Worshipping With Us
Guidance for Church Participation
We want to welcome you to Holy Ascension! Please join us for a service and experience the worship of the ancient Christian Church today.
Since our worship is unfamiliar to many people, here is some practical guidance for participating in our services.
Orthodox worship is based on a sense of reverent awe that is not often encountered outside the church. We do not want a sense of rigidity or formality to overshadow our family spirit and our welcome toward visitors, but please be mindful of the dignity due to God in His church.
Please dress for church in a way that honors God, as you would dress to meet an important person or to appear in court. We want to honor God with our best and most dignified clothes. However, we do not judge how others dress, since their best may be different from our best. Also, please do not dress in a manner that is revealing, immodest, or distracting to others.
Please refrain from conversation in the church. Needless to say, it distracts you and those around you from worship and prayer.
When seated in church, please do not cross your legs. Though we think little of it in today’s world, this posture represents a casual familiarity that detracts from the solemnity and dignity of our worship.
Sitting and Standing
Standing is the usual posture for prayer in the Orthodox Church and for hearing the Gospel. Sitting is more common during other Scripture readings and the homily. Of course, those needing to sit for health reasons should always feel free to do so.
Children in Church
We enjoy the vitality that children bring to our church, and we want them to be with us in worship as much as possible. We also understand that children will fidget and make noise from time to time, and a little commotion is no reason to take them out of a service.
Occasionally, however, children may need to be taken out of church so that they will not become a distraction. This is a situational decision that parents must make, and we respect their judgment.
For Orthodox Christians, Holy Communion is the highest enactment of our unity in Christ, by which we express our complete unity in faith and offer ourselves to God and to one another as one Body. For us, Holy Communion can only be shared by those who also share the beliefs and practices of the Orthodox Church.
Moreover, Holy Communion is a profound and powerful experience that must be approached with great care and preparation; for, in the words of St. Paul, “Whoever…eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of profaning the body and blood of the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:27, RSV). St. Paul goes on to describe the harm that can come to one who receives without proper preparation.
Therefore, Holy Communion may only be received by members of the Orthodox Church who have prepared themselves through confession, fasting, and prayer. If you have any questions about this policy, please speak to our pastor.
Again, welcome to our church!
We hope that you will find peace, joy, and hope in its ancient and enduring worship, and that you will find a place for yourself in our parish family!