Our Faith

Orthodox Christian Beliefs and Practices

    EASTER: Artos: The Artos is the Easter bread also called “pascha” or “darnyk”.  The Artos is blessed at the Easter Divine Liturgy before the Benediction.  The Artos commemorates the Resurrection of Jesus Christ...

Personal Preparation for Holy Communion

  The Eucharist is the central purpose of the Divine Liturgy. It is important for Orthodox Christians to take Holy Communion every time we attend the Divine Liturgy. We need to receive the Body and...

The Divine Liturgy Explained

  Proskomedia In the Orthodox Church, the Divine Liturgy is the primary worship service in the Church. The Divine Liturgy is served every Sunday as well as at many other times during the year. Therefore,...


Acolyte: The follower of a priest; a person assisting the priest in church ceremonies or services.

Aer: The large chalice veil that covers the Bread and Wine which is prepared at the Liturgy of Preparation.

Alleluia: Derived from the Hebrew, meaning “Praise the Lord”, sung after the Epistle.

Altar Table: The square table in the middle of the altar, on which the Eucharist is offered. Center of the table is occupied by the folded Antiminsion, on which the ceremonial gospel book is placed, and behind it is the tabernacle with the “reserved gifts.” Only ordained clergy may touch the Altar Table, which is also called “The Throne (of God)”.

Amen: Meaning “So Be It” This phrase concludes all Litanies and Services.

Ambo:  Is the space immediately in front of the Royal Doors. The place where the Gospel is read and the Sermon is given.

Axios:  An exclamation made at ordination to signify the worthiness of the individual chosen to become a clergyman.

Blessing’s: The Blessing of Christ himself, given by Bishops and Priests to the faithful, always in the sign or form of the Cross.

Candles: Symbolizing perpetually burning love for, and constant prayer to, our Lord Jesus Christ.

Censer: A metal vessel hung on chains, used in church ceremonies for burning incense, symbolic of the prayers we offer to God.

Chalice: A large cup of silver or gold, with a long-stemmed base, used for the Eucharist. Holy Cup in which the wine and water are put during Proskomedia, and later in which the Holy Bread(the Body of Christ) is added before Communion of the Faithful. One of most sacred and is handled only by the clergy.

Chanter: Lay person who assists the priest by chanting the responses and hymns.

Chrism: Sanctified oil composed of several ingredients and fragrances, used in the sacrament of Chrismation.

Communion: Sign of unity, and not a means of it. Only Christians who have properly prepared them selves are invited to receive Holy Communion.

Confession:    Act of confessing or acknowledgment of sins by an individual before God in the presence of a priest, authorized to ask for forgiveness and to administer a penance.

Creed: Symbol of Faith.

Deacon: Third order of the Clergy, assist  the Bishop and the priest, leads the people in prayer and worship.

Diskos; Plate on a pedestal, on which the Lamb rests until the Consecration of the Elements.

Epiclesis: Calling down of the Holy Spirit upon the gifts offered according to Christ’s Holy Command, “Do this in remembrance of Me.”

This is the most solemn moment of the Divine Liturgy.

Eucharist: Body and Blood of Christ in the Mystery of Holy Communion.

Fan: Processional Fan, bearing an Icon of the Holy Angels.

Fasting: Abstaining from certain foods and activities in order to draw closer to God. Total fasting(no food or drink) is required before receiving Holy Communion.

Feast Day: Holy Day commemorating an event in the life of Our Lord.

Gospel: Book of the New Testament. At the Divine Liturgy the reading is done by the Priest.

High Place:  The holiest part of the Church, located in the eastern most part of the church “behind” the Holy Altar Table.

Icons: Icons form the “family portraits” of the house of God.

Iconostas: The iconscreen separating the Sanctuary(Altar area) from the Nave, symbolizing the Mystery of God and of His Kingdom.It represents the place where heaven and earth meet-in Christ and the saints.

Incense: Symbolic of the prayer of the Saints and the Faithful, in the worship of God in heaven, only the Orthodox Church is consistently fulfilling this prophecy of worship.

Lamb: That portion of the prosphora (offering) bread which is removed for consecration during the Liturgy of Preparation, which is Consecrated during the Liturgy, becoming the Body of Christ.

Lent: One of four periods set aside each year when we are called upon to fast and pray fervently.

Litany: Series of prayers to which the people and the Choir respond “Lord have mercy.”

Liturgy: The principle worship service of the Orthodox Church, celebrating the Incarnation, Resurrection, Ascension, Enthronement and Second Coming of Jesus Christ. It is the standard Resurrection service of the Orthodox Church around the world.