Plan a Visit

The Sunday morning service in the Orthodox Church is called the Divine Liturgy. Prior to the Divine Liturgy is a beautiful chanted prayer service called Matins.

  • Matins – Sunday – 9AM to 10AM
  • Liturgy – Sunday – 10AM to 11:30AM

On occasion, we have an evening service of chanted prayer called Vespers. It is usually held from 6:00pm to 7:00pm. 

Check the calendar for the actual schedule.

A Few Notes for First Time Visitors

We won’t make a public spectacle of you or ask you to do anything uncomfortable.

We lay no expectation on visitors of financial contribution to our parish’s ministries.

We love kids! Our children worship together with us—they are not segregated out during our services. If your child is struggling or needs a break, please do not feel embarrassed to make a visit to the narthex until the child is ready to rejoin everyone else in worship.

All of our services are held in English

We would love to meet you. Please join us for coffee hour after the service and introduce yourself to our pastor, Father Michael.

Holy Communion

We invite all Orthodox Christians, who are duly prepared, to receive Holy Communion.  Proper preparation includes faithful fasting, recent confession, being at peace with others, and being on time to the divine services. If you are uncertain if you are properly prepared to receive communion, please wait until you have spoken with Father Michael.

Blessed Bread (Antidoron)

If you are not Orthodox or not prepared to receive, you may come forward for a blessing and receive a piece of bread (Antidoron literally means “instead of the Gifts” in Greek). It is bread that has been blessed but not consecrated.  Please accept it as an offering to you in Christian charity and brotherly love.

Divine Liturgy

For almost 2,0000 years Christians have attended this service. We like to say that the only thing that changes is the sermon. That is a bit of an exaggeration, but for the most part if you would like to experience today how early Christians worshiped in the past, consider attending the Divine Liturgy.

An Orthodox service can be overwhelming on your first visit. Vibrant images of biblical events and saints cover the walls. You will see people lighting candles and venerating icons. The smell of incense fills the air. People will not only be using their voices to worship, but also their bodies. They will be crossing themselves and bowing or prostrating. It may seem strange at first, but this is how Christians have worshiped God for 2,000 years.

The Orthodox Church is the ancient Church founded by Christ and His Apostles and described in the New Testament. Orthodox worship is exciting, moving, and sometimes confusing for a first- time visitor. If this is your first time visiting a Christian Orthodox Church, we have provided some tips about how we worship. We suggest reading Frederica Mathewes-Green’s 12 Things I’d Wish I’d Known for a fuller explanation of what’s highlighted below. If you want to know what is unique about our parish, scroll down to “Our Unique Parish” below.

Entering the Church

When you first enter the church, you’ll be in the Narthex, where you can light a candle, pray, and make a small donation if you like. Sometimes we forget cash, too, so don’t feel obligated to pay to pray with a candle. Before you go, look up to the icon of St. Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s Mother, greeting Mary, the Mother of God with joy. This is how we welcome you!

Getting Comfortable in the Sanctuary
Enter and please sit where you are comfortable. If you want to see the action, you might get close to the front. You will also be closer to the censer which holds the incense which is used liberally throughout the service. You’ll notice that we dress up for Sunday morning worship. We also don’t necessarily arrive on time. When we do arrive, we sometimes make noise and go up front to light candles. We’re not being rude. It’s just how we do it. If you look at the book rack in every row, there is a Service Book that has the whole liturgy written in it. You can read along if you like, but sometimes it’s best to watch and listen, allowing your senses to experience the service.

The Icons
We have many images of Saints and of Jesus, often with his mother Mary, the Theotokos. They remind us that we don’t do the Christian life alone, or even only with those on earth today. Many have followed Christ before us and we join them in worship of God. We also believe that they cheer us on to run the race before us (Hebrews 12:1-3). We like to tell their stories and honor them.

Gestures and Kisses
We stand a lot, cross ourselves a lot, and kiss stuff. Sometimes we even prostrate ourselves. Every time Father, Son and Holy Spirit are mentioned, we make the sign of the cross. We might kiss the cross, the chalice, icons, and each other. We’re honoring these things and how Christ blesses us through them. At one point, we greet each other with “Christ is in our midst” and the response is “He is and shall be.” Don’t worry; we don’t always say it right either.

Processions
There are four processions conducted in every liturgy. The first two processions feature priests, deacons, and altar servers wearing glittery garments. These vestments have symbolic meaning. The first procession brings out the Gospel Book, large and beautifully decorated, because it contains the words of Jesus Christ, our Savior. The second parade is for the wine and bread that mystically becomes the body and blood of Christ for us. This is called Holy Communion or Holy Eucharist. It is very sacred so we keep our face toward these elements the whole time they are processed around the church. The third and fourth processions are for the people. We go up to receive Holy Communion from a spoon given by the Priest. This bread in wine is reserved only for prepared Orthodox Christians. You are welcome to join the fourth parade to receive blessed bread (this is not the same as the consecrated bread above) and exit the service! If you aren’t comfortable kissing the cross, simply greet the priest instead.

Learn More
Please join us next door for coffee hour. We’re good at chatting and answering any questions you have! Click here to learn more about the Orthodox church. We hope you will sign our guest register and will introduce yourself to Fr. Michael after the service.