Frequently Asked Questions

Can I receive communion in your church?

In the Orthodox Church, the Eucharist (communion) is a sacramental act where the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ are made present as an expression of The Church, the Body of Christ, as the body of believers who profess the same truths and worship God in the same Spirit.

As such, communion is reserved only for baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christians who have prepared themselves through prayer, fasting, and recent confession.

As a visitor you may be given a piece of blessed bread which we offer as sign of a friendship and our wish to be in communion with you. Please partake of this bread and especially join us for Coffee Hour fellowship after the service.

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What kind of music is used in your services?

All of our services are sung by an a cappella choir in a variety of Orthodox musical traditions.

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Is there child care?

We love our children and do not separate them from their families during our services. Learning to be formed in the liturgical life of the Church is crucial to the development of their faith and often provides teaching moments to the parents as well as opportunities for patience, humility, and grace for everyone at the services.

A small amount of noise and wandering around is to be expected, but if you find your children becoming a little too rowdy, feel free to take them outside for a few minutes until they are ready to return. Feel free to come and go as needed, but try to time these exits and entrances to not disturb others when possible.

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How long are your services?

Great Vespers is served on Saturday evenings at 6:00pm and usually lasts 45 minutes.

Divine Liturgy is served on Sunday mornings at 9:30am and usually lasts 90 minutes.

Daily Vespers is served on Wednesdays at 6:00pm and usually lasts 35 minutes.

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What languages are your services in?

We are an English-language Church!

You may hear the occasional sung “Lord have mercy” in another language, but 99.5% of our services are in English!

Greek: Κυριε ελεισον! Kyrie Eleison!
Slavonic/Russian: Господи, помилуй! Gospodi, pomilui!
Spanish: Señor, ten piedad!

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What kind of Orthodox are you: Russian, Greek, or …?

We’re part of the Orthodox Church in America, which started out as part of the Russian Orthodox Church in the original Alaskan mission in the 1790s.

The early American Church throughout the 1800s moved down the Pacific coast and across the country to cities like Chicago and New York and laid a foundation for hundreds of Orthodox Churches in immigrant heavy portions of the country such as the mining towns of Pennsylvania.

In 1917, the Russian Orthodox Church began suffering under the Bolsheviks and support to the American mission was cut off and we had to take care of our own needs. In 1970, the Russian Orthodox Church recognized the Orthodox Church in America is Autocephalous (self-governing) and since then, we have simply been “the American Orthodox Church”.

See more about the History of the Orthodox Church in America

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