We at St Andrew are Orthodox Christians located in Eustis, Florida, worshiping according to the ancient Western Rite practiced by the early Christians in the West for the first 1,000 years of Christianity. We are canonical (mainline) Orthodox in the Antiochian Patriarchate headquartered in Damascus, Syria, under His Beatitude Patriarch John X, and in the self-ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America under His Eminence Metropolitan Joseph.
What is the Orthodox Christian Church and how does it differ from other Churches?
The Orthodox Church is the original Christian Church, the Church founded by the Lord Jesus Christ and described in the pages of the New Testament. Her history can be traced in unbroken continuity all the way back to Christ and His Twelve Apostles.
Many of us are surprised to learn that for the first 1000 years of Christian history there was just one Church. Around 1054 AD the Church at Rome split from the rest of the Church and became known as the Roman Catholic Church and their bishop as Pope of Rome, while the Churches in the East (Constantinople, Antioch, Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Russia) became known as the Orthodox Church. The many other churches that exist today (including independent and denominations) originated with the Protestant Reformation, a movement against the Roman Catholic Church in the mid 1500s.
Incredible as it seems, for over twenty centuries the Orthodox Church has continued in her undiminished and unaltered faith and practice. Today the apostolic doctrine, worship, and structure of the Church remain intact. The Orthodox Church maintains that the Church is the living Body of Jesus Christ.
Our branch of the Orthodox Church is named for the city of Antioch mentioned in Acts 11:26, "...and they were first called Christians at Antioch." Until the city of Antioch was destroyed, our bishop was seated there. Now Damascus, Syria is the city for our Patriarch (bishop), currently, His Beatitude Patriarch John X. Our bishop of North America is Metropolitan JOSEPH.
Our church holds the faith and traditions from earliest Christianity and those have been handed down since before the Bible was compiled some time around 300 A.D. All the branches share the same faith and doctrine but over time different ways of worship have developed, generally adapting somewhat to the local culture. The Western Europeans, the Slavik peoples, the Middle Eastern peoples, etc. have all developed forms of liturgy (worship) which still teach and pass on the faith and traditions, but do so in ways beautiful to each culture.
What is Our Worship Like?
Many of the Antiochian churches use the Byzantine Rite liturgy, Middle Eastern in style. Our parish is one of about 10% of the Antiochian parishes who use the Western Rite, traditional Episcopalian/Roman Catholic in style and fully Orthodox Christian in content. The order of the service is Western and familiar to Americans from liturgical churches, our choir sings simple Gregorian chant for the propers, and the congregation sings Western hymns (i.e Love Divine All Loves Excelling, Be Thou My Vision, Away in a Manger, etc.).
Make plans to join us this Sunday and experience Orthodox Christian Worship for yourself:
9:20 AM Matins
10:00 AM Divine Liturgy / Mass