Visiting Our Parish
Monday and Tuesday
Paraklesis to the Theotokos 10am (at Holy Dormition Chapel, New Carlisle)
Paraklesis to St. Nektarios 9am
Great Vespers 5pm
Divine Liturgy 10am
Are non-Orthodox visitors welcome?
Yes. People of a different religious affiliations or traditions who behave in a respectful manner are always welcome at the liturgical services of our Holy Orthodox Church.
Our parish Priest will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have following your visit.
Following the Sunday Divine Liturgy, you are invited to join us for "coffee hour." During this time of fellowship you may wish to meet our parish Priest or other members of our parish.
The services in our Parish are bilingual (Greek and English). The last Sunday of every month the Liturgy will be mostly in English. When we recite the Our Father, you will hear many languages representing our culturally diverse congregation.
How long are the services?
Great Vespers are usually 40-60 minutes in length. Matins (Orthros) is about 1 hour in length. Divine Liturgy is about 1 ½ hours in length.
Is there a dress code?
The general rule at our church is for men and women to dress appropriately, modestly and respectfully, as before the Living God. Traditionally this has meant that women wear dresses or skirts that fall below the knee, while men wear pants. We ask that you not wear shorts, mini-skirts, tank tops, low-cut or strapless dresses (unless covered by a sweater, etc.). You may notice that some Orthodox women wear scarves on their heads (no hats), but this is not required. Men are asked not to wear head coverings (baseball caps, etc.) in Church.
Standing or sitting?
The traditional posture for prayer and worship in the Orthodox Christian Church is to stand, as free men and women, before the Living God. As there are pews in the Church, you are free to sit as the need arises. 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. If you are unsure what to do, simply follow the rest of the congregation.
"You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and but it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven." (Matthew 5:14-16)
Lighting candles is an important part of Orthodox Christian worship and piety. We light candles as we pray, making an offering to accompany our prayers. Orthodox Christians typically light candles when coming into the church, but there are times when candles should not be lit. Candles should not be lit during the Epistle or Gospel readings, during the Little Entrance, and during the sermon. You do not have to be an Orthodox Christian to light a candle and pray in an Orthodox Christian Church.
The veneration of the holy icons, like the lighting of candles, is an important part of Orthodox Christian worship. Icons are pictorial representations of Biblical scenes from the life of Jesus Christ, historical events in the life of the Church, and of the saints. They are present in every Orthodox Christian Church. You may be surprised to learn that holy icons have been used for prayer since the first centuries of Christianity. History tells us, for example, of the existence of an icon of Christ during His lifetime, the Icon-Not-Made-With-Hands, and of icons of the Theotokos (Mother of God) written by Apostle and Evangelist Luke.
When Orthodox Christians enter a Church they venerate these images with a kiss, not in worship, but in veneration (profound respect or reverence) for what is represented in the image. You might think of this kiss as one you would offer to your dearest loved one, or most respected and honored elder. As a visitor, you are not required to venerate the icons in the Narthex of the Church, though you may do so if you wish. Women should remove any lipstick before venerating the holy icons.
Can non-Orthodox receive the Holy Eucharist (Communion)?
Only members of the Orthodox Christian Church who share a common faith and practice a specific spiritual discipline may participate in the Church's sacraments and receive Holy Eucharist (Communion) at the Orthodox Christian Divine Liturgy. The Greek Orthodox Christian Church has a closed communion and no intercommunion with any other Christian body. We are blessed by your presence with us and thank you for your understanding. May God bless you always.
Special Reminder to Orthodox Christians
All Orthodox Christians who have either married or divorced outside the Church are not in good ecclesiastical standing and thus may not receive the Holy Eucharist. In addition, all Orthodox Christians who have married non-Christians (i.e., Muslims, Jews, Buddhists, etc.) cannot participate in any sacrament of the Orthodox Christian Church until their spouse willingly accepts to be a Christian and they are married in the Orthodox Christian Church.
Furthermore, it is not permissible for an Orthodox Christian to receive Holy Communion if he has consciously slandered anyone, taken a false oath, stolen, deceived anyone, or engaged in adultery or fornication. Nevertheless, all sins can be forgiven. But in order that a sin may be forgiven--whether physical or mental--and in order that the Orthodox Christian be fit to receive Holy Communion, he/she must confess his sin in the Sacrament of Holy Repentance and Confession. The confessor will inform him/her if and when it is permissible to receive Holy Communion.
What is Orthodox worship music like?
According to ancient tradition, Orthodox Christianity does not use instruments in celebration of worship or Sacraments. In our parish you will hear Byzantine chant, the ancient form of music used by much of the Orthodox Christian world. The music is solemn, prayerful and intended to lead the faithful in their worship of the Triune God.
Do you have other questions before you visit? Contact us.