|This time, we visited Saint George Orthodox Church in Sanborn, New York. Orthodoxy is an old faith that traces its roots to the early church described in the Book of Acts. The Roman Catholic Church also traces its roots to that point in time. In fact, for about the first 1000 years of the church's history, there was one church. East and West were united. Divisions started to form over a number of issues, including the role of the pope. By 1054, a schism occurred, separating the Orthodox and the Roman Catholic churches from one another.|
The Eastern and Western churches share many beliefs. They are all Christians. Jesus Christ and his teachings are at the center of their faith.
There are many differences between the eastern and western churches. For the Roman Catholic Church and all Protestant churches, Easter this year will be celebrated on March 27th. At this point, we are now entering Holy Week.
For the Orthodox church, the Great Lent has just begun. They will celebrate Easter on May 1st. The reason for this is that the western churches use the Gregorian calendar, while many Orthodox churches use the Julian calendar. The differences are very complicated, but if you'd like to know more about these calendars, check out: Julian Calendar.
|Father Paul also told us about the icons. In Orthodox churches, there are icons, which are sacred images. There are no statues and no stations of the cross, as there would be in a Roman Catholic church. The icons are written, not drawn or painted.|
|The purpose of the icons are to aid in worship. It gives people a window into the divine. They also enhance the beauty of the church.|