Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem
The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem, sometimes referred to as the Church of Zion, is one of the pillars of Christianity found in the Middle East. In fact, it is viewed by many as the “mother church” and is therefore visited by hundreds of thousands of devout Christians each year. If you’re in Israel this year, be sure to stop by and view this impressive structure. Here’s a closer look at the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem and its significance to the Christian faith.
Understanding the Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem
Before you visit an important monument of religious faith, it’s a good idea to read up on some of the finer details of the location. The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem has a rich history that stretches back for millennia, and hundreds of thousands of Orthodox Christians consider it their home base.
Who: The church is officially headed by the Greek or Eastern Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem. Currently, this title is held by Theophilos III who has held this position since 2005. While there are roughly 500,000 Orthodox Christians residing in the state of Israel consisting of Russians, Romanians, Jordanians, and Georgians, several hundreds of thousands more come to visit the church from all corners of the Earth.
What: The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem is considered an autocephalous church but falls under the umbrella of Eastern Orthodox Christianity.
Where: The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem is in the Old City of Jerusalem. This is a prominent area for Christianity, and several of the most significant monuments of the Christian faith are found in this city. The headquarters of the church is found within the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
When: When the church was first established is a matter of tradition. Most believe that it was established on the day of Pentecost when Jesus’ spirit rested upon his disciples.
Did you know…:
The Greek Orthodox Church of Jerusalem follows the Julian calendar rather than the Gregorian one and holds festivals according to those dates.
Ceremonies are held in the traditional Koine Greek, the original language of the church, and it conducts its liturgy according to the traditional Byzantine Rite.