Worship and Learn
What do you believe and what is your worship like?
For anyone who is completely new or only somewhat familiar with the Orthodox faith, one very important question is simply “What do we believe?” Undoubtedly that can be a very broad question, but one of the best ways to sum up the core of our belief is through the Nicene Creed. It is quite possible that your first visit may be to a Sunday morning Divine Liturgy. This is our main ‘worship’ service, which is a beautiful procession that bids us to “lay aside all earthly cares” and enter into the presence of our Risen Lord through the Eucharist/Communion. When making your first visit to our church, there are many new and even ‘strange’ sights, sounds, and smells that you will encounter during the service.
One key part of Orthodox worship are the icons (paintings) that are displayed prominently throughout the church; on stands, on the walls, and even on the ceiling! These icons depict important historical moments in the life of Christ and the Church, and also bring to remembrance various Saints who lived righteously and greatly impacted the Christian Church. By no means do we give the Saints worship (for that is due only to God) but we look to them as examples of lives devoted to Christ. As we gather in worship here on earth, we are not alone, for we are reminded that the Saints are now worshiping along side us in the heavenly realm.
Soon after you take in all that there is to see, you might notice the smell of incense as you enter the church! The sweet fragrance is yet another reminder of your stepping into the presence of God, and as the smoke from the censor rises and fills the sanctuary we can reflect on the prayers of the Liturgy as they ascend to the throne of God.
If your senses are not yet full with what you see and smell already, the beautiful tones of the choir will complete your entrance into the holiness of the Divine Liturgy. During the Liturgy the choir sings various Psalms and themed hymns which correspond with the Gospel reading and other events that fall on the Church calendar.
Another great way to learn about the Orthodox Faith and even grasp a better understanding of the Divine Liturgy, is to attend the Inquirers Class. This is a class that is held on occasional Sundays after the Liturgy, where Fr. Peter discusses various aspects of the Orthodox Church and the Faith. This is a great opportunity for anyone to freely come and learn, and ask questions!
Related content on our site
Services and Prayers
Ministries and Activities
Etiquette for Church Services, article
Welcome to the Orthodox Church - Video Series
What is the purpose of the icons?
Why do Orthodox Churches use incense?
What is the Divine Liturgy?