The Sunday morning service in the Western Rite of the Orthodox Church is called the Mass. Prior to the Mass is a beautiful chanted prayer service called Lauds.
On a regular basis we have a service of chanted prayer called Vespers. This is the best service for first-time visitors to an Orthodox Church. If you can plan ahead, the priest is available for a tour of the temple.
For almost 2,0000 years Christians have attended this service. The Russians are known for calling this service the Liturgy of St. Peter. This is how our western saints such as Sts. Patrick, Columba, and Brigid worshipped.
An Orthodox service can be overwhelming on your first visit. Vibrant images of biblical events and saints are present. You will see people lighting candles and venerating icons. The smell of incense fills the air. People will not only be using their voices to worship, but also their bodies. They will be crossing themselves, bowing, or genuflecting. It may seem strange at first, but these are ancient beautiful worship traditions of Christianity.
We have a parking area directly in front of our church.
Arriving at the Church
When you arrive at our church you will be met by our Greeting Team. You will be given some literature with more information about our church. They will assist you in finding a seat and are available to answer any questions you may have.
Depending on when you arrive, Lauds or Mass will be taking place. Lauds flows right into the Mass with a little break in between. It may seem like you’re late but you’re not. You’re probably catching the end of the Lauds service.
Every week after Mass we eat together during coffee hour. Please do plan to eat with us, and please do not plan to bring any food. It is our honor to serve you as our guest.
Coffee hour is also a great time to get your questions answered. Don’t be afraid to ask any questions. We will not be offended. You will find that there are many people who have asked the same questions as you have.
If you are used to going to other churches, you may expect there to be a Sunday School for the children while adults attend the main service.
At St. Paul, children are full-fledged members of the church and attend services along with adults. This may be challenging for parents if it is their first time visiting. A little noise and a little movement from children is not a problem. It is to be expected. We would only ask that if your child begins crying loudly to please take them outside till they calm down, and then return to the service. In the hallway is a Nursery for nursing mothers and little children who need a short break. You will see this happen throughout the service with other families. It is perfectly OK. In the nursery, we are live-streaming the service so that mothers do not have to miss any of the service.
The important thing is to participate in the service as a family and to know that we are glad you are with us.