What Are The Commandments Of The Church?
Word Magazine March 1960 Page 10
WHAT ARE THE
By Father John Newcombe
chief and principal Commandments of the Holy Church are nine in number:
1. Every member of the Orthodox Church must pray to God every day with
contrition and compunction of heart; and he must join in the Divine Liturgy
every Sunday and Feast Day.
2. The Orthodox Christian must yearly keep the appointed Fasts.
3. The Spiritual Authorities must be held in due and scrupulous respect,
as Servants of God, and as Intercessors who intercede for us with God.
Especially, let those be honored who hear our Confessions, for they are our must
we have converse with them, nor have (spiritual) companionship with them.
4. We must confess our sins four times a year before a Priest who has
been ordained lawfully and in the Orthodox manner.
5. We must not read the books of Heretics; nor hear the teaching spoken
by those who are not trained in Holy Scripture and Orthodox Theological
Disciplines. Nor must we have converse with them, nor (spiritual) companionship
6. We must pray to the All good God for men of every condition and
station: First, for the Clergy. Second, for the civil authorities;
especially for those who do good and take thought for magnifying and spreading
the Orthodox Catholic Faith. Furthermore, we must pray for all who have departed
this life in the Orthodox Faith; and also for heretics and schismatics, that
they may return to the Orthodox Faith before they leave this present life.
7. All the Faithful in an Orthodox Province must keep those Fasts and
supplications which the Metropolitan or Bishop may particularly appoint for his
Province whenever necessary.
8. The Lay people must not dare to take away forcibly the goods and
monies of the Church nor to use them for their own needs. Rather, it is the duty
of the Spiritual Authorities to provide from the goods of the Church the
Vestments and whatever other things are necessary for the Church, and
additionally for the food and clothing of those who serve the Church as well as
for the poor and the stranger.
9. Marriages must not be celebrated on days forbidden by the Church.
Furthermore, Orthodox Christians must not be present at forbidden sports and
games; nor follow after heathenish and unchristian customs: rather, they must
abstain from such things with all their might.
— from the Orthodox Catechism
Nine Ways of Being A Credit to Your Church and Parish
1. Find something to DO for the Church ... do not be content to sit in a
pew — Orthodox Christianity finds little expression in mere pew sitting. The
first thing the Church needs from you is active service. If you give it, you
will find yourself, not a bored passenger, but an alert, enthusiastic member of
2. If you claim to be Orthodox then attend the Holy Services, especially
the Divine Liturgy. The Holy Liturgy is the one really thrilling thing in all
the world and sea and sky. It is the bridge between man and God. It is the
privilege of the Orthodox Christian to be present at the Most Holy Sacrifice . .
. It is also his duty.
3. Support your parish financially. Christ our Saviour did not care
about money for its own sake ... but He cared about money tremendously for the
sake of man’s spiritual welfare. It costs money to operate your parish and
diocese and every Christian is expected to give regularly and in proportion
as he has prospered. If what you give financially is a sacrifice so much the
better . . . consider the price Christ paid for your salvation!
4. Grow in Grace and Christian Knowledge by frequenting the Holy
Sacraments of Confession and Communion and by prayer, fasting and the study of
the Christian Doctrine.
5. Draw others to the True Faith . . . our friends need the Church and
your parish needs your friends. Christ’s last command to the Apostles places
upon His Church and its members the obligation to make converts. Help
restore those who have wandered by your words and example.
6. Promote the spirit of charity (love) within your parish . . . “By
this shall all men know that you are my disciples, If you love one to another .
7. Stand by the Parish Priest . . . The parish should be “not the
priest’s field but his force.” Give your Priest your loyalty, respect and
assistance . . . he is your best friend.
8. Be Loyal to the Church and you will be loyal to Christ. Do not
abandon your Church and God will not abandon you. St. Cyprian said, “He cannot
have God for a Father, who has not the Church for a Mother.”
9. Give evidence of the Power of Christ by your Orthodox Christian Life.
Let the imitation of Christ be your guide.
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