Yesterday afternoon, Martine and i went to the Valley Greek Festival at St. Nicholas in North Hills. It was a cool overcast day, but people came from all over the Valley to party. Unfortunately, there were some signs of increased organization and decreased quality, especially in the food service area. But it’s still fun, what with all the music and Greek dancing. (No, I didn’t dance: I was not born with the ability to move in time to music without causing pain to my dancing partners’ feet.)
We took our usual tour of the church. Greek Orthodox churches can be pretty spectacular, and St. Nicholas is one of them. In case you were wondering, yes, it’s Saint Nick, Santa Claus, after whom the church is named. For some reason, this year there was no Question and Answer session with one of the parish priests, which I rather miss. Although I was raised a Catholic, I have a lingering admiration for Orthodoxy.
Doctrinally, the major difference between Catholicism and Orthodoxy is a single word—filioque—in the Nicene Creed. Also, their priests can be married; whereas Roman Catholic clergy must remain celibate. Curiously, there are several different rites of he Catholic Church, under Papal jurisdiction, in which marriage is also permitted.