that He might guide His
Church into all truth. From thenceforth all who desired to be saved from
sin and be happy both in this life and in that to come MUST believe in
Christ, receive Divine Grace through the Sacraments and conform to His
teachings, especially to that concerning love.
ON THE CHRISTIAN CHURCHES
Q. How was the work of Christ continued?
A. By His Church.
Q. Did His Church remain united?
A. No; it became divided into many parts.
Q. Into how many divisions can these be arranged?
A. Into two, the Eastern and Western Churches.
Q. Which is the most notable of the Eastern Churches?
A. The Orthodox Church.
Q. Which are the most notable of the Western Churches?
A. The Papal or Roman Catholic, the Anglican, and the Protestant.
Q. Why is the Orthodox Church so named?
A. Because it believes rightly and is the Christian Church founded by Christ.
Q. Why is the Papal Church so named?
A. Papal, because she acknowledges as her head the Pope; Roman, because her
seat is in Rome; and Catholic, because the Church, before it was divided,
was called Catholic, and the Roman Church continues to appropriate for
herself the title of the ancient undivided Church.
Q. Why are the Protestants so named?
A. Because they protested against the Papal Church and separated from it during
the sixteenth (16th) century.
Q. Which Church lately separated from the Papal Church?
A. The Old Catholic Church.
Q. Why is the Anglican Church so named?
A. Because it is situated in England.
Q. What is the Anglican Church called in America?
A. It is known as the Episcopal Church.
Q. Why is it so named?
A. Because it alone, of all the Protestant Churches, retained the Order of
Q. To which Church do we belong?
A. To the Orthodox Church.
Q. How many Churches constitute the Orthodox?
A. The following:
1. The four ancient Patriarchates, namely, that of Constantinople or the
Ecumenical, and those of Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem.
2. The three new Patriarchates of Russia, Serbia, and Roumania.
3. The Autocephalous Churches of Cyprus, Greece, Georgia (Iberia) and
4. The autonomous Churches of Czechoslovakia, Esthonia, Lithouania,
Finland, North and South America, Northwestern and Central Europe,
Australia and Mount Sinai.
Q. To which of the Orthodox Churches do the Greeks of America belong and why?
A. To the autonomous Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America; which
Church is dependent upon the Ecumenical Patriarchate, the so named Great
Church of Christ, (because its throne is first among all the Orthodox
Churches) and therefore since the fourth Ecumenical Council all scattered
Churches must depend on this Patriarchate, according to its decision, which
was ratified by the successive Ecumenical Councils and was accepted by all
the Churches, even by the Roman.
Q. In what respect does an autonomous Church differ from an autocephalous one?
A. It differs in this respect:
The autonomous has some liberties in government but is dependent on
another Church, while the autocephalous is free in its government but is
compelled to keep the same Dogmas and Canons; in case any of them are
broken the Ecumenical Patriarchate is entitled to intervene, and in case
of disobedience, to call upon the other autocephalous Churches to make a
common decision on the matter, as was done in 1872 in the case of the
Q. How many members of the Orthodox Church have we in the United States?
A. We have about six (6) million.
Q. What Catechism ought the people of America study?
A. The Catechism of the Orthodox Church.
Q. Is it necessary for us to learn in what matters of belief the non-Orthodox
Churches differ from our own, and why?
A. Yes, because different sects seek to proselytize us and take us away from
Orthodoxy. Therefore we must know what each one of them believes and who
holds the right faith so as not to be mistaken in such an important matter
upon which depends the salvation of the soul. Furthermore, we must guide
the misguided back to Orthodoxy so as to assure the salvation of as many as
can be given guidance.
Q. Are there any differences among the Churches?
A. Yes, there are many.
ON THE CONTENTS, SOURCES, AND DIVISIONS
OF THE CATECHISM
Q. What is the subject of the Catechism?
A. What we ought to believe and what we ought to do that we may inherit
Q. What do we call those things which we ought to believe?
A. We call them Dogmas or Doctrines.
Q. What do we call the things which we ought to do?
A. We call them good deeds.
Q. From what sources are the contents of the Catechism derived?
A. From the Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition.
Q. What is the Holy Scripture?
A. Books written by the Prophets and other holy Hebrew men, before the birth
of the Christ: and also the books which were written by the Apostles, and
disciples of Christ.
Q. What are the first Books called and what the second?
A. The first are called the Old Testament and the second the New Testament or
Q. What is Holy Tradition, and is it absolutely essential to faith?
A. Holy Tradition consists of those things which Christ delivered to his
Apostles and which they transmitted to their successors orally. It is
absolutely essential to faith, because it is the source of the Holy
Scripture and we cannot understand all of the Holy Scripture correctly
without the help of Holy Tradition. Since the Protestant Churches reject
Holy Tradition, they have no authoritative judge for the explanation of
Holy Scripture. Each has his own opinion, and on this account they differ
among themselves, although they have the same name, Protestant. And they
will continue to be subdivided in the future as long as they do not restore
Holy Tradition to its proper place in the Church.
Q. How do we accept the Holy Scripture?
A. As inspired and infallible. (There are two theological opinions about
inspiration and infallibility of Holy Scripture. According to the first,
inspiration and infallibility extend not only over religious and moral
questions but also to all other matters which Holy Scripture touches, even
to the words themselves. According to the second, which is the more
satisfactory, inspiration and infallibility are confined only to the ideas
and especially to those of the ideas which concern Religious and moral
truths, as they come from revelation and therefore being necessary for the
salvation of man, must be guaranteed.)
Q. Into how many parts is the Catechism divided?
A. Into two (2) parts. (a) Faith and (b) Good Deeds.
DIFFERENCES AS TO SOURCES
Q. Do all Churches agree as to the sources of Catechism?
(a) The Orthodox and the Anglican Churches accept two sources:
Holy Scripture and Holy Tradition.
(b) The Papal Church acknowledges three (3) sources:
Holy Scripture, Holy Tradition, and the Pope.
(c) The Protestant Churches accept but one:
THE TRUTH AS TO THE SOURCES
Q. Which Church is right with regard to the sources of the Catechism?
A. The Orthodox and the Anglican, whereas others are in error, because no one
has the right to change the dogmas which Christ gave to us, either to add
to them or to subtract from them, or to pervert them; since, if we are
sufficient of ourselves to find out what the dogmas are, and which are
needed for our salvation, the Incarnation of Christ would have been
P A R T I.
F A I T H
THE SYMBOL OF THE FAITH
Q. Is it easy for us to derive the contents of the Catechism directly from
A. No; because the sacred Scripture is extensive and not written
systematically, while Holy Tradition is scattered throughout the books of
the Holy Fathers and the decisions of the Ecumenical Councils, and those
of the Local Councils which are recognized.
Q. Where can we find the contents of the Catechism briefly?
A. We find our Faith in the Creed, or Symbol of Faith, and Good Deeds in the
Decalogue and the Sermon on the Mount.
Q. What is the Creed or Symbol of Faith?
A. A very brief statement of the Christian Faith.
Q. Who composed the Symbol of Faith?
A. The first Ecumenical Council composed the first seven articles and the
beginning of the eighth, and the second Council completed the eighth and
composed the other four articles.
Q. Is the mere committing of it to memory sufficient?
A. No, it needs to be appropriately explained for complete understanding.
Q. What are the twelve articles of the Creed or the Symbol of Faith?
1. I believe in one (1) God, Father Almighty, Maker of Heaven and
Earth and of everything visible and invisable.
2. And in one (1) Lord Jesus Christ, the only-be-gotten Son of God,
begotten of the Father before all Ages. Light of Light, True God of True
God, begotten not made, co-substantial with the Father, through Whom all
things were made.
3. Who for us men and for our salvation came down from heaven, and
was incarnated by the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, and became Man.
4. Crucified for our salvation under Pontius Pilate, He suffered and
5. And was resurrected on the third day according to the Scriptures.
6. And ascended into heaven, and sat at the right hand of the Father;
7. And He will return in glory to judge the living and the dead;
Whose reign will have no end.
8. And I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the Giver of Life, Who
proceeds from the Father, Who together with the Father and the Son, is
worshipped and glorified; Who spoke through the Prophets.
9. I believe in One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.
10. I acknowledge One Baptism for the remission of sins.
11. I await for the resurrection of the dead.
12. And the life of the Ages to come. Amen.
IN EXPLANATION OF ARTICLE 1.
CONCERNING GOD AND THE WORLD
Q. What Dogmas are contained in the first article of the Creed?
A. The Dogmas:
a.) Concerning God and b.) Concerning the World.
CONCERNING THESE DOGMAS
a.) Concerning God.
1.) God and His Perfections
Q. Who is God?
A. He who created the world.
Q. What is God?
A. A Spirit, personal, and supremely perfect.
Q. What does this mean?
A. It means that God is an immaterial Being (incorporeal), that He has mind
and freedom, and that He is perfect in all things.
Q. Who made God?
A. No one; because God has no beginning. He is without beginning.
Q. Where is God?
A. God is everywhere. He is Omnipresent.
Q. Why do we not see Him?
A. Because He is Immaterial (Incorporeal).
Q. Does God see us?
A. God sees us and all things, and He sees everywhere at the same time. He is
Q. Does God know many things?
A. God knows all things. He is All-knowing.
Q. What power has God?
A. God has all power. He is Almighty.
Q. Does God sin?
A. No. He is All-holy.
Q. Can God do evil?
A. No. He is All-good. Because evil is the opposite of good; being the
embodiment of sin, God cannot do evil, by definition. God is All-holy
Q. Can God do injustice?
A. No. He is All-just.
Q. Does God ever change?
A. No. He is Unchangeable.
Q. Can God die?
A. No. He is immortal.
DIFFERENCES ON THE PERSONALITY OF GOD
Q. Do the Churches differ on the personality of God?
A. No, excepting the Christian Scientists. The Pantheists also differ, but
they are not considered as a Christian Church.
THE TRUTH AS TO THE PERSONALITY OF GOD
Q. Who is right as to the personality of God?
A. The Churches, except the Christian Scientists, because the Holy Scripture
attributes to God, mind, emotion, and will, which are the three attributes
of all personality. "God knoweth all things" (I John Ch. 3, Ver. 20).
"God is love" (I John Ch. 4, Ver. 8). "I seek not mine own will, but the
will of the Father, which hath sent me" (Gospel of St. John Ch. 5, Ver. 30).
2.) The Unity and the Trinity of God
Q. Is God only One?
A. God is one only, but with three Persons unconfused, and inseparable, namely,
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
Q. What phrase does the Church employ with reference to God?
A. That God is One in Three and Three in One.
Q. Can we understand the Holy Trinity?
A. No, because it is a mystery.
Q. What is a mystery?
A. A mystery is a truth which we cannot understand.
Q. Is it right that we should reject everything which we cannot understand?
A. No, because there are many things which we do not understand, but which
exist, and which we use continually; for example, magnetism, electricity,
Q. What material thing presents a little figurative similarity to the Holy
A. The sun, which being one, presents to us three things, light, heat, and
DIFFERENCES ON THE HOLY TRINITY
Q. Do all the Churches believe in the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity?
A. All except the Unitarians, who, concerning God, accept that He is one
Person only; The Jehovah Witness who accept one Person only before the
Resurrection of Christ, that is the Father, but after it they accept two,
the Father and the Son, but not the Holy Spirit, because they think it
is not a person, but only an influence of the Father; and the Christian
Scientists, who consider the Holy Trinity polytheistic.
THE TRUTH ON THE HOLY TRINITY
Q. Which one of the above is right and why?
A. The Churches who believe in the Holy Trinity, because Christ Himself gave
us the Dogmas of the Holy Trinity, saying: "Make disciples of all
nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Spirit:" (Gospel of St. Matthew Ch. 28, Ver. 19).
3.) Evidence of the Existence of God Apart from the Universe
Q. What evidence have we that there is a personal God apart from the Universe?
A. a) The existence of the universe,
b) its formation,
c) its government.
Q. About subtopic (a), How is it proved from the existence of the universe that
there is a God apart from it?
1.) The universe, (the earth and the heavenly bodies) could not come
into being of itself because it consists of matter, which is inert. (A
body is called inert, when it of itself, without external influence, cannot
change its state.)
Therefore there must be a personal Power apart from it,
which gave it its beginning. And this personal Power
2.) The Universe, according to the astronomers, moves, and moves
regularly, and in circles (rotates). This rotating movement needed a power
apart from the universe to produce this motion, and, in order that the
power should not be exhausted or become larger or smaller, a Personal and
Omnipotent Power is needed to renew the power which is lost on account of
the friction of the motion, and to regulate it so that the motion might
always be uniform.
Q. About subtopic (b), How is it proved from the formation of the universe
that there is a wise, and omnipotent God, apart from it?
A. One of the bodies of the Universe, the earth, upon which we live, was not
always, according to science, as it is now, but was formed gradually and
1. While according to scientists, it was a nebula in the beginning,
it became a red-hot mass, and after much time, its surface cooled, and
vegetation with its many species appeared upon it.
2. While there was no animal life to begin with, at some time it
appeared with its many species.
3. While there existed no human, i.e. spiritual life, at some time,
it also appeared. But it was impossible for inanimate nature and
equally for vegetation, animal life, and human life to appear by
themselves, because matter feeds life, but cannot produce it.
Therefore there ought to be, apart from the earth, a Personal Power
which, by its mind, knew when the proper time came, and by its liberty
or will, its astonishing strength and wisdom, was able to produce each
4. Man has Personality, i.e. Reason, and Conscience, which the
mechanically operating universe cannot give. Therefore there must be
a God apart from the universe which has these two qualities and gave
them to man.
5. All the people of the earth have the idea of God innate in them,
and that of obedience to Him; also the ideas of good and evil, of
eternity, of judgement and retribution, etc. This universe does not
have these ideas either as a whole or in parts. Therefore there must
be a Personal Power, apart from the universe, which, having these
ideas, put them in man.
6. Everything in the universe has a purpose. But a purpose is
something which only a mind can conceive and afterwards execute, as a
watch or airplane inventor invented and made the watch or airplane.
But the universe has no mind; therefore this mind is apart from the
universe, and this is God.
Q. About subtopic (c), How is it proved from the government of the universe,
that there is an All-wise and Omnipotent God, apart from it?
A. The universe, great and manifold as it is, in order to be governed needs a
Power apart from the universe itself, and one that is Personal, All-wise,
and Omnipotent, and this Power is God.
4.) Evidence That God Is One
Q. How is it proved that God is One and not many?
1. From the perfect order and unity of design, which we observe in
the universe, and which could not be, if there were many gods, beacuse it
is impossible for many to agree always and in all things. For example, the
sun and the soil are for the use of plants; plants are for animals; animals
for man, and all things for the glory of God and the happiness of men.
2. From the fact that it is impossible for us to conceive many
super-perfect beings as co-existent. Therefore, God, being supremely
perfect, must be only One.
b.) Concerning the World
1.) On Creation
Q. Who created the world, how and why?
A. God created the world in six days, from nothing, with only the power of His
Word, that He might make other beings happy also.
Q. Into what parts can we divide the world?
A. Into the visible world, that is, what we see (the earth, stars, etc.) and
into the invisable, that is, what we do not see, (spirits).
Q. Are all spirits the same?
A. No, there are good spirits, namely, the Angels, and there are evil spirits,
namely, the Demons.
Q. Were the spirits always of two kinds?
A. No. God made them all good, but a part of them afterwards rebelled and
Q. What is the work of the Angels?
A. To serve God and to help men in good deeds, and to protect them as Guardian
Q. What is the work of the Demons?
A. To pervert men and make them evil.
Q. Which was the most excellent creature in the visible world?
Q. Who were the first human beings whom God created and what are they called?
A. The first human beings that God created were Adam and Eve, and they are
called our First Parents.
Q. What were the distinct component elements that God gave them and how did He
A. The component parts were two:
body and soul,
and He formed them in His own image and likeness.
Q. What does "in His image" signify?
A. That which God has, namely, mind, freedom, power, and immortality, He also
gave to man when He formed our First Parents.
Q. What does "in His likeness" signify?
A. That the gifts which God gave to our First Parents were sufficient to enable
them, assisted by the Divine Grace, to become perfect and like unto God.
DIFFERENCES ON CREATION
Q. Do The Churches differ on creation?
A. No, except Christian Scientists who accept a spiritual world only, i.e. God
and a spiritual universe, which was not created, but co-exists with God as
His idea, while a material world does not exist, but is false, as testimony
of the senses of man, which senses deceive him. Secondarily, they do not
accept Angels and Devils as Spirits, but as good thoughts and evil beliefs.
THE TRUTH AS TO CREATION
Q. Who is right as to creation?
A. The Churches, because the Scripture, on which Mrs. Eddy says that she bases
her heresy, tells us clearly that:
1. Neither spirits, man nor the world was co-existent with God, but
("..in the day that the Lord God made the earth and the
...Genesis Chapter 2, Verse 4.
("..glorify thou me ... with the glory which I had with thee
before the world was.")
...St. John Chapter 17, Verse 5.
2. That God created the angels good spirits, and that some of them
sinned and became evil spirits, or Devils.
("..Who maketh his angels spirits..")
...Hebrews Chapter 1, Verse 7.
("For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them
down to hell..")
...II Peter Chapter 2, Verse 4.
ON THE FALL OF OUR FIRST PARENTS
Q. Were our First Parents happy, and why?
A. Our First Parents were happy because they were innocent.
Q. Did God give them any commands and why?
A. He commanded them not to eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil,
that He might test their obedience. (Many people think that the fruit
which the First Parents ate in disobedience to God was the carnal
connexion. This is not true, because the lawful carnal connexion of man
and woman and procreation of children is in accordance with the will of
God, since God, as soon as He created the First Parents, blessed them and
said to them:
"Be Fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth.."
...Genesis Chapter 1, Verse 28.
Q. Did they remain faithful to God?
A. No, they fell into temptation, disobeyed, and sinned.
Q. What good would they have had if they had obeyed?
A. Their bodies would have become immortal like their souls, and they would
have insured for themselves forever the happiness which they had.
Q. What did they suffer through the sin of disobedience?
1. Their minds became darkened and they lost God.
2. Their hearts became perverted and they began to love the evil more
than the good.
3. They fell into sickness and various other evils.
4. Their bodies became mortal.
5. Their souls were condemned to moral death, which is separation
from God, i.e. eternal misfortune.
Q. Did only our First Parents suffer from their disobedience?
A. Unfortunately the whole human race born since has also suffered. They
inherited the same evils, just as they would have inherited immortality
and happiness, if our First Parents had obeyed; because just as impure
water proceeds from an impure fountain so also sinful men are born of
Q. Did the rest of creation suffer anything from the disobedience of our
A. Assuredly; and because of this, since then, "the whole creation groaneth
and travaileth in pain together until now.", as the Apostle Paul writes in
the Book of Romans, Chapter 8, Verse 22.
Q. What is that sin of disobedience, with all the evils which it brought,
A. The original sin.
Q. Are we responsible for the original sin?
A. Personally none; because we did not personally commit the sin of our First
Parents; but we are charged with it by inheritance because we were in Adam
and Eve when they sinned, and for this reason the Apostle Paul writes:
"..all have sinned." ...Book of Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 12.
Q. Has anyone been exempted from the original sin?
A. Only Jesus Christ, because He was incarnate of the Holy Spirit, which,
being God, is without sin, and of the Virgin Mary after her cleansing of
original sin by the Holy Spirit when the Angel announced to her the
conception and birth of Christ.
Q. Does man also carry the burden of other sins besides the original sin?
A. Assuredly; personal sins. (The personal sins are mortal and non-mortal.
Mortal are those which destroy any hope of repentance, because they bring
the death of the soul, namely, moral, eternal death. But every sin may be
forgiven by since repentance.
Q. What do personal sins lead to?
A. Personal sins lead to passion.
Q. What is passion and what evils does it inflict?
A. Passion is a bad habit, acquired through the repetition of sin. It takes
away freedom and inflicts the same evils as the original sin.
ON THE EXISTENCE OF THE SOUL
Q. What is the soul?
A. The spiritual and moral part of man.
Q. Does the soul exist separately or is it perhaps the brain, as materialists
A. The brain is one thing and the soul another. The brain, as part of the
body, is material. The soul is immaterial, and apart from the body, but
uses the brain as its organ for its operations.
4.) Evidences of the Existence of the Soul
Q. Are there reasons which demand the existence of a spiritual soul within us,
apart from the body?
A. Assuredly; the following:
1. The conceptions of the soul and of disembodied (incorporeal)
spirits which we possess, even though they do not come through our senses
from the external material world.
2. The consciousness that we are not only body but also spirit.
3. The creative power to conceive ideas and make material things by
them which we, alone of all animals possess.
4. The spiritual world which only man has within him, and which could
not originate from a material brain.
5. The simultaneous operation of two spiritual energies which could
be impossible if we had only a material brain working mechanically. (For
example, the mind, while engaged in the process of reading, can at the same
time think of other things).
6. The fact that the ego is not changed, while the brain is changed
every so often, according to science.
7. The fact that the spirit is young when the body is old.
8. The fact that the spirit often regularly functions in cases where
an autopsy shows afterwards that the brain was injured or wholly destroyed;
and vice versa, namely, that the spiritual energy is often not regular
where an autopsy shows afterwards that the brain was healthy.
5.) On the Immortality of the Soul
Q. Does the soul die?
A. No; the soul is immortal.
Q. Are there reasons which require the immortality of the soul, and if so,
what are they?
A. Assuredly; they are the following:
1. All nations have always believed and do believe in the immortality
of the soul, a conviction which does not come from the outer world.
Therefore the Creator implanted it in our hearts and it must be true.
2. Man desires immortality from that which is implanted within him.
But implanted desires have corresponding objects by which they are
3. Man desires perfect happiness and cannot attain it in this life.
Therefore, another life is fitting and necessary to attain it.
4. Elementary justice seeks that the good shall be rewarded and the
wicked punished. But this does not always happen in this world.
Therefore, the soul must be immortal that it may render account of itself
in another life.
5. Material things, being compound, are subject to decomposition,
that is, they die. But the soul cannot be dissolved because it is simple.
Therefore it is immortal.
6. If the soul were not immortal, and gave no account of itself in
another life, there could be no mortality, nor surety, nor could society
exist, because self-sacrifice, which strengthens society, would be wanting,
and egoism, which blights every good, would prevail.
DIFFERENCES ON THE FALL
Q. How do the Churches differ respecting the Dogma of the fall of man?
a) The Orthodox, Anglican, and Papal Churches accept that the nature
of man has suffered from sin, i.e. the image of God in him has been
corrupted and the "in His likeness" has not been attained, and all men are
responsible before God for the original sin.
b) The Protestant Churches accept that the nature of man, i.e. that
"in His image", was lost wholly, and replaced with a nature wholly corrupt
and ethically dead.
b1) But some of them, as the so-called Church of God, do not accept
that all men are responsible before God for the original sin.
c) The Christian Scientists accept that:
1. Man is not simply a material form with a soul inside, but
a reflection of the infinite, the true idea, the true image
and likeness of God.
2. Man did not fall, because it is impossible to fall for an
idea of God, apparently never born and never dying.
THE TRUTH AS TO THE FALL
Q. Which Church is right in its teaching on the Dogma of the fall?
A. The Orthodox, the Anglican, and Papal Churches, whereas others are in error
1. If all men are not responsible for the original sin, why does
St. Paul write? "In whom all sinned," (Book of Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 12)
and that before we became Christians, "we were children of wrath, even as
others", (Book of Ephesians, Chapter 2, Verse 3). Therefore, how otherwise
did we sin than by heredity, by reason of the sin of our First Parents, and
how could we be under the wrath of God if the sin of our First Parents did
not rest heavily upon us?
2. If the image of God was wholly destroyed, why does the Holy
Scripture say, "Who so sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be
shed; for in the image of God I made man", (Genesis, Chapter 9, Verse 6).
And this is said concerning man not before the fall but after it.
3. The soul does not die, as is shown above; but the death to which
the Holy Scripture refers, is moral death, as appears from the words of the
Apostle Paul, "She who liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth."
(I Timothy, Chapter 5, Verse 6).
4. For man to be considered as the reflection of the infinite, a kind
of God, contradicts reality which presents man as being finite in all
5. If man did not fall, then who is in error?
a) The Holy Scripture which declares that man has fallen?
b) Christ, who assures us that, "the Son of Man came to give
His life a ransom for many" (Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 20,
c) or the Christian Scientists?
It seems obvious that (c) the Christian Scientists are in error.
ON THE DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST
Q. Which Dogma is found in the second article of the creed?
A. The Dogma concerning the Divinity of Jesus Christ; that our Lord Jesus
Christ is begotten of the substances of the Father and on this account the
Symbol speaks of Him as cosubstantial with the Father; He is true God and
Creator of everything, because the world was created by the Father through
EVIDENCE OF THE DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST
Q. Have we proofs that Jesus Christ is God and what are they?
A. Assuredly. We have many, the chief of which are as follows:
1. Thousands of years before Christ was born, many prophets predicted
all the details concerning Him, and ALL were fulfilled. This is a unique
phenomenon in History.
2. Only God works miracles by His own power. But Jesus wrought
miracles in His own power, and said also to other men that He would give
them this power through the invocation of His name alone, and He has done
3. Christ Himself, who never uttered a lie, confessed Himself to God.
"I and the Father are one," (Gospel of St. John, Chapter 10, Verse 30), and
"He that came down from heaven, the Son of man which is in heaven." (Gospel
of St. John, Chapter 3, Verse 13).
4. The Disciples of Jesus testify that Christ is God. "God was
manifest in the flesh" (I Timothy, Chapter 3, Verse 16). "In Him (Christ)
dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily" (Book of Colosians,
Chapter 2, Verse 9). And "Christ Who is over all God blessed forever"
(Book of Romans, Chapter 9, Verse 5) and read II Corinthians, Chapter 5,
Verse 18), etc.
5. All the local and Ecumenical Councils acknowledged Christ as God,
and all the Church for twenty centuries has worshipped Him as God, so that
"every knee in Heaven and upon earth and under the earth should bow before
Him." (Book of Phillipians, Chapter 2, Verse 10), in the future also.
6. The truth of the divinity of Jesus Christ was delivered among
innumerable persecutions and sacrifices. That it prevailed is an
indication that it received the help of God, who would not have granted His
help if this truth were not real.
THE TRUTH AS TO THE DIVINITY OF JESUS CHRIST
Q. Who are right?
A. The Churches, while those who deny the divinity of Christ are in error for
all of the above reasons, and moreover have no right to be called
Christians, because Jesus Christ Himself declares, that He founded His
Church upon the confession of Saint Peter, that Jesus is God. (Gospel of
Matthew, Chapter 16, Verse 18). It is true that the Bible Students accept
that Christ is God today because He apparently became so after His
resurrection; but, inasmuch as they deny His perpetual divinity, they are
also heretics, because they reject an express teaching of Christ, and they
do not differ from Arius, who was condemned as a heretic for the same
misbelief, that Christ is not God without beginning as the Father is. The
same is true of the Christian Scientists. As long as the divinity which
they attribute to Christ is something which every man can acquire, the
nature of Christ is believed to be something created, and as such can
become perfect, but cannot be or become a divine substance or nature. But
Christ says: "O Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee
before the world was." (Gospel of St. John, Chapter 17, Verse 5).
CONCERNING THE INCARNATION OF CHRIST AND THE PERPETUAL VIGINITY
OF THE MOTHER OF GOD
Q. What Dogmas are set forth in the third article?
A. The Dogmas of the incarnation of Christ and of the perpetual virginity of
the Mother of God.
a) The Incarnation of Christ
Q. What is the Dogma of the incarnation of Christ?
A. That Jesus Christ, the second person of the Holy Trinity, while never
ceasing to be God, became man at an appointed time.
Q. How did He become a man?
A. At the time when the Virgin Mary was consecrated to the service of God,
and was in the Temple, the Archangel Gabriel came and announced to her the
unprecedent miracle which would take place within her. Then the Holy Spirit
descended and, after He had first cleansed her from the original sin, gave
her the power to conceive within her the Son of God, who after nine months
was born a man.
Q. Was it necessary that the Son of God should become a man?
A. Yes; that He might save man it was necessary that as a man He should give
men the right teaching about God and all other heavenly teachings, that
He might enlighten the minds of men, and that He might satisfy the divine
Justice with the sacrifice of His sinless life and reconcile to their
Creator the creatures who were under the wrath of God.
Q. What name was Christ given with reference to His saving work?
A. Jesus, i.e. Saviour, Redeemer.
Q. Why is He called Christ?
A. Because He was anointed with the Holy Spirit, as the Kings, Prophets, and
High Priests of the Hebrews were anointed with Holy Oil.
Q. How many natures and how many wills had Christ after the incarnation; and
what is He called with reference thereto?
A. Christ had two natures and two wills, namely, the divine and the human.
For this reason He is called the God-man.
Q. How many persons were there in Christ after the incarnation?
A. One person, one Christ.
Q. How were the two wills harmonized?
A. The human will was subjected voluntarily to the divine, as a good pupil
obeys his teacher and a good son his father, without compulsion.
DIFFERENCES AS TO THE INCARNATION
Q. In what do the Churches differ with reference to the Dogma of the
incarnation of Christ?
A. Whereas the Orthodox, Anglican, and Protestant Churches accept that only
Christ was conceived and born without Original sin, the Papal Church, since
1854, has dogmatically declared that the Mother of God also was conceived
and born spotless; this is called the Immaculate Conception.
THE TRUTH AS TO THE INCARNATION
Q. Which Church is right as to the Dogma of the Incarnation of Christ?
A. The Orthodox and Protestant, because the Holy Scripture declares that:
"all have sinned," (Book of Romans, Chapter 3, Verse 23),
except Jesus Christ (Book of Hebrews, Chapter 4, Verse 14),
while Holy Tradition knows nothing of any such teaching as
that of the Immaculate Conception of the Mother of God.
b) The Perpetual Virginity
Q. What is the Dogma of the perpetual virginity of the Mother of God?
A. That the Mother of God "conceived as a virgin, brought forth as a virgin,
and after the birth still remained a virgin."
DIFFERENCES AS TO PERPETUAL VIRGINITY
Q. In what do the Churches differ as to the Dogma of the perpetual virginity
of the Mother of God?
A. While the Orthodox, Anglican, and Papal Churches accept that the Mother of
God is ever virgin, some Protestants from the sixteenth (16th) century
onward began to teach that the Blessed Virgin Mary was the mother of other
children after the birth of Jesus. They maintain that they gather this
mistaken opinion from the Gospel, where brethren of Jesus are referred to,
(Matthew, Chapter 12, Verse 46), and where it is said concerning Joseph,
"and he knew her not till she brought forth," (Matthew, Chapter 1,
Verse 25). (They who are called brothers of Jesus were children of Joseph
by a former wife, as he was only the betrothed of the Blessed Virgin Mary,
as Jerome and others accept, or of Clopas and the sister of the Mother of
God, as Origen, Eusebius, etc., accept, namely, that they were cousins of
Jesus. In the Scripture cousins are spoken of as brethren, (Genesis,
Chapter 13, Verse 8).
TRUTH AS TO THE PERPETUAL VIRGINITY
Q. Which Church is right with regard to the Dogma of the perpetual virginity?
A. The Orthodox, Anglican, and Papal Churches, while the Protestants are in
error, because the so-called brethren of Jesus were not children of the
Mother of God, because if she had had other children, Jesus upon His cross
would have left His Mother to the care of some one of them, who would have
been present at His last moments, and not to the care of John, and He would
not have said to her:
"Woman, behold thy son," (St. John, Chapter 19, Verse 26),
that is, since you are losing the only one you have.
ON THE ATONEMENT OR PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE
Q. What Dogma is found in the fourth article?
A. In the fourth article we find the Dogma of the Propitiatory sacrifice of
Q. What is the propitiatory or atoning sacrifice of Jesus?
A. The sacrifice of His sinless life, which He offered upon the cross, which
was necessary to offer to God, and which He did that the divine Justice,
which had been insulted by the disobedience of our First Parents, might be
Q. What would have occured if this sacrifice of Jesus had not been offered?
A. The body of man, after undergoing in this life all this misfortune, would
finally have died, as also now, but without any hope of a resurrection, and
the soul would have been punished eternally in the life to come far from
God; while now, because of the sacrifice of Christ, the soul is delivered
from punishment, (if man believes in Him and is perfected living after His
commandments), and the body is to be raised and united each with its soul.
Q. Could any other have offered this sacrifice?
A. No; neither man nor angel, because no man was without sin, and an angel
could not offer a sacrifice sufficiently to satisfy the divine
righteousness, because a creature, however much it can do, cannot do it of
itself alone, but only by the aid of Divine Grace.
Q. What is the power of the sacrifice of Jesus?
A. The sacrifice of Jesus Christ has the power to forgive the sins of all men,
of every age, who believe in Jesus and repent for their sins, while still
in this life, and to make them children of God after they have been
children of wrath by reason of disobedience of Adam and Eve.
Q. What became of the men who were living before the propitiatory sacrifice
A. As many as believed in Jesus as the Messiah, as the prophets had prophesied
of Him, and kept the Mosaic Law, were redeemed when Jesus, after His
crucifixion, decended into Hades (Hell), not into punishment, but into the
place where the aforesaid were detained and bore to them the glad tidings
of their redemption, (I Peter, Chapter 3, Verse 19), (Book of Hebrews,
Chapter 11, Verse 40), and (Book of Ephesians, Chapter 4, Verses 8-10).
DIFFERENCES AS TO THE PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST
Q. How do the Churches differ as to the Dogma of the propitiatory sacrifice?
A. All agree, except the Unitarians, and misled Bible Students, who do not
accept the sacrifice of Christ as propitiatory, since they believe that
Christ was simply a man, and hence His sacrifice was personal, and not for
On the other hand, the Christian Scientists hold:
1. The Christ did not die.
2. That the theory of atonement is man-made, as no propitiation was
necessary, because God cannot propitiate Himself and it is divinely
unnatural that God's wrath should be vented upon His beloved Son.
3. That one sacrifice, however great is insufficient to pay the debt
for a sin.
4. That it was not necessary that Christ reconcile God to man, but
man to God, and Christ accomplished it by bringing Himself at-one-ment with
5. That Christ did not make His sacrifice for other men, or to
relieve them of their individual responsibility, but only to show them how
to make theirs.
6. That, therefore, the blood of Jesus was not efficacious to cleanse
men from sin.
THE TRUTH AS TO THE PROPITIATORY SACRIFICE OF JESUS CHRIST
Q. Who are right as to the Dogma of propitiatory sacrifice?
A. The Churches, whereas the Unitarians, Christian Scientists, and misled
Bible Students, are in error:
1. Because Christ died beyond all doubt, (Matthew, Chapter 27,
Verse 50), (Mark, Chapter 15, Verse 37), (Luke, Chapter 23, Verse 47),
(John, Chapter 19, Verse 30).
2. Beacuse the theory of God's wrath and atonement is not man-made or
unnatural but a revealed truth. For this reason Saint Paul says:
"There is no difference; for all have sinned and come short
of the Glory of God; being justified freely by His grace
through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus; whom God
hath set forth to be propitiation, through faith in His
blood, we shall be saved from wrath, through Him."
...(Book of Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 9)
3. Because the sacrifice of Christ was sufficient for the sins of all
men "both original and personal". For this reason Saint Peter says:
"Who His own self bare our sins in His own body on the tree
(cross), by whose stripes ye were healed",
...(I Peter, Chapter 2, Verse 24)
4. Because the reconciliation made by the Christ is not a mere
demonstration how man is to harmonize himself to God (at-one-ment), but
also a propitiation of divine righteousness which man had offended by his
disobedience and a real removal (a pardon) of a personal responsibility
which all men bear by disobedience of the First Parents. For this reason
Saint Paul says:
"As by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by
the obedience of one shall many be made righteous",
...(Book of Romans, Chapter 5, Verse 19)
"And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to Himself
by Jesus Christ ... to wit, that God was in Christ,
reconcilling the world into Himself, not imputing their
trespasses unto them"
...(II Corinthians, Chapter 5, Verses 19-20)
But in regard to "atonement" which Mrs. Eddy, by analyzing into
"at-one-ment", found proper to express her antiscriptural teachings, we
have to say, that this word "atonement" is not the original word but a
translation of the Greek, which means atonement in the sense of
propitiation or propitiatory sacrifice.
5. Because the blood of Jesus is the only efficacious means of
cleansing sin. For this reason Saint John says:
"Not that we love God, but that He loved us and sent His Son
to be the propitiation for our sins,"
...(I John, Chapter 4, Verse 10)
"and of the whole world,"
...(I John, Chapter 2, Verse 2)
"And if the blood of bulls and of goats sanctifieth, how much
more shall the blood of Christ purge your conscience from
...(Book of Hebrews, Chapter 13, Verse 15)
And if all the above are not sufficient, we bring the words of our Lord
"this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you
and for many for the remission of sins."
...(Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 26, Verse 27)
ON THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST
Q. What Dogma is contained in the fifth Article?
A. The Dogma of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Q. What is this Dogma?
A. That Jesus Christ, when He was crucified, died and was buried on Friday;
after three days He rose as He had foretold, during the night between the
Sabbath and the Lord's Day, wherefore we celebrate the festival of the
Resurrection under the name of Easter.
In the Greek Orthodox Church, it is shouted at Easter:
"Christos Aneste, Alithos Aneste!!"
which means: "Christ is risen, Truly He is risen!!"
Q. Did Christ remain three (3) days in the sepulchre?
A. Certainly, because the Hebrews began the day from sunset. Consequently
from the hour of His death to the evening of Friday is one day, to the
evening of the Sabbath is another, and the Lord's Day from the setting of
the sun on the Sabbath evening to the hour of the Resurrection is a third.
Q. Have we witnesses that Christ rose?
A. Certainly. We have all those to whom Jesus manifested Himself in His
eleven (11) appearances after His Resurrection. The eleven (11) appearances
are the following:
1. To Mary Magdalene
2. To the same with the other woman.
3. To Peter
4. To Luke and Clopas
5. To the ten (10) disciples (Thomas being absent)
6. To the eleven (11) Disciples eight (8) days later
7. To the Disciples near the Lake Gennesaret
8. To the Disciples on the Mount in Galilee
9. To the five hundred (500) brethren
10. To Saint James
11. On the Mount of Olives, when He ascended
Q. In what form does the body of Jesus Christ exist since the Resurrection?
A. It is incorruptible and does not possess those normal physical needs which
it had before, as all men have them, when He lived as man in this life.
Q. Where was the soul of Jesus when His body was in the sepulchre?
A. It descended to Hades bearing the joyful tidings to those who had believed
in His coming as Messiah and had died before He was born.
DIFFERENCES AS TO THE RESURRECTION
Q. Do all the Churches differ as to the Dogma of the Resurrection?
A. All the Churches agree. Only the following differ:
1. The misled Bible Students who hold that the body of Jesus did not
rise, but was perhaps changed into gases.
2. The Rationalists, who deny the Resurrection as a miracle, since
they deny every miracle as (apparently) impossible.
3. The Christian Scientists, who teach that since Christ did not die,
He did not rise either.
THE TRUTH AS TO THE RESURRECTION
Q. Who are right as to the Dogma of the Resurrection?
A. The Churches, while the misled Bible Students, the Rationalists, and the
Christian Scientists are in error because:
1. since, as the Bible Students believe, Christ from a spirit of a
secondary order, which He apparently was before the incarnation, became
after the incarnation simply a body without a soul, how that according to
their belief could have risen and gone into Heaven and have then become
2. Miracles, as acts of God, both are possible (since God both knows
how to perform such acts and is able and willing to do so) and are
historical facts; since the miracles of the Gospel and those which were
wrought and are still being wrought before thousands of men of every rank
and age, we cannot reject them without overturning and perverting history.
The Resurrection of Jesus in particular is an historical fact, since Christ
had died, as it is scientifically proved by the blood which came from His
pierced side, because it was separated into blood and water, as happens
with the dead, and after His burial He showed Himself, alive with His body,
pierced in the hands and the feet and the side; He showed Himself,
moreover, not once, but eleven (11) times, and to over five hundred (500+)
men, who were not credulous, because some of them then believed only when
they made use, not only of their sight and hearing, but even of their
touch; these men, who had been like trembling hares, became by this reason
of the Resurrection fearless heroes, having the courage to sacrifice life
"That which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes,
and our hands have handled that declare we unto you."
...(I John, Chapter 1, Verses 1-3)
3. Saint Paul considers the Christian Faith vain without the
Resurrection of Christ (I Corinthians, Chapter 15, Verse 17)
CONCERNING THE ASCENSION OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS SESSION AT THE
RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER
Q. What Dogmas are contained in the sixth article?
A. The sixth article contains these:
a) The Dogma of the Ascension, and
b) The Dogma of the session of Jesus Christ at the right hand of the
a.) Concerning The Ascension of Jesus Christ
Q. What is the Dogma of the Ascension?
A. That after Jesus had remained on the earth after His resurrection
forty (40) days conversing with His Disciples, He was received up
before them into Heaven; this event the Church celebrates forty (40) days
after Easter under the name of the "Feast of Ascension".
b.) Concerning The Session Of Jesus Christ At The Right Hand Of The Father
Q. What is the Dogma of the session of Jesus at the right hand of the Father?
A. That our Lord after His ascension into Heaven sat down at the right hand
of the Father, being now simply God, as He was before the incarnation, but
the God-man, with His glorified body, as it is after the Resurrection.
Q. What do we mean by the words "sat at the right hand"?
A. That Jesus Christ as the God-man, having completed His saving work for the
whole world, continues to be equal in all things with the Father, just as
He was before His incarnation.
DIFFERENCES ON THE ASCENSION OF JESUS CHRIST AND HIS SESSION
AT THE RIGHT HAND OF THE FATHER
Q. Do the Churches differ on the Doctrine of the Ascension and the Session
of Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father?
A. No. Only those who do not accept the Doctrine of the Resurrection of
Jesus Christ, of course, do not accept the Doctrine of the Ascension
and the Session of Jesus Christ at the right hand of the Father. Let
us pray for those who differ that they may be loosed from the grip of
Satan, and be given Eternal Life in Christ Jesus!!!
ARTICLE 7, 11, and 12.
ON THE SECOND COMING OF JESUS CHRIST,
THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD,
AND THE FUTURE LIFE.
Q. With which other articles may Article 7 be combined and why?
A. It may be combined with the 11th and 12th, because all three contain Dogmas
related to each other.
Q. What are these Dogmas?
1. The Second Coming of Jesus Christ.
2. The Resurrection of the Dead.
3. The Future Life.
Q. What is the Dogma of the Second Coming of Christ?
A. That the bodies of all dead mankind will rise.
Q. What is the Dogma of Future Life?
A. That the existence of man does not cease with death, but that, after death
he passes to another life.
Q. Into how many Stages may the life of man after death be divided and what
are these Stages?
A. Into three (3) Stages:
1) The time from the moment of death to the Second Coming of Christ.
2) The time during the Second Coming of Christ.
3) The time after the Second Coming of Christ.
Q. What becomes of man during the First (1st) Stage?
A. At the instant when a man dies, the body goes to the earth and is disolved
into the elements of which it is composed, and the soul undergoes a
preliminary divine judgement.
1. If he has believed in Jesus Christ, kept His faith incorrupt,
repented his sins before his death, and done good deeds, he is led where
God assigns him and lives in happiness until the Second Coming of Christ.
2. But if he has been an unbeliever, or believed in Christ, but
corrupted His faith, or sinned after Baptism and did not repent before he
died, and did not do good deeds, he is taken where God assigns him and
lives unhappy until the Second Coming of Christ.
3. But if he was a believer, and did not corrupt the faith, and
having sinned, did indeed repent, but did not reach the performance of
good deeds to prove his repentance by actions, then he is led where God
assigns him, that he may be punished temporarily, as long as Divine
Righteousness considers proper.
Q. How many therefore, and what are the conditions one or another of which
each man meets immediately at the instant of death?
A. The conditions are three (3):
1. one of happiness, which will be made complete and eternal after
the general judgement,
2. one of unhappiness, which will be made worse and eternal after the
3. one of temporary unhappiness, which will be changed to happiness
some time before the general judgement.
Q. Will all the saved enjoy the same happiness and all the punished suffer the
A. No, each individual will be rewarded or punished according to his faith and
Q. Is every tie between the living and the dead broken by death?
A. No, because those who are in happiness (the saints) pray to God for us; but
those who are in temporary punishment need our prayers.
Q. How, therefore, should we act with regard to the dead?
a) With regard to the Saints we properly:
1. Call upon them in our needs, that they may pray to God
that He may be merciful to us.
2. Venerate their Pictures and holy Relics, and celebrate
their festivals as appointed by the Church.
3. Learn to profit by their good works which we find recorded
in their biographies, and of which their pictures remind
us whenever we see them.
b) With regard to the wicked we properly:
1. Give alms and offer Liturgies, and Memorials.
2. Record their names that they may be remembered by the
ministers of the Most High God at the Divine Liturgy
and especially on the Soul-Sabbaths, which the Church
appointed for memorial services for our beloved departed.
Q. Are all the dead benefited by those things which we do for them?
A. No, only those who did not attain to the doing of good works, but repented
before they died; because God, being moved by our fervent and continued
prayers, especially by masses, which are the sacrifice of His Son, may
shorten the time of their disagreeable condition, which they spend in
studying themselves, since they did what depended upon them,
Q. Can the Saints have knowledge of our prayers?
A. Surely, because the Saints pleased God, God must reward them. As a part of
their happiness they must be given the liberty to make use of their ability
as spirits to follow their loved ones here on earth and to hear and see
Q. What will become of man during the Second Stage?
A. At a time which only God knows, the Second Coming of Christ will occur,
i.e. our Lord Jesus Christ will come again to be with us a second time.
Then, through the power which He has as God, He will first raise the bodies
of those who died, as He raised His own body. These bodies will not have
the evils of today, which are the result of the original sin, but will be
incorruptible and each of them will be given to the soul which it had when
it lived in the world. At the same time He will also change the bodies of
those who are alive at that time and make them incorruptible. He will then
judge all of them.
Q. By what law will Christ judge the world?
A. Those who had not the opportunity to know the Christian Law, Christ will
judge on the basis of the Natural Moral Law which every man carries in him
from birth and which is manifested in the requirements of conscience. But
those who had the opportunity of knowing the Christian Faith, regardless of
whether they accepted it or not, Christ will judge on the basis of the
Christian Law. And those, who accepted the Christian Faith and kept it
incorrupt and did the good works which it requires, even if they had
sinned, but repented and corrected whatever wrongs they had done, will go
away to Paradise, and those who did not accept the Christian Faith though
they had the opportunity of knowing it, or who accepted it but afterwards
corrupted it, or did not do the good works which it requires, and did not
repent before they died, will go away into punishment.
Q. What is this judgement called?
A. General, or Last or final judgement.
Q. What will become of men in the Third (3rd) Stage?
A. The condition of each individual will no more be changed, but those, who
have gone into Paradise will live in Heaven eternally happy, and those who
have gone into Punishment will live in Hades eternally unhappy.
Q. Is there one (1) life after death or many?
A. There is only (1) one; not many. Beware of others who tell you otherwise!
Also, watch out for "spiritualists", or "mediums", or "astrologers", or
"gurus" who would tell you that you have a spirit guide who is in control
of your spiritual destiny or growth! These are evil men who would put you
in touch with fallen angels, or demons. Do not confuse demons from hades
with the Angels and Saints from Heaven above.
ON THE HOLY SPIRIT
Q. What Dogma is to be found in the eighth (8th) Article?
A. The Dogma of the Holy Spirit.
Q. What is that Dogma?
A. That the Holy Spirit is the third person of the Holy Trinity, has the same
authority with the Father and the Son, gives life to all, proceeds from the
Father and spake through the Prophets and other Holy men before and after
Q. When, how, and for what reason was the Holy Spirit sent to the Apostles?
A. The Holy Spirit was sent on Pentecost, the fiftieth (50th) day after the
Resurrection of Jesus, to the Apostles, who were waiting in the upper room
in Jerusalem for the fulfillment of the promise given to them that He would
enlighten them to preach the Gospel and impart to the believers the
Mysteries of Grace (the Sacraments).
Q. Has the Holy Spirit since then deserted the Church of Christ?
A. No. He continues to abide with the Church, and to act on its behalf, to
guide it into all the truth (Gospel of John, Chapter 16, Verse 13), and
through His Divine Grace to help men in their salvation.
ON THE CHURCH
Q. What is the Church?
A. A Divine Institution, which continues the work of Christ for the salvation
of mankind and embraces all those who believe in Him rightly and who are
under the leadership of Canonical Pastors.
Q. By whom was the Church established, when and for what purpose, and when was
it called Christian?
A. The Church was established by our Lord Jesus Christ, when He selected the
twelve (12) Apostles. It began to expand principally on the day of
Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit enlightened the Apostles and they preached
the Gospel not only in the Greek and Hebrew (or Aramaic) languages, but
also in languages which they had never learned; on that day three thousand
souls believed and were baptized. The Church was established to teach,
govern, sanctify, and save men. The followers of Christ were called
Christians for the first time in Antioch between 36 and 40 A.D.
Q. What obligation has a man to his Church?
A. To be in good standing membership of the Church, i.e. to believe in the
Dogmas rightly, receive the Sacraments canonically and obey the Canonical
Ecclesiastical Authorities of his district; otherwise he cannot be saved,
if he does not belong to and abide by the Church, as Christ makes plain to
us. (Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 15, Verses 1-8).
Q. Is the connection of its members with the Church sundered (severed) by
A. No, because the Church is divided into two (2) sections:
1. one section on earth, and
2. the other section in Heaven.
Q. What are the two sections of the Church called?
A. The one on earth is called: the Church Militant, and
the one in Heaven is called: the Church Triumphant.
Q. Who is the Head of the Church?
A. Christ is the invisible Head, but the visible heads are the Bishops as
successors of the Apostles.
Q. Into what orders are the members of the Church divided?
A. Into two (2), the Flock: (That is the Laity), and the Shepherds, that is
the Clergy: (Bishops, Presbyters, and Deacons).
Q. What characteristics are ascribed to the Church in the ninth (9th) Article?
A. That the Church is:
3. Catholic, and
Q. Why is it so called?
1. One: because all Christians are one (1) body, with
one (1) Head, Christ, with one (1) Faith and
one (1) organization.
2. Holy: because it is sanctified by Christ with His blood,
teaches a Holy Faith, and through the Sacraments
aims at the santification of its members.
3. Catholic: because it holds all the truth, is foreordained to
hold fast to it for all time, to teach all peoples,
and to embrace within its membership all humanity.
4. Apostolic: because it traces it beginning back to the Apostles,
holds the teachings of the Apostles entire and
unadulterated, and is governed by the canonical
successors of the Apostles whose successors have
received Holy Orders from them in uninterrupted
2) IRREGULARITIES IN THE CHURCH
Q. What conditions cause a member to be cut off from the Church Militant, and
what is he called then?
1. When a member falls into apostasy or leaves the Christian
religion, then he is called an apostate.
2. When a member falls into heresy, i.e. adds human Dogmas to the
Divine Dogmas or takes away from them or perverts those which Christ gave
to us for our salvation; then he is called a heretic or cacodox.
3. When a member falls into schism, namely, does not acknowledge the
canonical Ecclesiastical Authorities, or in any way strikes at their
administration; then he is called schismatic or anticanonical.
4. When a member falls into excommunication, namely, commits a mortal
sin and stubbornly clings to it, causing great scandal; then he is
excommunicated by the Ecclesiastical Authority and is called an
Q. How does the Church protect her Dogmas and organization?
A. By Councils and Ecclesiastical Courts.
Q. What are the Councils and how many kinds of Councils are there?
A. Councils are assemblies of the Holy Clergy to consider the affairs and
problems of the Church. There are three (3) kinds: Provincial, Local,
and Ecumenical, and lately there have been added the Permanent Synods.
Q. Which of them are infallible, when and why?
A. The Ecumenical Councils, when they assemble and decide freely. They are
infallible for two (2) reasons:
1. because of their universality, i.e. because the entire Church is
represented in them.
2. because they are under divine guidance, as our Lord promised.
...(Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 16, Verse 13)
ON THE SACRAMENTS
Q. What Dogma is contained in the tenth Article?
A. The Dogma on the Sacrament of Baptism.
Q. What is a Sacrament?
A. A ceremony established in the Church by the Christ, either directly or
indirectly through the Apostles by which invisible Divine Grace is by
visible means communicated to Christians.
Q. How many are the Sacraments and what kind of Grace is imparted through
A. The Sacraments are seven (7):
+* 1. Baptism,
:* 2. Chrism or Confirmation,
+* 3. Penance (or Confession),
:* 4. the Divine Eucharist (or Communion),
: 5. Holy Orders,
: 6. Marriage, and
: 7. Unction.
Note: The Sacraments flagged by (*) are obligatory for the individual
Christian; and those flagged by (+) impart Grace by
Sanctification; while those flagged by (:) impart Grace
Grace unto sanctification is imparted through Baptism and Penance, and
Grace for progress in the Christian life is given through the remaining
five (5) Sacraments.
Q. Are the Sacraments repeated upon one and the same person?
A. Certainly, except only the Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Orders, because
these two (2) are ineffaceable in the soul; and even these are repeated
regularly whenever they are invalid, because then they are as though they
had not been given and are also repeated conditionally whenever doubt
exists. For example, when we are not sure, whether a person has been
baptized or not, we baptize him with the words:
"The servant of God (name) is baptized, if he has not been baptized,
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."
Q. Are all the Sacraments necessary for salvation?
A. For the whole Church they are necessary; but for the individual Christian,
1. Baptism, 2. Chrism, 3. Penance, and 4. the Holy Eucharist are necessary,
and for this reason are called obligatory while the other three are spoken
of as optional.
Q. Who perform valid Sacraments?
A. The canonical Clergy, i.e. those canonically ordained to the Priesthood,
and canonically authorized; that is, appointed by the canonical
Ecclesiastical Authority to have the right to exercise the Priesthood.
ON THE SACRAMENTS OR MEANS OF SANCTIFICATION
Q. Are there other means of Grace besides the Sacraments and if so what are
A. Yes. They are called Sacraments or Means of Santification.
Q. In what do they differ from the Sacraments?
A. Because the Sacraments were instituted by Jesus Christ and are necessary
for salvation, but the Means of Sanctification were established by the
Church and develop good thoughts and character in Christians and help them
in their physical and spiritual life.
Q. What are the means of Sanctification?
The sign of the cross which we make when we pray;
the lesser and the Great Holy Water;
the Flowers of the Cross (at the Feast of the Elevation, Sept. 14)
and of the Veneration of the Cross, (3rd Sunday of the
and Flowers of the Holy Sepulchre (which we use on Good Friday);
the Prayers to the Holy Virgin and Saints;
the Prayers of birth and of the forty days (or of the churching on the
fortieth day after the birth);
the Prayers of Exorcism against the evil eye and for various needs,
which arise during the life of man;
finally, as a Means of Sanctification, the constant use of the
Holy Scriptures, daily meditation upon them, and faithful
study is of great importance.
The truths of our holy religion are all Scriptural, and the Christian, well
grounded in the teaching of the Catechism (this document), will find the
Scriptures a never-ending joy and inspiration to him and necessary for the
best results in happiness and character building. But in the study of the
Holy Scripture one should, in the event of doubt as to the meaning of any
part of the Scripture, apply to the governing Church, the divinely
appointed interpreter of the Holy Scriptures.
DIFFERENCES AS TO THE NUMBER OF SACRAMENTS
Q. How do the Churches differ as to the number of Sacraments?
A. The Orthodox and Papal Churches accept seven (7) Sacraments, but the
Protestant Churches accept two (2): Baptism and the Eucharist, except a
few who accept them as simple types or remembrances without divine Grace,
and especially the so-called Church of God, which accepts: Baptism, the
Eucharist, and Foot-washing, but only as ceremonies, without Divine Grace.
The Anglican Church says, to be sure, that it accepts two (2) Sacraments,
when in reality she acknowledges the seven (7). The difference comes from
the meaning which the Anglican Church attaches to the word Mystery or
Sacrament, because by it she means those only which clearly appear in the
New Testament as established by the Christ, while the other five (5) she
calls Apostolical Institutions, but she holds that through them Divine
Grace is conferred, namely, she accepts them as we accept the Sacraments.
THE TRUTH AS TO THE NUMBER OF SACRAMENTS
Q. Which Church is right as to the number of Sacraments and why?
A. The Orthodox, Papal, and essentially, the Anglican Church, while the
Protestant Churches are in error, because, as we shall see from Holy
Scripture and Holy Tradition, it is manifest that our Lord instituted
either directly or indirectly seven (7) sacred ceremonies by means of
which Divine Grace is conferred for a definite purpose, namely, the
seven Mysteries or Sacraments.
Q. What is Baptism?
A. Baptism is a holy ceremony. The Priest in performing it calls upon the
Holy Spirit and through Him sanctifies the water then he submerges the
person about to be baptized in it three times (3x), in the name of the
Holy Trinity. Thus the person is cleansed of his personal sins, and is
Q. Who instituted Baptism, in place of what, when and why?
A. Our Lord, in the place of Circumcision, before His ascension into Heaven,
because it is necessary to salvation.
Q. What is required for Baptism, and is it necessary for infants?
A. Faith in Christ. Baptism is necessary for infants also, because while they
do not have personal sins, nevertheless they do have original sin of which
they need to be cleansed.
Q. Have infants faith?
A. No; and for this reason we employ a Sponsor of adult age who confesses the
faith in behalf of the infant and assumes the responsibility to teach it
the Christian faith when it is sufficiently grown, if for any reason the
parents should not do this.
Q. Is it permitted to perform Baptism in any other way? If so, when is it
performed, what is it then called, and who is permitted to perform it?
A. When anyone is ill and not able to be immersed in water, it is required
only that he be sprinkled with water (or lifted in the air, if water cannot
be had) three times, in the name of the Holy Trinity (in the name of
the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost). This is called Clinic Baptism
(from the couch upon which the sick person lies) or Baptism by Economy
(for the saving of time when necessary). It is performed by the Priest, or
in case of his absence, by a Layman, even by the midwife or one of the
parents of the sick.
Q. How is the Baptism of Economy completed?
A. If the person who is being baptized with the Baptism of Economy lives until
the Priest arrives, the Priest reads the prayers and performs the whole of
the part of the ceremony of the regular Baptism which comes after the three
Q. Have both forms of Baptism the same validity?
A. Complete and Canonical Baptism is the regular one. The Baptism of Economy
is performed only in case of necessity, for the salvation of the souls of
those who are near death, and for this reason, if they live, they are not
allowed to be Clergymen.
Q. Is Baptism repeated and when?
A. Baptism is not repeated, unless:
1. It was performed in a heretical Church which does not baptize in
the name of the Holy Trinity.
2. It is not sure that Baptism was performed.
3. The Baptism of Economy has been performed not because of necessity
but only because of heretical disposition.
4. It was performed by a Clergyman who acts without the permission of
the Ecclesiastical Authority.
In any case it is the right of the Ecclesiastical Authority to recognize or
not recognize by economy a Baptism which was needlessly performed
irregularly or regularly but by a Clergyman who is deposed or acts without
the permission of the Ecclesiastical Authority.
Q. How are the apostate, the heretic, and the schismatic received into the
A. The apostate and the heretic are anointed with Holy Chrism and the
schismatic signs a written confession.
Q. Is there any other kind of Baptism?
A. Yes, the Baptism of Blood, i.e. the sudden death a man may suffer for
Christ before being baptized.
Q. Is such a baptism sufficient for salvation?
A. Whenever Canonical Baptism or Baptism by Economy cannot be obtained for him
who is to give his life for Christ, the Baptism of Blood is sufficient for
CHRISM OR CONFIRMATION
Q. What is Chrism or Confirmation?
A. Chrism is a holy ceremony which accompanies Baptism in which the Cleric
anoints with Holy Chrism different members, (parts) of the body of the
baptized, or of one coming back to the Christian Church from which he has
departed to embrace another Faith or of one who had fallen into heresy, by
means of which the anointing Grace of the Holy Spirit is conferred to
strengthen him, that he may progress in his new Christian life.
Q. What is the Holy Chrism and who prepares it and how?
A. The Holy Chrism is oil of the olive tree, and many other elements, which
are prepared at the Ecumenical Patriarchate by boiling and are consecrated
by the Ecumenical Patriarchate at Constantinople, with all Bishops who
happen to be present there, in a special ceremony which takes place on the
Holy Thursday, beginning from Good Monday. This Chrism is afterward
distributed to all the Orthodox Churches.
Q. Who instituted Chrism and how was it administered by the Apostles?
A. Jesus Christ, as appears from the Epistle to the Hebrews where the
Sacrament of the Chrism is enumerated as a Dogma along with that of
Baptism and the Resurrection of the Dead,
"Of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands (Chrism),
and of resurrection of the dead"
...(Book of Hebrews, Chapter 6, Verse 2).
But it was performed by the Apostles by the laying on of their hands upon
Q. Why was the Holy Chrism substituted for the laying on of hands?
A. Because when the Christians increased in numbers the Apostles and the
Bishops instituted by them were not sufficient to perform this Sacrament.
Q. Is Chrism ever repeated?
A. Yes, when any member of the Church comes back to the Christian Church from
another faith or heresy into which he had fallen.
Q. What is the Sacrament of Penance and what else is it called?
A. The Sacrament of Penance is a holy ceremony in which the sinner, repenting,
confesses his sins to Christ before the Confessor, is forgiven, and
reconciled with God again; it is also called the Sacrament of Confession.
Q. Through whom are sins forgiven? Has he the power to forgive sins? And by
whom is he thus empowered?
A. Sins are forgiven through the Confessor who has this power from our Lord
Jesus Christ, because our Lord gave it to His Apostles in the words:
"Receive ye the Holy Ghost; whosesoever sins ye remit, they
are remitted unto them and whosesoever sins ye retain, they
...(Gospel of Saint John, Chapter 20, Verses 22-23),
and they in turn gave it to their successors, and these to the Clergymen
who were under them.
Q. By whom and when was this Sacrament instituted, and is it necessary for our
A. By our Lord, after His resurrection. It is necessary for our salvation
because every man, after Baptism, falls into sin which stains the soul and
is a transgression of the law of God. If therefore, this sin is not
forgiven, the sinner cannot draw near to the Holy God; and is moreover,
subject to punishment.
Q. Can a layman take the place of a Clergyman and act as Confessor?
A. Only in the didactic part of Confession; but not in the part relative to
absolution, because he who is not a Cleric does not have the power from
Christ to forgive.
Q. Can Confession be made directly to God?
A. It can. But it is neither wise nor safe, because the sinner by himself
neither is able always to see his sins as the experienced eye of the
Confessor sees them, nor can he obtain the necessary guidance, or pass
judgement upon himself with full justice. Why therefore should the sinner
not apply to the Spiritual Father, since Jesus Himself saw it to be right,
and appointed him to be His representative with the power to bind and
loose? It is as if we sought for justice directly from the President of
the United States, while there are courts established for this purpose.
Otherwise, if it were something better for us to confess directly to God,
the Lord would have declared His law to that effect more simply and would
not have placed the Apostles and their successors, the Bishops and the
Clergymen between God and the repenting sinner.
Q. How is the purpose of Confession consumated?
A. Confession is consumated:
1. If the sinner feels his sins and sorrows because he had displeased
God, who is his Father.
2. If he firmly resolves not to fall again into sin or into whatever
he knows to be sinful.
3. If he confesses his sins with humility, sincerity, and accuracy,
and does not hide anything of shame or fear, for this would be as
though he sought to deceive God.
4. If he receives absolution from the Confessor as the latter reads
over him the prayer for forgiveness.
5. If he accepts the penance which the Priest imposes on him, if any.
Q. What are the duties and the rights of the Confessor?
A. It is his duty not to speak of anything he hears in the Confession, (unless
and when the penitent gives him permission), and to express his judgement
and counsel in the most appropriate manner for the improvement of the
penitent. And it is his right to impose pennances upon the penitent
whenever he deems such penances necessary for his benefit.
Q. Has the one who has made the Confession the right to censure the Confessor
for the penance which he has imposed?
A. The penitent is free to accept or reject the imposed penance but he has
no right to criticize the Confessor, because Confession is not compulsory.
One is not permitted to injure the reputation of a Confessor by whom many
others may be benefited, if he himself does not so desire, to benefit by
him because in this manner he injures many men in their greatest interest
when such confession would be for their advantage, their moral improvement,
and the salvation of their souls.
Q. What is the name of the penalties which the Confessor imposes?
A. Penances. Penances are restitutions for wrongs done, e.g. the surrender of
things stolen or destroyed, righting of a reputation damaged, etc., or are
theraputical measures against sin, as deprivation of Holy Communion for a
certain time, imposition of fastings, prayers, reading useful books,
performance of holy ceremonies and good deeds of a spiritual or corporeal
nature. And the chief spiritual works are the following seven (7):
1. To admonish the sinner,
2. instruct the ignorant,
3. counsel the doubtful,
4. comfort the sorrowful,
5. head wrongs patiently,
6. forgive all injured,
7. and pray for the living and the dead.
Q. How can one come to the knowledge of his sins and be prepared for
A. By stopping to consider to what extent he has fulfilled his obligations to
God, his neighbor, and to himself. (See the Decalogue, the Beatitudes and
the Sermon on the Mount).
Q. How can one who has confessed be helped in his or her decision not to fall
again into the same sins?
1. By his own strength in resisting temptation.
2. By Divine strength, by praying and seeking Divine help, by all the
means of sanctification which the Church gives for the avoiding of
temptations, surrendering wholly his free will to God, that He may
direct it to his own advantage.
Q. Do the penances help the penitent to be corrected and why?
A. Yes, because:
1. He suffers on account of the toil or the money which he expends.
2. He feels a deeper repentance, and this psychological condition
influences and strengthens his will, so that he resists sin more
strongly and successfully in the future.
Q. What do we do when we present ourselves before the Confessor for
1. We make the sign of the cross or kneel and kiss the Holy Picture
2. We tell the Confessor the time of our last confession, and
afterwards, we answer his questions briefly and simply, telling
him only the sins committed since our last confession, without
3. We seek instructions and listen with attention to the counsels of
4. On going out, we kiss again the picture of Christ, thank God that
He has counted us worthy to be cleansed again by the bath of
repentance, and we beseech Him that He may preserve us from sudden
death which does not afford us an opportunity for a last
confession and the Holy Communion.
ON THE SACRAMENT OF THE DIVINE EUCHARIST
Q. What is the Sacrament of the Eucharist, and what else is it called?
A. The Sacrament of the Divine Eucharist is a holy ceremony in which the
Priest offers to God leavened bread and wine, and calls upon the
Holy Spirit, who changes the bread into the body and the wine in to the
blood of Christ. It is also called Holy Communion.
Q. Who instituted the Sacrament of the Eucharist, when and how?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ in the Mystic (or last) Supper, when He ate with
His Apostles on Holy Thursday at evening; namely the day before He was
crucified. Then He took bread, blessed it, broke it, and said:
"Take, eat; this is my body". Then He took cup with wine,
blessed it saying:
"Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the
New Testament, which is shed for many for the
remission of sins."
...(Gospel of Saint Matthew, Chapter 26, Verses 26-28)
Q. Why did He institute it?
A. That the sacrifice of Jesus might be repeated in the Church and that
through the communion of the body and blood of Christ believers might
receive the following benefits:
1. That they might be united with Jesus, and by this union their past
may be cleansed perfectly, their tendancy towards evil be
weakened, and their tendency towards good be strengthened for the
developing of a more perfect Christian life, and the eternal life
which by sin was cut be regained.
2. That their bodies might be raised at the Second Coming of Christ,
and assigned with the righteous to the enjoyment of eternal
Q. What is the name of the change which took place at the Mystic Supper, does
it take place now, and by what power?
A. Transubstantiation, and it takes place now also by the power of the Holy
Spirit through the Bishops and Priests.
Q. Do the Bishops and Priests receive such Grace?
A. Assuredly, because Jesus made the life of this Church to be age-long, so
that He gave them to transmit to their successors, and for this reason He
told them to teach the nations to observe whatsoever He had commanded them
promising that He would be with them always until the end of the world.
(Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 28, Verse 19)
Q. When does transubstantiation take place?
A. When the Choir sings,
"We praise Thee, we bless Thee",
then the Priest calls upon God saying:
"And make this bread the precious body of Thy Christ: and the wine
in this cup the precious blood of Thy Christ, changing (them) by
Thy Holy Spirit." (See Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom).
Q. Is the Sacrament of the Eucharist necessary and how often ought it to be
A. It is necessary, because Jesus said expressly:
"Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink His blood, ye
have no life in you." (Gospel of St. John, Chapter 6, Verse 53).
For this reason it is proper that we make our communion at least four times
(4x) in the year, and also when we are sick or near death.
Q. Is there no danger that contagious diseases will be transferred from one to
another, since the Divine Eucharist (Holy Communion) is received from the
A. No, because:
1. From the human point of view, it is improbable at least for
voluntary diseases, as those who voluntarily are sick with contagious
diseases are not allowed by the Holy Canons and their conscience to
take the Holy Communion, and furthermore, the alcohol of the wine is one
of the best protective measures, according to the assurance and the
practice of physicians.
2. From a Divine view, it is impossible that the Divine Power should
leave exposed to dangers men who are doing that which the God-man commanded
them as necessary for the salvation of the soul. Because otherwise all the
Priests and Deacons would fall victims to contagious diseases, since they
must always drink all that remains in the Holy cup after all the faithful
have received the Holy Communion. Therefore, it is a vain fear which some
of our faithful have, that they might contract germs from the Holy
Communion, and they must strengthen their faith at least by the logic of
the facts themselves.
Q. Is it well to commune oftener, and how ought to be prepared for it?
A. What is better than that we should receive unto us as often as possible the
Lord of life and all grace and blessing: provided only that we prepare
ourselves fittingly because:
"He that eateth and drinketh unworthily receiveth condemnation unto
himself" (I Corinthians, Chapter 11, Verse 29)
and we are prepared by fasting and confession.
Q. Is anyone exempted from this preparation? (fasting and confession)
1. No one is exempted from confession.
2. However, the Clerics, the sick, and travelers are exempt from
The Clergy because it would be necessary for them to fast
almost continuously, as they celebrate the Divine Liturgy
and consequently partake of the Holy Communion almost every
The sick, because their health does not permit fasting;
The travelers because they cannot find lenten fare.
But Clergymen as well as the sick and travelers must at least fast
spiritually, which is possible to all and requires more than abstinence
from certain foods.
Q. From what Holy Bread do the sick receive?
A. From the Holy Bread which is consecrated on Holy Thursday, and is kept
through the whole year in an appropriate place called the Holy Bread Box.
Q. Is it proper that the Holy Bread should be adored even after the Divine
A. Yes, because once it has become changed, it cannot cease to be the body and
blood of the Lord.
Q. What facts worthy of notice are to be pointed out in the Divine Eucharist?
1. That after the change, while we see and taste bread and wine,
these two elements are substantially the body and blood of Christ.
2. That while each Christian receives a part only of the body and
blood he receives all of Christ.
Q. Is the Divine Eucharist simply a ceremony? And for whom is it performed?
A. No. It is a true propitiatory sacrifice because it is the same sacrifice
of Golgotha, with this difference:
the sacrifice on Golgotha was offered once and with blood, that the
Divine Justice might be satisfied for the original sin,
the sacrifice of the Divine Eucharist, while it is the same, is
performed constantly and without blood, and for this reason is called
bloodless sacrifice, and the Holy Table on which it is offered, an
Altar and is offered, every time to glorify the supreme love and
condescension of God to man and, in its other aspect, that Divine
Justice might be satisfied for the personal sins of those for whom it
is offered. It is offered in honour and in memory of the Saints, and
for the forgiveness of the sins of the living and dead members of the
Q. Is it permitted that more than one Liturgy (Holy Mass) be performed on the
same day by one Priest and on one and the same Altar?
A. No; a different Priest and a different Altar must be used for each Liturgy.
Q. What is the Sacrament of Holy Orders?
A. A Holy ceremony, at which the Bishop lays his hands upon the head of the
one who is being ordained, and calls upon God for the Grace of the Holy
Spirit, which comes down and makes him able to confer upon faithful men
the gifts of the Holy Spirit and to perform, in general, the duties of
Q. Who instituted the Sacrament of Holy Orders and when, and how has it been
transmitted to us?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ, after His resurrection, when He said to His
"As the Father hath sent me, even so send I you ... Receive ye the
Holy Spirit; whosesoever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them;
whosesoever sins ye retain they are retained."
...(Gospel of St. John, Chapter 20, Verses 21-23)
It was transmitted by the Apostles to men whom they had prepared and
ordained by a special ceremony, and they established them as Bishops,
Presbyters, and Deacons to perform the functions of the Priesthood,
giving only to the Bishops alone the power and authority to continue
the work of conferring Holy Orders according to the needs of the Church.
(I Timothy, Chapter 4, Verse 14 and II Timothy, Chapter 1, Verse 6),
(Tutus, Chapter 1, Verse 5), (Acts, Chapter 14, Verse 23),
(Acts, Chapter 6, Verse 6).
Q. What is necessary for one to be ordained worthily?
A. To be an Orthodox Christian, walking orderly in the Church, to have the
necessary branches of knowledge and moral character, to be in good physical
condition, and to have an inclination and a call to His Holy work; the
ordaining Bishop must be canonical and have the license to ordain.
Q. What are the degrees of the Priesthood and what are they all called in
A. The degrees of the Priesthood are three (3):
1. Bishop or Archpriest,
2. Presbyter or Priest, and
They are all called in common the Holy Clergy.
Q. What are the duties and rights of each Order?
A. The rights and duties of the Bishop are:
1. to preach the word of God,
2. to administer the Sacraments,
3. to perform the different Holy Services and Holy Functions, and
4. to govern the Clergy and Laity who are under him:
that is to care for their Ecclesiastical affairs and
Those of a Presbyter are all that the Bishop has with his permission,
except that of ordination and the consecration of the Holy Chrism and
of the Churches and the higher Ecclesiastical Discipline.
The Deacon cannot do anything of himself, he only helps the Bishop or the
Q. How many and what Bishops are needed for canonical ordination and
A. For the consecration of a Bishop, three (3), and in the absence of three,
at least two (2). For the ordination of a Presbyter or Deacon, one (1)
suffices. But the ordaining Bishops must be able to trace their Episcopal
consecration unbroken from the Apostles and have the license to ordain
from their immediate Superior Ecclesiastical Authority.
Q. Is it permitted canonically for a Bishop to ordain Priests or Deacons, and
in general to officiate everywhere?
A. No, only in his own Diocese. He may officiate in the Diocese of another
only with the special permission of the local Bishop.
Q. Is ordination repeated on the same person?
A. For higher orders only. For example, a Deacon is ordained Priest, but
cannot be again ordained Deacon, even though he has been deposed, and on
repentance, restored, But the Orthodox Church can receive by economy
Clerics of heretical Churches who acknowledge Baptism and Holy Orders
as Sacraments and have the uninterrupted Apostolical succession, without
ordaining them anew, e.g. the Clergymen of the Papal, Anglican, Bulgarian,
etc. Churches. But the Clerics of those Churches which do not acknowledge
Holy Orders as a Sacrament or have not the uninterrupted succession, and
those Clerics who were ordained by a deposed Orthodox Bishop she ordains
when they come into the Orthodox Church, because they are wholly without
Q. Can a Cleric be married and when is his marriage performed?
A. As the Canons of the Orthodox Church stand today, only a Deacon or a
Presbyter can be married, but not a Bishop, unless his marriage be disolved
before his consecration as a Bishop, either by death, or by mutual consent
of husband or wife. And the marriage is performed previous to the receiving
of Holy Orders.
Q. What is the Sacrament of Marriage and who instituted it?
A. A Holy ceremony in which Divine Grace is communicated to those who are
being joined together so that they may fulfill their duties to one another
as to their children. God instituted it when He made our First Parents,
and Christ consecrated it. (Gospel of St. Matthew, Chapter 19, Verses 5-6)
(Gospel of St. Mark, Chapter 10, Verses 5-9).
Q. What are the duties of those so united?
A. The duties of the man are:
to love and cherish his wife and children, correcting their faults
and guiding the family to happiness,
those of the wife:
to love her husband, be subject to him and help as a good stewardess,
avoiding all that destroys the home.
The duties of both together are:
mutual honour, the improvement of each other in love, and the
Christian education of their children, both in mind and heart.
Q. What are the most essential elements of marriage?
A. The following:
1. Mutual consent of the affianced (man and woman).
2. Expression of that consent before the officiating Clergyman and
all the guests at the beginning of the ceremony, and promise that
they will give each other mutual help and love throughout all
their life, both in favorable and unfavorable circumstances.
3. Consecration of these agreements by the proper Clergyman by means
of the Ecclesiastical ceremony of marriage.
Q. Is there any other marriage except the religious one?
A. In the countries where the Church is separated from the State, in addition
to the Religious Marriage, there is also a Legal Act which is called Civil
Q. Is Civil Marriage recognized everywhere?
A. In the Orthodox States (e.g. Greece, Serbia, Roumania, etc.), Civil
Marriage is not recognized. In these countries, the State does not have
separate Civil Marriage, but only the Religious one, and in particular,
only that one which is performed according to the Canons of the Church to
which the married couple belong.
Q. Is a Religious Marriage recognized in the United States of America by the
1. If and as long as the Clergyman who performs the marriage is in
good standing with his Church.
2. If the affianced have obtained a license from the City Hall.
3. If the Clergyman who performs the marriage fills out the license
and returns it to the City Hall after the performance of the
Q. What requirements must be fulfilled for a Marriage?
A. The following:
a) Before Marriage:
1. The affianced must get a license from a City Hall of the
State where the marriage is to be performed.
2. The affianced must appear before the Priest of their
Parish and sign a bond that there is no impediment against
the performance of said Marriage, and give him the license
from the City Hall.
3. The Priest must get a license from the canonical Bishop
of their Diocese, the Priest making an application to the
4. The affianced must receive the Holy Communion fasting,
after they have been to Confession and have received the
counsel of the Spiritual father for the new life into which
b) At the Marriage:
1. The marriage must be performed according to the rites
of the Orthodox Church.
c) After Marriage:
1. The officiating Priest must fill out and sign the
certificate of the license from the City Hall and any
other document customarily given with the license to be
filled out, and return all of them to the same City Hall
to be entered in the records of the City.
2. The Priest who has performed the marriage must enter it
into the Church records.
Q. What are the impediments to Marriage?
A. The following:
1. Difference in religion.
2. Relationship which is of four (4) kinds:
a.) by blood,
b.) by marriage,
c.) Spiritual through baptism, and
d.) legal by adoption.
Q. What is the Sacrament of Holy Unction?
A. A ceremony in which the Priest consecrates oil and anoints the sick that
he may be healed of the sickness of body and soul, and that his sins may
Q. Who instituted it and where is its purpose shown?
A. Our Lord Jesus Christ, as appears from the command of the Apostle James:
"Is there any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the
Church and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil, and
the prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord will raise
him up, and if he has committed sins, they shall be forgiven him."
...(James, Chapter 5, Verses 14-15)