SERVICES THIS WEEK
SUNDAY 16th DECEMBER 2018
29th Sunday after Pentecost
Sunday of the Holy Forefathers
9.30 am: Matins
10.15 am: Divine Liturgy
Details of the services and of the music that will be used may be found on the Choir page.
Regular Services on Sundays throughout the year:
Matins begins at 9.30 am, followed by the Divine Liturgy at around 10.15 am.
Vespers is normally served once a month, on the Saturday evening before the first Sunday in the month.
Any changes to the regular pattern, and details of additional services for Saints’ and Holy Days, are announced in advance on the Notice Board.
About the services
Within an Orthodox church there is a unique sense of mystery and spiritual beauty: it is in effect a window into Heaven. In front of us as we enter is the Iconostasis: a screen bearing icons of Christ and the Saints, showing us the glory of Heaven. All around us are icons of the Saints who join with us in our worship of God: “we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses.” The atmosphere is enhanced by the incense, the music, the candles, and the prayers of the worshippers.
Orthodox services last longer than those in many Protestant and Roman Catholic churches, but worshippers are more free in the Orthodox church to come and go as they wish. Most of the congregation will stand for much of the service but some will sit if they need to do so. Orthodox Christians will make the sign of the Cross, light candles, bow, make prostrations and venerate the icons but we do not expect non-Orthodox visitors to know all the details of Orthodox practice before they visit our church, or to do anything that feels strange or awkward. No one will mind if visitors do not make the sign of the Cross or light candles, as long as they remember that they are in a holy place and remain reverent and respectful during the service. We are always happy to answer questions (after the service!) about what we do, and why.
At the end of the Liturgy, Orthodox and non-Orthodox worshippers alike are invited to share the Antidoron. This is bread which has been blessed but not consecrated as the Body of Christ.