St. George Melkite Greek-Catholic Church
1620 Bell Street · POB 660425 · Sacramento, CA 95866 · (916) 920-2900
THE MELKITE GREEK-CATHOLIC CHURCH
The Christian Church was born in the Holy Land — what we call the Middle East today. As the church spread, it took on the ways of the nations that accepted it. In America, most Christian churches are Western because their roots are in Western Europe, and their ways reflect the culture of the Western Europeans who founded them.
Some American churches, including ours, were started by people from Eastern Europe or the Middle East. They still keep the ways of the Holy Land: Jerusalem, where Christ founded His Church; Antioch, where the followers of Jesus were first called "Christians"; Damascus, where Saint Paul was converted; Tyre and Sidon, where the Lord healed the Syro-Phoenician woman. Because our ways reflect this Eastern culture, we are called an Eastern Church.
At the time of the Early Church, there were several rich cultures in the Middle East, and each of them gave rise to a different church tradition. The traditions of our church reflect the Greek or Byzantine culture, and so we are called Greek Catholics, or Byzantine Catholics (from Byzantium, the ancient name for Constantinople).
Greek Catholics in the Middle East were also called Melkite because they followed the faith of the Byzantine emperor (melek) in supporting the decisions of the Council of Chalcedon.
As Eastern Christians, we have a particular style of Christian living all our own. We especially stress:
Another important aspect of our Community Life is our joy in each other's company, expressed in the frequent meals and social times we share. Finally, we open ourselves to support one another in the trials of daily life. In this way, the unity we celebrate at the Eucharist is lived out day by day.
Our beliefs and practices date from the earliest days of Christianity in the Holy Land. By continuing to observe them, we maintain a living connection with the early Church. We cherish our Tradition as a continuous stream flowing from the first Christians to us under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.