Frequently Asked Questions for Guests
Is there a dress code?
We have no formal dress code at our parish for attending services. Dresses and skirts are customary for women and dress shirts with dress pants or a full suit are customary for men. Head coverings are not required. You may dress comfortably but we would ask that you dress modestly and with piety out of love and respect for your neighbor and the work that we will begin in the service of the Divine Liturgy. When entering an Orthodox Church we are physically and theologically moving from West to East. We are journeying from the world we left behind as we enter its doors and entering into the Kingdom of God. “But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering…” (Hebrews 12).
Is the Sunday Service open to all?
Yes. All are welcome to attend the services of our parish. You do not have to be an Orthodox Christian to attend. We would love to have you come and be our guest, as Philip said to Nathanael upon finding Jesus the Christ, “Come and see”. (St. John’s Gospel)
If I am not an Orthodox Christian, can I partake in Holy Communion?
Only baptized and chrismated Orthodox Christians in good standing can participate in Holy Communion during the Eucharistic celebration within the service. This out of love for our non-Orthodox guests as the Holy Mysteries must be discerned even by the faithful so that as St Paul says, “[we do not] eat and drink without discerning the Lord’s body [and bring] judgement upon ourselves”. If you are an Orthodox Christian visiting the Greensboro area, we welcome you to join us and to partake in Holy Communion. Please reach out to Father Sarantis (email@example.com) to let him know that you will be attending. We would love to greet you and welcome you as our guest.
Is the service done in English?
We use both English and Greek in our services but our services are predominantly done in English. Often, many prayers and hymns are sung twice in both English and Greek. As a Greek Orthodox parish under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the Metropolis of Atlanta and his Eminence Metropolitan Alexios of Atlanta, we use the Greek language to honor our heritage, members, and the historical impact of the Greek language within Orthodoxy. This impact begins with the use of the Greek language to write the New Testament, develop and defend Orthodox Theology, and it’s gift of beautiful hymns that have been chanted for centuries.
Can I light a candle?
Yes. Everyone is welcome to light a candle as they enter the church. The area just inside the doors of the parish is called the narthex. As you enter, it is customary to offer a small donation and then select a candle. We then venerate the Holy Icons and proceed to light our candles. The lighting of the candle reminds us that Christ is the True Light who has come into the world and that those who follow him will not walk in darkness but have the Light of Life (John 8:12).
How do I join the Orthodox Church?
If you desire to become a member of the Orthodox Church please meet with Father Sarantis after the service or contact him directly at his email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) to express you interest. You can then inquire into our Orthodoxy 101 class schedule and to learn more about the faith.
Is there childcare provided during the service?
In Orthodoxy, children worship along with their families and are welcome at any age in the service. We do offer a nursery room in the narthex with changing tables and toys for children. This area can be used for nursing, to change diapers, and as a space for children if they become unsettled in the service. On Sunday’s after Holy Communion, children are invited to participate in Sunday School which is available during the year from September to May.
What can visitors expect to experience in the Sunday Service?
The word liturgy means a common act. In the Divine Liturgy, we corporately offer up prayers, hymns, Psalms, and responses such as ‘Lord Have Mercy’ or in Greek ‘Kyrie Eleison’. We express our faith through these acts preformed by the people. The Orthodox Liturgical service is an immersive experience which uses all five of the senses. You will stand and sit. You will smell the incense “…and the smoke of the incense rose with the prayers of the saints…” (Revelation 8). You will see the Holy Icons as these images express our belief in the incarnation, our belief that Christ is the ikon the image of the invisible God, that he has made the invisible God known, and that Christ is the exact representation of God’s glory (John 1, Colossians 1, & Hebrews 1). You will "taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalms 33/34).
If you are a guest please let a Greeter know as you enter the church. We would love to welcome you and offer you a service book so that you can follow along with us as we pray and worship. A greeter will help you find where we are in the service and answer any questions you have about the service upon entering the church. Please fill out a welcome card as you enter so that we have a record of your attendance and so that we can send our thanks to you for visiting with us. Our priest, Father Sarantis, would also love to meet you after the service, to thank you for being our guest, and answer any questions you may have.