Terminology - Glossary F

Term Definition

FAITH – Belief and trust in Christ as one’s Savior. The effects of this faith are freedom from the power of the devil, the attainment of virtue, and progress toward perfection and union with God. One is saved by faith through grace-a living faith manifested by a righteous life ( Rom. 5; Rom. 3:28; Gal…. Read More


FAITHFUL – Those who have been baptized and hold to the truths as members of the Orthodox Catholic Church.


FAITHFUL AND TRUE WITNESS, THE – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) ” And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;” Rev 3:14   “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the… Read More


FAST -To abstain from certain foods, particularly meat foods.


FASTING – An ascetic exercise whereby one gives up certain foods, usually meat and dairy products, as a means of disciplining the body. Fasting is a part of the ascetic life and a sign of repentance. Orthodox Christians fast on most Wednesdays and Fridays (in memory of the betrayal and crucifixion of Christ) and during… Read More


FASTING DAYS – Days and season appointed by the Church during which the faithful abstain from meats: Wednesday and Friday throughout the year (except the weeks following Christmas, Easter and Pentecost), Great Lent (7 weeks before Easter), Pre-Christmas Lent (40 days before Christmas); SS. Peter and Paul’s Lent (from one week following the Feast of… Read More


FATHER – (1) God the Father is one of the three Persons of the Holy Trinity. God the Son is eternally begotten of God the Father. God the Holy Spirit eternally proceeds from God the Father (Matt. 28:19; John 14:10; 15:26). (2) “Father” is a title given to one’s spiritual father based on the custom… Read More


FATHER OF ORTHODOXY – St. Athanasius, so called because of his inflexible opposition to Arianism.


FATHERS OF THE CHURCH – The teachers and defenders of the faith of the first six centuries who added notable holiness and complete Orthodoxy to their learning.


FEAST – A special day set apart for the liturgical commemoration of some saint, some event in the life of Christ, or in the life of the All Holy Virgin Mary. Feasts are classified as (a) immovable, which occur on fixed days, and movable, which depend on the date of Easter (Ascension, Pentecost) ; (b)… Read More


FELLOWSHIP – (Gr. koinonia) Literally, “communion”; the unity of believers through Christ based on the fellowship of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Christians are united into a special fellowship through their love for one another and common union with Christ (Acts 2:42; 1 John 1:3, 7). See also COMMUNION.


FESTAL HYMN TO THE THEOTOKOS – (Zadostoynik) – A hymn in honor of the Theotokos sung at the Divine Liturgy in place of “It is truly” on the twelve great feasts and certain other feasts. Usually the ninth heirmos of the festal kanon is used for this purpose. The Liturgy of St. Basil the Great… Read More


FESTAL MINEON – Service Book used by the reader or the choir with the Sticheras for all the Feast days of the year.


FESTAL TRIODION – (Pentecostarion) – One of the basic liturgical books of the Orthodox Church, which contains the hymns and prayers for the period from the Holy Pasch (Resurrection) through the Sunday of All Saints (the first Sunday after Pentecost). There are two types of Festal Triodion: a reader’s version, which contains only texts, and… Read More


FILIOQUE – A Latin word meaning “and the Son.” Western churches began adding this word to the Nicene Creed several centuries after it was written: “I believe In the Holy Spirit . . . who proceeds from the Father and the Son.” This “filioque clause” is judged by the Orthodox Church as error because it… Read More


FILIOQUISM – The name of a heresy saying that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Father and the Son.


FINISHER OF FAITH – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Heb 12:2 (also: perfecter of faith)


FIRST AND LAST – (an appellation or Title of Jesus)  “And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last: ” Rev 1:17 “And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write;… Read More


FIRST BEGOTTON – (an appellation or Title of Jesus) “And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him.”   Heb 1:6 “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of… Read More


FIRSTBORN – (an appellation or Title of Jesus)  “Also I will make him my firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth.” Ps 89:27


FLEECE – (an appellation of the Theotokos) In the book of Judges we read the account of the dew which appeared miraculously on Gideon’s fleece (Judges 6:36-40). So too, the Dew Christ, appeared miraculously on the Living Fleece the Theotokos.


FLESH – (1) In New Testament usage, flesh refers to fallen human nature, which, through its ties to the world and mortality, struggles against spiritual growth and leads one into sin. Christians are called to subdue the lusts of the flesh so that they may grow in union with Christ (Rom. 8:4-9; Gal. 5:16-24).  (2)… Read More


FOOL-FOR-CHRIST – One of the various customary saint titles used in commemoration at divine services when remembering saints on the Church Calendar.  A saint known for his apparent, yet holy insanity.


FOREFEAST – A forefeast (also known as prefeast) is a period of time preceding certain major feasts of the Christian year during which the Church anticipates the approaching festival. The liturgical life of the Church reflects this anticipation by foreshadowing the feast in the divine services celebrated during the forefeast.  Most commemorations that have a… Read More