“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.”
What to wear?
Dress at St. Nicholas Church reflects the casual south Florida lifestyle. Nevertheless, it should be respectful of the church. We ask that you wear “business casual” attire (no tank tops or cut-off shorts, please).
When should I arrive?
In the Orthodox Church, there is only one Divine Liturgy per Sunday. Matins, or Orthros, begins at 9:30 am, followed by Divine Liturgy at 10:00 am. Orthodox worshipers arrive at any point from the beginning of Matins through the early part of the Liturgy. Unless there is a memorial service or special event, Divine Liturgy is usually finished by 11:15 am.
Be Prepared to Stand at Certain Points
There are many parts of the service when the faithful stand, signifying the understanding that worship is work and that when we are in the presence of God, we should all stand. That is why we stand during the reading of the day’s Gospel, during communion and at various other parts. Of course, if it is difficult for you to stand, you may sit at any time.
People Make the Sign of the Cross
We sign ourselves whenever the Trinity is invoked, whenever we venerate the cross or an icon, and on many other occasions in the course of the Liturgy. People however, aren’t expected to do everything the same way. Some cross themselves three times in a row, and some finish by sweeping their right hand to the floor. On first entering a church people may come up to an icon, crossing themselves and bowing with their right hand to the floor, then kiss the icon, then make one more bow.
Blessed bread and consecrated bread.
Communion may be administered only to Orthodox Christians who have been baptized or chrismated and are in good standing in the Orthodox Church. However, at the end of the service, the priest offers everyone some blessed bread – a sign of fellowship.
How does a “non-Greek” fit in?
Being Greek ethnically is not a requirement to be Greek Orthodox, just as someone can be Roman Catholic without being Roman. Because only Greek was spoken for approximately the first 300 years in the Christian church, the original church was sometimes referred to as the Greek church. At St. Nicholas Church, we speak the language of the local people, English and Greek.
Feel free to ask to introduce yourself to Fr. John at the end of the service. We hope your first visit will be spiritually uplifting – and that we see you again.