You are welcome here!
We are pleased to have you worship with us. We are a community comprised of both cradle-born and converts to the Orthodox Church, and are very comfortable with newcomers, inquirers and visitors! We come from all age, ethnic, and economic backgrounds.
All of our facilities are handicap accessible. If you need any assistance at all, please let us know. We are here to be of service to you.
If you are an Orthodox Christian, and you have prepared yourself to receive Holy Communion according to your Spiritual Father’s direction, please be sure to introduce yourself to the priest serving liturgy before the service.(*If you are not an Orthodox Christian, please see note below)
Service books are available in the pews. You are encouraged to follow along with the service. Following Divine Liturgy on Sundays, you are invited to join us in the parish hall for coffee hour.
Parents are responsible for their children. We encourage children to be present in Church for the services. The minor crying, talking, and “singing” of your little ones is music to our ears. However, if it becomes necessary to take your baby or child out of the service for awhile, a small room is available at the back of the church where you can still see the service until you are ready to return.
On Sundays from September through May, we offer classes for adults before Divine Liturgy at 9 AM and, following communion, Church School for children aged 2 through high school. After they have communed, the children gather in the parish hall for a light snack before going to their respective classes. Their sessions last approximately 30 minutes. If you are visiting, your child is always welcome to join one of the classes that day!
We look forward to praying with you. If you have any questions, please ask.
A Brief Intro to Orthodox Worship
If you are coming from a non-Orthodox background, the Divine Liturgy, Vespers, Matins, etc. may seem “different.” Orthodoxy endeavors to hold fast to the Apostles’ doctrine. We retain the form of worship of the early Christians which is called “liturgical.” This means that we follow a liturgy, a Greek word meaning, “the work of the people.” While the service is presided over by a priest, it is co-celebrated by all the people as one Body.
Once you enter the sanctuary, you will see people lighting candles. Candles play an historic role in the Orthodox Church. Though candles were originally used as a means of lighting, the symbolism of the light of many candles to represent how we as Orthodox Christians are to allow Christ’s light to shine in our own lives remains extant in our worship to the present day.
Once in the sanctuary you will also see many icons. These are pictorial representations of Christ, the Holy Theotokos (the Virgin Mary, the Mother of our Lord), and of the Holy Saints and Apostles. Orthodox Christians do not worship these images, but we do venerate them to show honor to those whom the icons represent. In a way this is something like the honor an American may show to the flag of the United States when he salutes it or places his hand over his heart during the national anthem. It is not worship (for worship belongs to God alone) but is a sign of respect and honor. In similar fashion we honor the Saints who have helped guide us by demonstrating the Christian walk in their lives while here on earth.
You will see some people bowing, some making the sign of the Cross frequently, some sitting, some standing, some singing, some not. This is all normal! We are one family, on one road, yet each member of our family is travelling that road according to his capability; according to his relationship with Christ.
*For our non-Orthodox brethren:Orthodox priests may only serve the Holy Eucharist to baptized members in good standing of the canonical Orthodox Church, who have recently confessed, and fasted before partaking of the Holy Eucharist. This is the ancient tradition of the Holy Church for the 2,000 years of its history. The Orthodox Church understands the Holy Eucharist as a mystery of the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist, not simply as a memorial, or merely in a spiritual sense, as many other non-Orthodox Christians do. Rather than trying to accommodate the often varying “interpretations” or revisions of this and other doctrines of the ancient faith, we simply ask that you respect the ancient, apostolic tradition. Join us as we receive the fellowship bread, venerate the cross, and greet our Priest at the end of the Divine Liturgy.