The most common services you will find at St. John are: the Divine Liturgy, vespers, orthros (or matins), paraklesis. Visitors are always welcome to our services. Our services are mostly in English, with exceptions noted for each service below. For Vespers, Orthros, and the services of Holy Week (the week before Pascha/Easter), our parishes uses the text and, when available, music from the GOA Digital Chant Stand.
The Divine Liturgy is the eucharistic service of the Orthodox Church; the service in which Orthodox Christians partake of the Body and Blood of Christ. The most common liturgy is known as the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom. It is served on most Sundays and feastdays. Some elements of the Liturgy are: litanies, various hymns (some related to the feast being celebrated, others remaining constant from Liturgy to Liturgy), prayers, an epistle reading, and a Gospel reading. At St. John, all litanies and prayers are done in English, with the exception of one short litany close to the beginning of the service. Most hymns are sung in both English and Greek.
During the week, the service takes approximately one hour, while on Sundays, it is closer to an hour and a half.
Vespers is the most common evening service of the Orthodox Church. It marks the beginning of the liturgical day. Vespers contains psalm readings, litanies, and various hymns related to the feast being celebrated. The service is in English with the occasional exception of a hymn that is sung more than once, in which case the repeat could be in Greek.
Vespers is usually about forty minutes long.
Orthros (or Matins) is the most common morning service of the Orthodox Church. In the Greek Orthodox practice, it is celebrated before the Divine Liturgy. The service contains psalm readings, litanies, various hymns (some related to the feast being celebrated, other constant from service to service), and often (always on Sundays) a Gospel reading. The service is in English with the occasional exception of a hymn that is sung more than once, in which case the repeat could be in Greek.
Orthros varies in length from about forty minutes to over an hour, with Sunday service being usually the longest.
The Greek word paraklesis literally means intercession. During the paraklesis services, we ask for God's help and blessings, as well as the intercessions of the saints, on behalf of the living. The service is in English and lasts approximately fifty minutes.