Can I receive Holy Communion?
Only baptized, Orthodox Christians are able to receive the Eucharist in the Orthodox Church. Not only is the Eucharist the literal Body and Blood of Christ, but also a symbol of unity, oneness of mind and doctrine between Orthodox Christians.
How does one become an Orthodox Christian?
One enters the Holy Orthodox Church by becoming a Catechuman. This involves not only study of the history and doctrines of the Orthodox Church, but also regular attendance of the cycle of services. In a word, it's about becoming a member of the Body of Christ through your local Orthodox community.
What is basic Orthodox Church dress code?
Please dress respectfully as befitting for a holy service. It's traditional Orthodox practice for women to be in a head-covering and a nice dress or skirt. Men in long pants and a nice shirt. For the women visiting who are not (yet) Orthodox Christian, you will not be singled out for not following the traditional dress code. Our community is mostly converts to Orthodoxy, so we understand that these traditions might be new to most people Also, don't be surprised when you see women standing together on the left side of the church and men standing together on the right. In all, we want you to feel comfortable and at home in our loving environment!
What language will the service be in?
Our services are 100% in English with some parts repeated in Old Church Slavonic. The Epistle reading is in both English and Russian. While our parish is a part of the canonical Russian Orthodox Church, we are largely a result of the Russian missionary efforts that started in the 18th century. In fact, our community is indeed home to many ethnicities, yet we are all "one in the Body of Christ" (1 Cor. 12:27). Even through our services are performed according the Russian tradition, our liturgical language is largely English. So, don't be surprised if you hear some Slavonic in our services; just know that nothing is being left out in the English language.
Why do Orthodox Christians stand for most of the service?
Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ directs us to stand during prayer (Mark 11:25), and the Apostle Paul says: "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith" (I Cor. 16:13); ''Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth (Ephes. 6:14); "Stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved" (Philippians 4:1). If a Christian must always stand on guard spiritually over his salvation, then he must do so even more during the divine church services which represent an expression and an enrichment to private everyday service to God.
All visitors are welcome! Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we encounter when new people come for the first time to an Orthodox Church: