Are non-Orthodox Visitors Welcome?
Yes! We are a community comprised of both converts to the Orthodox Church and cradle-Orthodox raised in the faith, and are very comfortable with newcomers, inquirers and visitors. We come from all racial, age, ethnic, and economic backgrounds. Every sincere lover or seeker of Christ, or non-Christian inquirer is welcome. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about what we do and why. Our bookstore also has books and pamphlets that can help answer a variety of questions. Subjects in our bookstore include Orthodox Christian history, theology, spirituality, prayer, the saints, and even cook-books!
Our normal Sunday service is the Divine Liturgy of Saint John Chrysostom which is the liturgical service followed by all Orthodox Churches word-wide. You can follow along with the service book provided in the pews, or, if you prefer, simply look and listen.
Following the Sunday Divine Liturgy, you are invited to join us for a “coffee hour” which is a good time to get to know our parish members, or browse our church bookstore.
How long are the services?
Divine Liturgy (Sunday – 10:00 A.M.) runs about ninety minutes.
Vespers (Evening prayers – Wednesday nights at 6:00 P.M.) are generally 45 minutes in length.
Great Vespers (Evening prayers – Saturday nights at 6:00 P.M.) are usually 50- 60 minutes in length.
Matins/Orthros (Morning prayers – Sunday mornings at 9:00 A.M., preceding Divine Liturgy) averages 60 minutes in length.
Is there a dress code?
Dress comfortably, but respectfully! Visitors wear everything from jeans to suits, long dresses to skirts, tee shirts to shirts with ties, dress shoes to sneakers. As a newcomer, you may notice that some Orthodox women wear head coverings; this is traditional, but it is not required – especially of our visitors and newcomers.
Is childcare provided?
Each parent is responsible to take care of their child. We have a room for nursing mothers off of the narthex. We encourage children to be present in Church for the services. This participation is part of a child’s spiritual formation.
Is Sunday school for children available?
Sunday School is not currently provided at the moment.
Standing or sitting?
Just try to follow along! The traditional posture for prayer and worship in the Orthodox Church is to stand before our King and our God! In the Orthodox “old countries” there are typically no pews. In North America however we tend to build our churches with pews or chairs. So you are free to sit if you need. However, it is appropriate to stand during the Gospel reading, the Little and Great Entrances, the distribution of Holy Communion, when the priest gives a blessing, and at the Dismissal. Just follow the congregation.
Lighting candles is an important part of Orthodox worship and piety. We light candles as we pray, making an offering to God accompany our prayers. Orthodox typically light candles when coming into the church. By the way, you do not have to be an Orthodox Christian to light a candle and pray in an Orthodox church!
Can non-Orthodox receive the Holy Eucharist?
While you cannot receive communion if you are not an Orthodox Christian, we hope you will accept some of the blessed bread – as a sign of friendship – offered to everyone at the end of the Divine Liturgy during the veneration of the cross.
What is Orthodox worship music like?
Close to seventy-five percent of an Orthodox service is congregational singing. Traditionally, Orthodox do not use instruments. Usually a choir leads the people in a capella harmony, with the level of congregational response varying from parish to parish. The music is solemn, prayerful and intended to lead the faithful to worship the living God.