Experiencing the Eastern Church

One of the really neat aspects of the pilgrimage I’ve undertaken is to encounter things truly new to me. My visit to Atlanta in late August was just such an experience. For the first time, though not the last, I experienced the Liturgy in a parish outside the Roman Catholic tradition.

St. John Chrysostom is part of the Melkite Church, an Eastern church with roots in Greece, Syria, Lebanon and other parts of the Middle East that is in communion with the Holy See. I was invited by Father John to the parish, where I enjoyed Orthos (the prayer service) and Divine Liturgy, followed by lunch and the opportunity to meet many of the parishioners.

It was an enlightening experience, one that serves as a reminder of the breadth and diversity of our Catholic faith.

For the architectural buffs among my readers, it’s worth noting that the church building was once the mansion of Coca Cola Company Founder Asa Candler. I’d say now it’s closer to the Real Thing.

The church is located in the Druid Hills section of Atlanta.
There’s no mistaking the Middle Eastern style.
In the Byzantine Church, they don’t use statues, only iconography.

The ceiling above the sanctuary.

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