Church Etiquette

Church, for us Orthodox Christians, is the holiest of all places. It is the place where we come face-to-face with our Lord, thereby, demanding the utmost in respect and conduct. 

 

While in Church, please remember to…

  • Wear appropriate attire to enter God’s House
  • Silence your mobile devices
  • Sit with your legs uncrossed (crossing ankles is fine)
  • Refrain from chewing gum, mints, or candy
  • Remove lipstick when receiving Holy Communion or when venerating and kissing the icons
  • Follow the direction of the Priest for standing & sitting
  • Maintain quiet in the Sanctuary
  • Refrain from greeting others while in the Church both during the Divine Liturgy and while exiting – that is reserved for Fellowship Hour after services
  • Refrain from applauding
  • Be present in the sanctuary during the Divine Liturgy, not in the hallway or community center
  • Enter God’s House formally with reverence and respect
  • After receiving Holy Communion, we step away from the Chalice before doing our Cross - this will ensure we do not accidentally hit the Chalice

By doing these things you ensure that you and your fellow Brothers and Sisters in Christ are not distracted from the mystical experience of the Divine Liturgy. All movements about the Church should be done with the utmost respect for the place in which the Lord dwells.

 

Are there times when we not to enter the nave (sanctuary) of the Church?

Yes, we are entering God’s Home and therefore must be mindful about what is going on so that we may show proper reverence and respect. The following list is of times during the Divine Liturgy where we must refrain from entering the nave (sanctuary) of our Church nor come to the front of the Church to light a votive candle:

  • During the Small Entrance (when the procession with the Gospel takes place)
  • During the Epistle Reading
  • During the Gospel Reading
  • When the priest is censing and is facing the Congregation
  • During the Great Eentrance (when the procession of the Holy Gifts takes place)
  • When the priest is blessing the Congregation
  • During the recitation of the Nicene Creed (“I believe…”)
  • During the Consecration of the Holy Gifts
  • During the recitation of the Lord’s Prayer (“Our Father…”)
  • During the Priest’s sermon