Common Questions & Answers
When should I arrive at services?
If you aim to arrive a few minutes early, you will find most people waiting quietly. It is a good thing to settle in, quiet the mind, and prepare for worship before the service begins.
But if you happen to come in as the service is starting, or a few minutes late, don’t worry. Please just be sure to enter quietly.
What is Orthodox worship like?
It may be different from what you are used to. It is tactile and interactive, engaging all of our senses. We hear the word of God proclaimed. We love to sing, and our services are full of singing. We “let our prayers rise as incense” to God, and like the early Christians throughout the ages, we offer its sweet fragrance. We “taste and see that the Lord is good,” especially through Holy Communion.
You may participate as much as you like, or you may just observe. If you see or hear something you do not understand, please feel welcome to ask questions during the fellowship hour after the service.
Do you offer childcare or children’s worship?
We are blessed to have many children at St. Willibrord. In the Orthodox Church, parents are encouraged to teach their children to participate fully in worship. We do not like to segregate people by age; from infancy, children attend the services, receive the sacraments, and are treated as full members of the Church—as Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me.” Please do not feel self-conscious if your child moves around or makes a little noise. We are happy that you are with us.
We only ask parents to keep watch over their children, to make sure they are indeed learning to participate in worship. The church is a special place and worship is a holy time, so while children should feel “at home” in church, it is not the place for casual activities.
If your children become restless, you are welcome to take them out of the service for a few minutes. We have a sitting room stocked with books and quiet toys, and during good weather it is fine to take your children outdoors if they need to burn off some energy.
May I take Communion at St. Willibrord?
Orthodox Christians who are properly prepared are welcome to approach the chalice for Holy Communion. (If you are visiting from another Orthodox parish and wish to receive Communion, it is polite to contact the priest and introduce yourself beforehand.)
Visitors who are not members of the Orthodox Church are welcome to observe and participate in our prayer and worship, but are not able to receive Holy Communion. For us, Communion is a special sign of the common faith we share, according to the historic teachings of the Orthodox Church. But if you are moved by your experiences in our community, you are welcome to become a part of our church family and then participate in this special sacrament with us, in one heart and with one mind. Speak with the pastor to learn more.
Pieces of blessed bread are distributed after Communion, and all visitors are welcome to take from this bread as a sign of Christian love and fellowship.
Do you offer Sunday School and education?
Yes, and visitors of all ages are welcome to all of our education opportunities.
We offer children’s Sunday School after the Sunday morning services at various times throughout the year, although there is not a fixed schedule.
There is a weekly Bible Study on Monday evenings during the fall and winter months, from the beginning of the school year until the beginning of Lent. See our calendar for current opportunities.
Inquirer’s classes are offered periodically for those who wish to learn more about the Orthodox Church. The pastor works with interested individuals to find the best schedule that works for them. Contact the pastor if you are interested.
Can I meet with the pastor?
Yes, he would love to meet with you. The best time to introduce yourself is after one of our services. He can answer questions about anything you heard or saw. If you would like, he can also set up a meeting for a convenient time and place to answer more of your questions and connect you with our church family.
How should I dress at St. Willibrord?
As our culture becomes more and more casual, we believe that there is something important about setting church apart, lifting it above our everyday routine. We encourage everyone to wear their “Sunday best” as a sign of respect for God, the church, and the worship we participate in. Whatever that means for you—business dress is typical, or the best you can offer—is appropriate.
“Modesty is the best policy,” so please avoid low-cut tops, short skirts, and shorts for adults. Men (except for clergy) do not wear hats. Women may wear hats or traditional head-coverings, but it is not required.