There are no beverages in the sanctuary - but right after there is a coffee hour (lasts about 30 min) with food and coffee. We would really encourage you to stay and meet some of us. Also, during the school year, Sunday School starts right after coffee hour for both adults and kids.
Communion is reserved for those who have been baptized into the Orthodox Church. Non-Orthodox Christians can come forward during communion and receive a blessing from the priest. They may also receive the blessed bread at the end of the service.
The Orthros (morning prayers) service runs from 8-9am. The main Divine Liturgy service goes from 9am to 10:30am. Please also join us for coffee hour and Sunday school right after Divine Liturgy.
In Orthodox Christian services, children worship alongside their families. Our church does not provide child care services except on special occasions, such as adult classes and seminars.
Yes! During the school year, Sunday School starts right after coffee hour for both adults and kids.
Icons are paintings of Christ and the Saints. They are painted according to an ancient tradition, because they are an important way the Faith is handed down and taught to Christians. Icons and crosses are kissed (”venerated”), but not worshipped. Venerating icons and crosses are a sign of our belief that God took a physical body and became part of our physical world so we could know Him. Through the Icons, the ones depicted become present to us, and we ask them to pray to God for us. This is why Icons are called “Windows into Heaven.”
At Holy Apostles we have a diverse and friendly community. The highlight of our week is gathering on Sunday morning for worship. The Divine Liturgy is the ancient service focusing on both hearing and teaching the Word of God (the Bible) and receiving the Sacrament of Holy Communion during each Liturgy. Throughout the service, we encourage everyone to sing and pray together with one voice and one heart.
The entire service is about an hour and a half. At the end of the service, we receive a greeting/blessing from our priest and received blessed bread. This is for ALL who attend the Divine Liturgy.
If you get lost in the service, there is a book under the seat in front of you that contains the entire Liturgical service. It is relatively easy to follow along. If you get lost, your neighbor or one of our Ushers in the back of the church will be happy to help you find the right place. When in doubt, keep flipping forward in the book. Our services move along pretty quickly. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have during or after service.
We tend to dress up for Church. There's something about dressing in our Sunday best that puts us in the mindset that we're there for something special and important. Most of our parish usually dresses in something along the lines of a nice skirt or slacks. The most important thing for us though - is that you come as you are.
Theotokos (Mother of God) is another name for the Virgin Mary. Orthodox Christians love and honor, but do not worship her. Since Jesus loved and honored her, we follow His lead and do the same. The attention given to her during our services also expresses our faith that Jesus Christ is truly human, born of a woman as we are, yet remains truly God. So His human mother can be called the "Mother of God." In many hymns, she is a sign of the Church as the beloved bride of God; her exaltation as “more glorious than the Seraphim” is a sign of the exaltation awaiting all who “hear the Word of God and keep it” as she did.
An Apostle is one who is sent out by our Lord Jesus Christ to spread the gospel that he is the Messiah, that he is risen, and that we are being saved as a result.
Incense, vestments (priestly robes from Biblical times), and candles are part of the imagery of heavenly worship as written of in the Book of Revelation. In the Divine Liturgy we participate (while still in this world) in the worship of the angels and saints in heaven - utilizing all five of the senses God created in us.
Incense signifies our prayers rising to heaven. Candles are lit by many in remembrance of friends and family members who could not make it to the service - or who have passed from this life before us - and place them in the stand at the entrance to the church as an offering to the Lord, who is our Light.