THE FIVE PILLARS OF MYSTERY OF OUR CHURCH
The Ethiopian Orthodox Church has Five Pillars of Mystery through which it teaches and demonstrates its basic religious belief. They are called Pillars of Mystery due to the fact that they support and strengthen the faithful in religious teachings as a pillar supports a roof. These mysteries have Biblical foundation (1 Corinthian. 14:19). Accordingly, the five pillars of mystery are expressed in the Creed, which is the confession of our Faith.
-- Mystery of the Trinity
-- Mystery of Incarnation
-- Mystery of Baptism
-- Mystery of the Holy Communion
-- Mystery of the Resurrection of the Dead
1. MYSTERY OF THE TRINITY:
In this section the mystery of Unity and Trinity of the Triune God is described. The Holy Trinity is three in name, in person (Akal), in deed and one in essence, in divinity, in existence, in will. Three in name: Father, Son Holy Spirit. Three in deed: the Father is the begetter, the Son is begotten, and the Holy Spirit is the one who proceeds. Three is person: the Father has a perfect person, the Son has a perfect person, and the Holy Spirit has a perfect person. The Father is the heart, the Son is the word, and the Holy Spirit is the life (breath). The Father is the heart for Himself, and He is the heart for the Son and of the Holy Spirit. The Son is the word for Himself, and He is the word for the Father, and for the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is the life (breath) for Himself, and He is the life (breath) for the Father and the Son.
Even though we say the Trinity are three in name, in deed and in person; the three are one in essence, in divinity, in existence and in will; we do not mean three Gods but one God. While the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit exist in their own perfect person, they are one in existence. (Abulidis, Faith of the Father's Chap. 40 verse 4:6)
2. MYSTERY OF INCARNATION
Mystery of Incarnation means the mystery of the descending of God the Son who is one of the Trinity from heaven and taking up flesh and rational soul from the Holy Virgin Mary. This is the mystery of God becoming man and man becoming God "The Word became flesh and dwelt among us". (Jn. 1:14).
3. MYSTERY OF BAPTISM
Baptism is the sacrament given to all who believe in the Mystery of the Trinity and the Mystery of Incarnation for the remission of sin, to obtain adoption from the Triune God, to inherit the kingdom of God. It is called mystery, because, when the priest recites the prayer of baptism over the water and blesses it, it will be changed and become the water that flowed from the right side of our Lord Jesus Christ and one can receive the invisible grace of the Adopted Son hood of God (Jn. 19:34-35).
4. MYSTERY OF HOLY COMMUNION
Mystery of the Holy Communion is a supreme act of life through which we can hold intimate communion with God and that which makes us one with God. "Verily, verily, I say unto you, except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man, and drink His blood, you have no life in you." "Who so eat my flesh, and drink my blood will have eternal life. My flesh is meat in deed and my blood is drink indeed, for it is a real food. He/she that eat my flesh, and drink my blood, dwell in me, and I in her/him." (Jn. 6:53-57).
5. MYSTERY OF THE RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD
Resurrection is the Mystery of life after death. All those who have departed from the time of Adam, and those who will pass away, until the Second Coming of Christ, will be raised in the union of body and soul. The souls of the righteous shall abide in paradise and the souls of sinners in hell until the end of this world. But on the last day, when our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ shall come in His glory, to judge the living and the dead, the souls shall be united with their bodies on the day of resurrection and they shall rise from the dust of the earth. (Luke 16: 29-31)