- 6:00pm - GREAT VESPERS/CONFESSION
Great Vespers is served on Saturday nights as the first service of the daily cycle of divine services celebrated in the Orthodox Church. Because the liturgical day begins at sunset, Vespers is traditionally served in the early evening.
At St George, the sacrament of Confession is offered Saturday nights after Great Vespers, as well as on Sunday mornings during Matins, before Evening Liturgies or by appointment.
- 8:45 am - MATINS
Matins (also spelled Mattins, from the Latin, matutinae, "morning"), or Orthros (from Greek, meaning "morning", "dawn" or "day break"), is celebrated on Sunday mornings before Divine Liturgy.
- 10:00 am - DIVINE LITURGY
The Divine Liturgy, a eucharistic service, is the primary worship service of the Orthodox Church. It contains two parts: the Liturgy of the Catechumens, sometimes called the Liturgy of the Word, at which the Scriptures are proclaimed and expounded; and the Liturgy of the Faithful, sometimes called the Liturgy of the Eucharist, in which the gifts of bread and wine are offered and consecrated. (The Prothesis or Proskomedia, the service of preparing the holy gifts, can be considered a third part which precedes the Liturgy proper.)
Since we understand Communion to mean that we have all things in common, sharing an identical Faith, only baptized/chrismated members of the Orthodox Church, who have prepared,* may receive Holy Communion. Those who may have been baptized Orthodox yet have since partaken of another communion (e.g., Anglican, Roman Catholic) should refrain from receiving until being reconciled to the Church -- please speak with an Orthodox priest. We invite all, however, to partake of the blessed bread which is distributed at the dismissal.
* Preparation for receiving Communion includes prayer, fasting, alms giving, and regular confession (e.g., during the four fasting periods) AND being on time for the start of the appointed service (children and adults alike); also, unless there is a medical necessity, we should abstain from all food and drink since the previous evening. When there is an Evening Liturgy, abstinence is kept following the Noon meal. Pre-Communion prayers are found on pages 204 - 208 in the red Service Book.
Following reception of Holy Communion, we should stay in the church until the conclusion of the Liturgy. Our fellowship begins after we venerate the Cross and receive the Holy Bread.
The Great Feasts (major feasts) of the Orthodox Church are the major celebrations throughout the liturgical year. While various saints and events are celebrated with significance on the local level, the entire Church celebrates together thirteen feasts above all the rest, the Twelve Great Feasts and Pascha: the Feast of Feasts.
Other days of great importance in the life of the Church commemorate and present us again to the historic presence of major events in the lives of our Lord Jesus Christ and his Holy Mother. Seven greats feasts in honor of our Lord Jesus Christ and five great feasts honoring the Theotokos constitute the Twelve Great Feasts:
- September 8, the Nativity of the Theotokos
- September 14, the Elevation of the Holy Cross
- November 21, the Presentation of the Theotokos
- December 25, the Nativity of Christ (Christmas)
- January 6, Theophany, the Baptism of Christ
- February 2, the Presentation of Christ
- March 25, the Annunciation
- The Sunday before Pascha, Palm Sunday
- Forty Days after Pascha, the Ascension of Christ
- Fifty Days after Pascha, Pentecost
- August 6, the Transfiguration
- August 15, the Dormition (Falling Asleep) of the Theotokos
The feast of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, called Pascha (Easter), is the greatest of the feasts of the Orthodox Church. It is not counted among the twelve major feasts of the Church since it is considered by itself as the "Feast of Feasts." It is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal Full Moon (see Paschalion).
At St George, Feast Day services are offered on either the eve of the Feast or the morning of the Feast, please check the church calendar or bulletin or call the church office for details.