Orthodoxy simply and literally means "true worship." In a real sense, worship is the central activity of the Christian life. Unlike many religions, Orthodoxy is a total way of life, involving everything we do as human beings, encompassing not only our minds but our bodies as well. Everything else we do is centered upon our adoration and glorification of the Holy Trinity, our worship.
When done truly--with due solemnity and within the holy traditions of the Church--Orthodox worship is the experience of the kingdom of heaven on earth. It is the uniting of earth to heaven.
This is why Orthodox Christians show such reverence to the place of worship--the temple--and one's decorum and bearing within it. At the divine services they stand in the presence of God (sitting in pews was introduced only in the non-Orthodox west with the decline of liturgical services following the Protestant Reformation), though visitors and those who have a need to are welcome to sit when they desire.
In Orthodox worship the presence of God is experienced immediately. This is why when asking an Orthodox Christian what worship is like the answer will often simply be, "Come and see" (John 1:45-46). At the Divine Liturgy we behold the presence of God through Jesus Christ--whose Gospel is proclaimed and whose body and blood is consumed. And we do so through the Holy Spirit--whose descent from heaven on the assembly of faithful represents the high point of the Liturgy, recreating the experience of Pentecost itself.
The Orthodox Church maintains some of the earliest forms of Christian worship, organized, as the scriptures reveal they should be, around daily, weekly, and annual calendars.
At Saint Elizabeth we participate in this liturgical tradition every week with the traditional services of Sunday. These consist of the Resurrectional Vigil which occurs after sunset on Saturday evening, and of the Divine Liturgy which occurs on Sunday morning itself.
We offer the service of Daily Vespers on Thursday evenings in order to give parishioners and visitors an opportunity to find comfort and strength in God at the midpoint of the workweek. (To learn about the inquirers and catechetical classes we offer before and after Thursday Vespers, read about them in this site's Learning page, or listen to sample recordings of them in its Orthodox Studies page).
We also celebrate majestically all of the traditional Christian annual holidays such as Christmas, Theophany, and the Elevation of the Cross. For these we serve the Divine Liturgy on the morning of the holiday and a Festal Vigil (with the traditional blessing and consumption of bread, wheat, wine, and oil) the evening before.
The sacrament of confession is always offered after the Vigil on the eves of the Divine Liturgy and is also available by appointment.
The monthly calendar of services offered at Saint Elizabeth Church can be seen here.
Regular Service Schedule
- Divine Liturgy on Sundays at 10:00 am
- Daily Vespers on Thursdays at 6:30 pm
- Resurrectional Vigil on Saturdays at 6:00 pm