There are three main services that we do at St. Herman Church: Vespers, Orthros (Matins), and the Divine Liturgy.
Vespers is an evening service typically done on Saturdays, and during the week before major feasts.
Orthros and Divine Liturgy are typically served on Sunday mornings.
What to expect at a Divine Liturgy.
Vespers usually lasts about 40 minutes. On Saturdays it starts at 6:00 PM.
When you arrive you will likely see people sitting quietly praying and the room will be dimly lit by candlelight.
Please pick up a service book and find a seat. When the service begins, everyone will stand up. It is the custom of Orthodox Christians to stand at attention during worship.
An Orthodox service can be overwhelming on your first visit. Vibrant images of biblical events and saints cover the walls. You will see people lighting candles and venerating icons. The smell of incense fills the air. People will not only be using their voices to worship, but also their bodies. They will be crossing themselves and bowing or prostrating.
It may seem strange at first, but this is how Christians have worshiped God for 2,000 years.
In the Orthodox church, children are full-fledged members of the church and attend services along with adults. This may be challenging for parents if it is their first time visiting.
Please know that we have many children in our church and at a Vespers service it may be the case that the children outnumber the adults. A little noise and a little movement from children is not a problem. It is to be expected.
We would only ask that if your child begins crying loudly to please take them to the narthex (foyer) or front deck until they calm down, and then return to the service. You will see this happen throughout the service with other families. It is perfectly OK and normal.
The important thing is to participate in the service as a family and to know that we are glad you are with us.