Visitors will find many new things to experience in an Orthodox Church service and there are many customs and traditions that are important parts of our worship. Feel free to go at your own pace, ask questions, and know you are welcome to “come and see.” Read on for answers to some of the most commonly asked questions.

Absolutely! The faith is open to all, and you are welcome here. We are honored to have visitors join us for prayer and worship. We are a community made up of quite a few converts (including some of our priests and deacons) and welcome newcomers, inquirers, and visitors. We understand that our visitors may have questions about the Orthodox Christian faith and practices; many of us have been there. Don’t be afraid to ask about what we do or why we do it.

When you first enter our church, you are coming into the narthex, which is the entrance area before entering the nave, the church proper. If you visit on a Sunday, you’ll be welcomed by a greeter at the door. Feel free to tell the greeter you’re new and he or she will help you navigate your way around and introduce you to others who can answer any questions. We have copies of our services available, so you can follow along, or simply look and listen as we worship God together.

After service on Sunday, you are invited to join us for Coffee Hour, which is a great time to visit with parishioners and other guests, meet our clergy, and ask questions. If you are not interested in social interaction at first, that’s fine. You are always welcome to follow your own pace and level of interest.

It depends on the service. Below you’ll find a list of our weekly services with approximate times…

  • Great Vespers (evening prayers typically on Saturday nights) are 45-50 minutes.
  • Orthros/Matins (morning prayers before the Divine Liturgy) are 60-70 minutes.
  • Divine Liturgy (Sunday mornings and on Feast Days) is about 90 minutes.

Please view our calendar for up-to-date times and additional services throughout the year.

Most people who attend our parish follow the general rule of dressing respectfully and modestly as we stand before God. We have people who wear everything from nice jeans to suits, long dresses to skirts, sneakers to dress shoes. You will see some women wearing head coverings and others not – it is a personal practice and both traditions are welcome.

Our worship services are primarily in English. We are blessed to have parish members from all over the world, so you may hear a small portion of the service in Arabic or Greek.

Childcare is not provided. Children and young people are an integral part of our community and our worship—together we make up the One Body of Christ. If Parents need to excuse themselves to comfort their children, we encourage them to use the Narthex, long hallway or the nursing mother’s room (all of which have speakers allowing the parents to stay connected to the worship as they calm their child).

We do have Sunday School before Liturgy for pre-school through high-school children, with a break during summer. We also typically have a Vacation Church School one week during the Summer.

Lighting candles is an important part of Orthodox worship and piety. We purchase and light candles as we pray, making an offering to God to accompany our prayers. Orthodox typically light candles when coming into the church. A general rule of thumb is to remember it may not be appropriate to light candles in front during the Epistle, Gospel, or sermon. By the way, you do not have to be an Orthodox Christian to light a candle and pray in an Orthodox church.

Orthodox priests may only serve the Holy Eucharist to Orthodox Christians in good standing of the canonical Orthodox Church, who have recently confessed and fasted before partaking of the Holy Eucharist. This has been the ancient tradition of the Holy Church for its 2,000-year history. The Orthodox Church understands the Holy Eucharist as the actual body and blood of Jesus Christ in our midst, not simply as a memorial, or merely in a spiritual sense, as many other non-Orthodox Christians do. For one to receive Holy Communion, one must first receive proper instruction in the faith and confess the same beliefs of the Church that the rest of the believing body does.

After taking Holy Communion and at the end of the liturgy, it is traditional to eat a piece of holy bread or antidoron – the bread left over after Holy Communion was prepared (only a part of the bread offered is consecrated and given at communion). Antidoron is not Holy Communion, it is blessed bread. As such, it should be eaten carefully so that crumbs don’t fall on the floor. You may find that a member of the parish will offer you blessed bread – you are welcome to accept and enjoy this act of hospitality.