Greek Catholic Church: Some of them, however, men from Cyprus and Cyrene, went to Antioch and began to speak to Greeks also, telling them the good news about the Lord Jesus. (Acts 11:20)
Dress modestly and speak softly
The Greek Catholic Church of Nazareth is located in the center of Nazareth old market on road #6120. It is in the Churches district and next to the Synagogue Church. The Greek Catholic Church of Nazareth has a huge dome and two bell towers which can easily be seen from anywhere in the market. It is a fairly modern structure, built in 1887. Along with the Synagogue Church, the Greek Catholic Church is managed by the Melkite Greek Catholics living in Nazareth.
Within the modern structure, the decorations are ornate and breathtaking. A templon or fabric decorated with conostras (symbols of the church) separates the hallway from the altar. This kind of separating screen is the custom in Melkite Churches. The icons are all facing center (toward Christ) and include: the Virgin Mary, John the Baptist, the apostles, founders of the Church, saints and the prophet Elijah. Even the priest’s seat is a work of art. It was imported from Greece and made with fine woodworking craftsmanship.
This structure sits right on the gate coming from Haifa, which is easier to get to than the original Synagogue Church. It houses an elementary school, a seminary training school, a high school and the church sanctuary.
The Greek Catholic Church is a result of a split from the Greek Orthodox Church. Since 1724, the Greek Catholic Church has kept much of its Eastern liturgical style while keeping communion with the Roman Catholic Church. However, much of the history of the Greek Catholic Church dates farther back still to the Christian origins at Antioch. The Greek Orthodox Church and all its derivatives can trace their religious heritage back to the Apostle Paul’s trips to Antioch.
From there the Greek Orthodox religion spread through Syria and to the world. The Melkites or Greek Catholic members (those who practice the Eastern Orthodoxy but owe allegiance to the Roman Catholic Pope) make up twenty five percent of all the Christians in Israel! This falls just below the Greek Orthodox who account for one third of all Israeli Christians.
The Greek Catholic Church in Nazareth was built in 1887. It is next to the older Crusader building (Synagogue Church). Now the building is run by the Melkites, as is the adjacent Synagogue Church.