Becker Bible Studies Library
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis is an independent Orthodox Church. Vasiloupolis in Greek means "Royal City". The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis honors the canons and the traditions of the Holy Orthodox Church. They hold their services in many languages which are dependent on the different congregations, however, all clerics do speak English. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis is known as the True Orthodox or Old Calendar Synod.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis is against the mainstream Orthodox churches that use the Gregorian Calendar. They consider themselves as True Orthodox, Traditionalist Orthodoxy or Genuine Orthodox.
The Archdiocesan offices are located in Queens, New York.
The Bishop of the Church of Greece implemented a change of the calendar from the traditional Julian calendar to the Gregorian calendar in May of 1924 at the Pan Orthodox congress. The Orthodox or the Julian calendar had been adjusted to match the Gregorian calendar. It was argued the Gregorian calendar was modified from the Julian calendar because the Julian calendar was considered to be to long. The Gregorian calendar dropped certain number of days so the calendar could be synchronized with the seasons. The main argument was over the celebration of Easter.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis was one of many of the Orthodox churches who separated from the Official Greek Church, which resulted in them being declared heretics committing the act of schism. These Greek Orthodox churches that preferred the Julian calendar were called the Old Calendarist.
The Old Calendarists had a large scale emigration from Greece to the United States in late 1960 because of persecution. The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis was one of these churches to emigrate.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis believes the Holy Scripture is made of writings of both the Old and New Testaments. They believe the New Testament reveals the human and divine nature of Jesus Christ. They believe the Old Testament reveals the history of the Hebrew people and the prophecies of the Prophets that foretold the coming of the Messiah.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis believes Holy Tradition is part of the Holy Scripture and includes the writings, teachings and the acts of the Apostles, saints, martyrs and fathers of the Church. Tradition is also found in the liturgy of the Church and also heard in oral tradition of the early Church. They believe the Divine Liturgy is central to the worship service celebrated each Sunday morning and on all holy days. They believe the Liturgy is the means to accomplish union with Jesus Christ as well as with each other through the Sacrament of Holy Communion.
The adhere to the Nicene Constantinopolitan creed which they believe is a collection of doctrinal truths that should be adhered to and recited at each of the Divine Liturgy.
They believe there are seven Sacraments. Four of these Sacraments are obligatory like Baptism, Chrismation (anointment with holy oil), Confession, and Holy Communion. They believe three are optional, which are Matrimony, Ordination (Holy Orders), Unction (the anointment of the sick).
They think the church calendar should begin on September first and end on August thirty first. They believe each day is sacred and every day one Saint or sacred event in the life of the Church is venerated or acclaimed. They believe the most important of the major feast days is Easter.
They celebrate twelve major feast days which includes; Nativity of the Theotokos on September 8th, Exaltation of the Holy Cross on September 14, Presentation of the Theotokos in the Temple November 21, Christmas which is the Nativity of Jesus Christ is celebrated on December 25, Epiphany which is the Baptism of Jesus Christ is celebrated on January 6, the Presentation of Christ in the Temple February 2, Annunciation March 25, Easter varies from year to year, Ascension is 40 days after Easter, Pentecost is 50 days after Easter, the Transfiguration of Christ August 6, Dormition of the Theotokos is celebrated on August 15.
The Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Vasiloupolis believes true Orthodoxy thinks only to serve God and to save souls. They are not preoccupied with the secular and temporary welfare of the lives of men. They believe true Orthodoxy is spiritual and not physical, psychological or earthly. They believe they have a total commitment to Jesus Christ and they do not deviate from the Commandments of God or the laws of His Holy Church.
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About the Author
Joanne B. Holstein is a Becker Bible Studies teacher and author of Guided Bible Studies for Hungry Christians. She has received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology/Christian Counseling with honors from Liberty University. She is well-known as a counsleor to Christian faithful who are struggling with tremendous burden in these difficult times. She is a leading authority on the history of development of the Christian churches and the practices and beliefs of world religions and cults.