Welcome to St Joseph’s Melkite Catholic Church. I am Fr. Basil Samra, Pastor of St. Joseph. We of the Melkite community thank you for taking the time to study and better understand the Melkite Church. I have assembled some literature that I believe will assist you with your study of “who we are”.
Melkites are Catholics of the Eastern Church, specifically the Melkite church. There are many particular Churches in the Eastern Church, some are Catholic and others are not. The Orthodox are not Catholics, but their services are identical to those of the Melkites. We are in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church, i.e., the Apostolic See of Rome and Pope John Paul II. Frequently we call the Roman Church the Latin Church. Our Melkite history goes back to the early years of Christianity when the new Faith first was preached in Antioch of Syria (Acts. 11: 19-26).
One of the noticeable features of our churches is the decoration of the interior with icons instead of statues. Icons are pictures of the person we honor such as Jesus Christ, the Virgin Mary, and the various saints. Our Holy Table (Altar) and the side tables are not easily seen from your pew because there is an Iconscreen which separates the Sanctuary from the Nave of the church. The purpose of this Iconscreen is to protect the Holy Place, which represents Heaven, and to show us Our Lord and the Saints in the glory of Paradise.
Now that you have learned about the features of our churches as compared to a western church, learn more about our beliefs by reading the pamphlets we have selected for you. They cover our heritage and what and how we believe. For example, our Nicene Creed is to same as the one used in the Latin Church, with one minor difference, that being "we believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father." In the Latin Church it would be "we believe in the Holy Spirit who proceeds from the Father and Son."
While you are reading our literature, you may wish to listen to the Melkite Church hymns we’ve selected from our hymnal and services.
Please click on the selection below and if you have
any questions or need clarifications of what you have read, feel free to
call Fr. Basil to chat about our Church. Better yet, attend our Sunday
Liturgy (Mass or Eucharist) 10:00 AM, and join us afterwards in the Church
hall for coffee.
"What is an Eastern Church"
"What Eastern Christians Believe"
"How the Church is Structured"
"Our Church's Many Names"
"Worshipping in the House of the Lord"
"Preparing for Holy Communion"
"What is a Deacon"
Visit Other Melkite Churches in the Area