Faith and Life is a series that provides an introduction to a wide range of spiritual and theological issues. Drawing from the beauty and wisdom of Orthodox Christianity, the series addresses the challenges of contemporary life and offers guidance to help you grow in your relationship with God and in your commitment to His will for your life. The Faith and Life series is a collaborative effort of the Archdiocese Departments of Church and Society, Communications, Internet Ministries, Outreach and Evangelism, Religious Education, and Youth and Young Adult Ministries.
Please Note: These brochures are currently available for online download only and are intended to be printed on legal size (8.5x14) paper and folded into a four-fold pamphlet. Parishes should print these brochures and provide them in the Narthex for parishioners and visitors to pick up for free.
The Ecumenical Patriarchate
The Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, Turkey) is the highest See and holiest center of the Orthodox Christian Church. Its history spans seventeen centuries, from the earliest days of Christianity, through the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, down to our present day. The Ecumenical Patriarchate constitutes the center of all the local Orthodox Churches, heading these not by administration but by virtue of its primacy in the ministry of Orthodox Christian unity and the coordination of the activity of the whole of the Orthodox Church.
Fasting in the Orthodox Church
Fasting, or abstaining from food, was a discipline practiced by our Lord himself. It was after forty days of prayer and fasting in the wilderness, that Jesus victoriously faced the temptations of the devil (Matthew 4:1-11). He asked his disciples to use fasting, coupled with prayer, as a means to achieve spiritual victories (Matthew 17:21; Mark 9:29; Luke 2:37), and the example of the Lord was followed by the disciples in their apostolic ministry and instruction to the early Christians. (Acts 14:23; 27:9; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 6:5, 11:27).
Dating Pascha in the Orthodox Church
One of the most frequent questions asked by and to Orthodox Christians is “Why does the Orthodox Church celebrate Easter on a different day than other Christians?” This difference has a long history related to Christianity itself, the complex nature of calendars, and the use of astronomical data.
Holy Week in the Orthodox Church
Examines the major themes and meanings of each day of Holy Week and serves as a wonderful introduction to the varied services that take place during the Great and Holy Week.