Experience Orthodox Christianity

Why Orthodoxy | My First Visit | Orthodoxy 101 | Other Resources

Holy Trinity members hail from nearly every historically Orthodox national background. Yet we are also blessed to have as part of our parish family many converts to the Faith. In fact, a majority of Holy Trinity’s parishioners began a journey towards Jesus Christ in a non-Orthodox tradition.

If you are not Orthodox and would like to learn more about Orthodox Christianity, we invite you to get to know us better by praying with us during worship, attending one of our “Orthodoxy 101″ classes, and/or participating in the life our community through one or more of our various fellowships and outreaches.

Orthodoxy: Why Does “True Worship” Matter?

Holy Trinity faithful gather for worship.

Orthodox Christians believe that a genuine faith requires true worship (cf. John 4:23-24). The word “Orthodox” itself means “true worship” (literally, “straight worship”). Our Faith remains unaltered through its timeless liturgy. And because Truth is both a Person and the Unchanging God, Orthodox prayer engages all of one’s senses and offers an encounter with the Risen Jesus Christ Himself.

To worship correctly, one must live the same Faith that was given by Jesus Christ to the Apostles. The way this is done is to ensure His teachings are passed down without alteration or corruption from generation to generation. When any deviation or error comes in contact with this straight unbroken apostolic line, Orthodoxy remains true to its nature by exposing the “crooked lines” of false doctrine.

Therefore, if you want to discover what Orthodox Christians believe, the best way to learn is to experience how we pray. We invite you to learn more about our services and join us at a time convenient to you: Sunday mornings, Wednesday or Saturday evenings, or Holy Days. Check our online calendar for the latest schedule.

Visiting for the First Time

Prayer is the essence of Orthodox Christian life, so one of the best ways to experience Orthodox Christianity is to attend a service. Holy Trinity’s worship schedule aims to incorporate as much as is possible the interweaving daily, weekly, and yearly cycles of the ancient, apostolic Church, complete with its many feasts, services, and Biblical readings. As noted author Frederica Mathewes-Green writes in an essay entitled “12 Things I Wish I’d Known…” before visiting an Orthodox church, Orthodox worship is different, and those differences can be perplexing to the newcomer.

Find the Right First Service

  • The Divine Liturgy (Sundays, 10 a.m.; Festal weekdays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., respectively) is the highest and fullest Orthodox Christian celebration. This beautiful and mysterious service features the joyful gathering of the faithful, the symbolic joining of the physical with the spiritual, and the real presence of the Creator of heaven and earth in and through the Eucharistic celebration. It lasts approximately 90 minutes.Upon entering the Narthex (entryway of the church), pick up one of the black or green service books to guide you. There you will also find Greeters who will be happy to answer any questions you might have, before, during, and after the service.Expect something to already be going on when you arrive: Matins (Sundays, 9 a.m.), a morning service of prayer and hymns relevant to the day or liturgical season, or Hours precede all liturgies at Holy Trinity. Visitors are invited to witness all or any part of the liturgy, but for the spiritual well-being of all who attend, only Orthodox Christians who have properly prepared themselves may partake of Holy Communion.
  • Vespers (Saturdays, 6 p.m.; Wednesdays, 5:30 p.m.; eves of festal days, 7 p.m.), an ancient evening prayer service, is also an excellent opportunity for newcomers to be introduced to Orthodox worship. Psalms and Old Testament references sung during this celebration reveal deep and profound understandings of Christ.The solemn ceremony essentially tells the story of salvation—Psalm 103 (the “creation” psalm) acknowledges our fallen condition, hymns pertaining to the following day recall humanity calling upon the Name of the Lord, and Scripture readings/verses proclaim Christ—the “Gladsome Light”—who sets us free. The service lasts anywhere from 35 to 50 minutes.The parish has specially prepared booklets (with purple covers), complete with explanatory footnotes, to help inquirers follow along. These also can be found in the Narthex.

Get a “Sneak Peek”

Potential visitors might find a guided church tour led by a member of our clergy to be beneficial as well. This is an excellent opportunity to become acclimated to the unique Orthodox worship setting and learn some of the theology behind Holy Trinity’s artwork and architecture. To arrange a tour, please contact us at info@holytrinity-oca.org.

Orthodoxy 101

Do you want some basic knowledge about what Orthodox Christians believe? Orthodoxy 101 might be perfect for you. The class covers everything from:

  • developing of the Scriptures into the Bible,
  • the Church’s history,
  • the Eucharist,
  • Orthodox worship and developing a rule of prayer,
  • and much more.

Orthodoxy 101 classes take place on the first Wednesday of every month at 7 p.m. There will be refreshments provided for those interested in coming early and attending the 35-minute evening prayer service that precedes at 5:30 p.m. The class curriculum loosely follows Fr. Thomas Hopko’s The Orthodox Faith series, but each class takes on its own dimension based on the interests of those who attend. There are no prerequisites for any class and newcomers can begin attending Orthodoxy 101 at any time.

Outside of first Wednesdays, Holy Trinity’s clergy are available to answer questions via email or meet with you one-on-one to discuss the Orthodox Faith.

To learn more about Orthodoxy 101, schedule an appointment, or ask a question about Orthodoxy, email us today at info@holytrinity-oca.org.

Other Resources

If you would like to continue to explore Orthodoxy, we invite you to check out the following websites:

The Orthodox Faith by Fr. Thomas Hopko
This online series is intended to provide basic, comprehensive information on the faith and the life of the Orthodox Church for the average reader. The author is Fr. Thomas Hopko, Dean Emeritus of St. Vladimir’s Seminary, Crestwood, NY.

Journey to Orthodoxy
Journey to Orthodoxy

Ancient Faith Radio (24-hour Orthodox Internet Radio)
About Orthodox Christianity | The Orthodox Church in America
Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America
Discover Orthodox Christianity
 | Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America
International Orthodox Christian Charities
Orthodox Christian Fellowship
Orthodox Christian Mission Center
Our Faith | Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of North America
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