In the Orthodox Church the liturgical day begins in the evening with the setting of the sun. This practice follows the Biblical account of creation: “And there was evening and there was morning, one day” (Gen 1.5).
The Vespers service in the Church always begins with the chanting of the evening psalm: “. . . the sun knows it’s time for setting, Thou makest darkness and it is night . . .” (Ps 104.19–20). This psalm, which glorifies God’s creation of the world, is man’s very first act of worship, for man first of all meets God as Creator.
The service of Vespers takes us through creation, sin, and salvation in Christ. It leads us to the meditation of God’s word and the glorification of his love for men. It instructs us and allows us to praise God for the particular events or persons whose memory is celebrated and made present to us in the Church. It prepares us for the sleep of the night and the dawn of the new day to come. On the evening before the Divine Liturgy, it begins our movement into the most perfect communion with God in the sacramental mysteries.
During weekdays for most of the year, Vespers is celebrated in St George Chapel on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday evenings at 6pm and lasts about 45-60 minutes. There are seasonal changes to the schedule so please check the calendar for exact times.
The morning service of the Church is called Matins. The 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.
During weekdays for most of the year, Matins is celebrated in St George Chapel on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 7am and lasts about 45 minutes. There are seasonal changes to the schedule so please check the calendar for exact times. Sunday Matins is celebrated in St Michael Church at 8:45am and immediately precedes Divine Liturgy.
The Divine Liturgy is the central liturgical service of the Orthodox Church, the first portion of which centers on the reading of Scripture and common prayers, and the second portion, on the celebration of the Sacrament of the Eucharist. There are four main variants of the Divine Liturgy: the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, the Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, which is served on Sundays and feast-days whenever the Liturgy. of St. Basil is not served; the Liturgy of the Presanctified Gifts, which is served during Lent; and the Liturgy of St. James which is served only on the Feast of St James (October 23) and sometimes on the Sunday after Christmas.
Divine Liturgy is celebrated every Sunday in St Michael Church at 10am following the Matins service. In addition, it is celebrated on many Feast Days throughout the year either in St George Chapel or in St Michael Church. Please see our calendar for the exact time and place of these services.
During Divine Liturgy, Holy Communion may only be received by prepared Orthodox Christians. Our non-Orthodox guests are welcome to join us in venerating the cross and receiving the Holy Bread at the conclusion of the Divine Liturgy. A Coffee Hour is generally offered in the Parish Center following Divine Liturgy.