There are a number of ways to get involved with our Parish. The Church’s doors are open to everyone, and anyone is welcome to come and pray with us, celebrate with us, and participate in our community activities and outreaches. First time visitors are welcome to come for any of the services listed on the church calendar and are invited to contact Fr. Christopher if they have any questions before or after services.
Visitors will notice that the congregation actively participates in services by crossing themselves, standing, bowing, kneeling, reciting traditional prayers together, and singing. Don’t be intimidated – no one expects you to know what these acts and symbols mean or when you should do them. There are spiral-bound service books in the hallway (the narthex) leading into the main part of the church (the nave) that will guide you through the service. Feel free to ask a neighbour to direct you to the correct page. You’re also welcome to come and learn by observing.
If you are able, it is best to stand while the priest processes around the congregation, while he is reading the Gospel selection for the divine liturgy, and while the priest is preparing, lifting up, and distributing the bread and the wine for Holy Communion, as well as at the dismissal. The easiest method to know when all this happens is to simply stand when others are standing, as you are able. Standing is not an arbitrary exercise; rather, is a way of showing respect to Christ, who is manifest in the central parts of the Divine Liturgy: the Scriptures and Holy Communion.
If you are attending a Divine Liturgy, you may be offered a piece of blessed bread by a neighbour who has received Holy Communion from the priest. This bread is not Holy Communion and is a gift that anyone can receive. However, only those who are baptized and received into the Orthodox Church may receive Holy Communion from the priest. Please linger after services if you have questions and want to learn more about Orthodoxy.
You can also get involved by participating in the church’s ministries. This is one of the best ways to get to know the people of the parish. Please see the Ministries page to learn about opportunities to participate.
If you are interested in being received into the Orthodox Church and fully participating in the Divine Liturgy and the life of the Church, please let Fr. Christopher know. Seekers may wish to formalize their interest in the church by becoming a catechumen, that is, a student of the the church. Catechumens are provided instruction customized to suit their knowledge of the faith, spiritual needs, and age. They also receive special prayers and a blessing in every Divine Liturgy. When the priest and the catechumen are confident that he or she is ready to be received into the church, they will be baptized (if they have not previously received a Trinitarian baptism), chrismated (anointed with oil), and welcomed to participate in Holy Communion during the Divine Liturgy.