primacy of jurisdiction or religious control over Christian churches.
They grant the pope the primacy of honor but refuse to accept the dogma
of papal infallibility. Orthodox sacraments include: Baptism, Anointing
(Confirmation or Chrismation), Communion, Penance, Holy Orders,
Marriage, and Holy Unction. They honor the Saints, the Virgin Mary, and
reverence icons and the cross. The use of carved images within the Eastern
Orthodox tradition is forbidden. Eastern Orthodox churches believe that
they continue the tradition of the Christian church founded by the apostles.
Eastern Orthodoxy has tended historically to divide and subdivide into
independent national and social groups. The churches conduct their worship
in their own languages and follow their own customs and traditions. In the
United States today Albanian, Bulgarian, Greek, Romanian, Russian,
Serbian, Ukranian, Carpatho-Russian, and Syrian churches carry forward
the Orthodox faith tradition under the supervision of bishops of their respec-
THE EPISCOPAL CHURCH.In 1578 when Sir Francis Drake first
came ashore in what is now Virginia, his Church of England Chaplain,
Francis Fletcher, planted a cross and read a prayer and Sir Francis Drake
claimed the new land in the name of the English queen. The Episcopal
church, which was established in 1607, was the first church founded in
the newly formed American colonies. The Episcopal church is the self-
governing American branch of the Anglican Communion with its own
bishops and constitution. During the civil war, the Episcopal churchs
Southern dioceses formed a separate organization that reunited with the
churchs Northern dioceses in 1865.
The episcopal form of government parallels that of the Federal Govern-
ment and consists of 114 dioceses. Each diocese is autonomous in its own
sphere. The diocese was established originally for the maintenance of a
common church doctrine, church discipline, and church worship. The
constitution provided for a General Convention which meets every 3 years. It
is made up of a House of Bishops and a House of Clerical and Lay Deputies.
The Ministry is comprised of three ranks: bishops, who stand in the line of
apostolic succession; priests, who may marry; and deacons. The
Episcopal church supports orders of monks and nuns and follows a tradi-
tional liturgy. Episcopalians accept the Bible as the divinely inspired word of
God. They believe in the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, and the Incarnation.
Worship services within Episcopal churches vary. The High Church
Episcopalians (so called because of their elaborate ceremonies) celebrate
mass similar to Roman Catholics. The Low Church Episcopalians (so
called because of their less involved ritual) have matins as their principal
service. Most Episcopal churches have a sermon and observe matins.
Holy Communion or the Eucharist is considered to be a sacrament and
Episcopalians believe in the real presence of Christ in the Eucharistic
elements. Special handling may be necessary for Episcopal Eucharistic
elements. Baptism is also considered to be a sacrament and may be accom-
plished either by pouring or immersion. Confirmation, Penance, Ordina-
tion, Matrimony, and Unction are considered sacramental. The Book of
Common Prayer contains the service and prayers of the Episcopal church.