Thank you for taking time to visit our website. We hope you’ll also make time to come visit us in person. When you come to visit Saint Anianus Coptic Orthodox Church, you’ll find a vibrant, welcoming community. Our doors are always open to those who are looking for a spiritual home, those that have questions about Christianity or the Orthodox faith, those who just need a supportive community to belong to, or anyone else that wants to attend with us–our doors are open!
Can You Bring A Friend?
Of course! Our doors are WIDE open to anyone and everyone. We all come with our imperfections, knowing that the grace of God can and will transform us.
What Should You Wear?
Be sure to wear comfortable shoes! Sunday morning liturgies last about 2 hours. We usually stand during the services, but there are chairs where you can sit down to rest your feet. Beyond that, keep it simple and modest! A conservative dress reflects our desire to show respect for the holiness of God in an Orthodox church (e.g. for men and women, no shorts, sleeveless shirts / blouses, or form fitting clothes; for women, a dress or skirt knee length or longer). And please remember to take off your hat inside the building.
What If Your Kids (or You) Get Hungry? (Fasting)
Before going to the Divine Liturgy to receive Communion, we typically do not eat or drink anything from when we go to sleep (or about 9 hours) if our health allows. Just as one would not spoil their appetite by eating before a special meal, so we sharpen our spiritual appetite for Christ through such fasting. Since we’re receiving the Body and Blood of Christ, we think it’s really important to prepare ourselves spiritually for such an important event. It is understandable that people get hungry but please do not bring food or drink into the worship area. If you have a very specific and unique circumstance, please let Fr. Michael know beforehand and he will offer you advice. That being said, during the coffee break right after Liturgy, there will be coffee, tea, juice and light snacks available.
What Should You Do With Your Cell Phone?
Be sure to shut off your phone before the service begins. If you have forgotten to turn it off after services have begun, please do so as quietly as you can.
Where Will Children Be During the Services?
Although young children will be attending a separate ministry during the time of the Link, we do believe that children should stand with their dad, mom or other responsible adult dad during the Divine Liturgy. Please do keep gentle control over your children. As all of us have either been former children, or are parents, or both, we understand that it is not always possible to keep control over children for long periods of time. Orthodox services can be a challenge for children who are not used to standing or sitting for a long period of time, and we recognize that with babies and toddlers, it can be an increased challenge. If you are having problems keeping your children from crying or behaving properly, do not feel embarrassed. Feel free to excuse yourself to the room in the back and then come back in when you can.
What Should You Do During the Liturgy?
In the Coptic Orthodox Church we invite the people to participate by singing along, standing, sitting and signing themselves with the cross, as an outer sign of an inner reality. Although some of the hymns might be new to you, feel free to jump in. That will be the best way to learn but please do avoid talking during the services. And of course, if you have questions, please write them down and we will be happy to answer them after the service is over.
What Should You Do During Time of Communion?
We invite you to come forward to receive a blessing at the end of the service, but please do refrain from coming forward to receive Holy Communion if you are not Oriental Orthodox. Communion is a blessed sacrament in the Orthodox Church; it is not a symbolic act. For a variety of different reasons, our church fathers have restricted Communion only to those within the Oriental Orthodox Faith. Unfortunately, this also does not extend to our Roman Catholic or Protestant visitors. That being said, we invite everyone present to sing to the Risen Lord by standing in reverence and praising Jesus Christ.