*Divine Liturgy: Every Sunday 10:00 am*
*Great Vespers & Confession: Most Saturdays 6:00 pm*
What is the Orthodox Christian Church?
The Orthodox Christian Church traces itself back to Jesus Christ and His
apostles, and the receiving of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost. From that time on the
Church has existed continuously, with no breaks and no essential changes in belief
or practice. Orthodox clergy stand in the line of apostolic succession, meaning that
their ordination by laying on of hands is part of an unbroken chain going back to
the Apostles themselves. It has withstood persecution and attacks on its beliefs and
life from the Roman Empire to the present day, but has always emerged stronger
The original unity of the Church was largely maintained until the eleventh
century, when the Bishop of Rome broke with the other ancient Patriarchs of the
East over certain questions of faith and practice. Since that time the Roman
Catholic Church, and the various Protestant churches which eventually separated
from it, have formed what is sometimes called western Christianity. The Orthodox
Church stands in the tradition of the East, worshipping according to the ancient.
The Serbian Orthodox Church
The Orthodox Church has no earthly centralized authority. While united in faith and
practice, the Church is administered by councils or synods of bishops on a
specific area or territory. In practice, this means that Orthodox Churches usually are
governed on a national level. Thus, the Church in Russia, Greece, Romania,
Serbia, Lebanon, the Holy Lands, and other numerous other areas are each
administered by self-governing or autocephalous local groups of bishops. The
Serbian Orthodox Church is one of these members of the universal family of
The Serbian Orthodox Church became self-governing in the 13th century, when it was
granted autonomy by the Ecumenical Patriarchate. The first Archbishop of the
self-governing Serbian Orthodox Church was the great Serbian prince who
embraced the monastic life of prayer, study and asceticism, St. Sava.
In America, many Orthodox Christian Churches were founded by immigrants from
various countries, and they maintained their ties to the various mother churches.
This situation still continues at present, with neighboring Orthodox Churches
sometimes belonging to different dioceses and "jurisdictions." This administrative
distinction does not affect the essential oneness of the faith of these churches. Holy
Resurrection, since it was founded mainly by immigrants from Serbian lands, is
under the jurisdiction of the Serbian Orthodox Church. It is a parish of the Serbian
Orthodox Diocese of Eastern America, headquartered in Mars, Pennsylvania. His
Grace Bishop Dr. Mitrophan is currently the Archpastor of our Diocese and parish.