Welcome to St Mary's Orthodox Church
“As the prophets beheld, as the Apostles have taught, as the Church has received … thus we declare, thus we assert, thus we preach Christ our true God, … This is the faith of the Apostles, this is the faith of the Fathers, this is the faith which has established the universe!”
-Confession of Faith on Sunday of Orthodoxy
Thank you for showing interest in St. Mary’s Orthodox Church! We are an Orthodox Christian community and a part of the American Carpatho-Russian Orthodox Diocese. When you join us for worship at St. Mary’s, or any Orthodox Christian church, you will have an opportunity to join in original Christian worship.
Sunday services begin at 9:45am with the reading of the Third Hour, followed by the celebration of Divine Liturgy at 10am. Divine Liturgy is always followed by a social hour down stairs in the social hall. Other services are posted according to the Church calendar. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us!
Please be aware that the Orthodox Church practices closed communion. This means that communion is offered to baptized and properly prepared Orthodox Christians. Non-Orthodox members of the congregation are still welcome to receive a blessing. If you would like to receive a blessing at the Cup, please let Fr. Andrew know.
“All early evidence we possess points to the fact that the gathering [together of the people] was always considered the first and basic act of the eucharist.”
-Fr. Alexander Schmemann
St. Mary’s Orthodox Church is located in Westover off of Route 19, near the Westover bridge. Parking is available in the lot to the left side of the Church. In the event of overflow, you can also find curbside parking directly in front of the Church, across from the apartments and dentist’s office.
St. Mary’s can also be reached by bus from the Mountain Line Holland and River bus stop. Just walk northbound on Rte 19 until you see our gold domes.
Please be aware that the entrance to the Church is at the top of a flight of stairs. A lift is available if you will need assistance. It can be accessed from the outdoors on the right hand side of the social hall entrance. Please call ahead if you think you may need assistance with operating the lift.
“The Divine Liturgy is truly a heavenly service upon earth, during which God Himself… is present and dwells with men, being Himself the invisible Celebrant of the service, offering and being offered. There is nothing upon earth holier, higher, grander, more solemn, more life-giving than the Liturgy.”
-St. John Kronstadt
The Orthodox Christian Divine Liturgy is an ancient worship service inherited through Apostolic tradition. Even its modern state remains unchanged from the 11th century. It is an encounter and participation in the Kingdom of Heaven that is deep in symbolism and imagery. It also may be new and different to someone accustomed to modern and western styles of worship. That’s okay! So what can you expect to do at your first Divine Liturgy?
- Introduce yourself and let us know it’s your first time here. There should be someone at the “financial desk” in the rear of the Church. They will be happy to direct you to a “visitor’s service book” that will walk you through the Divine Liturgy.
- Talk to God, isn’t He the reason you came after all? Sing along with the hymns. Maybe you don’t know what to say to God, and the Psalms incorporated in the Divine Liturgy can give you some ideas.
- Take in the experience! You will see people crossing themselves, kneeling, venerating icons, and singing responses, as the Divine Liturgy is participatory. There will be incense and processions, and you will hear readings from the letters of St. Paul and the Four Gospels, along with hymns often taken directly from Scripture. If you are not sure what to do, that is perfectly natural. No one is demanding you dive in and know it all. Take time to enjoy and absorb the Liturgical experience.
- Ask questions after the service is over. If something confuses you or sparks your interest, these are good questions to ask at coffee hour. These questions show you were participating in the Liturgy!
- Come to coffee hour after Liturgy and get to know the community. Early Christians always celebrated an “Agape Meal” after worship. Worship and fellowship have gone together in the Christian experience from the beginning. No Christian is an island, but a part of the body of Christ.
If you can do these 5 things any given Sunday, you have done a great deal to take part in the Divine Liturgy and the community here at St. Mary’s.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.”
1 Corinthians 12:27-28
Come to Church and come to coffee hour! While we have a choir, adult education program, young adult events, dinners, fundraisers and other ministries, these ministries serve to augment the Liturgical experience. It all begins and ends with the Divine Liturgy and the fellowship that exists within the community.
If you visited us but didn’t get a chance to talk to anyone after Church, please do not hesitate to contact Father. He would be interested to hear how your first visit to our Church went!
If you would like to receive the weekly parish bulletin, Sunday sermons and other parish news, please consider joining our mailing list.
You can also reach out with any questions through our contact us button.
Experience the Life of our Parish Community in the following ways: