Visitors

The Orthodox Church has often been called “the best kept secret in America”. It has been part of the American religious landscape since the colonial period and flourished both among the Native American tribes of Alaska and in the immigrant communities of the lower 48 states. Over the past 50 years, it has become home to a rapidly growing number of American converts from a wide variety of backgrounds. We are glad you have discovered our parish and we hope that you will come visit us in person soon.

We may have been your neighbor for a long time, but sometimes neighbors don’t know each other very well. To facilitate your visit, we have attempted to anticipate some obvious questions and to provide you with a few brief reading suggestions that will introduce and explain some distinctive elements of Orthodox practice that might seem unfamiliar or confusing to a first-time visitor.

Our prayer is that the more you explore our faith and practice, the more you will understand that we simply pray the Scriptures and that the services engage our whole person, senses included, so that we may, in the words of the psalmist, “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8).

Frequently Asked Questions

Are non-Orthodox welcome?
Yes! Christ came to call all to repentance unto salvation.

Do I need to contact anyone in advance?
You are welcome to visit at any time. There is no need for formal arrangements.

How long are services?
Our Sunday morning service usually lasts for about an hour and quarter. Compline on Wednesday evenings lasts for about 20 minutes, followed by class or Bible study for the remainder of the hour. Great Vespers on Saturday evenings is about a 45 minutes service.

Is there a dress code?
There is no formal dress code. We simply ask that you dress respectfully and modestly when entering God’s house.

Do you provide childcare?
In Orthodox services, children typically worship alongside their families. Participation in the services is part of our spiritual formation at every age.

Can non-Orthodox receive the Holy Eucharist?
Because the Orthodox Church celebrates the Holy Eucharist as the divine mystery of Christ’s real presence, it is reserved for those members of the Orthodox Church who have prepared themselves to receive the Body and Blood of the Lord. Non-Orthodox are still invited to participate in the worship of the church and are welcome to attend all parts of the service.

Suggested Reading

  • Non-Christian Seekers and Inquirers, from St. Barnabas Orthodox Church in Costa Mesa, CA is an excellent introduction for those exploring the Christian faith from a background in Hinduism, Buddhism, New Age spirituality, etc.
  • Get to Know the Original offers an excellent and very brief introduction to the Orthodox faith. If you come to us with a background in Emergence Christianity, we strong recommend this as a starting point.
  • 12 Things I Wish I’d Known offers a very helpful breakdown of some key questions and confusions. This online pamphlet is especially useful for visitors with a Protestant background.
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