Orthodox Faith

A Brief Cathechism

What every Orthodox Christian should know

God’s Ten Commandments

These commandments (also called The Decalogue) contain the teaching of the Old Testament Law, given by God to Moses (Exodus 20:1-17). The Orthodox Christian is obligated to follow them because they are the foundation of the Old Testament, which is fully realized and fulfilled in Christ.

Exodus 20

The Ten Commandments

And God spoke all these words, saying, I am the LORD your God, who has brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before me.
You shall not make unto yourself any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth:
You shall not bow down yourself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me;
And showing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that takes his name in vain.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
Six days shall you labor, and do all your work:
But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD your God: in it you shall not do any work, you, nor your son, nor your daughter, your manservant, nor your maidservant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger that is within your gates:
For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day: therefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.

Honor your father and your mother: that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God gives you.
You shall not kill.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor any thing that is your neighbor’s.

The Two Great Commandments of God

These commandments, which our Lord Jesus Christ distinguished as the Great Commandments (Matthew 22:34- 40) sum up the Ten Commandments of God and the entire teaching of the Law and the Prophets. They were already present in the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18).

Matthew 22

The Greatest Commandment

But when the Pharisees had heard that he had put the Sadducees to silence, they were gathered together. Then one of them, who was a lawyer, asked him a question, testing him, and saying, Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?

Jesus said unto him, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the first and great commandment.

And the second is like unto it, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

The Church Commandments

The life of an Orthodox Christian is based on Holy Tradition and maybe summarized in the following precepts:

  • Observe the ecclesiastical Holy Days.
  • Attend Church services on Sundays and Holy Days.
  • Keep the fasts prescribed by the Church.
  • Confess your sins and receive the Holy Eucharist (Communion) as often as possible, especially during the four lenten periods established by the Church, and on all the great feasts.
  • Abstain from holding marriage feasts or parties during days of fasting.

Truths of the Faith

There is only one God, Who created and governs all things, Who cares for all.

God is One, yet a Trinity of Three Persons (hypostases): God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. That is why God is called Trinity Consubstantial and Undivided.

The Son of God, Jesus Christ, was born of the Immaculate and Most-Pure Virgin Mary and from her received human flesh, becoming man. He suffered and died on the cross for us and for our sins, was buried, and rose from the dead on the third day. After forty days He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of the Father.

On Pentecost (50 days after Paschal the Holy Spirit, Who proceeds from the Father, descended on the apostles and abides continually in the Holy Church of Christ.

The grace of God, faith, and good works are necessary to attain salvation.

After death, human souls experience a foretaste of either eternal happiness or eternal torment.
After the awesome judgment they receive their just reward – either the heavenly mansions or the devil’s hell.

The Church, which Jesus Christ established while He was on earth and of which He is the Head, is governed through the bishops, by the Grace of the Holy Spirit. She is One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic.

The Ukrainian Orthodox Church is part of the One, Holy, Catholic and Apostolic Church.

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