Considered the Most Significant Ancient Christian Service
The Divine Liturgy is considered significant for its meaning. The Divine Liturgy was in practice right after the descent of the Holy Spirit on the Disciples of Christ on the 50th day after His Resurrection (Acts 2:46). At the beginning of the Christian era, the Divine Liturgy consisted of free hymns and prayers for the officiating of a certain framework of the Orthodox faith. It was officiated long before the beginning of the writings of the New Testament. The Divine Liturgy was the center of the inspiration of the first Christians in their communion with God and with one another.
What We Believe
Theologically speaking, the Divine Liturgy and, by extension, the entire parish is a manifestation of the Kingdom of God here on earth. As Jesus Himself said, "Where two or three are gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst." (Matthew 18:20) The Orthodox Christian Church is often referred to as the historical Christian Church founded by our Lord and described in the pages of the New Testament. It does not restrict membership to people of any culture, race, class or section of the world. In fact, the diversity of cultures, peoples and languages has long characterized the Church's history, since Orthodoxy embraces all people.
The word "Orthodox" is a compound word made of two Greek words: "orthos" and "doxa." "Orthos" means straight or true, a reference to the fact that the Orthodox Church has maintained and preserved the truth of the Christian faith free from error and distortion. The second word, "doxa", means glory or worship. Together, the word "Orthodox" means literally "the true faith."
For more information on Orthodoxy, you can access a plethora of resources at the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America website.
What to Expect
The worship service on Sunday mornings is known as the Divine Liturgy and has as its main purpose, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist (Holy Communion) which is a sacrament reserved only for those people who are baptized and confirmed members of the Orthodox Christian faith. The Divine Liturgy at Saint Katherine begins every Sunday at 10 AM. Feel free to join in the singing of the responses (Kyrie Eleison) with the choir, the recitation of the Nicene Creed (the symbol of the Orthodox faith) and the Lord's Prayer.
The Divine Liturgy usually finishes around 11:15 AM. At the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy, the Priest makes a few brief announcements. The service is finished with the distribution of the "antidoron", a piece of blessed bread offered to everyone, including all visitors, by the Priest. Ushers are present to guide everyone to receive their piece of antidoron.
Is it just Sundays?
Absolutely not! God is with us all week long and we aim to live our life in a manner that pleases Him. None of us is without sin, Jesus was the only sinless one and we all hope to come closer to Him and His perfection as we live our daily life. Worshiping Him on Sunday morning is part of that process and we invite you to become part of our Saint Katherine community.