On this First day of January in the year of our Lord 2013, celebrating the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus; The Archdiocese Of Saint Michael does hereby adopt this document as a Statement of Faith and Practice;
We believe Sacred Scripture as interpreted by the Church, together with the Seven Undisputed General Councils of the Whole Church, together with doctrines believed by the Church as a whole prior to the Great Schism of 1054, as defining the belief of the Whole Church.
We affirm the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments as interpreted by the Church, as containing everything that is necessary for salvation, and as being the rule and ultimate statement of the Faith of the Church.
We affirm the “Nicene Creed” as the principal creed of our Faith. We also recognize the Western Baptismal Creed, commonly called the “Apostles Creed,” and the hymn commonly called the “Athanasian Creed” as representing statements of the Nicene Faith.
We believe that the Nicene Creed is a literal statement of the belief of the Church and is not subject to interpretation which dismisses as merely allegorical or merely mythological any portion thereof.
We affirm the Seven Sacraments; Baptism, Holy Eucharist, Confirmation, Holy Order, Holy Matrimony, Penance and Holy Unction administered with the unfailing use of the traditional outward and visible signs, and the form, matter, ministers and intention received of old.
We affirm the Historic three-fold ministry of Bishops, priests and deacons, and the traditional rights and powers thereof, locally adapted in the methods of its administration according to the needs of the nations in which the Church resides, but historic in form, matter, ministers and intention.
We affirm the Real Presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist when the Eucharist is performed by a validly ordained Priest of the Holy Orthodox Catholic Church, with the elements ordained by Christ, and a valid Canon of the Mass including Christ’s Words of Institution and the Epiclesis.
We affirm that those who receive the Sacraments unworthily do so to their detriment, but do so without effecting the nature or efficacy of the Sacrament itself.
We affirm that the unworthiness of a minister of a Sacrament does not invalidate the Sacrament, but, rather, that a Sacrament performed with the proper matter and form, and with the intention of the Church to make such action a Sacrament, remains valid, whether or not the minister is worthy to administer that Sacrament.
We believe that faithful Christian Marriage between a man and a woman, free of impediments, is the only legitimate state for sexual expression between individuals.
We affirm openness to all of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, including the so-called “Charismata,” but finding it unscriptural to require that anyone exercise any particular Charism to be considered a full, believing member of this body. (I Corinthians 12:21) Those who exercise the Charismata are welcome and encouraged to exercise their gifts to the edification of the Church in an orderly, Biblical manner, subject to the godly discipline of the Pastor of the Parish to which they have allegiance.
We believe that there is a possibility that some will reject grace, no matter how often it is offered, and these people freely choose to remain in a state of separation from God. This state of spirit we call “Hell.” It is a freely chosen state of the damned to be damned. It is not the will of the Father that any be lost.
We believe that humans are truly endowed with free-will and can freely choose Life in Christ Jesus or death through the rejection of grace.
We believe that the Holy Scriptures are inerrant on all matters of faith and morals.
We believe that people are justified by faith, which is demonstrated in good works and obedient practice. Both faith and works are necessary to the living of a Christian life.
We believe that there is a “cloud of witnesses,” the Saints, whom we may ask to pray for us as one would ask any other member of the Church. It is an idolatrous practice, however, to ask Saints to give us any material or physical blessing of their own. For, while the prayer of the righteous is very effective (James 5:16), yet every good thing comes from the Father (James 1:17).
We believe that the “Sacrifice of the Mass” is a “making present” of Jesus’ One Sacrifice, once offered, forever. Jesus’ Sacrifice is made present on the altar, and, as such, the Mass may be spoken of as a Sacrifice. Therefore, it is appropriate that Masses be offered for the living and the dead, making present to the Church now the One Sacrifice once offered, and making very present the benefits of Christ’s Holy Sacrifice to the benefit of those present at the offering.
We believe that all Bishops who have valid orders and remain in the orthodox faith are successors of the Apostles. We believe that all Bishops are a band of Brothers and Sisters, equal to each other, even though some may find themselves in temporary authority over their peers, these Bishops may be assigned titles for purposes of administration, but biblically there is no human office higher than that of Bishop, and we believe that biblically we are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28) and those that have accepted him, have been baptized in his name, accepted his calling, and have repented their sins, are acceptable for Holy Orders including women.
We believe that whatsoever is not repugnant to the Orthodox Catholic Faith, but which aids in belief and devotion, may be believed as pious opinion, but may not be taught as doctrine of the Church.
We affirm that the Eucharist is the principal service of the Church; that its celebration is commanded by the Lord, and that it shall be the regularly celebrated Sunday Worship whenever possible. Unlike other jurisdictions, we believe that each Bishop may elect to celebrate the Eucharist without benefit of a congregation or to allow those Priests and Deacons under his or her authority to do so, we find that the Eucharist is an indispensable part of the life of a minister and therefore should be celebrated on a regular basis, we further find that when a congregation is not present, the minister is celebrating mass for the world.