The original sacred language of Christianity was Greek, not Latin. All of the books of the New Testament were written or preserved in Greek. The first eight Councils of the Church were all held in Greek territory under the patronage of the Roman Emperor, whose capital was in Constantinople after 325 AD.
Various Orthodox Churches
- This Encyclopedia says that there are 16 Orthodox Churches as shown in the table below. Wikipedia has a much more elaborate "List of Orthodox Churches."
Four Eastern Patriarchates Constantinople Turkey and Asian Minor Alexandria Egypt Antioch Syria Jerusalem Israel Cyprus Cyprus Independent since the Council of Ephesus (431). Further Schisms after the Great Schism Russia Independent since 1589. Greece 1850 Serbia 1879 Czernagora (Montenegro) 1765 Rumania 1885 Bulgaria In schism from Constantinople since 1872. Austro-Hungarian Churches Carlovitz 1765 Hermannstadt 1864 Czernovitz 1873 Bosnia-Herzegovina 1880 Separated from Church of Jerusalem Church of Sinai One monastery that separated from the Orthodox Church of Jerusalem in 1782.
- Twelve Great Feasts, apart from Pascha (the death and resurrection of Jesus), which is above and beyond all other feasts, form the basis of the Orthodox liturgical year, which begins on September 1. Each feast is preceded by a time of fasting.
The Twelve Great Feasts celebrate major historical events in the lives of Jesus Christ or the Theotokos (Greek, "Mother of God"). Of these, three are in the Paschal Cycle:
- Palm Sunday (the Sunday before Pascha)
- Ascension (forty days after Pascha)
- Pentecost (fifty days after Pascha)
The other Great Feasts are on the Fixed Cycle:
- The Nativity of the Theotokos (8 September)
- The Elevation of the Holy Cross (14 September)
- The Presentation of the Theotokos (21 November)
- The Nativity of the Lord (25 December)
- The Theophany (Epiphany) of the Lord (6 January)
- The Presentation of the Lord (2 February)
- The Annunciation (25 March)
- The Transfiguration (6 August)
- The Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos (15 August)