― Orthodoxyball using the Paschal greeting in Greek and Church Slavonic
Orthodoxyball is adherence to correct or accepted norms, more specifically to creeds, especially in religion. In the Christian sense, the term means "conforming to the Christian faith as represented in the creeds of the early Church".
Following the 1054 East-West Schism, both the Western and Eastern Churches continued to consider themselves as the right one, considering the other one as heretic. Over time the Western Church gradually identified with the "Catholic" label and people of Western Europe gradually associated the "Orthodox" label with the Eastern Church, although there is also Eastern Catholicism.
The two Churches only removed the mutual excommunication in 1966. Only recently has the dialogue between them been effectively resumed in order to try to recommence together, erasing the schism. For all intents and purposes the Pope of Rome is currently for the Orthodox only the Patriarch of the West (now in the 21st century).
It is very important to say that the Orthodox believe that all Patriarchs are co-equal, while Catholics recognize only the authority of the Patriarch of Rome, this is one of the main differences between the two Churches.
Orthodox two largest communions are Eastern Orthodoxball and Oriental Orthodoxball.
Orthodoxy is the second largest Christian Church and one of the oldest current religious institutions in the world.
The Eastern Orthodox Church or officially the Orthodox Catholic Church teaches that it is the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church established by Jesus Christ in his Great Commission to the apostles. It practices what it understands to be the original Christian faith and maintains the sacred tradition passed down from the apostles.
The religious authority for Eastern Orthodoxy is not a Patriarch or the Pope as in Catholicism, nor the Bible as in Protestantism, but the scriptures as interpreted by the seven ecumenical councils of the Church.
The Orthodox Church is a fellowship of "autocephalous" Churches (Greek for self-headed), with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople being the only autocephalous head who held the title primus inter pares, meaning "first among equals" in Latin.
The Patriarch of Constantinople had the honor of primacy, but his title of first among equals and had no real authority over other Churches than the Constantinopolitan.
The Orthodox Church considers Jesus Christ to be the head of the Church and the Church to be his body.
It is believed that authority and the grace of God is directly passed down to Orthodox bishops and clergy through the laying on of hands, a practice started by the apostles, and that this unbroken historical and physical link is an essential element of the true Church.
However, the Church asserts that Apostolic Succession also requires Apostolic Faith, and bishops without Apostolic Faith, who are in heresy, forfeit their claim to Apostolic Succession.
The Orthodox Church also has many associated traditions (sometimes referred to simply as customs), compatible with its life and function, but not necessarily tied so closely to the faith itself.
These are not generally regarded as a part of Holy Tradition, though no strict dividing line is drawn. As long as compatibility is maintained, general practice often tends to the permissive rather than the restrictive, with the local priest or bishop resolving questions.
Many of these customs are local or cultural, and some are not even especially religious, but form a part of the church's relationship with the people in the time and place where it exists. Where outside customs affect church practices such as worship, a closer watch is kept for guarding the integrity of worship, but suitable local differences are welcomed and celebrated joyfully.
Locality is also expressed in regional terms of churchly jurisdiction, which is often also drawn along national lines. Many Orthodox churches adopt national titles (e.g. Albanian Orthodox, Bulgarian Orthodox, Georgian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Montenegrin Orthodox, Romanian Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Serbian Orthodox, Ukrainian Orthodox, etc.) and this title can identify which language is used in services, which bishops preside, and which of the typica is followed by specific congregations. In the Middle East, Orthodox Christians are usually referred to as Rum ("Roman") Orthodox, because of their historical connection with the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire.
Differences in praxis ("practice") tend to be slight, involving things such as the order in which a particular set of hymns are sung or what time a particular service is celebrated. But observances of the saints' days of local saints are more often celebrated in special services within a locality, as are national holidays, like Greek Independence Day. In North America, observances of Thanksgiving Day are increasing.
Members of the Church are fully united in faith and the Sacred Mysteries with all Orthodox congregations, regardless of nationality or location. In general, Orthodox Christians could travel the globe and feel familiar with the services even if they did not know the language being used.
In the Levant, Christian Orthodox services and identity often combine both the Byzantine Greek and indigenous (Arabic and Aramaic) traditions. Other Orthodox communities can identify with two Eastern Orthodox churches simultaneously, for example Caucasus Greeks and Pontic Greeks in Russia often identify with both the Greek Orthodox Church and Russian Orthodox Church, as a result of centuries of assimilation and intermarriage with ethnic Russians and other Christian Orthodox communities in mainly southern Russia.
According to Orthodox theology, the purpose of the Christian life is to attain theosis, the mystical union of mankind with God. This union is understood as both collective and individual. St. Athanasius of Alexandria wrote concerning the Incarnation that, "He (Jesus) was made man that we might be made God.". The entire life of the church is oriented towards making this possible and facilitating it.
While it is understood that God theoretically can do anything instantly and invisibly, it is also understood that he generally chooses to use material substance as a medium in order to reach people. The limitations are those of mankind, not God. Matter is not considered to be evil by the Orthodox. Water, oil, bread, wine, etc., all are means by which God reaches out to allow people to draw closer to him.
Eastern Orthodox Countryballs
Predominantly Eastern Orthodox
- South Ossetiaball
Notable Eastern Orthodox Minority
- Bosnia and Herzegovinaball