Eastern Vs. Western Christian Spirituality

What are some differences in spirituality between the Churches of the East and West? (This includes Eastern Orthodoxy.) What are some devotions/sacramentals that the West has but not the East, and vice versa? What are some of the differences between the liturgies? I heard that the East doesn’t define as much as the West does; the East lets mystery remain mystery. Is this true?



mostly chanted liturgy, no musical instruments, leavened bread (byzantine rite), alleluia during Lent, standing during the consecration/no kneeling (although several Orthodox churches have self imposed this latinization…oddly enough)

rosary vs prayer rope/Jesus prayer; fasting is more rigorous and for longer (nearly half the year if you add it all up) and it’s seen as something to strive for not as sinful if you don’t do it right


This is becoming more and more common among Latins, though. ’

My Methodist grandmother, oddly enough, loved it


I’d like to get into saying the Jesus prayer. I actually made myself a necklace with a message-in-a-bottle pendant, where I wrote the Jesus prayer on a piece of paper, rolled it up, and stuck it in the bottle - nobody knows what’s written except me. I used to wear it all the time, but unfortunately, I’ve lost it.

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I love the simplicity of it :slight_smile:

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Same here. It’s beautiful.

I love it that the Church is so diverse. :grinning:


I do too! We’re all different, but we’re all part of the Church.

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You are getting great answers, but try looking through the forum archives at byzcath.org.

Uhm, not to offend anyone, but avoid any archive you find of the Eastern Catholic section of the older version of this site. I say this as an EC who left in disgust multiple times.


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  1. To better understand the spirituality it is best to know the saints of the church. Their stories, some in their own words. Here is an Eastern Orthodox source, click on ‘selected stories’.

  2. Big difference I notice is icons vs statuary. Easterns do icons only.

  3. Differences in liturgies will need more time and space than I can devote now. Generally, eastern liturgies are longer, there is only chanting, still use incense.

  4. Christiandom has splintered into three main factions: first the Eastern Orthodox who have held to ancient traditions and spirituality; the western Catholics have held to their hierarchy and scholasticism (every i dotted and t crossed); the protestants revere the written word of God.

I encourage you to get to know the saints of each.

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