Differences Between Orthodox and Catholics (Pencils & Prayer Ropes)


Hello, my siblings in Christ, and welcome to another video that… I have made. Today, we will focus on the differences between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Churches. Since all the differences have a lot of exceptions, I will focus on the dominant practices of each Church. In addition, I will ignore the historical context for most of these as it would take too much time. Let us begin. The Catholics don’t have beards, the Orthodox have beards; not only that, they’re all beard, and it is one of our goals as an Orthodox Christian to become one with the Beard, to achieve the hypostatic union. This is illustrated nicely with this image of a Catholic bishop and an Orthodox abbess. Catholics believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son; this is called the ‘filioque’ clause, meaning ‘and from the Son,’ a clause that was gradually added to the Nicene Creed in the West; the Orthodox believe that the Spirit proceeds from the Father alone. The Orthodox make a distinction between God’s essence and His energies; God’s essence will always be unknown to us, whereas we interact with Him through His energies; however, both His essence and His energies are uncreated. Catholics make no distinction as regards to essence and energies. Catholics believe that the Pope has the supreme authority over the entire Church, whereas, in the Orthodox Church, all bishops have the same authority that only differs in honor due to different bishoprics. Catholics believe that the Pope is infallible when he defines a doctrine on faith and morals that is upheld by the whole Church – something that is a good thing when the pope is good and a very bad thing when the pope isn’t good. The Orthodox have no concept of papal infallibility. For Catholics, the Assumption of Mary is a dogma; the Assumption isn’t a dogma in the Orthodox Church, but everyone believes in it. Catholics believe that Mary was born without the original sin, a dogma that they call ‘Immaculate Conception’; Orthodox have no such belief. Catholics use unleavened bread for Mass, Orthodox use leavened bread for the Liturgy. Catholics believe that transubstantiation of the gifts occurs at the Words of Institution; Orthodox believe that we cannot truly pinpoint the moment of the change, but consider the epiclesis, that is, the invocation of the Holy Spirit upon the gifts, as the pinnacle of the Divine Liturgy. Catholics can use hosts consecrated during previous Mass for communion during the Mass that’s currently celebrated; Orthodox always take communion that’s consecrated on that Liturgy. Catholics require their members to reach the age of reason to receive Communion; all baptized members of the Orthodox Church, even babies, can receive Communion. Catholics have a very developed devotional system around the Eucharistic adoration, that is, worshipping the consecrated host outside of Mass; no similar services or devotions exist in the Orthodox Church. The Catholics generally baptize with pouring; triple immersion is preferred method in the Orthodox Church. The Holy Mystery of Chrismation is performed immediately after baptism in the Orthodox Church, even with toddlers; in the Catholic Church, one must attain the age of reason in order to receive the sacrament of Confirmation. The Sacrament of Unction is generally given to seriously ill in the Catholic Church; in the Orthodox Church, it can be given to anyone. Most of Catholics make the sign of the cross with all five fingers, from left to right; Orthodox make the sign of the cross with three fingers joined and two fingers folded, from right to left. The typical devotional device of the Orthodox is a prayer rope where they pray the Jesus prayer; for the Catholics, it’s a rosary upon which, mostly, Our Father and Hail Mary are said. Catholics use icons, images and statues in their worship, whereas Orthodox use only icons and squint with suspicion at more realistic imagery. Catholic priests are miserable for having to be celibate and Orthodox priests are miserable for having to be married, unless they’re monks – then they’re miserable like the Catholics. Catholics don’t allow divorce unless they call it an annulment; Orthodox don’t allow divorce and then they do. Catholics make a distinction between mortal and venial sins; such a difference is generally absent in the Orthodox Church. Catholics believe in the Purgatory, where we endure punishments due to forgiven sins; these can be alleviated by indulgences, specific acts of piety that are meant to reduce one’s time in Purgatory. In Orthodoxy, prayer does help the dead have their sins forgiven, but they’re not purged passively of anything, and Orthodox have no concept of residual punishment or related indulgences. A lot of Orthodox believe in tollhouses, which is like Purgatory, just much worse. Catholics have a lot of different monastic orders with different goals; Orthodox monasticism is usually of the same mold. Catholics traditionally abstain from meat on Fridays; Orthodox are borderline vegan more than half a year. The Catholics use the Gregorian calendar; the Orthodox use either Revised Julian Calendar (similar to the Gregorian calendar) or the old Julian calendar. Traditionally, the Catholics make their services incomprehensible using Latin; Orthodox, traditionally, make use of specialized local languages to make their services incomprehensible to general public, like Koine Greek, Church Slavonics etc. Catholic priests can serve facing the altar or facing the people, depending on the order of the service they use; Orthodox priests always face the altar. The Dating of Easter and all related feasts is different for Catholics and Orthodox; sometimes they align, most of the time they don’t. Catholics use music in their worship, traditionally an organ; Orthodox usually see instruments as distracting during worship, so we don’t use instruments and distract you by being constantly lost in different kontakia, troparia, irmoi and other words you don’t know. Catholic churches often have pews; the Orthodox know that the participation in the Liturgy is best achieved not by passive observing of a spectacle, but by searing leg pain. Catholics wear lace, Orthodox do not. This is the biggest difference between the two Churches and a serious impediment to an honest ecumenical dialogue. I hope you’ve enjoyed this video; remember to subscribe if you haven’t already. Also, you should check the playlists in the channel page. There you’ll find all the series and all the books of the Bible neatly arranged so you could listen to it more easily and so you could see all the episodes you have missed. Bye!

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Reader Comments

  1. Bible Illustrated

    I have a podcast together with a friend of mine! 🙂 Join us at: https://churchmouse.show/

    Also subscribe to us on YT (where episodes are posted 5 days later than on the main site): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtTKybjJDnsZfswan4E_Fow

  2. simona zlatanovska

    something about the penultimate thing about the sitting in the church…..well Orthodox Christians have seats in the church but it is for the people who are with kids or old people and ill people

  3. Penny Robinson

    LOVE the jokes tossed in randomly! Beards — marriage — incomprehensible language!

    Let me offer a small correction or enhancement — many Orthodox churches DO have pews — Antiochian, Greek, and OCA in particular. At least in the US.

  4. Danilo Popović

    Wait, I was baptized by pouring method in Orthodox monastery? I was 7 years old at the time, so maybe it hes something to do about it (i was taller then average then)

  5. linguistically oversight 86

    From an outside perspective I will tell you indulgences do not look good they kind of make the whole thing seemed like a get-rich-quick scheme that somebody went hard with

  6. Aarief Budiman dj

    Im indonesia people…Catholik ortodox and catholic romans just alittle bit diffrent in praye ceremony . But both of them are believe in Jesus christ. Formaly when was christian berth all of just one christian ortodox. By me…roman chatolic dan chatiolic ortodox are one. In principals believe only yesus christ one right way. Amen.

  7. Hotchips

    The old testament is Christianity. The new testament is idol and spirit worship that paul and the romans believed in (Greek Mythology). Christian religion today is the sister of Hinduism, budhism and greek Mythology. All believed man can become god. Thats where paul and the new testament brought in the concept of the trinity. Its the religion of the Anti-christ. Truth shal set you free. There is nothing that resembles the almighty GOD.

  8. GrowthInGod

    Ugh!!! I'm stuck right in the middle of this!!! The thing I love most about the Orthodox is the Jesus Prayer on the prayer ropes. However I do find it important to recite the our father and contemplate the mysteries. I think we should have both! And that the Orthodox do not allow divorce until they do. That's easier. But anulment makes more sense since marriage is supposed to be a promise to God and we should not break those kind of promises, however most people aren't mature enough psychologically and financially to marry when they do. The confirmation, I believe should be made any time, however, I do believe most people will never ever understand and appreciate the confirmation until they are of a certain psychological development, and most people tend to leave Christ when they get older. So confirmation when you are older makes sense, but Oh, I believe in equality!! Orthodox believes in energies… I see some truth in that. One of the things I truly believe on the Catholic side is that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son. Jesus sends the HS to us. Great video!!! I'm still torn in the middle!! The Catholics and Orthodox make equal sense! I wish I could be both! Why don't we just get back together?

  9. Davey Mühlethæler

    There’s something about this video that favors orthodoxy. There’s a biased undertone – it’s so apparent and uneasy to watch.

  10. الإسلام هو تحفة الشيطان

    This is such a informative video! Explains a lot about the orthodox faith for me. Greetings from Indonesia. 😇

  11. John Doe

    Jesus Christ didn't die for religion, and different denominations. He died so we can spend eternity with Him. I've seen Him. He looks nothing like the famous pictures all over Cathedrals and Orthodox churches. He is coming, we should all prepare for His return. I don't want anyone to be disappointed for all eternity. I don't want to be in any regrets for all eternity that's why I'm speaking to you now. If your willing now is the time to repent and prepare for the return of the King.

    The Lord is coming back for a people who are blameless and pure in heart. Their robes are white and their oil is full. When He comes it will be too late, don't take chances and risk with your eternity. It's your freewill to prepare for His return or live like the world.

  12. Γιάννης Χαρικαπολυς

    Greek catholic here! May there is no more division among Christian brothers and among all religions aswell! May everyone can pray in peace everywhere in the world by God’s Grace!

  13. Anzara Arden

    As a Muslim , I think Orthodox Christians are more similar to the original true Christians . Catholicism is Roman paganism mixed with Christianity. However the original Christianity was lost when it's members were killed and the teachings corrupted.

  14. Latin Mass Choir

    Amusing and informative pod…… however it’s critical to note that Filioque come about to stop Arianism, the heresy of Arius of Alexandria, and that that started in the east and has led to cult of Islam

  15. Latin Mass Choir

    Just to reiterate that you’re right on Filioque…. We Catholics believe that The Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son…. started in Spain in the 6th century to combat Arianism, and thus defended the divinity of Jesus, which was denied by Arius and widespread through Byzantium throughout the 7th to 12th centuries.

  16. ian carpenter

    Not much…it was basically a power grab that caused all the divisions the ritual and doctrinal differences developed to justify themselfs…so much for the unity of the christ..the apostles fought over who is the greatest! too.

  17. Thecook _

    I know this is a while after posting and it's probably already been said but the point you made about Catholics performing mass in only Latin has been amended by the Vatican II in the 60s. Great vid otherwise!

  18. Stef Hend

    CHRIST CHURCH FROM THE BEGINING CALLED ONE, HOLY, CATHOLIC, AND APSOTOLIC. THE CATHOLIC INDEED NEVER MEANS FOR AS ROME CATHOLIC CHURCH AS WHAT WE KNOW NOW. ROME CHUCRH ADOPT THE NAME CATHOLIC AFTER GREAT SCHISM FROM EAST ORTHODOX CHURCH INN 1054.

  19. karina pique

    I'm a born again Christian since I was 14 years old. I don't understand Catholics do so much that the bible says not to do. 1. Ask a priest to forgive them for their sins but why I say why ask a man who has sinned in his life for forgiveness when you can pray to God and my Lord Jesus forgiveness. 2. Why call priest father? His not our father we have 2 fathers our God who Created us. And our birth father. 3. And why pray to Saints and other false idols when again it is not to in the bible. 4. Why say and pray the rosary? When there's no where in the bible where it says to do so. I just don't understand why. But anyone can believe in what they want and shouldn't pressure no one to believe in what you believe. Can someone please explain or have any comments on this

  20. Dayift

    I am muslim turk and ı have no problem with orthodox Christians love you guys

    (now probably triggered orthodoxs keep telling give constantinopolis back)

  21. Jayce

    Thank you for this explanation. I have recently become a follower of Christ, but I have not joined a church yet, although from my personal experiences in Greece I have tended most toward Orthodox. There are so many different Christian churches and traditions, and for someone who was not raised in the religion it is a lot of information to process. These videos help make it clearer. Unfortunately I am in the Netherlands, and there are very few Orthodox churches here which makes it harder to find information or people to talk to and ask questions to about the Orthodox Christian faith.

    Peace and love to all my Christian brothers and sisters.

  22. baruch asriel

    I am Jesus followers,God descended to the world not to bring religion ,but to teach noble character ,praise be to the Lord Jesus❤️❤️❤️🙏🙏🙏✝️🇮🇩

  23. Pablo Barraza

    As a hardcore Roman Catholic, i learned a lot. The only th i would like to correct is what you said on the Pope's Infallibility. If the Pope is bad, he is still Infallible. Even though the bad Popes do bad things, they can NEVER teach wrong doctrines. The Anti-Popes can, but they are not real Popes. Thanks, God bless.

  24. L boogie

    Thank you thank you thank you! Catholic mamma raising two Serbian Orthodox babies..I have so many questions, and you've given me great answers. Hvala puno!!

  25. Rodrigo Godoy

    Everything you showded have in the Catholic Church. The difference betwen the two churches is the obdience to the Holy Father (Pope) and doctrinal questions. In the Catholic Church has a bizantine rite like the orthodox. The oriental churches who is in perfect communion with Rome and the Holy Father. The bishop of rome (The Pope) is infallible when proclaming a dogma (Ex Cathedra) and it is impossible to straggle (Mt 16:18). He can straggle in moral and
    teachings because, he is a man. The orthodox church is a cismatic church who does not have in communion with the Pope, the Church of Rome and dont accept the Catholic doctrinals. I recommend you to search
    the Melkite Catholic Church and other oriental churches. "Catholic" is a greek word, it means "Universal". Every church who is communion with the Church of Rome is considering Catholic regardless of the rite. You my friend orthodox, can become a Catholic and dont change the rite and the cultural tradition.

  26. rockonmadonna

    On four out of five issues I am with the Orthodox more, but there are exceptions such as unleavened bread. The Last Supper was during the Passover, and the Torah is quite lucid about not eating leavened bresd or evening having yeast in the home during Passover! Jesus did not come to abolish the Law by to fulfill it. It is playing with Hellfire to use yeast during the double Passover service of the Eucharist!

  27. Anthony Welch

    I’m also a Catholic and I love my Orthodox brothers and sisters! I think that one of the only to few difference between catholics & orthodox beliefs is that orthodox use leavened bread when taking the communion or Eucharist but catholics use unleavened bread for communion or Eucharist.

  28. Anthony Welch

    The use of unleavened bread was used by the Jews during jesus’ days because leavened bread that rises uses yeast and yeast is considered unclean or not kosher in the Jewish faith. Also meaning that it is not properly blessed if it has yeast in it!

  29. Natewatl

    I could not enjoy this video because it is so childish. I have been a member of both churches, and in a religious order of the Catholic Church before my conversion. I found very little truth in any of the comparisons but I am not going to try to school you. Please go to a priest and find out the genuine differences and similarities. In the meantime for God's sake in the sake of your Immortal soul, remove this video from YouTube.

  30. Khoi Le

    Luckily I have my Roman missal which translates from Latin to English 😊. So I don’t get super confused on the dead language 😂. I say the Hail Mary in Latin sometimes. ❤️ to all Catholics, Protestants, I dunno Hindus, Buddhist. I ❤️ u all. Peace ✌️

  31. Stop Мгновенье

    I,am orthodox from russia, greetings to my brother's and sisters in Christ 🇷🇺🇷🇸🇬🇪🇧🇾🇧🇬🇬🇷🇲🇩🇷🇴🇺🇦

  32. Dreizenia

    I feel so sorry for all of you Catholics and Orthodox, and all the rest of the indoctrinated religions that exist. Read a real Bible and ask Jesus to help you understand it, and you will understand that none of these doctrines brings your heart closer to true salvation and joy. Leave the doctrines and seek with all your heart Jesus only he serves you nothing else and above all no one else no intermediary.

    Imagine being shipwrecked on an island; you have no priest and none of your doctrines is practicable, but you can talk to Jesus at any time, because this is the freedom for which He died, do not be put back in chains. Only Jesus is way to God!! Don´t be deceive, please seek Jesus only. Love you all. God bless you all!

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