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Service Schedule

Orthros (Matins): Sunday 9 AM

Divine Liturgy:      Sunday 10 AM

 

Matins

 

The morning service of the Church is called Matins. It opens with the reading of six morning psalms and the intoning of the Great Litany. After this, verses of Psalm 118 are sung:

God is the Lord and has revealed himself unto us.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.

There are hymns on the theme of the particular day. On major feast days, special praises and psalms are sung, which on the Lord's Day sing of Christ's resurrection from the dead. On major feasts and on Sundays, the Gospel is also read.

After the Gospel there is a long intercessory prayer followed by a set of hymns and readings called the Canon. These songs are based on the Old Testamental canticles and conclude with the song of Mary, the so-called Magnificat (Lk 1:46-55). The Great Doxology is chanted followed by the beginning of the Divine Liturgy on Sundays.

The Matins service of the Church unites the elements of morning psalmody and prayer with meditation on the Biblical canticles, the Gospel reading, and the particular theme of the day in the given verses and hymns. The themes of God's revelation and light are also always central to the morning service of the Church.

 

Divine Liturgy

 

The word “Liturgy” is a combination of two Greek words (leïtos and ergon—meaning “concerning the people” and “work,” respectively). It denotes a familiar task in which all the people take part. Thus, in Liturgy there is no audience; everyone is a participant. Liturgy is certainly not something that goes on just between the priest and the choir; the function of the latter is to lead all the people into a full participation.

Congregational participation is not new. It is, rather, the Tradition of the Church which had been largely and regrettably lost in North America until recently. The Martyr Ignatius himself, the God-bearer and second bishop of Antioch (after the founding Apostles Peter and Paul), is credited with introducing antiphonal singing in the church. Indeed, to this day, most of our hymnography is intended to be rendered antiphonally. Right from the first century, St. Ignatius wanted his flock to be an active part of the service by singing Psalm verses, refrains and responses.

With the exception of a small number of brief prayers—wherein the priest asks forgiveness for his own sins and prays for strength to perform his ministry—everything in the Liturgy is in the language of “we” and “us.” The Orthodox understand Liturgy as being a family gathering. We consider ourselves as children in our Father’s house. Every member of the family, therefore, has chores and responsibilities, according to the ability of each in the variety of God-given gifts and ministries in the Body of Christ, the Church. Thus we understand that all the baptized faithful share in Christ’s Priesthood, and that the Body is healthy only when each member (or organ) thereof is contributing its unique and vital function. In the Orthodox Church no Liturgy may be served without the presence and participation of the laity.

Our Liturgy is characterized not by a priest who has power to change bread and wine but by a common prayer—a prayer led by the priest and to which all must assent—a prayer addressed to the Father, in the Name of His only-begotten Son, that the Father will send upon us and upon the Gifts that are offered His Holy Spirit and will unite all to one another in a Holy Communion. In the work of our Liturgy, we become the manifestation of the Body of Christ onto which we were grafted at baptism. It is vital that we all take part in this work. When we partake, we take part in and become part of the Body of Christ. His Body is alive and life-giving. By our incorporation into it, we become partakers of the Fountain of immortality and of the divine nature itself.

Let us, therefore, involve ourselves fully into the service. Let us make the Liturgy our prayer—the prayer of the whole people of God—singing, blessing and worshipping Him Who could not endure to behold mankind oppressed and subject to death, Who did come and did save us. Blessed be the Name of the Lord, henceforth and forevermore!

from On Participation in the Liturgy by Nabil L. Hanna

 

Services During Great Lent

- Pre-sanctified Liturgy:  
     Wednesdays at 6:30PM
- Akathist to the Mother of God (Madayeh):
     Fridays at 6:30PM